Monday, April 22, 2013

1st 5 Pages April Workshop - Dover Rev 2

Jeanette Dover

Middle Grade Fantasy

The Lost City of Atlantis


Above the city the sky turned an ominous leaden green. Enormous black clouds rolled across the dark background obliterating the sun. Although it was the middle of the day it became as dark as a moonless night. Large chunks of molten lava spewed from the mouth of the volcano raining fire upon the city of Atlantis. The ground underneath the outer rings of the city rolled and pitched, destroying all that sat upon its writhing surface. A tsunami sweeps towards Atlantis. The huge ocean wave surges, reaching over a hundred feet high; it would destroy anything in its path.

At the center of Atlantis in the Temple of Nethuns they sat very quietly holding hands. Thirteen of them gathered in a circle, seemingly oblivious to the horror unfolding around them. The city shimmers and then disappears as the huge wave crashes over the island.

More than eleven thousand years later, Noor stands on the steps of the Temple of Nethuns surveying the tranquil city of Atlantis. If help doesn’t come soon Noor wonders how long he will be able to protect his world.

Chapter One

The granular particles squish between his toes as Adam’s feet sink into the beach. The warmth from the white Caribbean sand ripples up his legs, into his body and arms. The wave of energy reaches his brain and he sighs; it feels so right.

Bending down Adam picks up a sea shell. He puts the shell to his ear. Adam not only hears the ocean, he feels the ocean waves wrap around him; the smell of the sea water engulfs him as an intense surge of energy races through his entire body. What he experiences is beyond his ability to describe. The beach calls to him, draws him like a magnet attracts a piece of iron; it’s a pull he can’t resist.

Adam knows it’s not normal for a twelve year old boy to feel like this; he hates being different. Sometimes he wishes these feelings would go away, but as he gets older they just happen more often. Adam shakes his head as he drops the shell in his pocket.

He looks down the beach at the contrast between the white sand and the beautiful turquoise water. Thoughts meander through Adam’s mind as he wanders down the beach. What could be better than walking on the beach? Swimming in the water would be better. I could look at the fish and the world beneath the waves.

The sounds of the waves lapping on the shore whisper his name. His mothers’ words replay in his head “… don’t go into the water by yourself.” There was no one else on the beach so who could tell his mom. Besides, she always said he swam like a fish. As the waves get closer his mother’s sensible voice is drowned out by the swish of the waves calling to him.

Slipping his feet into the fins Adam adjusts the mask on his face. He takes exaggerated steps allowing him to walk with his fins and heads for the water. When the ocean is up to his waist he begins to float face down in the water kicking his legs to propel himself forward. He moves away from shore and sees the coral reef begin below him. Adam likes to watch the fish as they play in the coral searching for food. As he swims in the clear Caribbean water he spots many of the fish he knows so well: angel fish, butterfly fish, black and yellow rock beauties, and striped damsel fish. While watching the natural aquarium below him Adam sees a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye. An orange fish with bright blue stripes darts away from him. He’s never seen a fish like that before. He loses sight of the brightly colored creature only to see it pop up further away as if it’s playing a game.

Racing through the water Adam tries to get a better look at the little fish; he has almost caught up to it when again it dives out of sight. He swims up to the point where he last saw it and pauses. Adam is deeper in the ocean than he’s ever been before. He notices he’s not running out of breath and briefly wonders how that’s possible.

Looking down Adam sees he’s at the edge of a small ridge. Below him are two large stone statues standing on either side of a massive iron gate. The statues are lions with wings on their backs, each lion has a front paw resting on a globe; they appear to be guarding the gate. The colorful fish swims through the gate. It turns and looks at Adam daring him to catch up. As Adam dives down and reaches towards the fish, his hand brushes against the gate. The water begins to swirl around him. I should have stayed on the beach, Adam thinks as everything goes dark.


  1. I LOVE where you start Adam's story!! It's beautiful and well done. I personally recommend NOT using a prologue as many agents and editors are against it unless it is absolutely necessary. I think Adam's draw to the ocean is plenty enough to keep our interest. My two cents!

  2. I agree. This is a great start. I think starting it with Adam at the beach is fantastic! Your descriptions are wonderful. I'm intrigued and want to know more. Great job and good luck!

  3. I love the description of the volcano in the prologue. IT sets the stage for the mystery of Atlantis. I know prologues are an issue and many say not to use them unless it is propelling the story forward. Tough decision for you! But i do enjoy the intrigue and strongly suggest that if you remove the prologue, keep the description somehow...

    Also, in paragraph four, it's confusing to write in first person in the last sentence.

    Your last sentence isn't confusing because you state it was a thought.

    Still a lovely story and I can't wait to read it. My son will love it, too!

  4. Wow! Great writing. Wonderful revision. Love your descriptions.I couldn't stop reading. I wish you lots of success with this story.

  5. It's been a fantastic workshop! Thank you to everyone for their input! Now that I have a much better beginning I can work on fine tuning the rest of my book.

  6. Oh yes, your prologue is wonderful! Maybe incorporate it into Adam's opening thoughts as a reoccurring dream he's had since earlier youth?

    This revision is definitely stronger and I can FEEL some of his emotions rather than thinking them, if that makes sense. =)

    I wish you the very best!

  7. Hi Jeanette,
    Your story has come so far!! Congratulations, and keep writing.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  8. Jeanette, you've done really great work with this. I'm also torn. I love the prologue, but I'm not sure if you should use one. If you can come up with a better way to incorporate it, I think that would be better. Best wishes!