Thursday, March 10, 2011

Drop the Needle: REVELATION #47

GENRE: YA fantasy/steampunk

16-year-old Alison, stunt double for teen actress Pom, goes to Portugal to film on location and shipwrecks on Atlantis.

"Terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Center. Thousands of people died." Pom's voice started strong, but faded as she finished her sentence.

"And this disturbs you so?" he asked her.

"Well, yeah, it was a real tragedy for the US."

He leaned forward. "The US? That would be the United States, yes?"

"Look, what's going on here?"

"We've been fairly, well... isolated on our little island. We don't entertain visitors often."

"Island?" Pom raised an eyebrow. "Which island?"

The Captain cleared his throat and straightened his shoulders. "The isle of Atlantis."

"Ha ha, very funny," Pom said. "Is this a schtick you put on for the tourists? I've gotta say, you get a 10 for effort and set decoration, but can we borrow a phone now?"

The Captain sat perfectly still and studied his wineglass for a long moment.

"Ok, seriously? Jokes over." Pom waved her hand in front of the Captains face.

His eyes flashed up to hers and he stood up. He slammed his fist down onto the table, sending all of our cutlery into the air. "This is no laughing matter, I assure you."

"Ok, calm down," Pom said, almost to herself. She leaned back into her chair, her palms gripping the armrests.

"I will not be told what to do by a thieves, much less women. Take them away."

"Woah, wait, what?" Pom and I protested but were no match for the guardmen who grabbed us and hoisted us from the room.


  1. This has potential! I LOVE your title and your premise, but I'm having trouble with the dialogue. It doesn't feel natural to me.

    For example, read this out loud: "I will not be told what to do by a thieves, much less women. Take them away." -- it sounds a bit like a villain on a cartoon.

    To be more believable, especially since this feels set in modern-day, think of things that you would really hear someone say. If some guy was talking to me and my friend Pom like that, I wouldn't take him seriously, you know?

    Also, I want to hear a little more description about where they are. Just a little. We need more of a sense of place.

    Once you can tighten the dialogue and such this has potential to be a scary scene. I'm really wanting to feel how there is no way out of this situation, and FEEL some more panic from our characters as they realize that they're not getting out.

    Good luck with this! :)

  2. It's interesting that you mention Alison in the intro when she's not even involved in the scene. Kinda got me a little confused. Also, the mention of "he" was confusing because you don't mention who's speaking until like halfway through. And how would a movie star get shipwrecked? Wouldn't she rather take a plane to Portugal than a boat? I'm very confused.

    The dialogue is great, thought! Good stuff :)

  3. This sounds like a fun and unique story plot! Lots of cool potential here.

    I too felt the dialogue was a bit stiff at times. Also, the captain seemed pretty laid back, staring at his wine and whatnot, and then suddenly he's angry. Maybe there was something leading up to this in the part before this excerpt. And two nitpicky things in the last paragraph, but I think it's "whoa" not "woah" and "guardsmen" not "guardmen".

    Good luck!

  4. There's an issue with talking heads here. Also, it's usually spelled "Whoa."

    Still, a very interesting premise, and the "captain" sounds like a pain in the rear.

  5. Like the premise. I assume the surroundings have been set up at the start of this scene. And that it's clear this is Alison's Pov.

    However, I thought this was in Pom POV until late in the scene.

    As some have already pointed out, the dialogue is a bit stiff. Also, it showed no movement or any feelings from the POV. But that might just be because we were dropped in the middle of the scene.

  6. Hmm. I love the idea of a stunt double MC (it's one I'd considered myself at one point) and also the idea of Atlantis. But this particular excerpt didn't work for me. I didn't have any idea of setting, and the scene was dominated by Pom and the Captain. We don't hear anything about your MC, except for a brief mention at the end that she struggles as she and Pom are dragged away.

    Now, these issues might be just this particular few paragraphs of your novel. The setting might be clear if we had read earlier sections, and maybe we hear a lot about what Alison is thinking and feeling and it's just in these sentences that we don't. But if these issues are present in other scenes, I'd think about fixing them.

    Also, small grammar issues/typos: In the sentence starting "OK, seriously" you need two apostrophes, one in "Joke's" and one in "Captain's".

  7. I didn't think the revelation worked because Pom laughs it off, so it doesn't come off as big, or important. There's no - Whoa! We're in bleeping Atlantis - and I think you need a bit of that to make this stand out, at least from one of your characters' povs.

    Overall, I didn't think it worked because your MC is Allison and she's not even in the scene. She doesn't say or do anything. She doesn't think anything. I didn't even know she was there until the last sentence. Perhaps add some of her thoughts as Pom is speaking. Does she wish Pom would shut up, or be more respectful, or is she going "you tell him, Pom! WHat does she think about being in ATlantis?