Shadow Island is not on any map. It is thirty miles away from the coast of the United States, and you will not find it, no matter how hard you try, unless you are meant to find it. Years ago it was called Muenster Island, but the people who lived there decided that sounded too much like Monster Island so they changed the name. Disaster struck the isle in 1870. Horrible things started happening. The terrified residents began sailing away—they were the lucky ones. Those who remained either “found their identities” as something other than human, or they met their doom. There was no one left alive on the island—no humans at least. Not until the arrival of two children—both eleven years old and
Posts: 31 | Registered: Jul 2010
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I like how you start. The first sentence introduces mystery and has us asking why it is not on any map. What is slightly incongruous is then you go into how it is 30 miles off the coast of the USA. That sort of dissipates the mystery you just set up by saying its not on any map. If its known to be 30 miles off the coast, why would it not be on a map? I'd find a way to preserve your mystery here.
quote:Disaster struck the isle in 1870. Horrible things started happening.
This is a bit redundant and unspecific. I might go with something like "In 1870, disaster struck as horrible (something more specific than things) began to happen."
Also, in general, I think you can use fewer words in other places. For example:
quote: Those who remained either “found their identities” as something other than human, or they met their doom.
Could be more succinctly stated as something to the effect of: "Those who remained found an inhuman identity or doom." or "Those who remained either lost their humanity or met their doom."
As always, these are just opinions unless several people agree with them.
[This message has been edited by Osiris (edited July 29, 2010).]
The opening is okay and may work to hook some kids but it is very distant. I always prefer openings that start right off with a character who is doing or thinking something. The story could be stronger if you start with your MC, let us get to know him a little and introduce the legend of the Shadow Island as part of the story.
Posts: 968 | Registered: Jul 2008
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I agree with much of what has been said...lose the 'Horrible things started happening' sentence. BTW, this *has* to be the East Coast; such things would not happen on the boring West Coast...no pirates, ghosts, pilgrims, conquistador ships, or hurricanes.
I thought the island name change made them sound a bit frivolous, though I wasn't sure if was the humans or non-humans who made this decision. Since the island was invisible, who'd know the name but them, anyway?
The opening does set the tone. If you wanted to introduce the MCs earlier, as someone suggested, it could be done economically, something like: Until two eleven year olds showed up, there were no humans on Shadow Island. The island is not on any map....