1. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    Potential plot idea for teen fiction. Thoughts?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by beanbengo, Feb 27, 2014.

    Ok... so this idea popped into my head just a few minutes ago and it is very rough and needs some sorting out. I am posting this to see if you guys think it has potential but also just to get my thoughts down so i can step back and actually look at the idea myself to see what i think.

    Feel free to say it's overdone, cliched, unoriginal or just plain bad. It's not like i have any time invested in it. I've never really written much before, but if you like it as a basic concept that would be cool too. All opinions, constructive or not, are welcome :)


    So here is a very rough preliminary idea that i have just had.

    The story starts on the city of Aeros with sirens sounding. Aeros is a huge flying city, and the story appears to be set in the future with references to it flying above " what was once western Europe" or something along those lines. The sirens indicate that the city is travelling through a high energy weather system and all residents of the city have to move to the lower levels of the city until the threat has passed.

    The main character is introduced working in the biofuel fields when the sirens sound, he is only 14 but posters of the Supreme Mayor are on the walls all around him with slogans like "work invigorates, Glory to Aeros!" (1984 Big Brother style). Through all the chaos of the sirens he manages to find his mother and little sister, his father is dead. We learn that the ancestors of the city of Aeros managed to escape a great nuclear war generations ago by flying above the earth in this mobile city, and that no other form of humanity exists.

    The living conditions in the city are hard, with long work hours for everyone except the super rich high class who live in luxury on the top tiers of the city. Anyone who goes against the supreme mayor mysteriously disappears etc. The protagonist begins to question the supreme mayor and the leadership of the city and begins spreading his "infectious" ideals. The first part of the story climaxes with the MC being thrown overboard, and the supreme mayor somehow hinting to him that the same thing happened to his father or something! woah what a bombshell ;P

    Somehow he survives the fall, lands in the sea and is mysteriously rescued. Turns out that there are still loads of prospering civilizations on earth, and they know about the tyranny on Aeros and have been trying to bomb the city for ages. It becomes apparent that when the sirens were going off in the city it was infact the city being bombarded by rockets from the surface and the mayor was trying to hide this from the population by keeping them in evacuation chambers because he wanted them to think everyone else was dead.

    The MC is torn because he wants Aeros to fall, but he has friends and family on board. The Civilisation is almost as bad on the ground as on Aeros because although they have a better less fascist political system they are happy to kill any one that doesnt agree with them.

    The MC's goal is to save his family and the people of aeros by bringing them back to earth to start fresh without getting killed by either of the two civilizations. And loads of wonderful really interesting things happen haha :)
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hi.
    Most of us say write the story, we can't tell from the plot. But I think that plot has plenty enough story in it to say, go for it. I kind of like the creativity of it.
     
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  3. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    Cool, thank you for your feedback. I understand that how it is written is the most important thing. And yeah i much prefer stories set in interesting and creative worlds when I read so I thought I'd maybe try to write something similar.
     
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  4. Pepsik
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    Pepsik Member

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    I like it! I like the idea that your mc will sort of become this leader to a revolution. However, I have a few questions, Why does the mayor want everyone living in the city to think everyone on the surface is dead? Is it so he can continue to rule over the city as this ”king” figure? Also, why is the surface attacking the city?

    This concept definitely has the potential to branch out into different story arcs. Maybe the people of the surface don't like the mc because he's one of the sky people? Lol I don't know :) I like it though!
     
  5. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    Yeah there is room to expand the idea. Currently my idea is that the mayor is power hungry and wants to rule, also, keeping his subjects in poverty maintains his and his friends wealth. They would have had this passed down to them from their fathers.

    The surface wants to bomb the sky people because they realise that what is happening there is wrong and want to put a stop to it, but in doing so are also bad guys themselves as the MC's family lives there. I think i need to develop this motive further though, perhaps when Aeros initially took off the first mayor actually had to nuke cities nearby in order to create enough panic for people to join him on the city, and for them to believe everyone was dead. The ground people want revenge for that.
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I like the premise of the flying city, but as a premise in and of itself, it sounds pretty ordinary. Perfectly interesting, but nothing that'd make me go WOW. If you write it well, it has good potential I feel :)

    You should watch Laputa, if you haven't. It's about a city left floating in the sky that nobody believes in anymore, and the story is about the ground people trying to find this extinct civilisation. It's a Japanese classic by Miyazaki, so you'll easily find it. Terrific film.

    There's also an anime film called "Battle Angel", but I forget its full title. Again there's a floating city, known as Utopia, and the ground people want to go up there and there's a system where some people are chosen from the ground to go. Eventually the co-MC whose dream is to reach Utopia finds out it's all just a lie and people in Utopia never intended to have anyone on the ground up there. They created the lie just to keep the ground people working and happy. It's pretty sad.

    A heads-up - I don't know where you're from, but you might know a famous chocolate brand called Aero. Here's a picture: http://www.aerochocolate.co.uk/Content/img/home-choc.png

    What I'm saying is - change the name of your city. Every time I see it I think of chocolate, and that will certainly ruin any kind of suspense in your story. It's as good as naming your city, I dunno, "Hershey's" or "Cadbury" for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  7. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    Ok, thanks. When i named the city i didn't really think about it because in my head i was always pronouncing it Air-ross, not air-rows. But yes you make a good point, other people will read It in a way i didn't intend. If anyone has name suggestions I'd love to hear them.

    I understand that you think it's ordinary, I think the key to this being good will be constructing a believable and in-depth world around the idea. easier said than done but i like the challenge. Thanks for your feedback, i will think of a new name and look into Laputa and Battle Angel.
     
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  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You could always just spell it different, like...

    Aiross?
    Eiross

    You might be able to get away with:
    Aeross

    But for that you better ask more people if they'd immediately think of the chocolate. The extra S does help though, so I don't just think it's the plural of Aero.

    And yes, whether the story will be any good all depends on how you write it and how you build it up. Basically, write it and you'll see, and have fun in the process :)
     
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  9. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    Hmmm, yeah, i really liked Aeros though. Damn the chocolate. I wanted the Aero because it sounded like aeronautics and aiross and eiross just don't do it for me. Maybe i could name it after a cloud instead... I feel like Nimbostratus has already been done in Harry Potter with the Nimbus 2000, but stratus could become Stratos? Cumulonimbus could become Cumunobius... any thoughts on those names, or cloud based names?
     
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  10. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with everyone else -- very interesting!

    If you haven't watched (or read, since it's a series, but I never read them) City of Ember, I'd do that. It's about an underground civilization with a power-hungry Mayor. It may give you some good ideas as to conflicts to throw in as you lead towards the end. Also, if you haven't played BioShock Infinite, the setting for it is a flying city. Maybe just try to check out some screen shots of it to give you some ideas on how to create your flying city.

    As for cloud names -- I think Stratos is interesting. You could also use Cirrus (or some variant), Alto (for altostratus) or Nimb/Nimbos (for nimbostratus). Nephele, Neil, or Niles mean cloud. Mina means blue sky. Vyona means sky. Anil means wind. Erion means air. Eyvindr means island wind.

    In the novel I'm working on, I have a God of Air/Wind named Flinn. It was originally Flynn, but I realized it looked too close to 'flyin' for my comfort. lol

    Good luck!
     
  11. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I also think you should play Bioshock Infinite, or at least watch a playthrough (not walkthrough) of it on YouTube. It has much to do with floating cities, and though it is set in the early 1900s, it still feels like a futuristic city. It might help you out. :)
     
  12. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    Thank you Lea for all of those great city names! really grateful thank you. I have played some of bioshock infinite actually, the setting is very cool. Would maybe be a similar setting for the upper levels of the city where the super rich live, however, i want the rest of the city to look a little more hard done by, perhaps a setting that would have used to look like bioshock, but run down... I might explore the class divide a bit. Thanks for the suggestion Thomas :)
     
  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Lol it is unfortunate about the chocolate, it's true :p

    Stratos for me sounds too much like stratosphere - way too scientific for it to be fantastical, if that makes sense. The word Stratos doesn't inspire my imagination.

    I don't like Cumunobius - I don't even want to read it and work out how to pronounce it cus it looks too much like a bunch of Ms and Ns and Os. Monomomonomobus.

    I really like Lea's suggestions too :) Eyvindr has the coolest meaning ever. Eiron and Vyona are also nice, but Vyona sounds a little too much like Fiona for my taste.

    Unfortunately I'm not terribly good at coming up with names. You could look up Japanese names - they have some really beautiful words. My MC for my next novel is Arashi, which is a Japanese name that means storm, and the kanji is made up of the words wind and mountain, and in Chinese it means mist. I dunno, I just think it's super cool :D

    Hmm, from the limited languages that I know, let's see... You can adapt these into fantasy names:

    Sora = sky (Japanese)
    Fei / Fay = fly (Cantonese)
    Vitr = wind (Czech)
    Kaze (pronounced Ka-zair) = wind (Japanese)
    Fon = wind (Cantonese)
    Wun = cloud (Cantonese)

    I realise I don't know many other related words lol. I sometimes go to Google Translate and see what certain words sound or look like in other languages and then change them around a little :)
     
  14. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    I agree Mckk, Lea's names were much better than mine :) Thanks for your suggestions, I'll put Sora into consideration i like it
     
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  15. osu45d
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    osu45d Member

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    sounds good, but try to avoid using impossible science, make sure you use a potential future technology that could give the lift.
     
  16. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    I was gonna go for some kind of propeller system. I want to keep it mechanical.
     
  17. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    Would anyone be interested in reading the first part of a rough first draft of the first chapter? Hehe. Any feedback would be good. There are some sentences that I'm not sure about, but because I haven't really done much writing before outside of school I'd be interested to hear any criticisms. I'm sure there is a lot of room for improvement :)

     
  18. jannert
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    I think the weakness in your plot, as you've laid it out, is the relationship between the city and the ground.

    Why is the ground attacking the city? And how is the city feeding itself? Are these events connected in some way? It seems silly that ground civilisations would spend so much energy trying to shoot a city out of the sky, if the city wasn't doing them any harm or taking anything from them.

    If you can strengthen this part of the plot, then I think all the rest of it will fall into place very well. It's a very intriguing idea.
     
  19. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    Thank you :) I'll work on it
     
  20. Lea`Brooks
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    As a rough first draft, I'd say it's a fairly good first chapter, though it is a little short. In a printed book, this is probably only one or two pages.

    I think the biggest criticism as the story sits right now is your sentence structure. You have a lot of run on sentences. For example:

    "The screech of the sirens resonated throughout the whole city, the ferocious wind whistled between the buildings and scattering crowds."

    You have two ways you could fix this.

    1) The screech of the sirens resonated throughout the whole city. The ferocious wind whistled between the buildings and scattered the crowds.

    2) The screech of the sirens resonated throughout the whole city, the ferocious winds whistling between the buildings and scattering the crowds.

    You have sentences like this throughout the entire chapter. Be really careful with that, because it distracts the reader.

    I found a few statement a little awkward. Like when Errol (whose name I love, by the way) is in the Department of Power. When I hear "department" I think office building or tech lab. So I'd throw a little extra description in there right away to let people know about his surroundings. I know you say he's in a greenhouse, but it doesn't seem to happen soon enough.

    Also, "In the name of the Supreme Mayor" is very awkward. I don't really have any suggestions on how you could do it differently.. But I'd reconsider that line.

    In your last two paragraphs, you describe how Errol doesn't understand the terror that the alarm instills because he's lived there his whole life. You should probably elaborate on that more. I don't understand why he wouldn't be as afraid as his parents if he grew up there. What did they experience that he didn't? Why is he so calm? It's hard for me to explain.. It just doesn't make sense that he wouldn't be afraid without a little more (a little, not a lot) background information on why.

    I love the last line. "No one leaves Sora." It's very powerful and leaves the reader knowing something intense is going to happen in the story.

    So! My recommendations: watch punctuation/run-on sentences and add more details to some scenes. Adding details will not only make it less confusing but also increase the length of the chapter.


    Good luck!
     
  21. beanbengo
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    beanbengo Member

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    Thank you very much! I know i need to work on structure a bit, I'll try and mix up sentence structure more. Yeah i plan to make this chapter quite a bit longer, Thanks for your input it's really useful. I'll do an update here when I feel it's a little more polished.
     
  22. Fizpok
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    The idea is around for ages, from Gulliver's Travels to Elisium.
    There are some things that are not right in the idea though. Why bombing the city? Why would the boy want to bomb it? Where does it get resources? Why isn't the boy convinced his city is best place on Earth?
    The difference between answering these questions and not answering them is between a good book and a poor one.
     

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