Thursday, 2 April 2009

Chapter 1, page 1

The iron chains bobbed up and down, became taut, then loosened again as the waves pushed and pulled the giant pontoon around the inlet. A pier reached out to it with a hinged boarding ramp that scraped against the deck in time with the waves. Its movement added rhythm to the night. The only other sounds were the breaking of waves on the shoreline, the creaking of the chains and the occasional rustle of the wind through the native grasses behind the boardwalk. The evening seemed to breathe heavily, but without any obvious signs of life.

An entire college rested on the floating platform, complete with dormitories, kitchens, laboratories and a gymnasium. From the pier it appeared to be as tall as the inlet was wide. The hulking shape of the school made for a terrifying view in the moonlight. It was widest near the middle and the silhouette was jagged with balconies and platforms. Approaching the entrance, the dark, angular shape of the greenhouse could be seen immediately above the large front door. Several lights shone from the surrounding dorm rooms.

From one such room, a paper boat fell and landed silently on the water. Another followed, seconds later. Then another. After a few minutes, a fleet was gathered beneath the window. Some were upright, others lay on their sides, each a different design.

Inside the room a boy paced from his desk to the window, deployed another vessel, then returned to his chair. A desk lamp illuminated his small, wooden bedroom. He pulled another piece of paper off the pile and started folding, first in half, then he pressed in the corners. He turned the paper over in his hands, folding and unfolding until he'd formed a hull and and a cabin. He put this last boat on his desk, pulled out a pen and wrote “H.M.S. Riley” on each side. After switching off the lamp, he pulled himself up onto the bed, lay on top of the blankets and stared at the ceiling.


Well, that was the first page of the first chapter of my first children's novel.

That's all you get until it's finished.

Wish me luck,



  1. What children are you writing for that use the words "pontoon" in regular everyday speech?

    pontooooooooooooooon ... cartoon?
    It's Friday!

    But it's a nice start to a story. It's got suspense, a main character, some angst, and lots of words. Approve of it so far. ;)

  2. Children who have dictionaries. Or extended vocabularies. Or parents to read to them and explain things.

    Anyway, it's fun.

    A lot of classic children's lit has words that are seldom used in everyday speech.

    Suspense... Huh! I get it!!

    ...I think...

    From now on you don't get any more pages until I request that you painstakingly review and edit the final draft :).