I am writing a book and I've come to some roadblocks in the plot.
Here is the basic storyline:
A tribe of people live in a grand city deep inside the caves and large caverns in a mountain. Outside is so cold and always snowing that someone could freeze to death if they ventured out. The walls of the caverns have a sort of magical crystal all over it that glows, therefor lightening the caves with white light, and also allowing plants to grow. But in result to some accident they all had to leave the city and move to other parts of the mountain's caves and caverns. The maps were lost and somehow the beautiful city with crystals on the walls is lost and thought never to be found again. Several generations later a young man in the city has a map that is the last of it's kind from his great great great grandfather. It tells where the long forgotten and now legendary city is. The young man goes on a journey alone to find the city. He finds the city but does not know that his good friend the princess has followed him. The man is lost because he can not find is way back, but the princess follows his tracks and eventually finds him and the city. The people go in search of the princess when they find she is missing and find her tracks and follow them and soon find her, and the man, and the city. Because there were so many people searching for her they knew the way back and then everyone in the city moves to the wonderful land, the long forgotten legendary crystal city from several generations ago.
That's the happy ending. But I have some problems and I am sure there are more so please tell me of any if you see any.
How do I make it realistic that there would be a place such as this; where outside is too cold to live, and the caves somehow give warmth. Perhaps it is a volcano mountain?
How do I make the crystals realistic, does such crystals exist anywhere on earth? Or shall I make it another world where the crystals are natural. Any other ideas?
What would have caused the people to leave the city generations ago, yet without destroying the city by a cave in or anything because they must be able to come back to it later?
It does not seam all that realistic that the princess would be friends with this man who thinks he can find the city. But there needs to be a main character that is attractive to the reader. So if not the princess, who else would make sense? And perhaps the man does not lose himself therefor can go back himself to tell the people.
Since these people live underground and can not go out for long, what would be their main food source?
I would like the man to be rather young, but younger does not make sense, so how young can he be and what past would he have that would motivate him to find this city and have him to happen to have a map from his ancestor?
I would greatly appreciate your input, answer as many questions as you can, and also, I would like as many answers as I can get so I can compare them. And please, be a critic and tell me what's wrong with my story. Thanks a lot!
By the way, this story is copyright 2013. Please don't use the plot anywhere.