Thursday, July 17, 2008

#27 SECRET AGENT Are You Hooked?

TITLE: Termion
GENRE: Science-fiction

"I don't like her eyes," complained the Warden, pushing his bloated face up to Jinna's nose.

Good. I hope you find fault with more of my appearance.

Everything about Jinna was too pretty for the Warden: her delicate features, her straight, coppery hair and the slender hands that idly fingered the white waist sash.

"I believe the Count mentioned how fed up he was with the average looking, poorly educated runts you trained up." The House Supervisor, accustomed to the rants, smoothly diverted his disinterest.

Jinna watched the Warden's bloodshot eyes narrow with hatred. She had selled his ego when he'd waddled into the hall. He thrived on power as keeper of the Termions, looking down on the Supervisors who worked a thousand times harder keeping the City's lower class monitored. Turn your gaudy, purple and black robed self back around and leave me here.

The previous evening Jinn had remained firm in her belief that none of the wild theories from Accommodation Forty-Two could match the truth behind the Termions. Unfortunately, with the House Supervisor pushing for the Warden's acceptance, it looked like she'd be the one to discover the truth.

I don't want to be evil. Jinna dropped her gaze, uncomfortable with the Warden's continued scrutiny.Mama, you'd promised being beautiful would keep me safe.

"She's too old." Spittle landed on Jinna's cheek. Dirt in any form sent her racing for the recycled water tap. She had to settle with a nonchalant wipe from a finger.


  1. I'm putting this anonymous for now, but um I've noticed a typo (my bad - sorry!)

    Jinn in 6th para should be Jinna. (Maybe that's why I've had recurring dreams of this contest? For a typo? I need my head seeing to...)

  2. I like this. In particular I was drawn in by the comment "I don't want to be evil" - it gave the evil a face, in a way, and a sense that evil is a choice. Also I was captured by how disgusting the Warden is.

  3. Thank you Blodwyn - I've seen you around :) Heehee.

  4. You picked up your typo, I'm going to pick on more.

    She had selled his ego when he'd waddled into the hall.

    This line makes no sense to me. Were you trying for swelled maybe? Or is this a word I'm just not familiar with?

    Overall, it's not bad but it doesn't grab me. I don't know where you are going and all I can imagine is a very nasty future for Jinna. You would need a very strong query/back of book to keep me reading.

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  6. I like it. I would read on to find out what happens next.
    My only problem is that the third paragraph (where Jinna is described) seems to be in the warden's point of view.

  7. Well. You know, I like the concept, and I like the opening line, but something about it just doesn't quite grab me yet, sorry. Can't quite pinpoint why. :S

    It's more polished than other versions I saw, so that's better. Right now, not really hooked... (will try and pinpoint it later)

    Good luck,


  8. Thanks everyone. Those I know...well, I'll annoy you for help at a later date.

    Just_Me: It should be smelled :)

    I'm glad I've got people a little interested in the concetp, just got to work on that hook :)

  9. Para 3 pops out; again, we can get this elsewhere later in the story as fits. I think there's a couple points you could kill/rephrase:
    drop "accustomed to the rants"--we get from how smoothly he handles
    para 5: focus on making this just what Jinna knows/sees

    para 6: Huh? Lost here, lots of new terms, a great chance for some world-building but it's going to have to be deft.

    para 7: back in the game--why does beauty preclude evil? Good.

    Keep working on this one, interesting start.

  10. Afraid not. There's a lot of Telling rather than Showing, an awkwardly placed flashback (IMHO), and the way her physical attributes are described seem more author intrusion forcing the information through, rather than letting it happen more smoothly.

    Though I did love, "Mama, you'd promised being beautiful would keep me safe."

  11. Nope, not without some reworking. The opening starts in Jinna's head, but the third paragraph jumps to the Warden's perspective. Be more consistent in viewpoint, otherwise you risk drawing the reader out of the narrative.

    There is a lot of political information dropped into the middle paragraphs, which I'd suggest leaving for later. Stick with the Warden examining Jinna and how his comments make her feel. I like the idea of the piece, but as it stands, I wouldn't care to read more.

  12. I'm on the fence on this one, I think I would read on because it sounds interesting, so I guess you get a yes from me. Definitely fix the typos though, that's a big turn off.

  13. Already read and commented in another place :D

  14. I was a bit confused... I think with clarification this could be quite hoookie... if only I was sure of what was going on.

  15. This version is much tighter.

    I like the premise, but I still have some of the same problems with the 6th paragraph as it confuses the issue at hand.

    I'd read on because of the premise.

  16. Yes - with reserve.

    I think that I would have liked this to be closer to Jinna's pov. And I wanted to see more of the setting.

    But (and this is partly cheating) I still like the concept and want to see more<:

  17. I'll quit POV jumping one day....

  18. Sorry, no. The typos got annoying and I couldn't focus. I think you've got an interesting concept in here, but it didn't capture me this time.

  19. No, sorry, not hooked. I wanted Jinna to be more present in this scene. There's too much backstory introduced, or it's introduced in kind of an info-dump way. Weave it into the narrative better and I think that will help. There's definitely potential here. Except for the typos, you write well. 8^)

  20. Ack, not /another/ one where my comment didn't save! Sorry, Yuna!

    Have already given you my opinion of this - it's confusing (I think you're trying to intro too much too quickly - it's a strange world, give us time to ease into it and learn its rules) but it has some fab ideas and a lot of potential.