Thursday, October 16, 2008

21 SECRET AGENT: Are You Hooked?

TITLE: Great Scott
GENRE: YA Fantasy

The teacup exploded, which was normal, and time froze, which
was not. Returning from the temporary fear-induced paralysis, Mage stood and
picked a shard of ceramic from the edge of the explosion in progress. It was
sharp enough to cut her fingers.

"You know," she said to Cery, who sat at the table
in the middle of the room, staring numbly at her own bleeding fingers. "If
you look at the scene from a certain point, it's really rather pretty, the way
the light bounces of the droplets of tea in the air and forms amber spots on
the walls..." She trailed off as she realized the explosion had stopped
millimeters from Cery's face.

Agonizingly slowly, Cery pushed her chair away from the
table and examined the scene from a distance. "Do you think time stopped,
or just the explosion?"

Mage looked at the clock. The hands were moving, but in the
glass before them she should have seen her own reflection, however
insubstantial. The reflection on the glass had blue eyes and blond hair and no
freckles, and clearly couldn't belong to her. It spoke.

"Get out. You only have so much time."

"Cery?" Mage said. "Did you hear that?"

"Yeah, I did." Cery said. She cast a last troubled
look across the room and disappeared.

Mage turned back to the face. “Who are you? What do you

It glared at her. “What part of ‘now’ do you not

The explosion strained against its bounds.


  1. I'm so hooked. Loved the first sentence, the time stoppage, all of it. Good job!

  2. Yes. It evokes a terrific image of an exploading tea cup.

  3. Yes. It evokes a terrific image of an exploading tea cup.

  4. Okay, this is my favorite! I want to read more. Very nice!

    I do have a couple of small suggestions:

    1. cut "from a distance" in the third paragraph. We know it's from a distance because she pushed her chair back from the table.

    2. I got hung up on the fourth paragraph. The wording about the glass covering the clock didn't flow as well. Try changing it to, "The hands were moving, but instead of her own reflection in the glass, a freckleless blue eyed blond haired reflection stared back . . ."

    Yeah, that's a bad example, but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

    And I loved everything else.

  5. The scene is cute, but I don't love the characters and I'm not sure if that's because I'm not the target age or not. With a good recommendation, I'd keep reading. But otherwise pass looking for characters I really connected with.

  6. I'm almost hooked. There are some spelling and grammar lapses that tripped me up, and I think just a few additional details to help set the scene (like a setting description) would have helped. I'd probably read at least until the end of the chapter to see where you're taking us.

  7. Your opening sentence was absolutely awesome, but then you kind of lost me a little. I think it's because there was so much tension in that first sentence and then the two characters are sitting around and talking about it very detachedly (yes, I know that's not a word :-) ). I'd keep reading, though, because I am interested.

  8. Interesting. Took a while to wrap my mind around where each girl was in the scene and what they were doing.

    Can't say I'm totally hooked, but it's interesting.

  9. Some great descriptions here. I love the sense of imminent danger. I'm not a hundred percent connected with the characters, but I'd keep reading a little longer.

  10. Good job. I don't think it would be an easy thing to write a scene like this.

    Just a bit of confusion for me as to whose fingers were bleeding. At first I thought it was Mage, and that made the sentence read awkwardly for me. Then I thought it was probably Cery. Still not 100% sure.

    Didn't particularly care for agonizingly slowly, but other than that I enjoyed it.

    Would read on.

  11. Hooked! You have a wonderful first sentence that's both whimsical and compelling. I do have some suggestions for improving- the moment describing the tea dragged on just a hair too long, and the sentence about the reflection felt awkward to me. Regardless, I'm snagged.

  12. I'm not generally a reader of fantasy, but you pulled me into a world I want to read about. I love the visual image you created of time stopping.

    I'd read on.

  13. I like this except for these two words:

    [ Agonizingly slowly ]


    The rest of this works for me. Yes, hooked.

  14. Oooh yeah. A few minor trims and cuts: "rather" can be cut. It's pretty... The glass in the clockface should have shown... And where did Cery disappear to? Did she "apparate" or run away? Nonetheless, stay tuned, true believers!

  15. Hey, nicely done! I'm pretty darn hooked.

    I wasn't clear on whether Cery was frozen too or not at first, and I was a little thrown by the description of the face in the reflection. Other than that, great job!

  16. I loved the opening line and the situation is definitely intriguing, but something didn't quite click for me in the middle. I'm sorry, I can't pinpoint exactly what. But yes, the situation is so amusing and weird, I'd read on for a bit to find out what happens. :)


  17. Absolutely loved it. I'm definitely hooked.