Thursday, November 13, 2008

4 SECRET AGENT: Are You Hooked?

TITLE: Stealing Ellum

GENRE: YA Science Fiction

Elena hooked her fingers through the chain-link fence and scanned the Nokia Theater’s backstage parking lot, her stomach twisting into knots. She felt slightly nauseous and the rest of the small crowd was getting on her nerves. They were hanging around for the chance to catch a glimpse of the headlining band, maybe even get an autograph or two, but not Elena. She needed to talk to Dan Cannon, the facility’s booking manager.

His silver Jetta was parked under a flickering streetlight so she knew he hadn’t taken off yet. That was good. Maybe. She kept going back and forth on whether she should be there or not. The truth was, she wasn’t sure if this brilliant plan of hers really was so brilliant. She didn’t know if Cannon would take her pitch seriously. A rock band fronted by a sixteen year old orphan? Yeah, she knew the odds. The chance of her and the guys getting a gig outside high school parties and the few clubs that admitted minors were…well, you could say they were slim.

A heavy arm draped over her shoulder. Jimmy. Again. He reeked of weed and cheap cologne, and if he hadn’t been a friend of a friend, she would’ve told him to get lost the first time he’d tried to make a move on her. Still, enough was enough. Ever so sweetly, she smiled up at him, grabbed the little finger of the hand he’d placed on her shoulder, and twisted.

18 comments:

  1. I LIKE. Hooked. Nice job<:

    Reading this, it has a definite mainstream teen sound to it. 16yr old teenager auditioning for a band, etc... <- I'm curious where the scifi comes in.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hooked! I like the girl's attitude!

    Reminds me of me when I was in High School!LOL

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm hooked. Very engaging, fast-paced, evident emotion from the pov character. I like that the MC has gumption and isn't passive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Halfway hooked. I'm wondering how the science fiction is woven in.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I, too, enjoy this, but also wonder where the Science Fiction comes in. This sentence jarred me a bit "The truth was, she wasn’t sure if this brilliant plan of hers really was so brilliant. " I think it's the place or 'really' (which may not be needed, but if it is, put it after 'was' maybe?)

    Also, though I understand the need of mentioning her being an orphan I don't understand it's relevance to her fronting a band. Does that really make a difference (I can see her age just not the orphan thing, but I'm not a big band person so I could just be clueless).

    Good stuff though, I'd keep reading, love the voice, enjoying the character.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great voice! I'm hooked, I want to read more.

    One nitpick: In the second sentence, it should be "nauseated" and not "nauseous." Nauseous is an adjective for something (like gross food, or the smell of trash) that makes people feel nauseated.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like this. Seems very real to me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like her spunkiness and the writing was good.

    I would read on to see where this one went.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You can't have too many compliments, can you? I really like where this is going.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I liked the voice and I was hooked. I'd recommend stripping out the adverbs whenever possible...but they weren't too distracting in this example. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I liked this. I'd read more to find out why she's an orphan and about the band and the guy with the silver Jetta. Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Definitely like this. Good set up, introduction of plot, and character voice. I'd absolutely read on.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm not into the genre, but I think you did a good job of getting right into the story. The only thing that didn't ring true was the word "orphan" in her description of the band. It jumped out as a contrived way to get that info in, and the rest is so much more polished. Just my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree that orphan sounds a little dated.
    But I'd definitely read more!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm hooked!

    As a beta reader, re-reading this, definitely take out the orphan description. The readers will find out later why she's an orphan and why it matters. It's not needed in this scene.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The prose is incredibly tight! We're put in the scene right away and learn an (if not "the") immediate goal. Both huge pluses that point me toward reading on.

    But there was something bothering me about it, and it wasn't until I read in the comments about "orphan" that I figured it out. Yes, it's that word. It makes me think that she's actually billing the band as "fronted by a sixteen year old orphan"--which I don't think she'd do. I agree; we'll figure out later that she's an orphan and why. Lose it here.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Really good. Tight, clean, cohesive. I'm totally hooked.

    ReplyDelete