Wednesday, May 13, 2009

29 Secret Agent

TITLE: The Plains of Purgatory
GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

My heart pounded in my chest as I raced through the quiet woods. Dawn was just breaking over the horizon, and the sunlight began filtering through the leaves. I could feel the adrenaline coursing in my veins, blood rushing through every part of my body as it tried to erase the harsh, unwanted feelings that had taken hold when I awoke. The warm breeze whipped over my skin, and a thrill ignited within me. Thank goodness it was finally working.

As the trees flew by, all I could think of was the hideous voice calling from the darkness, and it sent shivers down my spine. I could still hear it echoing in my mind. Every night for the last week, I had the same horrible nightmare, and each time it came it got progressively clearer and as a result increasingly worse.

The night always started off in the same way; a sound sleep punctuated with normal, everyday dreams. But then everything would shift, and I would be standing alone in the dark and the hauntingly evil voice would begin calling my name.

“Alexandra….” It repeated over and over, like it was searching for me; the sound coming from all around. I couldn’t fight it when the voice drew me towards the darkness. And peering into the emptiness that surrounded me only brought gruesome and bloody images; a flash of horror and then it would vanish as screams of pain echoed through the dark. Even though the fear was so strong it rendered me silent, I couldn’t stop walking towards that voice.


  1. Not quite hooked.

    You start with action in the first paragraph, but then you slow your story down by talking about a nightmare that's already happened.

  2. You have definately peaked my interest. I like your use of running as a medium to explain the dream rather than just an out and out retelling of it.

  3. I get confused in the last paragraph about whether it is jumping to the present or still describing the dream. And the rushing at the beginning is too different from the slowness of the dream.

    I think it is a good start, but good use just a little bit more tweaking. Good luck!

  4. Not my genre, but if it were, I'd say that I'm hooked. I like the opening and it puts me right into the action. I want to know who the voice is and why she's drawn to it.

  5. I found this to be full of cliches:

    -heart pounded
    -sunlight filtering
    -adrenaline coursing
    -blood rushing

    And that's just the first paragraph.

    There's also quite a bit of telling going on and not showing. It makes it sound overwritten. Try taking out some details and getting more into the actions. Also, use more of your senses. When people are fearful, senses are heightened.

  6. There is some good description here but I agree with Cassandra, I felt there were too many cliches. I'd suggest starting in another place in your story, not with a repeating nightmare, because that's been overdone. By the end of this, I still don't feel I know the MC at all, which leaves me less interested in reading on.

  7. I would have put the book down when you got to the repeating nightmare.
    I want to know why she's running and you stopped to talk about the nightmares.

    I'm sorry but I'm not hooked yet.

  8. I like the first paragraph until the last sentence "Thank goodness it was finally working." You lost me. Her heart? Her blood? What's working?

    I agree with other posters about stopping the action to talk about nightmares, too. Was the running in the woods part of a nightmare? Is she awake or asleep? I'm confused, and not quite hooked, sorry.

  9. Too much telling, and with the abrupt shift from what seemed like panicky running to calmly recalling a nightmare, I just didn't care.

    The first paragraph wasn't bad, but the reader needs to know what's happening at taht point, not backstory.

    Not hooked enough to read more.

  10. Yes. I think the running away from haunting evil voices has been done quite a bit, but I think the writing here is great and so I'm hooked.

  11. I would definately read on to see how it was different from other paranormal boosk where people hear voices. Thanks for sharing it :)

  12. Nice intensity, your story got me hooked. Great work!

  13. Not hooked. A girl runs in the woods and thinks.

    Why is she running in the woods? Exercise? Is someone chasing her? Is she going somewhere?

    And why is she running before the sun has even come up?

    That's what I want to know.

  14. I'm not sure what she's running from since the voice was coming from all around her. Might she run right into it? Is she crazy? Psychic? Grieving? I'd like to at least know that much by the end of the first page or so.

    Sorry, not hooked.

  15. I thought this was very original. You might want to consider deleting telling about the dream and just have the MC hear the voice in present time, and follow it. The way it is now, she's in the middle of a forest and telling about "the voice" that happened previously. Why not show it calling for her now?

    What is her mindset? Is she sneaking out of her house so her mom doesn't catch her? Worried her little sister might follow? Does she have to get back to get ready for her first day of high school?

  16. Dull. Nothing really happens. Overwritten. Sorry.

  17. This is not hooking me at all.

    Your writing is melodramatic, to the point where it almost starts to sound like cliche. You've laid on the emotion and the adjectives so thick that it's hard to pay attention to the story, or even really care why Alexandra seems to be in such a plight.

    Go back. Look at it again. Figure out which details are essential, and pare your exposition back to that.

  18. Thank you to one and all; especially to Ms. Rappaport for the points and comments. Your suggestions are going to be incredibly helpful. Now I'm off to edit my brains out. :D
    Peace Out!