Wednesday, May 13, 2009

36 Secret Agent


She tried to remember what had happened last night. Most of the town, including them, had been up at the castle for the annual summer ball. She remembered Gavin had been drunk and making a spectacle of himself. She’d been tasked by his mother to take him away. Then, like an idiot, she’d finished off the goblet of ale someone had handed her. She hadn’t known it was laced. That sip was the last thing she remembered. She had no idea how she’d gotten here. “Here” being in front of the popular icehouse, Chaucer’s, in the middle of the main street, the only real street in their small mountain town.

Aly peeked through the gaps in the bush. Luckily, it looked deserted. Maybe everyone else was still recovering from last night’s revelry. She could only hope, because if anyone caught them, they would only assume the worst. After all, Gavin was a known flirt and even though she’d been living here for as long as she could remember, she was considered an outsider. Not that she cared what the town gossips said of her… that much. She was supposed to be in training to be a Page. No knight would ever take someone with questionable morals. She couldn’t be caught like this.


  1. Sounds like someone is in trouble. Poor Aly. This story looks like it's in the flavor of King Arthur? Sounds interesting. Nice job!

  2. I think you should start with the last sentence ("She couldn't be caught..."). The first paragraph is all background and feels almost like an info dump.

    The plot sounds interesting. I'd probably read more (at least a few pages).

  3. What's the time period here? They're in a castle for a ball with goblets of ale, but she knows what it means for her drink to be 'laced' with something?

    "Most of the town, including them" - them who?

    Why is a girl training to be a page?

    None of this makes sense. Not hooked.

  4. NOt hooked. Too much telling and not enough showing. It's some good writing and I get a clear picture of all that's happened, but I'm not too keen on starting a book with a flashback.

  5. I agree about too much telling, too.

    I'm not hooked either but as I've said before, Fantasy isn't my genre.

  6. Hmm. I debated over this one a bit.

    You start out with an interesting part of the story which intrigued me, and the last part was fantastic.

    If it were me, I would move it to the very beginning:

    "She was supposed to be in training to be a Page. No knight would ever take someone with questionable morals. She couldn’t be caught like this."

    And now start into your story. Now that would be a great hook!

    Especially in fantasy, you need to smack a reader in the face with it.

    Those few sentences do the trick.

    I decided I am hooked and would read on.

  7. I didn't like the first paragraph, (info dump/flashback) but I like the idea. Pendragon makes me think of King Arthur (there is a book if not a series already with a title like this, isn't there?)

    But why is a girl training to be a Page? Not in keeping with medieval castle/goblets/ball/icehouse named Chaucer's... I know it's a fantasy, but I'm confused.

    I'd like to read more - if only because I love this kind of story.

  8. I would read on. I was a little distracted by tiny details (female pages), but I am hooked.

  9. Not hooked. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I don't think the sentences flow very well. From one sentence to another, I feel like I have to take a double take and reread what's going on. The second paragraph has random tangents, like about Gavin, and what the townspeople say about her.

    Also, I don't know if you're aware (this isn't a big deal), but there is a novel out there called "The Last Pendragon."

    Good luck, and happy writing!

  10. Not really hooked. The first paragraph is too much of a telling info dump and the female page seems out of place.

    I love Arthurian stuff, so I wanted to like this, but I just wasn't feeling it.

  11. last pendragon - isnt that a series? It starts out ver interesting.

  12. Not hooked. The female page didn't bother me. It's what sets this apart as different.

    But you keep referring to 'them,' and there doesn't seem to be any 'them,' only a 'her.'

    I didn't care what she did last night. There's a girl, who's studying to be a page, hiding in the bushes (and your bush is deserted, by the way, not the street. May want to fix that.) That's what interests me. Start there. Let the events of last night come out thru action and dialogue later. Every time you stop to explain something, your story comes to a screeching halt. Cut the explaining and let the story happen.

  13. I got distracted by the passive voice throughout.

    Not hooked.

  14. The writing needs some work. Too many "had beens" Too much back story. The sentences come off as clunky. Sorry, not hooked.

  15. This is not hooking me at all, I'm sorry to say.

    Your fantasy world comes across as generic; I'm not sure where it is, what Aly's place in it is, and why the commoners were invited to a ball. Additionally, your writing could use some improvement, as you have several clunky turns of phrase in the excerpt. Show, not tell.