Wednesday, May 13, 2009

37 Secret Agent

GENRE: YA Fantasy

The icy rain stung his face as he ran. He could hear his own beating heart screaming at him to rest a moment, his legs shaking in dispute. But he couldn’t. The Forest of Nadine was near, his mission soon complete.

Turning, he panicked as he saw his cloaked pursuer sprinting through the trees, not fifteen feet behind. Nearly two full days he chased him, but was never this close.

Topping a hill he spotted the black trees, recognizing the forest; it was within a few yards. Just another moment and I’ll be rid of the orb forever.

“AHH!” His body seized in agony as he was hit by his pursuer’s spell. Crashing into the ground, pain ripped at his consciousness. The green glowing orb he had protected his whole life flew from his hands and rolled instinctively towards the forest. Before everything went dark, a glimmer of hope crossed his face. It made it.

Gathering the energy he could, the cloaked man that followed cried out, “CESOME!” A bolt of energy disappeared into the forest. His power was useless. The orb vanished into the darkness.

Stopping just outside the black trees, he stared, gasping for air. He quickly dismissed the impulse to enter the forest. He knew the consequences; the horrifying stories of those who entered, spoke loud and clear.

What words would suffice for his failure? Deep horror filled his gut. Thoughts of a life in the abyss weighed upon his mind.

“What have you done?”


  1. Hm, sounds enticing. I want to read more. Great Job here!

  2. Great james bond scene. I'd like a little more motivation/theme in the opening scene, but overall a good beginning for fantasy. I'd like to read more.

  3. Honestly, I think I'd be more hooked if the whole scene was from the pursuer's point of view. I just start to wonder what's up with the POV character ... and then he dies. When it switches to the pursuer ... well, it sounds like it's HIS story (or at least a portion of it).

  4. I enjoyed your submission.

    I had to re-read this sentence a few times to understand it.

    'The green glowing orb he had protected his whole life flew from his hands and rolled instinctively towards the forest.'

    I would consider putting in some movement here. Possibly stating, 'He watched the green glowing orb as it flew from his hands....' OR 'It (meaning the pain from the previous sentence) caused him to release the.......'

    Then when it comes to his thought, you could state that he had watched it his whole life.
    Great over all though. I would enjoy reading more.

  5. I'm hooked. Great action, great scene setting...I want to see what happens next.

  6. I enjoy getting right to the action, and I think you have a compelling scene here with the mysterious forest and its black trees.

    But the writing kept me from being completely hooked. The head hopping POVs, mostly. I think I'd need a little something more - a deeper glimpse at your main character, or a more compelling story question than a disappearing orb.

    Good luck!

  7. The sudden pov switch turned me off to this. Maybe if you had a scene break before you switched, then it would make for a clear read.

    I'm curious of the horrible stories of the forest that the pursuer is thinking of.

    Otherwise, it's a good chase scene. Some of the sentences could use some sprucing up. You back into them instead of leading with the action. Like with:

    'Turning, he panicked'


    'Stopping just outside the black trees, he stared'

    I think these sentences and similar ones like it would be stronger if you didn't start with a clause. It would make the action tighter. But that might be a personal preference of mine.

  8. I'm not hooked. I'm intrigued by the set-up but the head-hopping between two characters with no names, both referred to as "he" killed any chance at me reading more.

  9. This was interesting. I don't really get that the orbe has insticts it can follow, but maybe you explain it later. Where the cloaked man is, at the bottom of the page is confusing. Is he standing by the body of the person he was chasing? The "what have you done" at the end, I have no idea who is saying this. It is intriguing and I would probably read a few more pages, but I'm not fully hooked yet.

  10. I was reminded of Eragon for some reason. I would read on :)

  11. By not naming your two characters, the reader doesn't know who is doing and saying what. Especially since both characters are guys, we don't know to whom the "he"s refer.

    Other than that, I liked this beginning. I want to know what is this mysterious orb and why the character was being stalked.

    Good job.

  12. The head-hopping threw me off, as well as clumsy writing.

    Crashing into the ground, pain ripped at his consciousness.
    (dangling modifier - pain didn't crash to the ground).

  13. This sounds like a prologue and you don't need it.

  14. I read through this again and it still doesn't grab me, and this is why.

    could hear his own beating heart. Don't need the 'own'. His tells me whose it is.

    He's running forward so he's nearing the forest. The forest isn't coming to him.

    If someone's less than 4 yards from me, chasing me, feet pounding, I'm going to know my pursuer is close because I can hear him.

    I have no sense of who the protagonist/antagonist is in this scene. No idea who to 'root' for.

    If I have to work at figuring out the first page, the author has lost me already.

    This needs reworked because the excitement is in there. Just needs better phrasing.

  15. Yeah, in echoing some others' comments, I'm not sure if I care about all the action (which I feel is well done) simply because I don't know who these characters are.

    Starting with action is great, but starting with action when the reader has no clue or sense of who the main character is or even what the setting (besides a forest, I mean) can be really confusing.

    A name would be nice. "He" isn't doing it for me.

    Good luck.

  16. It's all dull adjective noun, adjective noun. Cloaked pursuer, beating heart, black trees. Nothing to make me want to read on.

  17. This is not hooking me.

    The writing is rife with adjectives that are distracting from your protagonist's mission. I like the sound of the Forest of Nadine, and would like to hear more about it--but not if I have to hear about pain ripping at someone's consciousness. You're personifying the pain, which just comes across as cheesy.