Wednesday, August 19, 2009

14 Secret Agent

TITLE: The Promethius Immunity
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

Kay slipped her mother-of-pearl magnifying glass from its case. Time to earn her keep

The specimen had been mounted nearly to a professional standard, with leaves mounted in various positions, full stems and start of root system. Maddeningly familiar. This wasn’t a test, was it? She shook her head and had to laugh. Geez, two weeks into her holiday and she’d either lost her edge or gone crazy with boredom.

“At least it’s something to do besides lounge by the pool finding plant equivalents for other passengers’ cellulite,” a voice whispered.

Kay looked up. Just because she’d okayed a favour for Ida didn’t give Ida the right to reproach her. “Pardon?”

But Ida had kneeled to dig in another backpack, body language serene. She glanced up. “What? You know what it is?”

“Never mind,” Kay muttered, turning back to the scrapbook. The next several pages held few surprises, even if no geraniums. She flipped back to the page in question.

A headache began to worm its roots deep behind her eyes. The gilt furnishings and over fertilised flowers on the wallpaper were not meant to be seen by sober people on rolling seas. She was never doing this again. Holidays were for tramping through jungles hunting new specimens, not for being boxed up in yet another classroom, even if it was on a cruise ship and resembled a bordello’s boardroom.

Funny you call it that, the whisper voice spoke again. After all, you did whore yourself for this holiday.


  1. okayed = OK'd :)

    I'm sorry. Not hooked. I like the idea here, but this seems a bit rough to me. Needs a bit of editing...

  2. I'm a bit confused. If the specimen is important, I think you need a bit more detail. Is it in the scrapbook that's named later? For some reason I thought it was a 3D object. I like a lot of your phrasing and think you could make this clearer and stronger. I really liked your first 2 sentences.

  3. Hmmm... I'm not hooked. I see one major strength, and one major weakness here.

    The strength is your deep POV. Not all of your sentences are deep POV, but some of them are fantastic.

    The weakness is that it's confusing in quite a few places. I'd suggest finding a crit partner to read your things and point out what's not clear on his/her first read through. Have them try to be specific as to what's not clear. As they do so, and you listen, you'll learn to shut out everything you know about the story, so you can see what a first-time reader will think. (That's one of the hardest parts of writing.)

  4. If you are refering to "Promethius" the titan who brougt fire to the Greeks, it's spelled wrong. "Prometheus" is the correct spelling.

    Perhaps this is intended to be a play on the name or something, but in the interest of complete honesty here, a glance at the title was enough to make me have no desire to read the submission.

    Sorry if I'm being a poop here, but it might be something to consider changing. If the first foot forward about novel looks like a typo, it might be a turn off the agents.

    Good luck.

  5. Not hooked: found the whole first scene confusing. Wasn't sure hat she was looking at or why it was important, wasn't sure where she was and whether she was working or on vacation. Needs some more work.

  6. Not hooked. This was very disjointed. You go from one thing to another without any kind of transition. That's what's missing. Find a way to transition from one thought to another, and this will be far less confusing.

  7. Not hooked. I had to work too hard to understand what was going on.

    Also--I agree with Screaming Guppy on the spelling of Prometheus.

  8. This one needs a proofread. There's missing punctuation in the first sentence. A few typos can be overlooked, but...first sentence, first impression. :)

    Looks like there are some cool ideas here, but I'm not sold on it. I didn't feel grounded into Kay's POV, and I think the rest of this could still use a good polish for word-rep and clarity.

  9. Wasn't hooked, I was lost in reading the first paragraph.

  10. Like the title of your novel.

    You need a little less smart ass and a bit more description. Where are they? What time of day is it?

    Lines like the one about pulling back the hammer on the gun just slow this scene down when you need to be speeding it up at the beginning.

    You can get away with comments like this once the story is up and running at full speed, but not at the beginning.

  11. Hm... I'd love to do a novel starring a botanist, but I'm confused about what's going on. Is she looking at an actual geranium plant? I didn't understand the first bit of dialogue, about the cellulite. I also didn't understand the sentence about the wallpaper with over-fertilised flowers not being for sober people. Is this a historical? I don't think cruise ships look like this anymore. And I think Prometheus is misspelled, so overall, not enough clarity/accuracy here for me to continue reading, although again, I like the premise.

  12. I got the comment regarding cellulite, and even sat and thought about what plants could look like that...but I was immediately turned off by the next sentiment indicating that Ida didn't have the right to reproach her. I hadn't thought of it as a reproach, perhaps a gentle tease instead.

    I'd like to know more about the specimen and was again turned off by how much the MC wasn't enjoying the cruise. Perhaps if her dislikes regarding the cruise were washed away as she took interest in the specimen, I would have been more engaged by the MC.

    Overall, I like the ideas but wasn't engaged by the MC. Not hooked.