Wednesday, January 13, 2010

30 Secret Agent

TITLE: The Secret of the Legacy
GENRE: Middle grade fantasy

The dirty double-crossing humans showed up in the middle of a thunderstorm. I heard their car crunching over the gravel driveway and ducked under the porch to commence surveillance. It didn’t concern me too much, sometimes cars turned in by mistake.

But this one pulled right up to the front door and parked.

A clap of thunder rattled my whiskers, the wind gusted, and the rain came down even harder. The car door opened and I heard a woman’s voice say, “Grab your stuff and we’ll make a run for the porch.”


You might be wondering why this is a problem. But then, you’re not the new head of Security Detail on The General’s Feline Lifestyle Defense Team, are you?

My name is Flash, Feline Extraordinaire. You can call me Flash for short. And if you haven’t already guessed, you should know I’m a cat. Basically my job is to baby-sit the empty old house The General used to share with an inventor named Mortimer Finklebuster and report any suspicious activity around the property.

There’s a secret hidden inside, something my boss calls the Legacy—a secret so important to maintaining the feline way of life he had to create the team to keep it from being discovered and exploited by greedy humans.

You’d think The General would want his security force to know what they were guarding, but you’d think wrong. When I asked him about it, he said, “That information is on a need to know basis and you don’t need to know.”


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  2. Oooh, starts out so good, and then too much telling. I would much rather discover that he's a cat through the thunder rattling his whiskers.

    I am intrigued by the story and I like the voice. I want to read more, but I'm hoping for more of the action-showing you opened with.

  3. I really like the premise of this.

    I'm not sure about the switch to addressing the reader. I like both styles but the switch seems a bit jarring.

    I agree with Susan about the telling. I also feel like the end of this is bit of a backstory dump.

  4. I love the voice on this--it sucked me right in. Excellent pacing and I like how the mystery is right there up front. Would definitely read on!

  5. I like the premise but agree that the backstory goes on for too long. I'd enjoy it more if it were woven into action.

  6. Breaking the fourth wall is difficult to do well. You've got an interesting story and a great voice here. A bit of an info dump, but that can be tightened and cleaned up. Good job.

  7. I, too, liked the voice. It was cute and as cat lover I'd read on.

  8. I liked the beginning a lot. But then the last few paragraphs started feeling like TMI. I wanted to go back to the action.

  9. Love the voice. It was fresh and snappy as well as intriguing. I enjoyed being into action immediately and didn't mind getting some info as well, but I would prefer more action after paragraph six instead of more info. I'm more excited about what's happening with the new arrivals. You can tell me about the secret Legacy later. I'd definitely read more!

  10. I was on board until the break from narrative to directly address the reader. It slowed down the pacing and broke the "fourth wall" rule so close to the opening of the scene that I couldn't slip back into it again. Starting with "You might be wondering..." I'm wondering if this info could be woven more gently into the narrative than waving it at the readers like a big red flag.

  11. This entry had me hooked at the first sentence! Love the voice!That said, my attention started slipping just a bit at the last paragraph (I liked the paragraph but just not sure if that's the right spot for it). Good job, overall, I think. So, yes, I'd definitely read more!

  12. I'm on the fence with this one. I liked the beginning and didn't even mind the first few paragraphs of telling. But then the back story just kept going and I wanted to get back to the scene. Could you work that information back into the present action somehow?

    And Flash seems like a very lovable (in a no-nonsense, watch-out-'cause-I-may-claw-your-eyes-out sort of way) narrator:) Perfect for MG.