Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Secret Agent #12

TITLE: Star Ruby
GENRE: YA

A couple hundred heads swiveled towards me as I pushed open the heavy
doors to the gym. The gym's bleachers were filled with silent
students, all dressed in Fara I Viking's vomitrocious prep school
uniform. All staring at me.

I paused to let them get a good look at my non-regulation skinny jeans
and eyed the garish Viking ship painted on the gym's wall. Vikings.
Ha. Barbarians and destroyers, but I had to give it to them. They
didn't let a little thing like no compasses keep them off the oceans.
They just glared at the stars and plowed through the Atlantic.

I could do the same. I nodded at the ship and strolled to the back of
the bleachers. A blond girl with braided pigtails stared me down and
said, "You can't sit there." I sat down and crossed my legs anyway.
(

"Assigned seats," she hissed at me.

"Bummer." I settled back in my seat, and her eyes bugged out behind
her purple cat-eyed glasses.

A teacher leaned into the microphone at the podium. "Miss Demir? Miss
Eva Demir?" reverberated through the gym.

Awkward. I knew my search would involve some sacrifices, and I guess
my first sacrifice had to be my dignity. I raised my hand and wagged
my fingers at him.

12 comments:

  1. You use gym too close together near the beginning.
    Aside from that, I like it. You said a lot in a short amount of time.
    Nice Job.

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  2. I like this, the arrogance of it. Fun! Won't repeat what Jolene said--we all know repeated words are the bane of writers! I know what you're trying to accomplish by breaking up your sentences so much but it's too much, I think. This type of impact needs to be more subtle. I found it distracting and think it would benefit from scooting them together--and using your best lines as stand alones for impact. Great job!

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  3. The other two nailed my issues already, so I'll just say I LOVE your voice here, and you're off to a great start. I'd read on!

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  4. It looks like I didn't manage my formatting when I switched to plain text. Thanks for catching it! I went right to the comments without reading my entry, so I wouldn't have noticed.

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  5. A great start. Your main character seems like a fun girl I'd like to read more about and I loved the part about the ship. Inspired. I had a few picks though.
    -'A couple hundred heads swiveled towards me as I pushed open the heavy doors to the gym.' <<I'd prefer 'pushed the heavy gym doors open', but that's just my opinion :)
    -Repeat of the word gym, as already pointed out. Easily fixable by simply saying 'bleachers'. No one will wonder where the bleachers are when you already said she entered the gym :P
    -'blond girl' should read 'blonde girl'. Believe or it not, there is a feminine and masculine form of this word
    -"Miss Demir? Miss Eva Demir?" reverberated through the gym.<<I'd love the 'reverberated through the gym' part and say in a separate sentence 'Her voice reverberated through the gym' or something like that. It isn't a proper dialogue tag and so seems odd the way you have this set up.
    All nitpicks aside, this was a fun read and I love the attitude and voice of your MC. Great work and thanks for sharing :)

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  6. I really like the voice in this piece. I will say I stumbled over the name of the school and combined with the fabulous word "vomitrocious", it was just too much. However, this might just be me. Love the MC's attitude. That alone would keep me coming back for more.

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  7. Enjoyed the voice and the attitude. Especially enjoyed the Viking comments and how they illuminated the character.

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  8. this is great! I like it very much--the voice, the character, the Vikings. I was a little confused by the passage about "my search would involve sacrifices." Search for what? But there you go--I'm sure it's coming. Best of luck~ :o)

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  9. What a great beginning! You do a great job of hooking in the reader in the very first paragraph -- not easy to do.

    I love the parallel of Vikings plowing through uncharted waters and Eva bravely approaching the bleachers. I also like when Eva says, "I could do the same" because we get a hint that underneath all her bravado, she's not as confident as she seems. I think this hint of vulnerability will be especially attractive to YA readers. You also manage to add some depth to an already captivating and spunky main character - nice!

    Overall I thought the writing was excellent, the main character engaging and the plot exciting. I would love to read more! Good Luck!

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  10. vomitrocious - what a great word!

    I would have liked to have gotten a sense of all those people, of all those staring eyes, and that walk across the gym, rather than just one person (the blonde girl).

    I also wanted to know what the problem was, which would be a real hook, rather than being left with a tease. But the tease was interesting enough to pull me in and I'd read on for a few more pages to find out what the problem really is.

    I liked the Viking references and comparisons, as well as the MC's courage. I got a sense that it took a lot for her to go out there, but I do think it would be stronger if it ended with the actual problem, if you said why all those people were staring.

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  11. A couple hundred heads swiveled towards me

    first sentence is awkward and takes me out of the story? just heads? do you mean two hundred kids turned their heads in my direction as...?

    otherwise, I picture heads without bodies

    as I pushed open the heavy
    doors to the gym.

    you've already used gym three times; maybe just pushed open the heavy doors?


    this is a passive sentence; The gym's bleachers were filled with silent

    silent students filled the gym's
    students,


    all dressed in Fara I Viking's vomitrocious prep school
    uniform. delete vomitrocious; it takes me out of the story.


    All staring at me.
    in sentence one, you already stated they were staring, so this is redundant.

    I paused to let them get a good look at my non-regulation skinny jeans
    and eyed the garish Viking ship painted on the gym's wall. Vikings.
    Ha. Barbarians and destroyers, but I had to give it to them. They
    didn't let a little thing like no compasses keep them off the oceans.

    this is funny. maybe start with this?
    They just glared at the stars and plowed through the Atlantic.

    I could do the same. I nodded at the ship and strolled to the back of
    the bleachers. A blond girl with braided pigtails stared me down and

    redundant; pigtails are braids.

    said, "You can't sit there." I sat down and crossed my legs anyway.
    (

    "Assigned seats," she hissed at me.

    but, you have a good start if you clean up some of these grammatical and structural issues...

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  12. The character's attitude is well painted, and compelling. But I would not lean too hard on the Viking parallel--it's a very writerly thing to do, and can be ultimately distracting. Instead, plow through to the problem at hand. Why is Eva being just a rebel?

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