Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Secret Agent #ALT-1

TITLE: The Resurrection of Roderick
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

Not knowing the difference between lore and law in the vampire world can get you killed. But rules... now those were meant to be twisted.

Wind slammed Kate's motorcycle helmet as she hit 80mph down Washington State Highway 9, fighting to steer a straight course, as if nature itself resented her presence here. She aimed south for a hole-in-the earth called Gold Belt, her favorite midnight gaming grounds, where passersby stopped for gas on their way to anywhere else. A town where over-groomed yuppies escaping dot-com life and hillbilly hunters collided in bar fights in any of six taverns lining the city's two-block downtown. Prime feeding ground for vampires, who don't distinguish between white trash and city trash, because drunks all stumble to their cars the same.

She eased off the throttle and firmed her thighs against the bike. Through her helmet Kate heard the unearthly whine of jacked-up Honda Civics. Damn idiots found her again. Nate was the pariah of the crew, always creeping up on her hunt and stealing her kills. In her mood, sheâ'd as likely take of his head as a vamp's.

The Civics crawled up beside her bike, their mag wheels winking moonlight at Kate, too close for her to even consider altering course. Like toy cars painted Skittles candy colors. Two blonde brats stuck their heads out both back windows of the grasshopper green car and flipped her off in unison. God, she hated Slayers, especially the twins.

14 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the opening lines and your strong voice. The only line that threw me off was the toy cars painted like skittles--It's a good line just not placed correctly. It should be closer to the noun it's describing.
    Anyway, I feel like the opening proves you've built a strong world and so far I like how you're weaving in the backstory--always so hard to do! It's also very vivid. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the opening line, but I'd cut it. Save it for the back jacket and start with that second 'graph. I like this, but it got a little muddled in the middle (after Gold Belt). Give it a clean revise there to the end of that 'graph, and I think this is very engaging~

    Best! <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice snappy tone and 'tude. Love the line "all drunks stumble to their cars the same." I'm anticipating a lot of humor in this book, and a sassy protagonist. Great visuals, too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the opening lines and the voice.

    Through her helmet Kate heard the (unearthly-familiar? It would explain right away why she knew the type of cars. Also the s in the Civics totally flew by me, and I saw one car.) whine of jacked-up Honda Civics. Damn idiots found her again. Nate was the pariah of the crew, always creeping up on her hunt and stealing her kills. In her mood, sheâ'd(she'd) as likely take of (off?) his head as a vamp's. (as she would a vamp's?)

    The Civics (crawled-she's going 80mph and this seems too slow.) up beside her bike, their mag wheels winking moonlight(at Kate-not needed), too close for her to even consider altering course. Like toy cars painted Skittles candy colors. (This made me stumble.)

    The last sentence in the last para can be smoother, I think. She hates slayers, which made me wonder if she's a vamp. If so, why didn't the slayers go after her?

    I would definitely read more. Hooked.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the first paragraph, but it reads more like a tagline than the beginning of the story. Having said that, I enjoyed the feel of this piece. You definitely give a good sense of the place and feel of the story. I did feel things got a little muddled in a couple of the paragraphs, like it was almost too much description, but I think that could be easily revised to tighten things up. I'd definitely read on.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The last paragraph has some issues. The sentence fragment, being description, took away from the flow...fragments can pack a punch, but this one should have been part of a complete sentence. Also, I'd delete the word "even" before the word "consider."

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love kick-ass girls.

    If you want to keep the first sentence - I'd use it as a tag (some authors put a short sentence before or with each section or each chapter. Something to think about. Maybe it already is that way. I'd also take out "now" but you may disagree.

    I like the skittles thing, so that's going to be a preference. I totally know what you mean - those stupid civic owners... actually my brother's one of them. maybe that's why I know ;)

    You tell us a lot in a short amount of time. That's nice. I'd read through your paragraphs and look carefully at your sentences - some can be shortened and separated.

    I like that we're feeling her anticipation of the night. I also love the line about the twins - it shows a but of her personality.

    Nice job :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great voice! I think you're off to a great start here.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think if you're going to start with a tagline, you need to transition to the next paragraph smoothly. As it stands, I would lose the tagline.

    Your next paragraph is fantastic. I loved the drunk line too, and the descriptions of city people and hillbillies was entertaining and immediately let me know what sort of area it was. I would read on for this paragraph alone, so great job.

    The next paragraph isn't quite as smooth. The skittles line is good but I agree it should be closer to its subject.

    And I thought she was a vampire, so I had to make a mental readjustment to vampire slayer. That's probably not a big deal though, as anyone reading this will have read either a query letter or the back cover copy, which I imagine would specify that she's a slayer.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your writing has a lot of energy which I liked. However, i'm afraid i'm not hooked (though I appear the only one so you may just want to ignore me :)

    Personally, I don't think the first paragraph adds to what is happening. It distracted me and I was confused when I started the second paragraph because I didn't understand how they connected.

    There was a lot of creativity with your images and how you combine words which is great, but I became tangled up and unsure of what you meant at times which might just be me. For instance, you mention the 'gaming grounds' which made me think of video games/arcade but there is so much focus on her bike and the Civics that I thought maybe it meant street racing although that didn't seem right. Honestly i'm not sure what you mean. Also, why would there be so many yuppies in a place "where passersby stopped for gas on their way to anywhere else." How is a two block downtown a city? I kept pondering these things and trying to figure out what this place is instead of getting into the story (I grew up in a hole-in-the-wall place and I would never describe it as a city). I also wasn't 100% sure if she was or was not a vampire so I don't get the MC either.

    Overall, I'm confused. Although the focus of these paragraphs seem to be on setting the place, I have no real sense of the place, the world, or the MC. I'm certinaly not expecting all of that in the opening, but I have nothing to hold onto. Again it might just be me. That said, I do think your writing style is great.

    Thank you for posting and good luck with the contest!

    shannon

    ReplyDelete
  11. Agree first paragraph needs to go. Can you slip in the vampire world in one of your descriptions below?

    Wind slammed Kate's motorcycle helmet

    something odd here...where did the wind slam it?
    against her head? off her head? took me out of the story.

    not sure what nature has to do with the win that night; I'd delete that last part and stay with straight description.

    Belt, her favorite midnight gaming grounds,

    Here's where you can slip in the vampire reference

    where passersby stopped for gas on their way to anywhere else. make this more specific; where else might they be headed? it's another place to slip in background info.


    subject and verb missing in this sentence: A town where over-groomed yuppies escaping dot-com life and hillbilly hunters collided in bar fights in any of six taverns lining the city's two-block downtown.


    As in: Hole in the Earth was a town where over-groomed,,,


    another subject and verb missing here: what was the prime feeding ground?

    Prime feeding ground for vampires, who don't distinguish between white trash and city trash, because drunks all stumble to their cars the same.

    how does she know how vampires distinguish?

    She eased off the throttle and firmed her thighs against the bike.

    I picture her massaging her thighs with firming cream; took me out of the story completely; suggest choosing another stronger verb; maybe
    tightened?

    Through her helmet Kate heard the unearthly whine of jacked-up Honda Civics. Damn idiots found her again. Nate was the pariah of the crew,

    Isn't a pariah an outcast? then would he be part of a group?

    always creeping up on her hunt and stealing her kills. In her mood, sheâ'd as likely take of his head as a vamp's.

    she'd and off not shea'd and of

    The Civics crawled up beside her bike, their mag wheels winking moonlight at Kate, too close for her to even consider altering course.

    like the winking moonlight

    how could they crawl if she's going so fast?

    Like toy cars painted Skittles candy colors.

    another subject and verb missing; what was like toy cars?

    Two blonde brats stuck their heads out both back windows of the grasshopper green car and flipped her off in unison. God, she hated Slayers, especially the twins.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great voice from a kick-ass slayer, and right away we know she won’t back down, so I’m hooked. Nice.

    I love the opening line, but agree with some of the other comments - paragraph two would make a stronger opening as it establishes the character, setting and her mood. I found the last two sentences in the second paragraph a bit wordy and hence they lost their impact. I loved the last line, though.

    Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I liked the general idea of this, but there were a lot of little things that take away from it and make me wary of reading more.

    A hole the earth city? If it's a city, can it be a hole in the earth?

    In her mood - what is her mood? You haven't told us. Is she looking forward to getting to this town? Does she like her work or this game? Does she despise what she does but feels it has to be done? We get so little of who kate is here.

    The crawling Civics - already mentioned.

    The civics are too close for her to alter course, like colored skittles -- it doesn't work because you're wanting the Skittles to represent the colors of the cars, but what you're actually saying is that the cars are too close like skittles (Which could work if you took out the reference to color and added 'in a bag'.)

    The brats sticking their heads out the windows - again, I know what you mean, but as written, each brat is sticking his multiple heads out both windows at the same time.

    All these things can be fixed easily, but it does make me question what I'm going to get as I read on. Believability is in the details.

    And I'd also cut that first paragraph.

    I liked the sense of speed and chaos you've created. I can see them there on that road, racing along. Perhaps concentrate on that while giving us a bit more of who Kate is via her reactions to Nate and his crowd and save the description of the town for when she actually gets there.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Strong, strong voice and there's some nice writing here. I particularly like "because all drunks stumble to their cars the same." Nice image and nice turn of phrase. But these days, a vampire book has got to really hit it out of the park to make it. I'd read some more, but it would have to get moving really fast from there as sweep me away.

    ReplyDelete