Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Secret Agent #23

TITLE: Blood Butterfly

"Follow me," I say, harsh waves of music vibrating through my feet as the coloured lights shimmer across her face. The words are unconvincing, but the magic is not- as her eyes, green as sea glass, go blank, I take her wrist. On Earth, my towing her towards the door will surely appear to be some type of dance.

My hand stings, skin bubbling where it brushes her metal bracelet.

"Damn," I hiss under my breath, grabbing her elbow. My palms, already lacerated with burns, sting even more from the proximity of iron. She stares up at me, dazed, but silent. I take a deep breath, trying to clear away the distractions of lights and music and humanity, and keep walking.

No distractions, no Seelie- it's all going according to plan.

Of course, she then stops, suddenly clear eyes widening, and begins to babble. "Oh my God. You're another faerie, but you look... almost normal." She shakes her arm free and stares into my eyes. "Your face is all blurry. What's the point? Why are you here, anyway?"

I would have expected the look of an animal caught in a trap, but instead she is curious. Certain. Definitely not intimidated.

Why do I always get the problem ones?

I ignore the questions, turning her towards me as I smile, stare into her eyes, and lace my words with enough enchantment to stop an army. "You have no idea what you're talking about. Just take off your jewellery and follow me."


  1. I liked this one, but the sentence structure could use some work. Especially around the dialogue. I would cut down the length of the dialogue tags and when the girl asks 'What's the point?' I am not sure what she is referring to. I like the set up though. Good luck!!

  2. I agree with the first comment...the dialogue tags can be a little long. We should be able to tell what's happening through the dialogue alone, without the need for long explanations (I hiss under my breath, grabbing her elbow).

    But, you've set up an interesting world and I think this has real potential!

  3. I love the language - very lyrical. I also like that you immediately jump into the story and tow the reader along with you. Intriguing!

  4. The opening paragraph seems a bit convoluted, I think you can cut down or re-phrase some things. Some phrases also feel a bit awkward like the "Of course.....begins to babble" sentence. I'd like a little less description and more of what's going on with one individual trying to capture another. I'd be interested to see where it led.

  5. I really like that you dive right in and I love the voice. I don't understand the word "Certain." in that context if she's questioning things. I get that she's certain he's a fairy but I think grouping it with curious, et. al. comes off a little odd.

  6. this is interesting, and I like that the pov MC seems like the bad guy. That said, there are distractions, then there aren't. I'm not sure what "no Seelie" means. The last line is creepy and makes me want to read more, though. I agree with some of the other posters that the dialogue tags and prose could be tightened some.

  7. Thank you for the critiques! The reference to the Seelie is explained slightly further on, don't worry.

  8. Hooked. I won't duplicate what others have said about dialogue tags etc. I just wanted to add that I really like the title.

  9. There are style problems that tripped me up, but one line in this would keep me reading : "Why do I always get the problem ones?"

  10. I liked the idea and I want to know why he's kidnaping her. I did wonder why/how she came out of the first trance. Is his magic not that strong? Or is it because she has a stronger will than most people?

    The writing could be smoother.

    Perhaps a tad more description in the first parg to make clearer where they are, or just come out and say it.

    Turn the second parg around so he touches the bracelet and then the skin bubbles and the fingers burn. Put the action before the reaction.

    I would have exected the look ... cut 'would have'

    WHy do I always get the problem ones - maybe a different word than 'ones.' It reads awkward. Maybe humans?

    Last parg - cut the 'turning her towards me' she was just speaking to him so must have already been looking at him.

  11. Again, thank you for all the helpful comments :) Does anyone have any more suggestions for tightening the sentence structure?

  12. I like this! I'm not usually partial to fae lore, but this feels contemporary and dark, so I'm curious to find out what, exactly, is going on.

    The writing is just a little under polished, I think. I feel like some of it isn't quite as tight as it could be.

    I understand the impulse to Show and not Tell, and you do a great job. (For example,"On Earth, leading her by the wrist probably looks like a dance." )

    But, there are moments when all the Showing becomes vague and unclear. Don't shy away from simple, specific details where appropriate.

    For example, " 'Follow me' I say, harsh waves of music vibrating through my feet as the coloured lights shimmer across her face," is convoluted. Is the music pulsating? Is it the bass or speakers pounding? What kind of music? Why does it sound harsh? or Does it NOT sound harsh and the MC meant that each "wave" of vibration is harsh? And the "colored lights shimmering" only makes the sense of place more confusing.

    You wouldn't forfeit any style to have the MC just say that it's pounding bass, or blaring techno music. I'd be just as interested and little more aware of the scene. It would also clear up what those colored lights are.

    Other than a little tightening and polishing, this looks wonderful. I quite like "why do I always get the problem ones." :)

  13. I love it! Hopefully I can read the rest of it some day. I'm not sure what others were referring to when suggesting that your sentence structure needs work. My favorite line is "Just take off your jewellery and follow me." ... now I need to know why her jewellery needs to come off!

  14. I’m hooked. :) I love that you reveal little bits of your character’s personality while keeping the action going. That line, “Why do I always get the problem ones?” and the last one, “Just take off your jewellery and follow me,” are definitely intriguing… My only suggestion is that you clarify/change/take out “What’s the point?” when the girl says it. It’s slightly confusing and seems a little out of place. I would definitely read on!

  15. I like the idea but I kept getting pulled out of the story by his self-talk. I didn't find it confusing as much as distracting.

  16. Hooked!! After having read 12?, 13? of these so far, this is only the second that really stands out for me. I love how the voice of both characters is made apparent from the beginning. The one a bit snarky and put upon and the other a bit ditzy. Nice to see a character different from what is already overpopulating the shelves.
    I am also impressed by the way you drop little hints throughout as to character, setting, time period etc rather than stating directly. Looking forward to reading the complete novel.