Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May Secret Agent #9

TITLE: Grimly
GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

He was taking too long to die.

Sometimes it seemed like these things took longer than usual. I guess I shouldn't be too eager to collect a person's soul, but the waiting and anticipation drove me nuts.

I stepped up to the precipice of the cliff until the tips of my boots hung off the edge. Leaning forward, I stared down the fifty or so yards to the ground below. When I shifted my feet, tiny rocks tumbled down the red-orange crags of the cliff face.

Yep, a fall from here will do it all right, I thought.

I liked places like this; places that involved danger. It felt like I stood on the border of life and death. I mean, I guess standing on the precipice of a cliff would be described that way. Life was standing on this cliff, death was the freefall ahead of me.

Life and death. How ironic. I wasn't alive, and I wasn't dead. That's what made this so exhilarating, standing here with my hair and dress fluttering in the wind.

But today, I wasn't here because I wanted to be here.

Sighing, I stood up straight and crossed my arms, staring off to my left. I hated that I had to be here early. Death had some pretty stupid rules. I could be doing something else rather than waiting for this guy to kick the bucket.

He was probably in his mid-twenties. A guy of average build, with black hair like mine.


  1. I love the premise of this story, but the internal debate about life and death sort of made me want the story to move on more quickly. I really wanted to know what was going on with your MC & understand where the story was going better.

  2. I agree with Monica - I'm more curious about the guy who's about to die. And at first read, I was worried she was going off the cliff, though at a second glance I realized that wasn't the case.

  3. I actually like the commentary because it gives me a sense of who the main character is (who I presume is more important than the average-height guy who is about to die). At the same time, I feel like the plot is happening *right now* and the commentary doesn't get in the way at all. Great voice! I'd read on.

  4. Your first sentence is about the guy who's about to die. That grabbed me immediately. But then you left him and gave me a lot of introspection and lost me.

    I want to know about the guy who's about to die. Is he planning to jump? Is he going to fall? Did he already jump and now he's at the bottom of the cliff dying slowly?

    I'm guessing he's either not going to die, or she's going to save him.

    Perhaps save the introspection for later. You're interrupting what could be a great scene for stuff that doesn't matter. If I had picked this up in a store, I would have put it back for that very reason.

  5. This is interesting. I think her introspection was just a bit too long, but I liked the bit about Death having rules, as though Death is going to be a character. I do want to know about the guy who's dying, and I was a little impatient to get to that bit. Good luck!

  6. LOVE this! First line is totally gripping.

    I agree with the others that you could cut out a little bit of the introspection, and also that I want to know *where* the guy is - already fallen from the cliff? But I'd definitely read on.

    My favourite so far.

  7. One more thing, I think this line: 'Yep, a fall from here will do it all right, I thought.' would be better just as 'Yep, a fall from here would do it all right.' It's in the first person, so I know it's her thinking that, and the dialogue tag just brought me out of the story for a minute.

  8. I like this, but I agree the introspection is too long. The bit about Death is great, and opens up a bunch of questions for me, but the rest is too much, too soon.

    But I'd read on. I want to know who the dying guy is and why he's dying...

  9. I loved the gripping first line. I liked the introspection, and really liked that you remembered to stick in the dress part, letting us know she's a girl up front. Girl Friday's right: lose the "I thougt". It's all in first person. Everything is what she's thinking.

  10. Oh yeah, I would SO keep reading!

  11. I like the concept here, but there were WAY to many "was" in this paragraph.

    The last sentence is starting to "tell" instead of "show" us death's physical description.

    Don't get me wrong, I really liked this, but I think it needs a little editing.

  12. What I liked: Good point of entry into the story, good first line, good tension, strong voice.

    What needed work: I did feel we spent a little too much time in the main character’s head for such a moment of high impact. Perhaps the moment doesn’t have as much impact to the character because it’s more commonplace for her, but it’s new and fresh to the reader, and they want to get to what’s going on here.

    I assume she’s a reaper of some sort, and must say I’ve seen a lot of these types of projects. It doesn’t mean another one can’t work, but it’s something to keep in mind.

    Would I read on? Sure.