Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July Secret Agent #10

TITLE: First Time
GENRE: Young Adult

I don't know this girl sitting across from me. I may be at her table, in her kitchen, drinking her coffee, but I don't know her. Or at least, I don't think I do. As I take another sip from the steaming mug and choke back the two Tylenol she gave me, I wonder what to say. Should I ask if she knows what happened? Maybe I should find out her name first and thank her for letting me crash at her house. I should know her name at the very least. I'm sure she told me at some point. Didn't she?

The pounding in my head persists and I glance at the round clock on the wall behind the strange girl's head. I have about twenty minutes more to endure before the pills will take affect. I can't bear much more of the throbs or the memory flashes. But I do my best to suppress each recollection and the sense of dread that accompanies them.

"Some party last night, huh?" I'll start off with the obvious.

The girl jerks her head to the right, then looks back at me and mouths, "Shhhh."

The woman that enters the kitchen is tall and looks like an older version of the girl across from me. "Good morning, Gwen. Who's your friend?" she asks, only looking in my direction for a brief moment before getting a coffee mug out of the cupboard.

The girl I just learned is Gwen answers, "This is Bree."


  1. I found this immersive and that the MC was well drawn and easy to relate to. I would continue reading, you have me curious about what happened the night before.

  2. Definitely piques my curiosity. I'd read on. The voice is strong and the predicament feels greater than it seems, if that makes sense.

    Is this just a morning after, or is there something greater, or more sinister happening?

    Kudos for creating so much tension in your opening!

  3. Definitely a lot of potential as to where this story will go. I'll confess, I was reading it in my own voice and was surprised that the MC turned out to be a girl. This exact scene is (somewhat) familiar to me, so the last sentence came as a bit of a shock. I assume this was intentional so if I'm right, well done!

    The only thing I would have liked to have seen is some bit of description. Since when Gwen's mom (assuming) comes into the kitchen, you say she looks like an older version of Gwen. I'd like to be able to see that. And I think some hints of description could fill it out better: why's Gwen "strange? is the clock any more interesting than just "round?" How's the coffee taste? Just a hint or two to ground us a bit.

    Good luck!

  4. What you have works, I think, but it could be stronger. For instance, how does she feel about waking up in a stranger's house. What stopped her from immediately getting up and going home? What motivated her to stay for coffee and Tylenol?

    You also mention her throbbing head and memory flashes. Perhaps show her reacting to the headache, rather than telling us she has one, and you might consider showing one or two of those memory flashes. Nothing long and drawn out, just 'flashes,' a word or two here and there to tease the reader and drop little hints about the previous night, or whatever the memory flashes are about. They'd help create some tension and suspense.

  5. I like the narrative voice here; she draws me in right away.

    I think the first couple of paragraphs are a little slow and some repetition can be taken out. For example, strike the internal questions in the first paragraph and have Bree actually ask them later.

    I would change the second paragraph so that we see a flash of recollection and then Bree suppressing it. We don't need to hear how long until the Tylenol kicks in.

    In general, internal questions should be used sparingly.

    But, I am hooked.

  6. This is really intriguing. I would definitely read on. I like the tension and the sense that something potentially bad has happened but we don't know what yet. Nice work.