Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September Secret Agent #25


My heart pounded with hope that I'd find my little brother, Jake. From the table by the entrance, I grabbed a helmet and mask and pushed open the heavy metal door. The sign on the wall of New York Electric said Employees Only: Danger, High Voltage Area.

High voltage? Legs shaking, I slid the hardhat onto my head, continued along the safety railing, and wondered if this was a good idea.

Huge generators filled the center of the gargantuan room. They roared and squeaked. Their metal arms rotated and spun around. Sparks crackled and flew. My ears ached from the noise, and even with the mask on, the air reeked of smoldering iron and oil.

No Jake. Damn. I made a quick sketch of the room in my journalism notebook to give the police and headed for the exit.

My boots made scraping sounds as I moved along the grated floor. One of the giant machines kicked in with a loud screech, and the notebook flew out of my hand and down through the railing, sucked away.
Panic gurgled in my stomach. That notebook had Mira Cunningham, Eleanor Roosevelt High School written on the front. If they found it, they'd be after me, too.

The whole room vibrated. I held onto the rail and reached down to grab the incriminating evidence. Electricity poured into my hand. My fingers stuck, fused to the metal.

Another huge charge burst through me.


  1. I like the descriptions of the electricty. You've set the tension high. I'm wondering why she isn't calling to her little brother. By little do you mean 10 or 5? Other than a pounding heart, she doesn't seem too worried. Also, wouldn't it hurt to get your fingers fused to the metal? I would expect screaming. Other than that, the writing is clear and the goal is interesting. Good job!

  2. I'm hooked. But I do agree with the previous poster about some details. Also I'm surprised that it doesn't take her longer to search and know her brother's not there. But I definitely want to find out what happens next.

  3. your "huge generators" paragraph was so spot-on descriptive that i could SEE the room. excellent writing there. i'd cut out the "panic gurgled in my stomach" b/c it doesn't sound quite right.

  4. Not entirely hooked. Maybe spend a little more time at the beginning on her worry about her brother. Did she make him run off? Does she feel responsible? Are more people searching for him?

    Then, when she worries about her notebook being found, we need some more information on THEY. Who would be after her? The police? Someone who's after her brother?

  5. I liked this, but felt he should have done a better scan to look for jake. give us a visual of the whole room so we know jake is truly gone after our MC has thoroughly checked everywhere. I also wasn't sure why he was being electrocuted. where was the electricity coming from? Maybe you explain it later. I'd definitely need to know why a catwalk, made for walking on, would be electrified?

  6. Oops, when I said "he" I meant "she".

  7. I should be feeling more urgency here than I am, although I'm not quite sure what the problem is. It's a strong premise but I'm not getting a strong enough sense of character so that I really care about her or her search.

    Writing is solid so maybe work on voice and characterization.

  8. I thought you had a great premise here, and an original one. ANd that pulled me in. I also got a great sense of what that room was like with all the electricity crackling. Loved the notebook falling through the grating.

    You might expand on her search. It seems she glances around the room and that's it. ANd perhaps get inside her head a bit. WHat is she thinking? And what is her reaction at the end when the eletricity zaps her?

  9. I like this, the writing's good and it's exciting. I'd definitely read on.

    Having said that, I feel like I've been thrown into this scene too early. I'd like just a little more build-up to find out who she and her brother are and what's going on, because then I think it'd be even more exciting as we'd be rooting her on more.

    Good luck!

  10. It's a good beginning in that you've immediately presented us with a problem (missing brother), action (searching) and a hint of what is to come in the rest of the book (MC has been electrocuted). But I couldn't get past wondering how Mira got into this room in the first place. It seems such a dangerous environment to let a teenager go into alone, and I doubt she'd be able to sneak in there unguarded. So my attention was caught by this issue, not the story. I almost feel you need to back it up a bit and start earlier so we can learn why Mira thinks Jake will be here, and how she got in herself.