Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Secret Agent #37

GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

If I had known I was going to die before my seventeenth birthday, I would have definitely been more reckless. Like ran off with some hot college guy to the city for the weekend or chopped off all my hair for once. Or simply just stopped wasting my time planning my future. But it was too late for a rebellious weekend or a new hairstyle. And it was too late to live for the moment. My moment was gone. He was hiding in my room waiting to kill me just like my most recent prophetic dream predicted and there was nothing I could do to change it. But I refused to make it easy for him. I wanted to guarantee the news report read ‘girl put up a fight’. I would not go out looking pathetic.

I scanned my nightstand for some type of weapon but a furry pillow, a Sixteen Candles DVD and eyelash curler weren’t going to cut it. Why was I so girly? I needed a baseball bat or one of those Taser thingies. I slid the eyelash curler in my palm and stepped closer to the hallway slipping on the trail of water my hair left on the wood floor. If my damn phone hadn’t been ringing I wouldn’t have stormed in my room pinning myself between my bed and him. An amateur move for someone who knew they were fated to be killed.


  1. I love her voice but I'm very confused. The first paragraph makes it seem like she's already dead and is upset about it, but then in the second paragraph I find out she's not dead which is jarring but still okay until she starts looking around because she's about to die. I don't have a great sense of what is going on.

    She said she get's visions and that's why she knows someone is trying to kill her but she's really just going to sit in her room and wait for him? I know you said she's pinned between the killer and the bed but the killer doesn't know that she knows he's there so why doesn't she run for it? If he doesn't think she knows it would catch him off guard and she could get away. Oh, and if she knows he's going to kill her ahead of time why didn't she stay out of her house completely and stay at a friends place? That's a bit confusing to me.

    I think maybe if you cut out the beginning and started with "He was hiding in my room waiting to kill me...." then people won't be as confused.

    This is a great start! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I agree. I am good until the part about him "hiding in my room waiting to kill me just like prophetic dream predicted."

    It is too much of a contrast.

    Plus, you just said she had a prophetic dream, so = she knows she is going to die before 17

  3. I think what might make it less confusing is if you tell us when she had the dream. Was it the night before? Does she have these dreams only when she sleeps or did she have it in the shower, like a daydream only prophetic? We need something to clarify how she knows this and why she is there instead of out of her house trying to keep herself alive.

    I think you have a good start here. With a little reworking and clarification, it'll be even better. I'd want to read more!

  4. I do like the pining for a more reckless life... I wish I had thought process. But I think it could have more power if you gave it more detail than the generalities. Like Kissed Kyle. Or Road the wooden roller coaster at the pier.

    I wonder how she's going to hurt him with an eyelash curler?

  5. The first line here seems a little too crafted. It's a line designed to grab the reader's attention and that's what it comes off as rather than actually grabbing the reader's attention.

    After that opening, one sentence of examples of what she should do is enough. Get to the interesting bits about the guy waiting in her room to kill her.

    ...just like my most recent prophetic dream predicted... is too abrupt. You're dumping the supernatural element on the reader, then just glossing over it. And over explaining it at the same time. 'just like in my dreams' gives the hint of powers without spelling it out to the reader.

    You give no indication on how she spotted her assailant which gives the reader a confusing visual. Is he hiding? How does she know she's being attacked?

    The phone bit at the end seems like a non-sequiter, breaking up the action. We're waiting for the fight, and you interrupt us with a flashback to two seconds ago. If you need to have that information, put it in earlier and let the reader get to the carnage.

  6. Interesting so far. I agree that you could use some examples of what she would've done - some specifics.

    I love the eyelash curler as a weapon!

  7. Great hook for your first line, but don't think you need definitely.

    Consider deleting all the phrases that follow and restart with I heard a noise. Was he in my room, waiting to kill me? or something like that to bring immediacy, and forget about the dream part.

    Then, the furry pillow or Sixteen Candles DVD destroys the spookiness for me. Maybe something more weapon like? And show us what she's feeling to really hook us.

    Just some ideas, but I love the idea...

  8. I think you could take out your first paragraph.

    Your second paragraph really catches the attention and tells us a lot about your MC. The voice is great.

  9. You could also cut the 1st paragraph after this: "But it was too late for a rebellious weekend or a new hairstyle" and go straight to the next paragraph with action.

    I would watch for extra words like this: "Or simply just stopped wasting my time planning my future". Maybe pick simply or just, or leave both out for a cleaner quicker pace. Starting sentences with But and And works sometimes but it ususally works better in dialogue.

  10. This definitely interested me. Like other people said, the voice is very good and what you've written is definitely interesting.

    I was a little confused as to where she is and where the killer is. In the first paragraph, it sounds like he is hiding in her room, and she's not in her room. However, in the next paragraph, she's scanning her nightstand, so she's clearly in her room, and pinned between him and her bed--yet she's close to the hallway, so why doesn't she leave that way? And why on earth would she go into a room that she knows a killer is in? Even if my phone was ringing, I would let it go to voicemail if it meant having to go into a room that had somebody who wanted to murder me in it.

    You're missing a couple commas that would make this read a bit more smoothly: "He was hiding in my room waiting to kill me just like my most recent prophetic dream predicted and there was nothing I could do to change it" would read better as "He was hiding in my room, waiting to kill me just like my most recent prophetic dream predicted, and there was nothing I could do to change that." Also, "I scanned my nightstand for some type of weapon but a furry pillow..." would do better with a comma before the "but". For "...stepped closer to the hallway slipping on the grail of water my hair left", you should have a comma after "hallway" (and probably the word "had" between "hair" and "left"). Finally, "If my damn phone hadn't been ringing I wouldn't have stormed into my room pinning myself between my bed and him" would do better with a comma after "ringing" and also after "room" (and reversing "my bed" and "him" might help it read a little less awkwardly). I'd also suggest connecting this sentence to your last sentence with an em dash; the sentence fragment feels a bit abrupt to me.

    Anyways--just to put my two cents in, I didn't find the first paragraph confusing as to whether she was dead or not.

    I think you have a great voice here that seems authentic to me, and a really interesting premise. Good job and good luck!

  11. There are some nitpicks over sentence construction and grammar, as the others here have already pointed out. "I experienced along with her as she perceived me in the same way, and certainty took hold from her toenails to her scalp." had me confused, because I don't know what exactly is "taking hold from her".

    I'm also not sure about "re-loved" as a word. It's not something I usually encounter, so it had me thinking for awhile as to what it could mean in context to what you've written.

    All that aside, I'm very curious as to how you're going to continue with this! Sounds very promising!

  12. Aaaah, ignore my last comment. For some reason, responding to another entry landed me in this page!

    That said, I'm curious as to why she would know she was about to be killed, or if it had already happened and this was some sort of flashback. The "He was hiding in my room waiting to kill me" sentence sounds a bit long though, and I think it could be chopped up into smaller sentence to maintain the flow. But all in all, I'm intrigued! I really want to know why someone wants to kill her now!

  13. I like your first paragraph, except for 'just like my most recent prophetic dream had predicted'. This is in direct contrast to what your MC says about not knowing she's going to die young.

    The second paragraph didn't quite hit the mark for me. The tone is a mixture between breezy (listing what's on the nightstand, asking why she was so girly, saying 'thingie') and frightened. Pick one of these emotions and go with it. I'd also prefer the scene to start when she enters the room and realises a man is in there. Maybe start with the phone ringing?

  14. I agree that the opening sentence is too transparent in its "grabbiness," and then, she's narrating her impending death in such a casual manner ("Why was I so girly?") it carried very little urgency for me...some patience and better pacing here would help a lot, I think!