Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Secret Agent #38

TITLE: Once Upon a Mosh Pit
GENRE: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Slive’s fist swung and connected with my chin before I even noticed that he was in front of me. The hit snapped my neck back and knocked me to the beer-slicked floor, pain shooting through my jaw. I pushed myself up to my hands and knees and watched him dance away, following the flow of the circle pit until the crowd obscured him. Only a quick glance over his shoulder to check his handiwork gave away that the punch wasn't accidental.

A half-dozen sweaty, slippery hands grabbed at me to pull me upright and get me out of the way of the trampling stampede of the other dancers in the pit. I looked back, but didn't recognize any of the faces. They were strangers, helping me like they would have helped anyone who fell during the show. There was concern in their eyes, but no one saw the hit that took me down.

I shook my head to try to clear the ringing in my ears and managed to get my feet back underneath me just as Slive finished another lap around the circle. I saw him coming this time, a nasty grin distorting his face in the low light. He moved through the dancers, making a beeline for me, his eyes never leaving mine. I stiffened, resigned to the pain I knew was coming. His shoulder rammed into my chest as he passed, and I was sent reeling into the people at the edge of the pit.

9 comments:

Nicole said...

Boy, this brought back some memories!

Good description of the fluidity and social interaction of a mosh pit. I'd definitely read on.

Tightening up your prose throughout would really punch this up (no pun intended).

Yttar said...

Slive’s fist swung and connected with my chin before I even noticed that he was in front of me.

This is good, but could be tightened to Slive’s fist connected with my chin before I even noticed that he was in front of me.

The hit snapped my neck back and knocked me to the beer-slicked floor, pain shooting through my jaw.

I'd probably separate "pain shooting through my jaw" into its own sentence for greater impact.

I like the description of "beer-slicked floor".

My issue here is with using "snap". It makes me think the narrator's neck just got broken, which is not the case. So I'd consider choosing another word. Also, I'm having a hard time visualizing their neck snapping back and not their head.

It could read something like, Slive’s fist connected with my chin before I even noticed he was in front of me and knocked me to the beer-slicked floor. Pain shot through my jaw.

Though maybe I'd use a different word in place of knock, like forced, shoved, slammed. Knock seems to "gentle" of a word, like the guy is trying to be nice after punching the narrator for no apparent reason.

Otherwise, I think you did a good job with the immediacy of the fight and giving the reader a visceral reaction to it right along with the narrator.

Crystal Licata said...

This instantly pulled me in and I already love the MC. Something about the whole mystery (for me) of the mosh pit is exciting. The way you described it was great too "beer slicked floor" is perfect. Great job.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, interesting. I'm not sure why this guy is picking on him, and that's a good hook. It's not a setting you see too often...

My only issue is that I don't sense his personality too much. I'm sure that would be coming up, though.

Bron said...

I'm a bit torn on this one. It's good, but I feel like the action starts too quickly, before I get a chance to know or care about the character. I'd keep reading though, partly because the writing is good and partly because it's a nice change to read a YA that doesn't start with a character at school or waking up.

Rin said...

I agree with the first sentence needing to be tightened up. I'm also curious as to why he doesn't fight back and just resigns himself to being hit the second time, and I'd love to read more!

Dave Sinclair said...

First up - love the title. I'd pick that one up at the bookstore to at least read the blurb.

I disagree with a few here - I think starting where you did is just right. Right in the middle of the action, but leaving enough room for story to draw the reader in. Good job.

With a quick tightening up of a few sentences, this is one of my faves.

Secret Agent said...

I have to side with the people who are concerned that this drops the reader into some slightly anonymous action before we have the chance to see our protagonist in a less chaotic situation, get to see his vibe under normal(ish) circumstances so that it means more to us when we see him under duress, etc...

Tangynt said...

To help tighten the first sentence a little more: "Slive's fist connected with my chin before I even noticed he was in front of me."

Get rid of the word "that" whenever possible.

Just "My head snapped back", no need to tell us the hit caused it since you already show it.

"Sweaty hands pulled me upright" would tighten the first sentence of the second paragraph. I think numbering them, even indirectly, hurts the disoriented feel of the scene. It's chaos, he shouldn't be able to tell if it was two or twenty hands.

"Concern shone/glinted in their eyes" or substitute a verb of your choosing except was.

"I shook my head to clear the ringing" I do this too, my characters try to do things when they should just be doing them.

My question is, if he sees the guy coming, why not move or defend himself?

Overall, love the setting.