Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Secret Agent #34

TITLE: Anomaly
GENRE: YA Paranormal

It sucks when you love someone and they don’t love you back. That’s all I can think about as I watch Michael park his dented blue Honda in my driveway.

Dropping my camera bag on the porch, I meet him halfway down the sidewalk lined with Mom’s pumpkin orange marigolds. When his lips part, I hook my thumbs in the back pockets of my jeans, and wonder if he’s finally going to say he likes me more than a friend, tell me that he doesn’t know how he’s going to make it through the summer without me.

“All packed up?” He gives me a quirky smile.

“Yup,” I rock back and forth on my heels, hiding my disappointment.

His eyes shift past me and he waves. “Hey! Rachel!”

I turn around and see my other best friend jogging up the sidewalk in her cheer leading uniform, her ponytail bobbing behind her.

The love-struck gleam in Michael’s eyes makes me want to shrivel up and die.

I swallow my feelings like gulping down nasty cough medicine and say, “You should ask her out.”

Michael’s face takes on a flustered shade of red. “What—wait. You think she’d say yes?”

I shrug, unable to bring myself to say more before Rachel joins us on the sidewalk.

“Sorry I’m late. Coach was being a butt and kept us too long.” She tackles me with a hug. “I’m going to miss you so much, Maya Beans.”

I hug her back because I’m going to miss her too.


  1. I'm interested in knowing where the MC is going for the summer, but I'm wondering why we are spending time with the two friends, when it seems they won't be going with her. I'd like a bit more of a hint at what she's going to be doing in order to pull me in more. Love triangles are always fun though! Good work :)

  2. You should drop the dependent clause in the second para and have it read: I dropped my camera bag on the porch and met him ...

  3. I love the opening line and I liked the voice. I'm a sucker for love triangles and unrequited love so I would definitely read on.

  4. I think the feeling of disappointment is very clear here. I'm curious to know why she acts in opposition of what she wants. :)

  5. I'm wondering what the paranormal factor is in this story... I know, it's only the first page, but maybe you could hint at it enough to make us drool for more?

  6. Maybe show us what a quirky smile looks like?

    Great voice!

  7. I may be totally off, but I want to draw conclusions about most of this encounter without being told so much.

    The love-struck gleam in Michael’s eyes made me want to shrivel up and die.

    “You should ask her out.”

    "What-wait. You think she'd say yes."

    Or something like this is all that I need. Trust your readers a little more. It makes the writing flow a bit better.

    I enjoyed the piece. Thanks for posting.

  8. This is very interesting. Hooked. I don't know much about your MC yet, but I know that feeling of heartbreak and I'm jumping on her side. I'm curious where Maya's going and what the paranormal aspect could be. Good job!

  9. Strong writing and great voice. I love the disappointment she feels and the way she puts Rachel and Michael before what she wants. It makes me really connect with her and really want to know more about her. I agree the selection could be tightened up by letting the reader draw more inference from the dialogue, and maybe knowing more about where she's going or why her friends are going with, but all in all, good job. I'd read more.

  10. It is so hard to tell on 250 words, especially one like this where I know it is paranormal but have no idea how. I think it would help to add some sort of foreshadowing because otherwise this just feels like another YA love triangle book.

    You did a good job showing her disappointment though.

  11. I like the voice and the way you pull us into Maya's heartache immediately.

    I agree that something in these first 250 words should hint at paranormal. Michael's comment, "What--wait. You think she'd say yes?", is enough for us to know he's caught off guard embarrassed.

    I would keep reading because you made me care about Maya already. Nice.