Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Secret Agent #49

TITLE: The Price of Fixation
GENRE: YA contemp

There are always those moments when you think back, the ones that stand out with astounding clarity and you're just like...duh.

I feel like the past few months of my life have been one big "duh" moment.

And now I'm sitting at the police station, waiting anxiously to give my statement - hopefully my final statement - about the events of the past few months.

Maybe if I'd just paid a bit more attention, one person wouldn't be dead. I've always been so proud of my skills of observation. I've always thought I could totally be one of those continuity checkers for movies and TV shows, the ones who make sure everything is exactly as it was before the film stopped rolling.
But clearly I would be terrible at that.

Now one person is dead and it could have been prevented. So many little actions could have altered everything, and I - we - did nothing.

“Hazel Williams? Follow me, please.”

Those stupid girls in the horror movies they never remember and they never learn, but I swear I'll never forget.


Waking up on the first day of school after a long, lazy summer is always hard. I mean, at least my school is making an effort to start the year after labor day, like all the schools up north, but...August, September, it makes no difference.

Maybe it's because I stayed up too late last night with my best friend, Anna, marathoning Supernatural, trying to decide the cutest of the three (seriously - it's an impossible choice).


  1. I like the opening. It's decent, but I think its missing just a little tightening that would make it much stronger. Dropping "I feel" from the second sentence would have more impact, removing the passiveness.

    Suggest also showing the police station instead of telling us the MC is sitting there. It compliments the "duh" moment comment and drives us to know why she's in the station.

    Good job.

  2. The story sounds interesting, although I'm not really a fan of prologues. They're almost like a trick to get you interested so that the narrator can then begin the first chapter with a less interesting part of the story. I did like the concept though, and the MC sounds likable. Nice work :)

  3. I'm definitely intrigued about who died.

  4. I think you could cut the first three paragraphs and tighten up the prologue, or skip the prologue all together. Nevertheless, I like the voice and would keep reading.

  5. I'm having trouble seeing the connection between the two pieces. If you could give a clue about the time relationship, it might help. Wast he police station scene on the last day of summer before school started? Years earlier?

  6. LOVE the first line! I would suggest some tighten as already mentioned. For examlpe, you can drop "Now one person is dead and it could have been prevented." You already showed us that in the prededing paragraph very well so there's no need to restate it. Great job!

  7. I like the first section, but it feels disconnected from the next bit. Is it a mini-Prologue? Personally, I'm not a fan of Prologues. I feel like I'm being asked to start a story twice, but that's just a personal choice.

    Also, there's a bit of repetition with the "past few months" and "one person is dead." Especially the comment about the dead person, that should be said once to have maximum effect on the reader. When we read it the second time it's lost it's punch.

    I do like the voice and I would probably read at last few more pages to see what's going on.

  8. I love it! I'd definitely keep reading. The humor and voice of Hazel is great. :)

  9. I like this. You hooked me.

    Only thing I'd do.

    "And now I'm sitting at the police station, waiting anxiously to give my statement - hopefully my final statement - about the events of the past few months. Maybe if I'd just paid a bit more attention, one person wouldn't be dead."

    Then delete the rest until you get to "Hazel W? Follow me, please."

  10. I agree with will 1966 -- cut the first three paragraphs. Then have the sentence that begins with "Maybe if I'd just" as a standalone sentence. You can weave in the fact she's in a police station later.

  11. The repetition of "one person dead" isn't needed, IMO. Other that that, I would read one!

  12. Loved this. It really drew me in. I did notice the "one person was dead" thing as well. Take that out and you're golden. Really good job here.

  13. I liked the mini-prologue. The only bump for me was "one person". Why 'one person'? I think it sounds generic and forced. Why not, "he wouldn't have died?" or she, or the person's name?

  14. I like the premise but the writing needs to tighten up. A lot of telling here. What the heck do I mean by that you may ask? Perhaps start with the police

    The seat in front of Detective whoever's desk is the best in the station. I watch a scraggly guy in handcuffs insist he didn't steal that car - he borrowed it.I hated this place - it reeked of stale cigarettes and burnt coffee.

    You get the idea. Lead us into it - I think your narrative seems a bit forced.

    I like the premise and the character - just work on the delivery of you story.

    Thank you for sharing and good luck.

  15. you grabbed me with "Maybe if I'd just paid a bit more attention..." Loved it. Would definitely keep reading!

  16. If you are going to use a prologue, it needs to be short. You could trim this down to one paragraph, maybe two then move on to the story.

    Overall, I didn’t connect with the voice, it didn’t read smoothly for me.