Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Secret Agent #11

GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy with Hindu Mythological Elements

"Damn it," I said through clenched teeth. "Not again!"

My eyes cracked open to reveal a saffron infused, gothic room with high vaulted ceilings. Thick heavy banners of emerald, scarlet and cobalt hung, brushing whisper-soft, against the marble floor. The ivory stone was bitterly cold against my cheek. It was polished to a perfect mirrored gloss, reflecting the image of the room upside down, like a crystal lake.

"Hello, Loka," a gravel and husk voice said. "What a surprise."

"No need to rub it in." I hauled myself to my feet in an ungainly dance of vertigo. I was glad I'd died today when I was wearing under-wear. Yesterday would've been rather embarrassing. The marble floor merrily bounced back my daisy knickers hidden beneath my high-lighter pink mini-skirt.

I glared at the three Gods in front of me, and all memories of my past lives flooded back, gushing into recollection. This was the in-between realm: the Castle of Gods, hidden behind the curtain of death. A human soul, no matter what belief system, was sent here for assessment when their time on earth came to an end. I'd become rather familiar with the whole thing.

The Preserver of the Universe, Vishnu, sat to my right. His four arms crossed against his naked lapis lazuli chest dripping with gold jewellery and flower lei's. His ebony hair hidden beneath a turban crown of glittering gold, and his chubby, pampered cheeks dimpled as he shot me an exasperated smile.


  1. I'd start at paragraph 4

  2. I liked this (and it's not a genre I read). Your second paragraph has too many colors, I think - saffron, emerald, scarlet, cobalt, ivory, it was almost confusing. I think you could cut back on that initial description, especially if she's been there before. Good luck!

  3. That's a heck of a genre you've listed. I would probably stick with YA UF and let the rest speak for itself.

    This excerpt is a little adjective heavy for me, but I love the imagery of the crystal lake and the snarky tone you're setting up between Loka and the three gods. I would read on.

    Good luck!

  4. Before I even read the other comments, I felt like the line about dying today should be your first line. It's great that you start with action, but your first line is too vague. The dying today line, on the other hand, is very intriguing.

  5. I think this is great! It might need a little switching around, I do think this would work to start with the 'died today' line, but all in all this sounds super interesting. I would def. read on. The content is unique. Great job!!

  6. I like it a lot. It is adjective heavy, but the description are also pretty, so it puts a nice image in my head.

    It does have some strange things going on, though.

    Under-wear. Why the dash? If you're referring to her undergarments then it's -> underwear.

    Saffron is both a color and a smell. I'm sure you're referring to the smell, but others here thought you meant the color so perhaps that might need to be looked at again.

    "a gravel and husk voice said" loose the gravel, it's too many adjectives describing the same thing.

    High-lighter is actually "highlighter"

    I like it a lot, and I'm hooked, but I would take a look at your manuscript to see if you're using dashes for things that are actually a single word.

    Good luck.

  7. Good opening. You very quickly establish what the rules are in your universe, and I think you've chosen your descriptors well, for the most part. I like the touch of the absurd with "glad I was wearing underwear," too. I'd read on.

    May I assume that either the author or the MC is British?

  8. Thank you for all your comments. I value your feedback. In answer to your question Secret Agent, yes I am English! Is it that obvious? lol. I was born in Hong Kong and lived there for 13 years so fascinated with different cultures, but I have english parents. Living in Middle Earth currently however :)

  9. I liked this. I loved the underwear/dying comment and think it would make a terrific lead-in (if that can be managed with the structure the scene layout the way it is).

    I did get a little lost in the descriptions, and I would suggest cutting 15-20% of your adjectives. (You don't *really* need both high and vaulted or both thick and heavy, for example).

    Interesting world, though.

  10. I agree that you have more adjectives than you need here. Also, I don't think "infused" is the best word. Is saffron the color of the walls or a scent in the air? (If it's a scent, she'd smell it with her eyes closed.)

    But when you got to the part about dying with her underwear on, I was hooked. The tone seemed to change and I was interested to see how she died and what happens next. (The first clause of your last sentence seems to be missing a verb.)