Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Secret Agent #2

GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy

Even her mother’s best Patience spell couldn’t keep Mina from pacing her room. In less than sixty minutes, she would celebrate the thirteenth hour of her thirteenth birthday, and her magic would finally flow from her fingertips. She would show everyone once and for all that she was not a weirdo in the world of witches.

Mina moved to the Mystic Revealer again. She didn’t want to be the type of girl that stared endlessly into a mirror, but this object showed more than her reflection; it showed traces of magic. Like she did most mornings, she first straightened her hair, then searched the outline of her image looking for any sign, small as it may be, of her magic leaking. This time she expected to see something different – a glint of what lurked beneath, a shimmer around her reflection – but the Mystic Revealer didn’t show anything but the same old Mina. Today, she told herself. It’ll be there soon.

“Mina? Time to go!” her mother’s voice resonated clearly in the room thanks to the Close-Call spell, though she knew her parents probably waited in the garage.


She straightened her flowing black birthday robes one last time and grabbed her small black pointy hat before leaving her room. The stairs were spelled to travel automatically, but Mina’s excitement made her bound the last few steps herself. Just as she thought, her mother waited at the garage door, her father already behind the driver’s seat of the car.


  1. Hooked! Very fun opening! I love the escalator stairs. I would tighten it up, though, to make it really shine. Take out first 'her' in 2nd para. Replace 'that' in 2nd sentence of 2nd para with 'who'. Also, if I were a hopeful little girl, I'd rush to the revealer and look for magic before straightening my hair.

  2. I like the title and your feel of the young girl on the cusp of 13. Still it does drag a bit, you could probably say in 2 sentences what you said in whole second paragraph. Also the clothing description is rather Harry Potter-ish, you want to stay away from taking the reader anywhere near Hogwarts :)

    Like all the spells!

  3. Hooked. I like the idea of Mina waiting on the thirteenth hour of her thirteenth birthday to receive her magic. Very original. However, I feel the passage needs to be tightened for better flow.

  4. This is fun! I like your concept. I agree with the others to tighten up the part where she's staring into the mirror a bit.

  5. I'm a huge fan of short paragraphs, and as such, this flows really slowly to me.

    Also, I'm not an expert on this area of genres, but it almost seemed this could lean more paranormal than fantasy?

    Other than that, I liked most of what I saw here.

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  7. Overall, I like this. It has charm, some good tension, and I know what's important to the main character. It does, however, fall into a trap I see in a lot of fantasy: There's a lot of terminology and magic that means something to the author but nothing, at this point, to the reader. I didn't catch what made her a weirdo. The spells are obvious in a good way, but how would magic leak? How is she a weirdo? One sentence about what makes her one would help a lot.

  8. I LOVE the title you chose!

    For me, I think it's strange for the word "even" to start your novel. I'd use a stronger first sentence.

    I'd five it a few more pages to see where it's going.

  9. This is fun, but Secret Agent does make some good points.

  10. This was really fun :) I liked Mina instantly, and all the spell names were perfectly indicative of their purpose. I do agree that that whole second paragraph could be trimmed down. I immediately assumed she was weird b/c she didn't display any powers, but if witches don't come into their powers anyway before they're 13 then what is it that makes her weird?

  11. Hooked! I *love* the idea of seeing the magic leaking from her. So original!

  12. I thought this was wonderful. It was cute, and something a mg student would enjoy. I too assumed she was weird because she didn't have powers yet, and the thirteenth hour was her last shot. But maybe a quick sentence to clear that up would be good. I also noticed a 'that' which wasn't needed. Watch out for those. Other than that, (hehe) I thought it was surely worth reading on!

  13. I liked it and would have read on to see what would happen and whether she'd get her magic. I thought you painted the beginnings of a whimsical world.

    But there were some logic problems for me in the beginning, and I'm not sure if they're problems or I just don't know enough about the world yet. My main three were:

    1) How does not having magic yet, when no one gets it until they're 13, make her a weirdo?

    2) Why, if she shouldn't expect magic until the 13th of the 13th, does she get up and check herself for leaks every morning?

    3) She seems eager to see "leaks." While I like the concept of being able to leak magic, I'm not sure that's supposed to be a good thing. The word implies, to me, that if she were leaking, she'd need to be rushed to a witch doctor for a patch.

    I'd also like some clue as to where she's going with her parents so I can share the excitement of the trip.

    But I did like it overall.

  14. Well now I want to know if she gets her magic!

  15. I'm interesting in finding out how she's a weirdo. The small in "small black pointy hat" made me stop. Not sure why, it made me question Mina's size. I know a silly comment, but that's what I thought. I agree with the other comment about Even as a first word.

  16. I'm just catching up reading, congrats on your win to submit pages to the secret agent!

    From remembering seeing this pitched on various blogs, I had a reference for the "leaking magic" (which I love) but I do agree it might need a little more explaining, and about the "weirdo" part. I love the concept of this story and the title. Best of luck to you!