Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Secret Agent #3 (removed)

TITLE: Mindtrippers
GENRE: Young Adult

(removed by request)


  1. I think this is pretty good, but could be even stronger if you just tightened the prose a bit in some places. Specificically:

    He knew he shouldn't do it, but he couldn't help it. Sort of. He made it happen and could stop doing it, but the urge was too strong.

    The last sentence in that chunk slows the pace for me, and i had to actually read it a few times to get what you were saying. You may want to consider ditching it.

    Good job!

  2. Cool story idea. Fun character. I'm hooked.

  3. I love it - especially the last sentence. I am totally hooked!

  4. I'm guessing this is YA paranormal or sci-fi given the title "Mindtrippers" and the psycho-somatic effects going on.

    I think the "he grunted..." line can go away entirely and enough physical description exists to signify something strange is happening.

    I'm definitely curious what this ability is. I just read a great indie YA called "Open Minds" by Susan Kaye Quinn that's about a world of mindreaders. It might be worth checking out of you're looking for comparative work.

  5. Hm... My first reaction is the story opens with a dream. Though his process for going into a trance is mildly interesting, it doesn't hook me. It makes me think this is a book about dreaming, and I doubt it could hold my attention for long.

    What Callum describes sounds uncomfortable with the dizziness and nausea and sweating and gut writhing and knuckle aching, yet he liked it a lot. This doesn't compute for me.

  6. I really like your first sentence. What a great line! But then the next paragraph doesn't give any clue as to what was happening again. You might want to swap the second and third paragraphs.

    I would read on.

  7. The idea of this happening to him in class is interesting... I'm completely not sure what's happening though. There are some sentences that confused me further and kind of made me less sympathetic to the narrator.

    "He knew he shouldn't.... but the urge was to strong." Actually, it might be better to just take out all the parts I did when I quoted... but the sentence is very clunky and repetitive.

    "Who'd have thought daydreaming.... he liked it." The trouble there is that he "thinks" daydreaming... but then we're told he knows it's not... but then we're told he has no clue what it is... it's just confusing and as far as helping to identify what's going on, it's very vague.

    And the issue with sympathy, here, is that at first this sounds like a problem he's having... but then come to find out, he's doing it to himself. I think I'd feel less misled if it started something like "Callum Harding hadn't been in class ten minutes before he had to do it again."

  8. I liked this. I'm guessing he's hyperventilating to make himself pass out. I used to do that to get out of class too...

    It's a little wordy in places, but that's easy to fix.

  9. I agree with other comments that in places it feels too wordy and cutting it down will tighten and give it greater impact.

    You have Callum think daydreaming is cool, but then state he knows it isn't a daydream. It is too contradictory. I'm also not sure how anyone can enjoy feelings of nausea, dizziness or writhing gut.

  10. I do agree w/the other comments about contradictions - but I took it to mean he had to tolerate the nausea, etc., in order to experience the cool bit - what space must be like.
    I'd be curious to read more.

  11. I am very curious to read more as well! The description really grabbed me and the premise seems intriguing!

  12. I agree with others regarding the contradictions-it feels horrible but he likes it. He refers to it as daydreaming, yet knows it's not...
    One thing that really I really got caught on was the phrase in your first line-"before it happened again." Why was the first time not important enough to be part of your story? Wouldn't the first time something like this happens be significant to your MC and your readers? Perhaps it comes later...I guess what is asking is have started in the right place?

  13. I thought you had a neat idea here but, for me, the process is too drawn out. Perhaps show us what he's seeing, or give us a glimpse, so we get caught up in it too, and then the need to know the why and how of it all forces the reader to continue reading.

  14. So it had just happened to him or had happened previously? And he liked it, in spite of all the horrid physical things he had to endure, but he still didn't want to?

    I didn't find myself that intrigued by him going through this and I didn't believe him half the time. I think a better start might be showing him in his familiar habitat, setting up the conflict, somehow thinking he's got this under control, and then after we get to know him, wham, it happens. But we already know why he fights against it (even though he think it's cool) and we totally get that he would want it and not want it at the same time.

    Play with your set-up a bit, because I think it's worth it.