Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May Secret Agent #17

TITLE: Running Down the Dragon
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

Idiots. I can't believe they keep trying, but I guess everyone needs a hobby. For the third time in as many weeks, someone tried to corner me in the Common. I guess it's a sign. I should probably change my route more often. It probably won't stop the idiots from trying, but I do get sick of fighting them off.

I don't actually enjoy hurting people. If they just asked, I'd be happy to give them what they wanted. God knows I have more than I need. That's the beauty of compound interest when you have nineteen-hundred years worth of investments.

Dragons used to hoard gold, gathering piles of it under drafty old mountains. But that was my grandparents. Now, we hoard savings bonds in safety deposit boxes. It's a much sounder investment strategy--a lot less likely to get you killed.

Unless you wander around Boston after dark, apparently.

"What is it with you people?" I muttered, as yet another nutjob with a knife thought he got the drop on an easy target.

No cliched conversation from this one, at least. He just swung a fist at me. It wasn't even the fist with the knife in it. Amateur.

I ducked.

Not a great fighter, the would-be mugger swung his arm so hard his own momentum took him down for me. He landed in a nice muddy puddle, at least. He wasn't hurt, other than his pride.

I shook my head at the kid, threw him a few twenties for his trouble, and kept walking.


  1. I like it. Starting off with a fight scene (however short the fight may be) sets the book up to be fast paced and action packed. It's a good introduction to the character's attitude as well as a clever way to tell us that this "person" is a dragon. I would read more.

  2. I love the dragon's snarky attitude. The tone is really engaging. I like the line about "much sounder investment strategy." :) Would like to read more!

  3. I like the tone you set and the snarky attitude of the MC.

    Though, I'm not the biggest fan of first person. I feel it's too easy to get very tell-y, if you know what I mean. That's just my opinion though.

    Good luck!

  4. Nice voice on this. I does sound like the kid is the second attack of the night, and I'm not sure if that's intentional. Does the kid actually stay down? I'd read more just to find out if she underestimated her opponent.

  5. I like the internal commentary from the dragon, and I love they have moved on to more sensible investments, that's a nice/contempoary touch - hope they didn't put their gold into mortgage stocks!
    To be picky - I think your puncutation is in the wrong spot, in the sentence near the end: "He landed in a nice muddy puddle, at least. He wasn't hurt..."
    Should it be: "He landed in a nice muddy puddle. At least he wasn't hurt..." ? Just a suggestion :)

  6. This is awesome! I'm totally hooked. I love, loved the voice. And what a clever idea to have the dragons of today make smart investments instead of hording. Plus I love books about rich people...maybe that's because I know I'll never be that way. :)
    A couple suggestions: You use "I guess" two times in the first paragraph. The second time I'd say something like, "Must be a sign." Same thing with idiots. I love love the first two lines, but then when you use idiots again, I say, "Really? There are so many great synonyms for that word!"
    Loved that amateur line! And I like the character a lot (that he would give the guy a few bucks for his time.)
    I want to read the rest of this! Are your first five pages up on QT?

  7. I don't like the repeating of 'idiots' in the first para. But other than that, I think this has a good tone and a voice behind it to take note of.

    Read on, I would.

  8. I really like your voice in this piece and the attitude of your MC. I agree with some of the above comments in regards to removing words that have been repeated.

    I like the easy way you dropped the fact your MC is a dragon. And I'm curious to know more. Well done.

  9. This is interesting, but the changes in tense throw me off. Present, past and future are all mixed together, which just rubs me the wrong way.

    One more vote against the "repeated words". Another in favor of the snarky attitude of the dragon. I think a few good edits would make this story shine. I would definitely read on.

    Good job. :)

  10. What's not to like about a savvy investment dragon living in Boston? It's a very cool concept, and I'm interested to see where this is going.

    I had the same issue with the mixed tenses that Kelly did. And I agree that you need to edit for repeat words (idiots, trying, I guess, probably in the first paragraph).

    One thing I'm missing (which might be cleared up shortly) is a sense of what the character looks like. Dragon, but I'm not sure what that means. I was thinking DRAGON, but he's small enough that someone is taking a swing with a fist at him. If he looks human, then I'm not sure how he's pinpointed as a dragon by the "idots." If he's only human-sized but dragon-looking, then I'd like some of his dragon features to play into the fight so I can get a visual.

  11. I agree that I would like a clearer picture of what this "dragon" looks like, but otherwise, I'm intrigued and would keep reading.

  12. I do like this! Dragons with a modern-day twist on their hoarding... very interesting. What I love the most, though, is throwing the twenties at the mugger "for his trouble." That actually engaged me more than any other line, for reasons I don't think I can entirely explain.

    Well done. It was a little repetitive with the word "idiots," so try to use another term for those MC's fed up with to replace the 2nd "idiot." Otherwise, love it!

  13. I love this! I totally want to keep reading! The attitude of the MC is so easily portrayed to the reader. We're one with him immediately. His annoyance is our annoyance. Very, very good writing.

    My favorite part is the last line: "threw him a few twenties" is such a perfect way to get the nonchalance across.

    I want to read more!

  14. I suspect there is more to this story than muggers trying to rob him, but there is no hint of it here. Perhaps give us a hint of what the story will be about.

  15. Interesting concept--a dragon living in Boston. I, personally, don't connect well to dragon stories. There are a few that are done well (Thea Harrison, for example). Other than being very sure of himself and liberal with his money (I have a hard time believing that of a dragon), I get no sense of character. There is too much telling in this passage, whereas you could start with action and add in his internal monologue.

    For Urban Fantasy, the opening is rather mild and doesn't give me a sense of the feel for the rest of the ms. Also, your genre doesn't say YA, but I thought your character was young. Words like "Common," "kid," and "grandparents" gives me the image of a small skinny kid getting beat up a lot. Why is he getting attacked so often? Do people not know he's a dragon? Is he not intimidating looking (usually in UF, the men are beefy).

  16. First of all, my MC is a WOMAN! She looks like an average, normal person. She can shift into a dragon. She is not young. She is a couple of thousand years old. All that is, unfortunately, explained in the NEXT 250 words! :)

    Ah, the limitations of a single page...