Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July Secret Agent #47

TITLE: Satellite Hearts
GENRE: YA Sci-fi/Dystopian

I’m whistling numbers; it’s like pulling string between my teeth. My feet kick at loose pebbles on the dusty road to home. I wear black, blend into the dark so ministers of the night, baloi, don’t see me. Supernatural and human, they can both cause harm. I can’t stop whistling the tune—22.9906° S, 25.1557° E, the coordinates that define the sleeping location of my country,

Botswana.

I don’t want to denote it the common clichĂ© term ‘hot and arid’ because I hate to be another stereotype of limited description. It’s landlocked. It’s suffocated. It’s variety. It reminds me of the ocean, not in the literal sense, nor rather the freedom eloquence, but like the ocean it has borderlines you can’t see. You can feel them everywhere you go like an invisible wall, upright and sucking in all the air and,suffocation is landlocked. I don’t have the slightest idea of how cold, fresh air tastes. But the forest air, perfumed by the birches, is wild; it has travelled far enough into the clear sky to taste freedom. I’d hold on to it tight, fly away and never come back.

I wipe my shoes as I enter

the house

is a caricature of a pretend-home family. A pretend-home family likes to think the world is eternally hugged with warmth and hope. They love to tickle the air with fake laughs, but each time a laugh makes it up my throat I suddenly feel the opposite. When I enter, I panic—mama’s not alone.

14 comments:

  1. I like the voice. The baloi interest me immediately. I would read pages.

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  2. I get kind of confused with the first paragraph. I'm not sure I understand the comparison between whistling numbers and pulling string between teeth. I'd also suggest tightening up the paragraph about Botswana.

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  3. Love the part about whistling numbers. I'd keep reading for that alone, I think.

    You might be able to play a bit with toning down the telling, e.g., "Supernatural and human, they can both cause harm." At this point, it's enough for me to know the MC wants to avoid them. I can guess that they're dangerous.

    But it doesn't bug me too much, as it'd make sense for the MC to think on them briefly, since he/she wants to avoid them. And I definitely want to know the significance of "mama's not alone."

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  4. You have a very choppy, and poetic, style of writing. As beautiful as your words are, I feel as though I'm reading fragments of thoughts. Unfortunately, I'm falling into the cracks between those thoughts. If there were a bit less choppiness this would be a very interesting read!

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  5. I'm intrigued. The description is lively but it's also a bit too much for YA. My students would find it cumbersome. It wouldn't take much. A light touch to hold onto the strength of your narrative while making it more approachable for young readers.

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  6. I like the voice of each paragraph, but they don't neccessarily sound like the same voice to me, especially between paragraph 1 and 2. However, would def keep reading.

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  7. This sounds so intriguing! I love the way you command the reader's attention with your mad word skillzzz!

    The last paragraph about the "pretend-home family" kind of lost me a little, though. I felt like it broke up the action a little. We'd just gotten finished with her description of Botswana, and it was almost like plunging into another description so soon was too much (for me, anyway!) Perhaps think about letting the action keep going and put the description of pretend-ness somewhere else?

    Such a minor comment for a fabulous piece of work! Good luck!!

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  8. This read like a journal to me. Almost like a "Dear Diary" entry for the day.

    I don't know if my computer is playing tricks on me or if your intention was to write:

    I wipe my shoes as I enter

    the house

    is a caricature...

    Is that a sentence? Also, I don't understand the comparison of whistling numbers to pulling string between my teeth. I think of flossing. lol. Is whistling numbers a good thing or a bad thing? I'm so confused! It's an attention-grabber opening, but it doesn't make any sense to me, so it has an opposite effect to hook me.

    I really started to take notice in your LAST sentence. Everything prior seemed inconsequential.

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  9. Are they whistling numbers as in two blows for 2 etc? I found that part a bit odd, but the overall style is very poetic.

    It could just be the beginning, but if the whole MS is like this, it might be a bit much for me. I like the poetry of it, but stripping it down a bit makes those poetic lines stand out more.

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  10. :) thank you all, I was trying out something stylistics where a word or sentence is a subject for the following paragraph, and her thoughts mesh in with everything. the house, and Botswana were supposed to be centered but some formatting mistake.
    More revisions for moi.

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  11. This needs some work, but I love it.

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  12. Sorry, it was a bit too disjointed and over described to capture my interest. It also doesn't feel YA to me.

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  13. I lost interest halfway through. I can't really see a clear plot line, the writing is good but not great, I don't know who the MC is. There are no traits that stick out as intense or intriguing. This beginning needs to be beefed up or you will lose a lot of agents and editors.

    SecretAgent

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  14. As an author of paranormal fantasy with characters in the college age to early twenties, I fell into the "NA" category by accident. But my characters are going through a period of explosive growth and self realization, including the exploration of adult relationships. This doesn't work in the YA category since our culture frowns on teenagers having sex, and it wouldn't make sense if the characters were older.

    As to any assertions that this age group doesn't read, I have found a lot of book review sites run by people in university, including graduate students. They have been very enthusiastic about my books.

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