Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October Secret Agent #13

TITLE: Shadow Dreams
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

Jared wasn’t the first Enforcer I had known but he was the only one I ever loved.

I leaned against the window to watch the daylight fade as it cast a blanket of grey on the street below. From between the dim lights Jared appeared, blond hair brown and matted from the rain. A smile crept across my lips, ignoring the small part of me that knew love didn’t come easily to me. He crossed the road, a bunch of flowers grasped in one hand. As he disappeared into our apartment building, I turned to watch the door, waiting for him to come back to me.

“Flowers,” Jared said as he entered our small apartment and handed me the white daisies.

“I’ve heard of those,” I teased, brushing the damp hair from his blue eyes. “Did you bring a vase too?”

He glanced at the barely stocked kitchen. “Will a tall glass do?”

I took the flowers from him with a smile. He watched as I untied the thin rope that held the bouquet together and threaded it through a flower with a pin. Then another and another until the string of white daisies was complete.

“Impressive,” Jared said, reaching for the ring of flowers. He placed them on my head and pushed my long black hair from my shoulders.

I wrapped my arms around his waist and pulled him close. “This is the first present you’ve ever given me.”

He shrugged. “Flowers don’t last long enough for an immortal girlfriend.”


  1. Intriguing! I like how you show us their relationship, and effortlessly pass along the important info that she is immortal. There's a bit of "telling" in this statement:
    "A smile crept across my lips, ignoring the small part of me that knew love didn’t come easily to me." You could delete it, we're assuming she's not quick to love from the opening line, and it seems a bit heavy handed. The rest unfolds beautifully and is a strong set-up for the story.

  2. I agree with Skywriter--that line stopped me, too. And "This is the first present you've ever given me" struck me as a little tell-ish; after all, he already knows that, and so does she. It seems like that line is more for the reader's benefit.

    That said, you grabbed me with the first few lines--I like the opening and the immediate sense of scene as we see Jared come in from the rain. Her stringing the flowers together was nice, too, and the last thing Jared says intrigued me. There's a lot of nice stuff here!

  3. I enjoyed reading this and thought it was well-written, but it felt a bit old for YA to me. They seem a bit like a married couple, which may be due to the fact that they're immortal (nice last line BTW). I think I'd need to read more to make a final judgement.

  4. I loved, loved, loved this one - so many details told in so little time. You totally got me hooked by the first line, too.

    Good work:)

  5. Nice work here! For some reason the paragraph seems a little long - perhaps because there's some telling not showing there? Overall though, I'd like to keep going!

  6. Too many tags on dialogue. I know you're trying to fill in back-story by describing physical attributes, but that can come by the end of the first chapter. The reason we're focusing on the first 250 words is because they're make-or-break.

  7. I enjoyed this excerpt. It pulled me in and I wanted to read more. I want to know more about Jared and this relationship. An enforcer and an immortal. Interesting!

  8. This is very much my own taste, but the opening sentence focusing on the love interest turned me off immediately. I'm still feeling burnout from the paranormal romance deluge, and urban fantasy is often just another name for that. So for me it's a no, but others might feel differently.

  9. I thought this was very good, especially the first and last lines and 'I've heard of those'. However I really didn't like the 2nd para and think you could just remove it all, the 'ignoring the small part of me that knew love didn’t come easily to me.' is especially heavy-handed telling. I also think the title is pretty forgettable. But overall I like it and would read on for sure.

  10. I thought this was very nice writing, and I wouldn't say there's too much telling. Telling is backstory and explanation. You have a little exposition that expresses the character's feelings, and you need that. So good job there.

    My only criticism is the lack of tension. You've set the scene without using backstory, and that's great, but for urban fantasy, you should consider a hard hitting start. Even if it's foreshadowing a future event, at least the reader could anticipate some sort of conflict to come. For example, all you may need to do is fill out that first sentence: "...but he was the only one I ever loved, and then lost too soon." That probably doesn't fit your story, but you see what I'm getting at. Anticipation of trouble to come.

    Good luck!