Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October Secret Agent #43

GENRE: YA Supernatural Mystery

I never noticed my pointy elbows. They were thorny things, jutting out from my sides like useless wings. I flattened them against my body. I didn’t want to give anyone yet another reason to avoid me.

It didn’t help.

A line of three girls made an unnecessary show of skirting past me, exchanging smirks with the subtlety of elephants. Once out of view I heard the hiss, hiss, hiss of heated whispers passing between them.

That was her, right? She’s the girl?

I fought the urge to spin around and shoot venom right back at them, but I didn’t want to waste my words on three girls I didn’t care about yesterday. Besides, Sunny was the one who caused this whole mess.

No one was at Sunny’s locker when I passed by. Without the swarm of bodies and hum of morning activity it looked like any other locker in any other hallway. The only sign that it meant something more was the key-scratched heart and initials I carved into the tan paint earlier that year.

I & J

My heart lurched. Had Sunny gotten to him, too?

The hallways seemed longer than they had before, twisting labyrinth-like between the classroom wings. Posters hung above archways, their edges curling into the hand painted block letters like they were ashamed of the drips and wrinkles in the imperfect writing announcing the upcoming spring formal. I straightened my shoulders. I would not be like the posters.


  1. Would people really avoid someone because of pointy elbows? That seems a bit random. I like the MC's defiance at the end, but I think there is room at the beginning to make her more sympathetic (the way this is written I'm assuming your character is a victim instead of deserving of the whispers). Starting with "a line of three girls..." might be a more powerful opening.

  2. I really like this! I actually felt for the girl very quickly and could imagine the scene completely. Great writing!
    Good luck!
    - Byrne

  3. Love how we get straight into the MC's head with the emotional conflict here. I definitely want to see what happens in her confrontation with Sunny--and what the whole conflict is about. It's a nice bit of mystery pulling me through.

    Lovely work! I'd definitely keep reading.

  4. Very intriguing! And I think having her worry about her pointy elbows is a good way to show how self-conscious she's feeling. Great start! I'd definitely keep reading. :)

  5. I didn't really gel with the whole 'pointy elbows like wings' thing, as someone said it seemed a bit random. However I really like all the rest of this, am hooked and want to know what's going on, and I like the last para a lot, nice writing.

  6. This piece confused me. I like that she's self-conscious and aware of that fact, but the elbows imagery is messed up in my head.

    I liked the part I didn't want to waste my words on three girls I didn't care about yesterday but it made me wonder if she cares about them today/now. It doesn't seem like she would, but it's implied that she does.

    The part of the lockers is what really confused me. Is the heart carved into Sunny's locker or someone else's?

    I did like the last paragraph, especially the last sentence. Gives the MC a backbone. :) I love strong MCs.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks for all of the comments. Very helpful! A clarification point I & J should be I <3 J. The heart must not have translated to blogger. :-/

  8. I wondered about those elbows of hers. Aren’t everyone’s elbows pointy? And the parg. reads as though they’re attached to her sides rather than her arms.

    In parg 6, it’s implied that the locker would look different if there was activity around it. Why would that change the locker’s appearance? And then you say – the only sign that it meant something more – more than what? It feels like you haven’t written what you really mean. And why would she carve I and J on Sunny’s locker, rather than J’s? (or I’s, depending on which one she is.)

    I liked her strength and resolve at the end. Here’s a girl who isn’t going to be a victim or a doormat.

  9. I didn't care for the first paragraph so much, but I love the rest. I like the voice and the descriptions and I especially like the ending where she vows to not be like the posters. That last paragraph rocks!

  10. I loved the whole darn thing! I think the elbow sentence showed her uneasiness and did so in an interesting and clever manner. The paragraphs flow well. I wouldn't change a thing.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing!

  11. I really like this opening, especially with the imagery of thorny elbows and wings. This has intrigued me enough to want to read more.