Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Secret Agent #40

GENRE: YA Paranormal Fantasy

I don’t usually think much when making out with my girlfriend, but right now I think I might be dying.

I’m not being melodramatic—a part of me has shifted—broken off and crashed over my lungs and heart, leaving shrapnel in the muscles lining my ribcage. Fire drips down my chest and spreads smoothly across my body like God exhaling into me. My skin prickles with electricity and my mind overflows with neon color and laughter. I’ve never been one for drugs, but when you feel like you might explode from the raw power flooding your veins, high barely covers it.

I’m not high—I’m on the moon. I’m on freaking Jupiter.

And somehow, this kiss is killing me.

“911, what’s your emergency?”

I’m waking from a dream I could spend eternity in, but this world doesn’t feel right—it’s cold, dark, empty. I’m in a car but I can’t remember whose it is. Bright street lights from the parking lot loom over me like a spotlight.

Right. Hailey and I took Evan’s truck since my Honda Civic didn’t survive its run-in with the Highlander. But what the hell is my emergency? I don’t remember calling for help or even thinking something might be wrong.

Then I see her.

Slumped over in my arms, barely breathing, pale and cool to the touch. As I sit her up, her head lolls on her shoulders, limp, delicate.


  1. Wow, great opening and great hook at the end. Crazy description -- it's heavy, but it works.

    The line 'I've never been one for drugs' makes me think he's ON drugs and this is his first time, which seemed odd given what was going on. I feel like that line might be a little misleading.

    Love the hook, but the paragraphs after “911, what’s your emergency?”
    get a little confusing -- he doesn't remember calling for help? He's waking from a dream? I realise he's confused, but I got confused too, and not in a good way. Maybe it just needs to be condensed a little before he gets his bearings?

    Anyway, really enjoyed this, really interesting. I figure he's got some kind of Rogue-like power going on here. Good work. :)

  2. I'm hooked :) very interesting, and flowed well, even though I wasn't quite certain what was going on. I agree with the previous commenter- the part after 911 was a bit confusing. Perhaps add more of a transition?

  3. so, I have to admit I enjoyed all of the description, and the way he felt. It all worked for me as far as understanding how he was feeling. It really was fantastic, but over all I felt confused with what was going on, especially at the end. Was the kiss making him feel this way? Was he dreaming? and how he called 911? Overall, this has incredible potential, but I feel a bit lost, but intrigued beyond anything.

  4. I think it's a nice opener. It reads quickly imo and I was really intrigued once I discovered his date is dead, what made this kiss different?

  5. It's so very hard to write scenes in which your MC is confused! You have a great hook and I'm intrigued, but I'm having to sift through your sentences too much to try to figure out what is going on. You certainly don't have to explain it clinically or even chronologically, but I need a bit more help so I don't give up.

    Best of luck to you!

  6. Not sure what's going on, so I'd stop reading. Maybe clarify a bit to hold reader interest?

  7. I loved this. The mystery, the pace, the imagery - so well done. The writing is smooth and clean, and I really love the voice. Hooked me from the start

  8. I had to read this twice to understand what was going on, but I like it. Maybe one sentence added before the 911 call. I don't know what, but something that alludes to him awaking to reality.

  9. This is perfect, just perfect. Just like your query ;)

  10. Very attention grabbing beginning! This excerpt makes me desperate to know what happens next. I actually have a grim reaper story too.

    I agree with everyone else, some parts of this were confusing, but I think everything would be cleared up if I could read more. I'm wondering why the character feels like he's dying, but his girlfriend (or sister?) is the one who seems dead in his arms.

  11. First, I really enjoyed the writing. However, after the 911 call, I feel things become a bit ambiguous. But I would definitely be interested in seeing what happens.

  12. I enjoyed to it very much. I would like to read more.

  13. I liked the writing and the voice and the obvious story questions... I'm sort of confused by the order of events here, though.

    1. He's making out with his girlfriend.
    2. He starts to feel like he's dying with all this power flowing through him.
    3. A 911 operator answers.
    4. He's confused about when he called 911.
    5. He realizes something is wrong with his girlfriend.

    ... I don't understand how she's alive when this starts and all the way through he's much too absorbed in other things to realize anything is wrong with her until the end... so I can't imagine what prompted him to dial 911 in the first place in this short span of time. I understand that he's having the exact same confusion as I am... but somehow that doesn't make me feel any better about it. Does that confusion get resolved soon?

    Can the girlfriend have a name? I know we just killed her in the first 250, but she seems like she'd have been important enough to him to get a name.... or is the dead girl NOT his girlfriend?

  14. I think I know what's going on here, and if this is all explained on the next page, no worries. Otherwise, the comments here point to some potential pacing issues, perhaps too much too fast. a more delicate approach might be better to keep readers grounded, while still showing the MC as confused. The writing is strong, and I get the sense there is a cohesive story here, it's just the beginning is a little hard to latch on to. I'm intrigued!

  15. For a beginning, this was too confusing for me. I couldn't see whether it was him or the girlfriend who had the powers... at first I thought it was one and then the other. I would need more clarity to keep reading.

  16. This is admittedly not my genre, but I am totally lost! He's dying while kissing his girlfriend - I'm trying to figure out if he really thinks he's dying, or is just being dramatic about how great the kiss is. Then he's waking up, and he's called 911, and his girlfriend is dead in his arms, and something about a car crash in the middle?

    You have some great writing in there and some strong imagery, but I'm so confused I would not read on.