Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Secret Agent #5

TITLE: Null City
GENRE: NA Paranormal

Gaby glared at the double doors barring entrance to the Presidential Suite. Over the past hour, she'd knocked, called, tried the house phone, and automatically straightened the paintings lining the elegant hallway. Despite muffled voices inside, the brass-bound doors remained closed.

Her brand new employee handbook was clear: missing a client appointment was an excellent way to get fired. But it never mentioned breaking and entering. She'd checked.

Her foot tapped. She could go back and try to explain to the agency. Tap. Or escape with the twins to Null City. After twenty-four hours there, special gifts disappear. Hellhounds become poodles, demons join the PTA, and harmonia become... what? Tap, tap. She'd promised Dad: no more using her harmonia gifts for B&E. Tap, tap, tap. But that was before he and Mom died in a war nobody outside Null City ever heard of. Her foot slowed. Sorry, Dad. She pulled out her father's torque wrench and favorite hook pick. Moments later the lock's tumblers hit the shearline with a subtle click.

Didn't break a friggin thing, Dad: I'm just entering. S he eased the door ajar a careful half-inch. “Hello?”

“Luic leMuir.” Leaning against the jamb with one arm blocking the doorway, he ignored her outstretched hand.

Don't say it, she admonished her squealing inner-Gaby. He doesn't need to know you have every song he's ever done. Or that you take your showers to the sound of that voice…

Her own voice was an octave higher than normal. “Gabrielle Parker, CPA."


  1. This has me curious to know more about her harmonia, what it is exactly, how it works for breaking and entering, etc. That makes me want to read more.

    I'm a little confused if her new job is working at this hotel or with the people in the room. If it's at the hotel, why is she so determined to get in? If it's with the people in the room, then it seems awfully rude of them to not be ready for her. But this part (the confusion) makes me not want to read more.

    And I understand that she's impatient, but the constant tap, tap, tap got rather repetitive and annoying. One tap, tap, tap was good to show her mood and put me in the moment with the character, but I didn't feel the rest added much.

    Good luck.

  2. I have to agree with Yttar here.

    Parts are too confusing and the tapping is annoying.

  3. I liked the voice, premise, and tone, but the "tapping" paragraph needs to be cleared up and simplified. It confused me and I didn't feel it blended with the rest of the page.

  4. I enjoyed the tone, and even the character here, but I find this really confusing. I don't know what is happening, and by what she was describing I am curious. She mentions her parents died in a war people didn't know about, which I find interesting but somewhat irrelevant to the opening. At the very end I couldn't figure out at first who was talking, and at the end I was baffled that she introduced herself as a CPA? This has great potential, and maybe it is a bit difficult to introduce so much information into only 250. I do love the idea!

  5. The tap, tap bothered me. Not that she was tapping, just the repetition of the word.

    The third paragraph totally threw me... too many things I don't know anything about being tossed in like I'm supposed to know what they are or how they relate to her.

    I was confused about her wanting to escape to Null City.. and then saying that her parents died in a war no one outside of Null City had ever heard of... isn't she outside Null City? Did she leave the city after her parents died and now wants to go back there?

    The thing that got me most about this, though, was that her dad told her not to use her harmonia for B&E, so I assumed that when she started picking the lock, we'd get to see what harmonia does... but either it's not there or I completely missed it.

    I do like the musician client and the internal fan-girling.

  6. I love the little details in this, like that she's checked if breaking and entering will get her fired. But ultimately while I'm interested to know more, I'm confused more than anything. I think with some clarity and withholding some details a bit longer to simplify the scene, this will be really strong.

  7. I actually didn't mind the tapping. I loved that she was breaking and entering. But right after "Hello", I got confused. "Luic LeMuir" is spoken by whom? The singer? Introducing himself to the girl who's breaking in? And why is he suddenly at his door blocking it with his arm when he ignored her this whole time?
    And she's a CPA? A fake one, I'd assume from the previous info.

    I want to read more. The rest of it was cool stuff that hooked. But again, I was a bit confused.

  8. You introduce some great concepts: harmonia, special gifts, hell hounds, Null City....all very interesting and I want to read more about them. But on the whole I found this beginning a little confusing. I think you are trying to put too much information in here. Sometimes less is more =)
    Best of luck.

  9. I think this is so close; you have a great start to the world building, but it seems like some of it comes a little too fast; a few terms and names thrown in I can run with and assume will be explained later, but too many and it does feel confusing. Other commenters made some good suggestions. Based on your writing here, I think you're capable at clearing up any confusion, and hopefully you'll end up with a strong opening.

  10. Very intrigued with your style, the story and like the main character. However,the repetitive tapping was a little much. I also didn't care for the title, that almost made me not read the rest but I am glad I didn't.

  11. I'm intrigued by some of the concepts you've introduced, especially the Harmonia. However, as some of the other comments pointed out some of the concepts do come too fast for a reader to wrap their head around, and some clarity to her job might help in the scene as well. Good luck. :)

  12. I'm also equal parts confused and intrigued. Your voice is clear and entertaining, and I like the concepts you've introduced. In speculative fiction, I expect to not understand everything right away, but you might have overdone it just a little. I would offer two suggestions:

    Move the paragraph about Null City (which is very interesting) a little later in the story, and slow down a bit to ground us in the setting and the situation.

    I would keep reading.

  13. I was a little confused after the "hello." I also wasn't sure why she was breaking & entering. Does the motivation come out in the following pages? I did like the voice, so I would be interested in seeing what happens.