Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Secret Agent #40

TITLE: Soul Seeker
GENRE: YA Fantasy

The life that flashed before my eyes was beautiful and haunting. The echoes of despair and happiness had my breath catch in my throat and made me wonder about the countless choices made, about what could have been.

It was also not mine.

“Do you understand why you made the choices that you did?”

The answer was lost in a murmur too low for me to overhear. I’m not supposed to be this close to a soul when they speak with a Talker, especially close enough to see the screen. But a long time ago I discovered that in the dark room, as long as I stood within the folds of the curtain, I was nearly invisible.

This soul gleamed a dark, sickly shade of red. Black spots move churlishly under the surface of his skin, spots of discontent and malady due to the life he had lead. There was blood on the screen, death and murder, and at a particular point in the life screening the soul screamed.

“Number 704, do you regret your actions?”

The Talker’s voice was low, soothing. Practiced. I’ve heard different variations of the placating murmur my entire life, and had no doubt this one would do her duty with perfection. Once a Collector smuggled in a book from the World and we discovered that the souls sometimes chose professions like the Talkers. The concept had always been completely foreign, and none of us had ever been able to come close to understanding it.


  1. I was a little confused by the start of this, there's a bunch of description between "the life that flashed before my eyes" and "it was also not mine" and it took me a second to realize they were connected. Maybe just a repeat of what you're referring to would make the connection clearer?

    There's some neat world-building in these opening paragraphs but unfortunately it wasn't enough to really hook me. There may be a bit too much description/background and too little action.

  2. I would be more invested if you started with the MC hiding behind the curtain and gave me a clearer sense of what she/he is actually witnessing.
    The soul's description is compelling, but I have no context for it or the Talker.

  3. The first paragraph confused me a little, but I was completely drawn in by the premise. I would definitely read on! I love it.

  4. Be careful not to overwrite. That first paragraph's a doozy. Great third sentence. This world of Talkers and souls has potential. Be mindful about using words in the right context ("churlishly").

  5. What I can tell of the premise here is very interesting, but you've got a lot of out of context terms that make it hard to know what's going on in the last few paragraphs.

  6. Hello there!

    Thank you all for your comments,

    After looking over the first chapter with your comments in mind I think I know what I have to do to fix it- I'm going to keep the opening scene but rewrite it so it's less confusing and also less wordy.

    I'm glad that you all seem to find the premise promising! :)

    Thank you again,

  7. I, too, find the premise promising, but was a little confused by the context. I think mostly because of the disconnect between the first paragraph in the second. The second sentence has 'the echoes of despair and happiness' as a (plural) subject, so it doesn't make sense for the third sentence to reference those with the singular 'it'. There's also the disconnect between the MC thinking about the choices he/she had made, when the life was not his/hers.

    Also, a little more insight into the MC instead of the soul would be nice.

  8. Wow, you've packed a lot in these first paragraphs. From what i can tell, your opening was to show the empathy the person behind the curtain has with a soul on trial. Very interesting premise!

    I like the tease of 'do you regret your actions?' Nice.

    It would help if you grounded us in the scene by slowing it down and expanding. Make the first two paragraphs relate, flesh out the MC, and you've got me reading on.

    Love the Talkers/Collectors.

  9. Very cool opening. I was hooked!

  10. I am intrigued by this world, but I agree with a previous commenter that I'd like to start with the MC more than what s/he's witnessing.