Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August Secret Agent #30

TITLE: Amadine
GENRE: MG Fantasy

Amadine crouched on the bank of a small stream. Loud crashing came from somewhere behind her. She held her small knife and peered through the branches. If men made the noise, Amadine would hide and let them pass. If it were trolls, she would scamper up the nearest tree. Trolls could not look up into trees. They could, however, smell you if you crouched in the bushes.

“I’ve caught up to you, Larkin!” Two men burst into her hiding place. She slipped on a stone and fell into the water. A sword passed just above her head. The fight ended before she could regain her feet.

A man clad in red floated in the water. The other man lay on the shore. Blood stained his dark green jacket. Amadine stood knee-deep in the cold, clear water. The wounded man groaned.

“Done in by a no-account Red-leg.” The sorrow in his voice stirred something in Amadine’s soul.

“You’ve done for him as well, sir.” She stepped toward him.

“What? Who’s there?” The man shifted, then gasped and lay back.

“Don’t worry, sir.” She inched closer. “Your enemy lies dead in the water.”

“Well, that’s something at least.” He coughed.

“What are you, lass? Are you a spirit come to take me from this world?”

“I’m Amadine. I live here.” The man looked at Amadine for the first time. His pale face turned whiter.

“You look just like her.” He tried to smile through his pain. “Amadine, I’ve found you after all.”


  1. I found this beginning interesting and intriguing. The dialogue between the two characters is fun and snappy. I really want to know what and who she is and why these men were fighting.

    I thought the extra comments about trolls not looking into trees and smelling people in bushes weren't necessary here. If we need this info, we can get it later. And it reads faster and cleaner without it.

    My big concern is that I was confused in the second paragraph about who was fighting and what was going on. We also don't know what the MC thinks or feels about this fighting. I think you could spend just a few more lines of narrative and maybe a line or two of dialogue making this short fight and the MC's thoughts about it come alive. Then on to the fun dialogue with the survivor.

  2. The scene was engaging. Amadine seems like a really interesting, mysterious character, but I can't tell enough about her yet to really get any kind of picture. I agree that the troll comment seems extraneous here and bogs things down.

    I had to read that paragraph a couple of times to figure out the men were fighting each oher and not attacking Amadine.

    The ending line is mysterious and obviously raises questions, but it seems to come a bit out of nowhere, so I'm not sure what to think of it, Was he looking for Amadine? I thought his purpose there was to kill Larkin.

  3. This is hard for me to explain, but I think you need to change up the rhythm of your sentences. If you read your opening out loud, you can probably hear the similarity in the sentence flow. "Amadine did this. Then this happened. Then she reacted." It's too short and staccato for too long. You need to change it up.

    Also, too much is happening too fast. In one short paragraph, men attack her hiding place, they almost kill her, and then one of them is killed while the other is wounded. Slow it down, let the reader savor the details and do more to set the scene.

    Good luck!

  4. This is an intriguing opening but as an agent the large amount of dialogue would give me pause. Try to set the scene with a better balance between description and dialogue so the reader is immersed in the story. Best of luck!

  5. I thought the opening was confusing and that there was info missing. Noises come from behind her, but she never turns around. SHe slips on a stone and falls into the water without ever moving. ANd it's written as though SHe is Larkin and the men are attacking her. Perhaps rewrite this opening to make things clearer.

    Once the dialogue began, things picked up and started to make sense.

    And I liked the reference to trolls. It foreshadows their eventual appearance, as well as a way to avoid them.