Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August Secret Agent #37

TITLE: Catch Me When I Fall
GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

Invisible, I leaned against the wall at the back of Eva’s bedroom, waiting for her to fall asleep and for the Nightmares to arrive. The crows feet around Eva’s eyes crinkled as she smiled and shut the book she’d been reading before smoothing her blankets out around her.

“Being a Dreamcatcher isn’t as bad as you make it out to be, Daniel. While most people die, you get to continue to live. You should be more grateful,” my partner, Marlene, said.

I ignored her. As Protectors of the Night, we were both sworn to guard humans for the rest of eternity. I was spending nearly every day of it in battle, and I would never get to see the Heavens. When I died – for good this time; I was already dead – I would just cease to exist. Lost in a black void. Not much of an eternity, if you ask me.

Marlene rolled her eyes. “Just be on alert, okay?”

When wasn’t I? I closed my eyes to avoid glaring at her and leaned against the wall, crossing my arms over my chest, and felt Marlene step away from me to do her job but kept my eyes closed.

While I was a Dreamcatcher who fought off the Nightmares that wanted to feed on Eva’s fears, Marlene was a Dreamweaver. She created the dreams that Eva saw every night in her sleep.


  1. Love the concept and the closing couple lines. I was a little confused in the middle of this exert though, specifically in the third paragraph, so maybe this could be reworded to make it a little more clear.

  2. Were they sworn to guard humans or give them dreams and chase away nightmares? The stakes seem like they could be higher - but it's not clear.

  3. Great book title! I enjoyed the excerpt, especially the voice of your narrator in paragraph 5. I got a bit confused in paragraph 3, and would suggest moving the attribution (my partner, Marlene, said) earlier in Paragraph 2 so we know who's speaking. The crows feet threw me -- when I read this, I pictured Eva as 40s or beyond, so was surprised to see it was a YA book. Do teenagers think about crows feet?! Interesting concept with the Dreamcatcher vs. Dreamweaver partners -- I'm definitely intrigued enough to keep reading.

  4. Love the premise! Interesting contrast of jobs the MC & Marlene have as Protectors of the Night. The MC's disgruntled attitude is justified, as is his annoyance at Marlene's enthusiasm. Sets up an interesting conflict.

    The crows feet threw me a bit. I started reading assuming Eva was a teenager, but the mention of the wrinkles put her more middle age for me. Not sure where she is age-wise.

    One other small spot that tripped me up was after I read the line about Marlene rolling her eyes, I had to go back and re-read the previous paragraph because I thought I must have missed a line of dialogue by the MC. It was all the MC's thoughts, so I am assuming she rolled her eyes at being ignored.

    Great start though. I would definitely read on! Good luck!

  5. This is a bestseller. Absolutely brilliant work!

    The title is poetic and grabby; the concept is to die for; the MC has a sort of cheeky "flare about her; and I love that she and her friend have different jobs--makes for a wonderful conflict.

  6. I would keep reading this.

  7. I like this premise, it feels like a cohesive world has been constructed, and the scene is active.

    The last two paragraphs have repetition that can be cut: "leaned against the wall" which was already said at the start, and closing eyes twice. I would cut all that narration after When wasn't I? and maybe keep a brief physical movement of glaring. The last paragraph feels more like an info dump, and you'f already set up a little bit of the dreamcatcher role in a more natural way. Maybe save the additional exposition until something else happens.

    With the first line, it starts with "invisible," and I am assuming this is literal invisibility. The line is fine as it is, but I wonder if the invisible can be expanded on since it's such a powerful concept. The way it is now, it's stated and then we immediately move on. Showing the invisibility, the character moving through the world unseen could make for a really compelling opening line given it is succinct and not bogged down with excessive play-by-play movement. In other words, paint the visual of invisibility rather than stating it. You could leave it as it is and it's good, but if you wanted to push for more, I think it could turn out cool.

  8. I think you need to take your time when developing a fantasy world. It will have more impact if we initially think that Eva and Marlene are ordinary kids rather than telling us immediately that they are Dreamcatchers. Successful fantasy is all about command of the detail and the rules of the imagined world. Good luck!

  9. For me, this came across as mostly an info dump. I'd rather you built all this background on who and what they are into the storyline as we go, rather than just tell me on the first page.

  10. I thought this was a great concept, and I liked the MC's desire for something more than the life he/she leads, but I wanted something to happen. It's 250 words of explaining about jobs. I would have preferred to see Marlene doing whatever it is she does to induce dreams, or to see the MC enter Eva's dreams and battle a nightmare, or even have them enter EVa's home or bedroom in whatever magical way they do. Maybe find a way to include your characters doing something rather than standing around.

  11. Sorry to be so late to comment, but the concept of your story really grabbed me! I think it could be executed better, but congrats on having such a cool idea to work with!