Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Secret Agent #5

TITLE: Dreamscape
GENRE: YA Fantasy

The wide, grassy field was warm and cheerful and strangely familiar.

Like daisies.

Why daisies I had no idea, but I could almost see them. That is, I could picture them; there weren’t any at the moment. It was as if I remembered them. Daisies. There – all across the field, white and green and yellow. Infinite daisies. I liked the mental image.

I collapsed back onto the sweet, spring-smelling grass with my knees in the air. The overhead sun was blindingly bright and the sky almost too blue with just a few pillowy clouds, soft as giant balls of cotton. A perfect cloud-watching kind of day, I decided. Like when I was little. My dad and I had loved that game, tracing out familiar shapes in the sky – painting cloud pictures, he’d called it – and inventing stories to fit our scenes. We’d played on Sunday afternoons at backyard picnics, on the swings in the park near our old house, and in August at the beach, all day.

This was when I realized I was wearing my favorite sundress from back then. The one I’d worn night and day for an entire summer the year I was seven. The one we had maybe a zillion pictures of me in: white-smocked with pink, purple, and blue-patterned hearts and – my favorite part – matching pink, purple, and blue ribbons that tied at the shoulders. I’d cried the day my mom had decided it was too small and donated it. Yet there I was, nine years later, wearing it.


  1. Great imagery.

    1.) "That is, I could picture them; there weren't any at the moment." I think you can delete "there weren't any at the moment" and still get the point across.

    2.)I'm confused about the dress. How is she wearing it nine years later if it was too small? Is it just in her imagination, or is it a memory? This may need clarifying if it isn't explained further in the following paragraphs.

    It's early fall, and after reading this, I feel like it's spring. Good job with painting the picture.

    Best written wishes to you.

  2. This is a very dreamy opening, but not terribly interesting. It's all backstory. Get us into the scene with her doing something of interest. All this backstory can be woven in later if the reader needs to know it.

  3. It is very prettily written. The imagery is lovely, but I agree with MargotG; it's all backstory, and I would like to get some action...some idea of what is going to happen in this story.

    And the dress is really confusing.

    My initial thought was that she is currently in a dream, since the title is Dreamscape and she couldn't possibly be wearing something she outgrew 9 years ago. The beginning prose about the flowers and clouds would fit with a dreamscape, too, I think.

    Thanks for sharing and best of luck!

  4. This piece is well-written and descriptive, but I don't know where it is heading. It all feels like a dream sequence, especially the comments about the dress. The story doesn't get down to its purpose, nor does it contain tension (subtle or not). I feel that this opening scene isn't where the real story lies.

  5. It was a beautiful descriptive, but I felt it was all back story. I also wondered about the dress: how can it fit her nine years later. I wish the opening started with her doing something, more active instead of daydreaming, so we know the purpose immediately. It was beautiful though. :)

  6. I really like your first 2 lines but get confused by the third paragraph. Is there a way to tighten things up?

    The 4th paragraph has some nice language, but the images of the clouds seem like normal descriptions of clouds, so the descriptions don't pull me into the story.

  7. I agree that the description is lovely. From that and the title, I assume this is a dream. It's very well done, but I'm concerned that it's the wrong thing. Starting with a dream is tricky. Even though dreams are obviously going to be important to the story, would it be possible to start somewhere else? If we knew who was dreaming and the relevance dreams have to the plot, it would be easier to get pulled in.

  8. Nothing happened. I don’t know what the story is about. I don’t know who the MC is or what problem she faces or where she is. Is the meadow real or a dreamscape? Why is she looking at it? What’s the point? I’m not even getting a sense that something’s wrong or off. Everything seems perfectly fine. There’s nothing that pulls me in.

    Perhaps this isn’t the place to start? Or maybe add some details instead of back story. Let us know if this is real or not and why she is looking at this particular moment. Give us a hint of a problem, or of something not being right.

  9. This is absolutely beatufil writing... for the middle of the book. You have a very disticnt voice and writing style but I'm afraid this is what agents refer to as: TERRIBLY DESCRIPTIVE PROSE WHERE NOTHING HAPPENS.

    You don't want that.

    The only bit of conflict I see here is that she's wearing a dress from when she was nine. This seems to be the catalyst and you should lead into this much sooner.

    Good Luck.

  10. The writing is good and does a nice job of describing the scenery. We don’t really have any sense of what is going on here, though. We assume this is not real, which might not be the best way to start, depending on how it goes from here.