Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Secret Agent #16

TITLE: Genie Out
GENRE: YA Paranormal Suspense/Romance

My friends call me Janna the granola girl, but what would make my day? Murder my sister.

At a normal summer camp in Cape Cod, Massachussetts, a closing day on a gorgeous August afternoon is usually pretty awesome with the ocean lapping gently against the shore and visitors strolling around.

At POP summer camp – Peewee Organization of Psychics – a.k.a Summer Juvie for psychics, it meant I was being thrown down the gauntlet and tried in two hours. And who had organized that? My twin sister Moira when I had explicitly told her not to.

“Of course you’re ready,” she said. “All the counselors agree with me.”

“How would you know that?” I told Moira “They can’t see you. You’re not even real! Reen told me.”

Moira pushed a strand of white chalked hair around her dark bun and stared at my best friend. Reen was tossing the ocean scum with her mind, dragging ballooning seaweeds ashore and painting them with a display of spray paint a few feet away. Unaware.

“How’s that for real?” her voice clipped.

Moira threw me off, face first in an incoming wave. My stomach clenched. Salt entered my eyes and my mouth. I tumbled around a few times before she grabbed my arm and pulled me up to my feet, my skin raw and my head throbbing.

“Don’t forget, 4pm,” she said before whipping her heels around.

I sloshed through the water, gritting my teeth.

“Congrats, Sis, the Psychometer is going off the richter!”


  1. The idea of a juvie for psychics is great. I imagine pranks and adventures. And I think your voice is good too.

    I'm not sure how your first line fits with the rest of the page, and I think you could find a more fitting one. And I think the second line should have "To" before "murder".

    I'm not sure what a "closing day" is.

    The word "peewee" makes me think of a younger age group than YA, but maybe it's just me (because I also keep thinking of Peewee Herman which teens today probably wouldn't - sorry).

    "I was being thrown down the gauntlet and tried" sounds a little awkward to me. I think throwing down the gauntlet is challenging someone, so your MC can't be thrown there unless it's something we don't know about yet. I'm guessing you mean she'll be tested for something? If so, maybe you could clarify that.

    On first read, I was a little confused about who Moira and Reen were. On second reading, I realize Moira is the sister (and a ghost?) It seemed surprising to me that Janna would have to be told by Reen that her sister doesn't exist. I would think she would have known that.

    Also, I think "Richter" should probably be capitalized.

    Good luck with this!

  2. This story sounds like a lot of fun, though I also had trouble grasping what's happening.

    I agree with Laura on the first line not quite meshing with the rest. Love the summer juvie for psychics lablel, though the gauntlet line I'm not sure I get. What is she being tried for--is this like a trial?

    I'm not sure I get how Moira isn't real. I like the images of tossing seaweed with her mind, though I think context is needed here to get this further. You don't want to veer too far the other way in explaining the whole worldview--I like that you are using an active scene to convey these things, but the context isn't quite there yet.

  3. This felt disjointed and confusing to me. A little of it sells that your character lives in an interesting and unusual headspace - I like the idea of a camp for junior psychics - but this was taken to an extreme where it interfered with my understanding of the story.

    The introduction of Reen didn't work for me. She didn't seem to add anything to the scene, unless I misunderstood something. The dialogue tags used a lot of pronouns and I think I got lost.

    I'm fascinated by this concept, but this opening is too confusing for me right now.

  4. Hilarious concept, but I agree that we need a bit more grounding in the story, especially since it's such a wildly creative concept.

  5. This seems almost more like an outline than a finished story. You rush through establishing all the background of your story literally on the first page. Slow down and give us time to care.

    Your grammar is also all over the place.

  6. I am so confused. I couldn't follow the action. I also couldn't tell if the twin sister was real or a figment of the main character's imagination. This needs substantial work.