Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Secret Agent #37

GENRE: Fiction - Mystery

My head hurt and not just a little. It was a throbbing pain which radiated through my entire being. Had I drank that much wine last night? I couldn't seem to remember last night. Had I even been with Greg?

"Twelve A, honey, you okay?" a woman's voice called. She had a distinct Southern accent, which wasn't too common in Jersey.

I struggled to open my eyes, but the pain in the back of my head made it a challenge. Slowly my eyelids separated, but instead of putting a face to the disembodied voice, all I could see was a strange white light. It wasn't bright, like sunshine, and I could look directly into it.

In the middle of the light, appeared a man. He was good-looking with dark wavy hair, a rigid jaw line, and piercing blue eyes which looked straight through me. In slow motion, a knife appeared out of nowhere and stabbed him in the stomach. Blood began oozing out of him as he bent over in pain.

It was like watching a silent movie but without much of a plot, and kind of gross. As suddenly as they'd appeared, the injured man and the white light disappeared.

In its place was a woman in her thirties I'd seen around the apartment building, although we'd never spoken. She pulled her curly blonde hair away from her heavily mascared eyes adn stared down at me looking quite concerned.

"You okay, honey? she asked, kneeling next to me.


  1. Hmm. It's kind of jarring. The man getting stabbed then disappearing makes me think it's a dream but because of the voice calling to her, it seems like it's not. It's a flashback maybe? I'm not sure. I have a feeling it all comes together in the next few paragraphs, though.

  2. Sorry, but I'm not sure what's going on here. Is your mc dreaming or delusional? The episode with the man being stabbed is intriguing, but strange. Some clarification is needed.

  3. This opening didn't work for me either. I don't feel grounded in time, place, MC...and while I'm working to enjoy your words, I'm distracted by that loss of orientation. Perhaps the next 250 words ground us completely. Good luck on your MS.

  4. I have two main concerns:

    1) investigate the pain thesaurus. I think you can find links to it online. The description of pain in the first lines doesn't work for me. It feels stilted and doesn't hurt me the way a description of pain can transfer to your reader.

    2) I have no idea what's happening. Like other readers, the line between what's real and the white light stabbing is unclear. I need whatever is happening, however odd, to be clear.

  5. Is the MC having a psychic vision of a murder? What sort of injury is the MC facing? I'd like to understand more what's going on. So far I can't relate to, feel sympathy for, or identify with the MC, which is a concern since it's the first page.

  6. I like the writing, and I certainly like the voice and mystery you're about to setup. Is this going to be a paranormal mystery? The man in the white light had me confused. What I didn't like "a knife appeared out of nowhere" because that seems highly unlikely and I couldn't picture a knife that stabs someone disembodied from an attacker. Maybe if the knife was sticking from his belly when he appeared from the white light, I might like it better. I also didn't like that she said "like a movie only kind of gross" because it made me want to not take the stabbing seriously. I do like the line, but only if you don't want me to take her seriously

  7. Strong beginning. You get right to the stabbing :0) heart of the matter. And, I did scroll back up to the top, because I was wondering for a second if it was science fiction because the man was there and then he was gone.

    I got pulled out of the story when you had the woman call out, 12 A. I think if you just add, Room, it will make it clearer and the reader won't have to stop and try to figure it out.

    On the strange white light...I think you need to give the readers more clues as to what that is. Is it a light in her head? A memory? Maybe you could have her say, "all I could see was a 'remembered' strange white light. Then maybe, 'it slowly came into focus.'

    Next paragraph. Instead of 'blood began oozing,' I'd suggest just say, 'Blood oozed from the wound.'

    Those are little things. I'll say again I was drawn into the mystery. Strong start.

  8. This is very confusing. Is it meant to be? I'm just not sure what's going on. I have the feeling that this gets cleared up in the next bit (which we don't have). The writing is good, but be careful with your metaphors. They're getting stretched a bit thin. Also, proof read your work. There are typos.

  9. Thank you all for your comments. Sadly, one more paragraph would've pulled it together. The MC is waking up next to her car in the parking lot after falling over ball bearings. She's confused as to where she is, hence the confusion, which is intentional. It's a psychic vision but she doesn't realize this yet. The typos are because it wouldn't let me copy paste from my manuscript. I re-typed it into the text box and missed some typos. Sorry about that. Thanks again everyone.