Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Secret Agent #38

TITLE: Hybrid Reality
GENRE: YA - Science Fiction

“A man with no soul created me.”

“Oh…my…god Terrace, you are so dramatic.” Brione said as she clung to the rock wall.

“Really, I can’t take hearing this story again. That’s not what kept you and Yasmine from getting together.”

“Then what was it?”

“The fact that you never made a move maybe.” She looked down before continuing.

“And also your affection for the redhead down there.” Her voice whispered around us like wind. We continued to move down the side of the mountain over rocky terrain with little safety precautions. Our clothes ripped and hung to our bodies in rags caked with mud and black goo.

“She didn’t even know that you were Daivat’s first science experiment. So tell me, how could that be the reason you all never hooked up?”

I rolled my eyes at her phrasing. I hated the thought of my relationship with Yasmine being minimized to teenagers hooking up. It was more than that.

“I’m just trying to figure out what I could have done differently. Maybe if she’d known…” I lost my balance as my right hand slipped on the slime that covered the rocks. Recovering in less than a second I continued, “how I felt about her, she would have listened to me, she’d still be here with us.”

“Maybe, maybe not. And she’s still here. I can feel her presence all around us.” Brione’s intuition was as good as having solid evidence. Her DNA overflowed with the gifts of the guardian goddesses.


  1. Lots of world-building going on here already, which is cool. However...this page has a Terrace-shaped vacuum. He seems like your MC or at the least, a main character, and mostly we get soundbytes. He's narrating the story, so how about putting some more of his actions and personality on the page.

    Wacky example:

    I dug my fingers into a shale boulder, trying to get Brione to listen to my sob story for the upteenth time. Maybe if we talked about Yasmine's death enough, I'd feel better. Ok, probably not.

  2. I like seeing the personalities of the characters coming alive. You're doing that well.

    My issue is that I'd like for you to slow down and make sure the reader knows everything before continuing.

    Fr'ex: "also your affection for the redhead down there." Her voice whispered around us...

    But for me, I'm waiting for a direction or something. She pointed towards town or the camp or the car.

    The wind whisper also confused me because I'm wondering if she is doing something special. Readers need to be grounded.

    I understand this issue because as an author I forget sometimes, especially if I've re-worked it a million times. So, I've definitely made that mistake. But I think if you clear that up, you'll be good.

  3. I don't think you're ever going to sell me on a "talking about why they didn't hook up" opening, even if it happens while rock climbing.

    Mostly I kept wondering why they were dressed in rags and covered in goo. That sounds more interesting than teen UST.

  4. This fascinated me - I so wanted to know what was going on with the characters - but there was so much dialogue up front, I had a hard time keeping them apart.

    More action tags, and more internal monologue would help ground me in the MC's voice.

  5. I need more context before I can jump into dialogue. That's primarily what's not working for me here. I'm struggling with knowing how is talking, where they are, what's around them, etc. I don't need all this information, but I need some to frame the conversation.

  6. Just a couple of picky semantic comments: 'little safety precautions' might read better as 'few safety precautions' or 'little in the way of safety precautions'.
    The sentence beginning, 'Our clothes ripped' is all kinds of awkward - ripped sounds verby; is the ripping going on right now? and 'hung to our bodies' also made me pause. It's an odd phrase, and I don't think it's needed. 'Our torn clothes were caked in mud and black goo' might be all you need. It gets to the interesting bit faster and more smoothly.

  7. I think if you reorganized some of the sentences in the opening to provide a bit more context and description up front, before the convo takes place, I'd be better grounded and more drawn into the story.

  8. I agree that there's too much dialogue in the beginning without any context.

    It's also jarring to me that the conversation they're having, which seems rather light-hearted with some humor is taking place in what otherwise seems like a dangerous and hostile environment.

  9. I don't get it. They're dressed in rags, covered in some kind of black goo, climbing down the side of a mountain. Perhaps one of them is a created creature? Perhaps the other has some kind of intuition DNA? But WHO ARE THEY? And, more importantly, why should we care? There's no context here.

  10. A little more prose and explanation would help the reader with context. It's hard to jump into a conversation without knowing who we're listening to or where they are or anything to ground us.

  11. I love the first line. It definitely grabs my attetion.

    I also like how real the dialogue sounds, but there's so much of it that I'm having trouble figuring out how many people are talking here and who is saying what. Is it just Brione and Terrace? I'm also not sure if your MC is a girl or boy, which adds to my confusion. I don't know that dialogue tags would fix it. Maybe add a bit more description of the characters interspersed in the dialogue?

    Also, you do a great job of describing how your characters are hiking, but I'm not sure why they're doing it. I'm not sure this is a big deal since I can only read the first 250 words, but it'd be good to have some kind of hint why your characters are here.