Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January Secret Agent #26

TITLE: Source
GENRE: NA Paranormal Romance

I should join a carnival, because I’m forever a freak.

“Hello? Earth to Lexi!” my best friend yips, turning down the music. “Your eyes are all wide, like someone caught doing something naughty and you haven’t said anything in like, five minutes. What are you thinking about?”

It takes me a second to grasp reality again. I’m in Taryn’s car, on the way to our school, West Palm Prep. With the top down on her blue convertible, the southern Florida air doesn’t feel damp and sticky like it usually does, the cool ocean breeze a nice change. It’s hot as it always is in June, though, so she cranks up the ac to combat it.

Even with the volume lowered, “So Good” by B.o.B. still blares. She’s looking at me while steering with a cup of iced coffee in one hand. Do I always wear a face when considering my visions of the future?

“Sorry, I was, uh, thinking about who will get all my stuff after you kill us. Can you at least pretend to watch the road?”

She snickers, curly red hair bouncing as we hit a speed bump. I tighten my seatbelt. “Don’t get your panties in a bunch, I’m an excellent driver. So, what has you all rosy and flustered? Daydreaming about Dell? Or better yet, the hot guys you’ll kiss on screen when you’re a big Hollywood star?”

I roll my eyes and sip my coffee to hide a smirk. “Please. I actually have to get an acting job, first.”


  1. Your writing is solid. I've said this about a few other posts. I don't feel a connection between your first line (which I like) and the rest of the sample. It feels like you've injected a snappy first line to catch our attention, but then we're left with a pretty mundane driving scene (unless something spectacular is about to happen in the next para. in which case, ignore!) For the first line: I think it could be even stronger as "I should join a carnival, because inside I'm a freak." maybe? I'm guessing this is more internal than external. Connect the first line to the rest of the sample and I think you're off to a great start. Good luck!

  2. Your writing is great, very polished. I agree about Lisa's comment regarding your first line. Maybe if after that, you show why the MC thinks that before you move into the dialogue, it would be clearer. When I read "my visions of the future," I took it literally - that she'd been having visions. Not sure if that's how you meant it or if it is just daydreaming, but if they are visions, you could show one, and let the MC emotionally react to it. Minor nitpick: I think you should capitalize AC. Good luck with this!

  3. I liked your first page, but also had an issue with the first line. While I suppose it fits with the para genre, it was presented without any context, and nothing else in your first paragraph supported that she's a freak. Must also say that when I read that the girls were driving to "West Palm Prep", I was confused because that seems more high school YA than college NA. Still, I liked the voice of your character and would have kept reading.
    Best of luck.

  4. I like the voice of your main character, her friend, not so much. Tayrn's voice seems to change from her first dialogue line to the rest of her lines (at the end). It was just the first line. Maybe get rid of the second "like". If you want to convey that kind of personality, maybe put "you know?" at the end instead of the second "like".

    Also, I agree with KKMHOO about it sounding like they are in high school, which led to me wondering why they were going to school in June. Most colleges get out in early May and high schools get out early June. Unless it's a year round school or they are going for summer classes or something like that.

    The line "With the top down on her blue convertible, the southern Florida air doesn’t feel damp and sticky like it usually does, the cool ocean breeze a nice change." felt clunky or off to me. It could be me, but maybe add an "and" before "the cool ocean breeze" or get rid of it.

    I am intrigued by her visions of the future. At first I thought she was just contemplating her future, but then I reread that line (and the genre) and I got the hint. :) (Unless I got the hint wrong...)

  5. I agree that the first line doesn't fit what follows. Other than your MC having visions, I also don't see the paranormal aspect of this. I'd bring it in sooner like from the first line. The writing is solid though. Good luck!

  6. Your first line is intriguing, but sets the bar higher than the rest of the sample lives up to. Perhaps there is a more interesting part to start your story than driving and talking about West Palm Prep (which also makes this sound YA not NA). Your title could be stronger too, as SOURCE doesn’t intrigue us as much as it could or signal "romance" in any way.

  7. I'm going to suggest you take out the dialogue tag "Yip". It yanked me right out of the story because I thought of a little dog. Just say: “Hello? Earth to Lexi!” My best friend Taryn turns down the music . . .

    Also, this reads like YA, which isn't a problem unless you really want to write NA. Then the girls should be in college, shouldn't they? But the MC's voice is strong and compelling for a teen. I'd like to read more and find out why she thinks she's a freak. All teen have their insecurities but maybe this character really IS freakishly strange in some way!