Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March Secret Agent #4

TITLE: Bitter Envy
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

I learned two rather disturbing things the night of my sweet-sixteen party. In a drunken display worthy of a frat boy, my father announced to the crowd that he named me Envy as his idea of a sick joke. I also discovered that I tortured and killed an innocent man…

My fingernails tear through the crumpled paper clenched in my fist, digging into my palm. Pain helps keep the tears at bay, for the moment at least. The sounds of the party are hollow in my ears as I stare into the dancing flames of the massive bonfire on the beach. My guests shriek and laugh while dancing around, utterly oblivious to my plight.

I turn away from the spirited group to walk up the coastline, still crinkling the offending note in my hand. Not one of the many partygoers follows me as I walk toward the pounding surf. The sand squishes beneath my toes and salty spray tickles at my face, stinging my eyes.

The cold water of the Pacific Ocean laps over my bare feet, leaving behind pieces of kelp entwined around my ankles. I don’t bother to kick the seaweed away. As more pieces wind around my lower legs, they feel like ropes binding me to this fate I never chose, would never wish on anyone.

When the noise from the raging party is a distant roar, I stop. Unfolding the note, I read the incriminating words again in the dim light of the full moon.


  1. I love the opening paragraph, it really gets me hooked. But then I'm left confused about if the note is about her or someone else. It seems to jump around and I'm not sure if the beach party is a different party than the one in the note...just would like it to be clearer. Love the premise though!

  2. The prologue is interesting, if a little confusing. Overall, a good start. Maybe a little tightening up of sentences. Look out for cliches like "tears at bay" and for excess adjectives.

  3. Oh, wow. This is good. It packs a powerful emotional punch. I'm also a little confused about the first paragraph. I can't tell if this is foreshadowing, her current thoughts, or the note she just read. I don't see how it can be the note since it mentions her sweet sixteen. Anyway, it's a good start, and I'd love to read more.

  4. I really like this. I'm assuming you'll answer the questions that others have raised as the opening chapter goes on, so I'm OK with not knowing exactly what's happening. The imagery of the kelp around her ankles becoming rope is lovely and made me actually feel heavy as I was reading it. Would definitely keep reading if this were a book. Best of luck with this.

  5. I wonder whether you're choosing to start at the right moment here. The first bit (in italics) doesn't quite fit in with the rest, nor is the writing as strong. It does provide us with the most interesting pieces of information, though. Why are we hearing about all of the important revelations in a summary out of scene? I would consider revisiting that.

    I do have to say that I really enjoy your voice in the rest of the selection--the character feels real to me, which shows a certain level of skill. It's hard to critique without knowing what direction you're going in or whether the revelations in the beginning are about your character or another character, but you seem to be on a good path here.