Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March Secret Agent #20

TITLE: The Portal
GENRE: YA - Fantasy

Quinn was in a violent mood, as she tested the bookend’s weight. Potential.

She launched it across the room, letting her frustration fuel the throw. The bookend connected with the floor- to- ceiling mirror. A solid hit.  Shards of glass splintered from the point of impact, but none fell to the wooden floor.

She bunched her fists, her molars grinding together. This wasn’t what she’d been hoping for. A weapon of some sort would have been nice but the Facility wouldn’t allow her the opportunity to escape, not again.

“Wonderful,” she muttered to the room. “Can’t even let us throw a tantrum properly. Just great.” She raised her hands to the security camera dangling in the corner. “WHAT? AFRAID WE’LL OFF OURSELVES BEFORE YOU GET THE CHANCE? IS THAT IT?”

No response.

She didn’t expect one. The only person she expected to see was her escort when he arrived to take her through the ceremony. And ooh buddy that wasn’t going to be a joyful interaction, for him at least.
Quinn began to pace. The glittering, wispy material of her white dress twirled around her legs as she crossed the room over and over. She was fidgety when nervous.

 This was her fault. She had no one else to blame. She was the one with the bright idea to volunteer for death- by- dragon.

Oh sure, let’s give the depressed girl the option to end her life. Brilliant idea boys! You’ve outdone yourselves.


  1. First sentence I don't think you need a comma after violent mood, but I enjoyed the immediate insight into your character's personality.
    There's not much more I can suggest. I am hooked right away. I love the small, unobtrusive details and the voice is amazing!
    I can tell right away I'd like Quinn as a character and the quick hint of the ceremony (Death by dragon) leaves me wanting more.

    Great job!

  2. I love the voice in this. I already like this character a lot. What stood out to me the most for improvement would just be tightening up the writing. For example, the first line and paragraph could be:
    Quinn tested the bookend’s weight. Potential. She launched it across the room at the floor-to-ceiling mirror. Shards of glass splintered, but didn’t fall.
    But other than that, I was personally hooked! Particularly the bit about death by dragon haha.

  3. I like your fist sentence, but perhaps it would be stronger if broken up into 2. "Quinn was in a violent mood." Intriguing, begs the question...why? Then onto sentence 2: "She tested the bookend’s weight. Potential, she thought, as she launched it across the room, letting her frustration fuel the throw."

    Overall, I think it's a solid start. The words, "death-by-dragon" certainly got my attention! Good luck.

  4. I too think you have great voice! It is heavy with sarcasm, which I don't mind, but hopefully it eases up a little bit as the book goes on, or I think it would get a bit tiresome. Really fun! Good job.

  5. I enjoyed this opening. I would read on. Watch for sentences such as 'she was fidgety when nervous'. Show us, don't tell us.

  6. This is definitely an interesting opening! I think the second half of it--from "no response" onward--is stronger than the first, though. In that first half, you have some logical jumps that made me pause and took me out of the story. When Quinn throws the bookend at the mirror and no shards fall, why is she upset? You mention her wanting a weapon, so I thought that perhaps she intended to use a shard as one. But then when she yells about not being able to throw a proper tantrum, and I switched to thinking that maybe she just wanted to break things in a supremely satisfying way. Which is it? (Obviously this is not a huge concern, but the smoother the first impression, the better).

    I also wondered about Quinn's yelling. She says "us" and "our," making me wonder if there are other girls or if she's using a strange form of the royal "we." Again, not a big deal, but it took me out of the story a little.

    Your second half is great. I loved the picture of the white dress, and the "death by dragon" immediately peaked my interest. I'm thinking virgin sacrifice, and I'd continue reading to find out.

    Thanks for the entry!