Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March Secret Agent #26

GENRE: YA - Contemporary

The metal is cool against my leg. I want to put it away, shove it back in the cabinet out of sight, forget it exists. I can't. Instead, I tip it and drag it across my skin, scraping slowly. Chills run down my spine, making me shiver. I spread my legs wider, allow my hand to slip to my inner thigh, totally giving in to it, edging the corner of the razor in.

I hold my breath and wait. The first crimson drop hits the water—the silent splash echoes in the room, shouts in my mind—then it disappears into watery nothingness. The buzzing in my head softens to whispers. I can breathe now and my heart starts to thump normally. The sharp pain eases. I draw the blade in a straight path. I love how the skin folds away. Like pulling the strip on a Babybel. Except I'm the cheese inside out.

“You’ve been in there 30 minutes!”

I pull at the roll of toilet paper and press a clump of it against the cut. The little s*** can wait.

“I timed it. Thirty stinkin’ minutes. You don’t own the freakin’ washroom!” The door reverberates from his banging.

“Shut up.” I wipe, but I've gone deeper this time and it keeps dripping. Grabbing more tissue, I manage to smear the blood, the mess looking a lot like my watercolor attempt last week. Mrs. Opal had described it as a sailor's warning, whatever the hell that means.


  1. You do a good job with all the details for the cutting. You might consider going more slowly into the introduction of the character's ritual. I know you want to open strong and hook reader, but you can probably still do this with more details up front. Like, "I lock the bathroom door just like I do ever day after school. The razor is hidden at the bottom of the q tips in the third drawer." Or, you know, something like that. I really like the watercolor reference with the blood and art class. It really links it to her life.

  2. I agree that the details are great here. I'd like more of the emotion/more of the "why" for the cutting up front, though. As we're just getting to know the character, I need that to get me emotionally invested in your MC.

  3. Wow! Someone else opening with a cutter. You're opening is different than mine, and I really like all the detail. Like abc said, give some insight into why she does it. Let us into her head. Is it a daily thing? Does she do it in reaction to emotions that she can't control? Good luck!

  4. Your writing here is beautiful. Gorgeously descriptive without being overwritten. I agree with the other commenters that I'd really like to know a little more about why the character is doing this. You don't need to spell it out, but a little hint could go a long way. Graphic scenes of self harm are always tense, and yours is no exception, but it would be good to have an extra layer of plot-relevant tension to really pull the reader in.

    Well done. I personally find scenes with self harm or suicide very difficult to read, but I would definitely continue. Thanks for submitting.

  5. Thank you, everyone, for your supportive comments. I have already tweaked it based on the advice given, and feel that it is that titch stronger. Secret Agent, thank you so much for giving your time to read and comment. It is appreciated. I wish everyone success with your publishing careers. Happy writing!