Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March Secret Agent #27

TITLE: The Elementalist
GENRE: YA - Fantasy, Romance

The weight of a thousand seething eyes demands my death. It could be what has my heart clambering out of my throat or the pulpy innards of the grapefruit someone threw at the windshield. My back is on the verge of snapping as different objects are pelted at the transport vehicle like raining bullets.
I’d forgotten about the cuffs, my hands having gone numb miles ago. The warmth of the vinyl dashboard spreads to my icy fingers as I lean forward. Metal shackles slide over my wrist bone, and I wince as they peel back a thin-layered scab. It’s a stinging proof I’m not imagining this.

Outside, a swarm of rioters block our transport vehicle— block the polished streets of an Alathian city blinding under the sun. A lynch mob, but without the pitchforks, not that these pampered idiots would know how to use one.

This is crazy. I had no idea so many people lived in the cities. It’s different when they’re all scattered around hidden behind their lavish flats, but bunched up like this is impressive. And all for me— how sweet.

Some of the rioters are more eager than others. They jab their signs towards the car as if they can impale me with the words: Changeling of Hell, Demons deserve death— oh, here’s a favorite, Filthy Vincam Spy. I throw myself back onto the seat and shift my gaze to the car’s floor, angry with the stubborn gathering of tears. It’s been an annoying, unmanageable reaction lately.


  1. I'm having a hard time connecting with this. In part because of the present tense, which I find off putting (I know this is my own personal preference and many, many people like present tense) In part because I'm dropped into this without knowing what is going on, whether or not I should like the character. There are lots and lots of details, but they are all sensory details. I know next to nothing about the MC.

  2. Interesting way to open novel. I'm not sure how I feel about it so far. I'm wondering about the main character and the first question to enter my mind was, "how the heck is he going to get out of this?" I like your character. Even in a dangerous damning situation, he delivers a bit of humor. Your writing is great and you obviously know how to illustrate a scene. I think you just need to develop this opening a bit more. I want to know more about this guy and his powers. He does have powers in that way, right? And the MC is male, right? lol, I just guessed.

  3. I like this. Though I'm not a fan of present tense through a whole novel, it works here. I get the sense the MC has a snarky streak, but the tears at the end give a contrast to the snide remarks about the crowd. I suspect if we got to see another 250 words, we'd get a better picture of the MC. I'd read a bit further.

  4. You've definitely got me interested, but I think this needs a little work.

    I'm not a fan of your first paragraph, and I think that's where your trouble is. It just doesn't flow well. We have the mob mentality introduced in the first sentence, which is great, but the second sentence doesn't make any sense to me. I've re-read it a handful of times and I'm still not seeing the point. And in your third sentence, why is your MC's back to the point of snapping? Because of the items being pelted at the car windows? Because they're wrenched in an uncomfortable position by the cuffs? It just doesn't work.

    By contrast, I think your other four paragraphs are great! You do an excellent job of painting the setting, and I got a good sense of your character, who I immediately sympathized with. I would definitely keep reading if I found this in my inbox!

    Thanks for your entry!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I'm not entirely sure if I'm supposed to respond, but I've seen some other entrants have.

    Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions and for taking the time to read my first 250.

    I've since gone back with your input in mind and hopefully made an improvement on the opening. For some reason, the hardest part for me has been the beginning.

    Thank you all again!