Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March Secret Agent #3

TITLE: Vision
GENRE: YA - Paranormal Romance

Jackhammer rain was pounding the concrete moat surrounding our Brooklyn brownstone when Lara shook me out of a deep sleep.

”Jack, did you hear that?” I stumbled out of bed and hurried down the hall in her wake, trying to remember if I’d locked the gate we’d put at the top of the stairs when we first found Shelby sleepwalking.

We tiptoed into our daughter’s room. She was in her bed, her long lashes dusting the cheeks of her cherubic face.

“Must’ve been the storm,” I said through a yawn.

I took my wife’s hand and started back to our room when a floorboard creaked downstairs. An intruder was in the house.

We scrambled back into Shelby’s room. As I scooped my daughter up, her eyes opened wide with fear. I covered her mouth and Lara signaled silence with a finger to her lips. When Shelby nodded, I placed her on the floor behind her canopy bed.

“Stay here, I’m getting my gun,” I whispered. My Glock 17 sidearm was locked in the biometric safe in the master bedroom-like always when I was off the clock.

“Jack, don’t,” Lara said grabbing my sleeve. “What if they hear you? Let them take what they want and leave.”

“Daddy please stay here. Remember what happened when I was your mommy and you were my little boy?” my daughter asked.

“When do you mean?” When my gifted daughter remembered something from a past life I needed to hear it before she forgot.


  1. I was a little confused in the beginning as to who was talking and what was happening. The wife's dialog needs to go with the wife's action and I'd get rid of the "when" which makes it seem like the action isn't happening now.

    An aside, Jackhammer rain and Jack are too similar not to be noticeable. I'd get rid of the jackhammer.

    As a whole, the story didn't get my attention until we got to the very last part. I think this scene and the action that happens should be more concise. We don't need the detail about where the gun is. For convenience shouldn't it be where he is? That he's leaving is the important part, I think. Shortening this up would step up the pace, add some setting, and give you more room to hook the reader in this first page.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

  2. I think there is potential here, but it's overwritten a bit.

    Jackhammer rain--rain
    Brooklyn brownstone--brownstone
    Glock 17 sidearm--gun, Glock
    biometric safe in the master bedroom--safe

    In one instance it waxes poetically instead of giving us a story:

    her long lashes dusting the cheeks of her cherubic face.

    It's 250 words. I think we could have gotten more in those words with less. It's TMI and not enough action, IMO, but, again, the potential is there.

  3. Possibly a smoother beginning, i.e. cleaning up Jack/Jackhammer, along with the dialogue/action confusion, could create more of an opportunity for hook-ability. As it was, I had to read a few times to make sense of who was who, and who was doing what. Something about the first line too- it's worded as if the jackhammer rain is prior to him waking, which he wouldn't know.

  4. I agree with the previous commenters, but I want to touch on what I think is a more important issue: You're writing in first person, but I don't have any sense of your character's emotions and barely any sense of his thought process. If you're going to be writing through your MC's eyes, you have to provide their perspective, not just a blow-by-blow of what they do. If you're in their head you have to commit to being there.

    As it stands now, I can imagine that this is a tense (or possibly outright terrifying) situation, but I shouldn't have to extrapolate what Jack is experiencing. Your writing needs to take the time to tell me.

    Thank you for your entry!