Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May Secret Agent Contest #13

TITLE: Mystery of the Dark
GENRE: Adult Paranormal

“Hello, my name is Kate and I’m an addict.”

Kate leaned back in the booth at the diner where she was waiting for Colin, moving blonde hair out of her hazel eyes and cursing whoever thought bangs were a good idea. Tapping aimlessly on the laptop’s keyboard in an attempt to work, but she wasn’t paying attention to what was on her screen. Instead, she was people watching, keeping her eyes on the door and she had counted at least one vampire enter. Anyone could tell a vampire on sight, due to the extremely pale, nearly white skin, meaning the vampire hadn’t fed in a while, and a faint hint of copper. Normal humans couldn’t smell it, but the ones who were half human and half supernatural could. She was half vampire, a dhampir, which gave her better senses, as well as being faster and stronger than a normal human.

The world changed dramatically since Y2K. The vampires came out of the shadows and, in less than a decade, humans fully accepted them as if vampires had been there since the beginning of time. It was easy when they came with immortality and cleaning up the scum of society. In response, the Agency came out of the shadows as well. The Agency wanted a check and balance with the vampires, werewolves, Fae, and magic users of the world so they would not have carte blanche to do what they wanted.


  1. Your opening line will be a good hook when it is followed by a little more investment in the character and her problem. Currently the beginning is a lot of information. For example, when she counts the vampires coming in, only tell us normal humans wouldn't be able to notice that. Leave everything to explain further along. I am going to assume there is something special about her if she can identify a vampire. Even if I don't know what it is -- you can explain that later. Instead, why is that a problem (or is it?) You mention the Agency, could you develop the issue with that? At this point I have a lot of information but not necessarily a reason to keep reading, except the opening line. Happy Writing!

  2. Interesting premise! I always love a good vampire story :) One thing: the first line didn't seem to flow with the description that came next. At first I thought she was at an addict's meeting, but then she was working on her computer? Was the first line something she was typing? For this first scene I'd add more action and try and disperse the descriptions in it, if it's just backstory and description at the beginning I'm not invested enough in the character to keep reading. I love the idea of Kate working for the Agency, maybe make that a more significant part of the beginning and save the explanation of dhampir until later? Wondering why Kate is working for the Agency would add more suspense to the opening. I think you have a great start here, keep going!

  3. This opening contains a lot of backstory info, and it feels more like it's coming from the author rather than from the main character. I notice some grammatical errors too, and I feel a good critique partner could help identify both the mistakes and the instances of backstory here.

    The world feels interesting though! I do love paranormal, and though I'm weary of vampires, if there's a fresh take on the old, tired tropes, I'd read on :-)

    Thank you for sharing!