Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May Secret Agent Contest #20

TITLE: Wish I Was Here
GENRE: YA Romance

Thirteen minutes after school ended I pulled up across the street from Isaac’s house and checked my image in the visor mirror. Did I look as frazzled as I felt? His words from chem class still echoed in my head.

“I screwed up, Ana.”

I snort laughed. “How? Wouldn’t that be like Michelangelo messing up painting his house?”

“Not the lab. My experiments at home.” He lowered his voice. “I’m in trouble.”

I stared at him for a moment, not sure if he was joking. “What do you mean you’re in—”

“Not now.” He slung his backpack over his shoulder. “I’m leaving early. Can you come over after school?”

I nodded. Since when did he have to ask?

“I need to get ready. Come as soon as you can, okay?”

“Get ready?”

But the bell rang, and he was out the door before I was off my chair.

I pushed the visor back in place after smoothing my wavy auburn hair, only to have it pop back up. Humidity in May in Ohio. But when did my appearance matter with Isaac anyway? We’d been best friends since we met four years ago, freshman year.

I used the spare key he’d given me so he wouldn’t have to stop working to let me in. I took a deep breath and shoved the door open.

“Is that you, Ana?” Isaac called up from his lab.


“Did you lock the—?”

“I’m locking it now.”


I headed to the basement.


  1. I would read this book. Sounds like a mystery/romance. What happens next?

  2. What is he working on? I want to know! I am intrigued.

  3. I like the voice in this! A few suggestions:
    Watch the repetition of starting sentences with the same word. The genre is romance but this reads more like a mystery with the way Isaac is being so mysterious about his experiment gone wrong. I am intrigued though and would keep reading.

  4. Does anyone know if it's okay to have a flashback of sorts right off the bat like this? I honestly don't know. It stood out to me. Otherwise, I'm also curious. A mystery/romance sounds good to me.

  5. The flashback at the beginning of this breaks up the flow and jars me out of the story (easily fixed with a small tweak). Consider opening in chemistry class. Also, this is just my personal taste, but I find rhetorical questions aren't as strong as or as deep a point of view as inner thoughts written as declarative sentences. Again, it's a minor tweak, but with 2 rhetorical sentences on pg 1, I wonder if this is an early draft that's full of unanswered questions. That said, the dialogue is intriguing, and I'd read on to find out if the story-telling improved.

  6. To add to the above, this sentence took me out of your story: "Humidity in May in Ohio." It couldn't hurt to expand a little more upon this, just a few words giving contect to how she feels about it, maybe give us a little insight into her character?

  7. The mini flashback at the beginning through me off. We want to start in the moment, not with what happened recently. Also, I would caution against starting your story by having a character looking at them self in the mirror (even a visor mirror). That is very overdone.