Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May Secret Agent Contest #26

TITLE: Facets
GENRE: YA Speculative

In my business, secrets are as valuable as objects—if not more.

Tonight, I planned to steal both.

Through the windshield, I studied the skyscraper down the block that promised what I’d been seeking for years. Justice, revenge, my mom’s freedom. Or some complicated combination of all three. The time had finally come. And I didn’t intend to do things halfway.

I closed my mind to dreams of what came after. It was dangerous enough pulling a job clouded by emotion. I could allow no distractions. But that didn’t stop the energy from crackling up my arms and through my core or the pound pound pound of blood in my ears that pulsed with an electric thrill.
I crawled from the passenger seat into the back of the van. Emptied of seats, it contained a mobile computer array and our gear. Nelson Ramon sat in front of a screen, prepared to work his tech magic. His fingers were a blur over his holo-keyboard.

Carina Ford climbed after me from the driver’s seat. “I don’t like Nelson as the getaway driver. He doesn’t even have a license.”

“Better than you turning the streets of San Fran into your personal F1 track,” Nelson said without slowing his typing.

“It’s decided,” I said. “Besides, if Nelson gets stopped, underage driving is the least serious offense we’re committing tonight.”

Nelson scoffed. “I can control traffic lights and cams from here, not to mention track every cop car in a ten-mile radius. They’d never catch me.”


  1. Great first line! I was invested in your MC quickly, and I definitely wanted to know more and would read on. Good job giving a sense of your characters through their dialogue.

  2. A speculative heist novel? This sounds great. Isn't the new Star Wars movie about Han Solo a heist movie? And the new Ocean's Eight is coming out. This is great timing. I'd love to read more.

  3. Great build of tension right at the beginning! Clarify at some point whether Nelson has any driving experience since if he's never really driven before, it seems unrealistic that he would be able to serve as the getaway driver without just causing more problems. His line at the end about how he can control lights and everything is great, but I'm guessing he wouldn't be able to do that while driving either. Can't wait to learn more about the heist!

  4. I think this is a great beginning. The only caution I would have is to not leave everything so nebulous. I realize this is only the very beginning and if the explanation of how Nelson actually works the lights is coming, then disregard. If it remains as nebulous as 'He's doing his tech magic. Look, he's moving his fingers lightning fast and punching keys isn't he?" then it can become very unbelievable really fast for the techie people out there.
    Great start though!

  5. Enjoyed reading this! I have a couple wee thoughts, take as you will... is your MC always so formal w Nelson and Carina? If they aren't important for readers to know, I'd recommend losing the last names. Just spitballing here, but in the middle of this action it's unlikely your MC is so formal with them. I would also love to see a little more of your MC's state of mind, maybe an action tag when he/she first speaks--esp since they are doing something dangerous. I'd totally keep reading!

  6. I greatly enjoyed this! With a snappy opening thought, a logical transition into an intriguing scene, and clean writing, I found myself at the end of this far too quickly. Another aspect of this writing I love is the clever and imaginative descriptions. There’s a deep point-of-view here that makes me sit forward.

    Oh one other thing I loved: this main character has taken charge of not only this scene (great character agency) but she's asserted herself succinctly and with great subtlety to the other characters.

    Thank you for sharing!