Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January Secret Agent #5

GENRE: YA Fantasy

April 13, 1803

Micah succumbed to the Ignition today. The suns were approx. 5% overlapped at ten past 6 AM, the time of transformation.

Two slayers dead. One injured. Our parents, and me, respectively.

During the attempt to slay him, Micah sustained wounds to the wings, right eye, and left flank. While not fatal, they slowed his movements long enough to bind his wings and muzzle with chains. Securing moondaggers hilt-deep between every third vertebrae rendered him immobile. The daggers remained in place to prevent his recovery until I transported him to the cavern and bolted his chains to the rock.

Micah is a quiet, well behaved twelve-year-old boy. As expected, there is no correlation between human and dragon demeanor. Granted, there are no known records of slayers observing dragons in captivity. This journal will be the first.

Might as well experiment on ways to cure my brother. Diu knows I have nothing else left to live for.

~Abel Estellio

Chapter One

I remove my glove and run two fingertips along the windmill’s charred frame. No heat. Little residue. Grooves run through the muddy ash beneath my leather boots, proof that yesterday’s rainstorm is the only reason half the town of Bourlin survived a dragon attack without a slayer.

Without me.

I run my hand through my blond hair and sigh up at Noctu’s constellation. The autumn chill turns my breath to fog, clouding the arc of stars that outline the owl’s outstretched left wing. The Night Watcher isn’t favoring my hunt as of late.


  1. An interesting premise. For some reason - and it may have just been me - I was a little confused in the 3rd paragraph. The story was being told in first person, but that paragraph sounds like 3rd person until the final sentence "...until I transported him." It's a small thing, but for clarity I would modify the opening sentence of that paragraph from "During the attempt to slay him" to "During MY attempt to slay him" which would maintain that 1st person point of view.

  2. I almost wonder if you're going yourself a disservice by not starting right in chapter one. There is a weird voice issue I think between the two( the almost clinical beginning). I'm way more intrigued personally by the actual chapter one than the stuff that came before it!

  3. First, congrats for staying within the story. Almost no one does that in first person any more.

    The journal entry could be an exciting start if we saw it in real time, rather than as an entry.

    Be aware you have the MC running his fingertips over the windmill in one parg, and running them through his hair in another. You may want to change one up.

    I'd read more.

  4. I'd read more! I liked the matter-of-fact voice of the journal entry, juxtaposed with the voice in chapter one.

    I agree with Barbara, I wouldn't have him "run" his hand through or over anything twice, so close together. I would add, don't have him mention his own hair color, which is irrelevant to him running his hand through his hair, lacks subtlety, and is too apparent that the author is informing the reader.

  5. I found the first bit kind of confusing, the Abel chapter was more interesting! I also thought the running his hand through his blond hair was kind of "author-y" and I nearly imagined a shampoo commercial lol. I don't think he would be thinking of his hair colour, and if he is, why?

    It does sound like an interesting story.

  6. I like what you’re trying to do here. The hook is intriguing. It sounds like a dragon-jekyll/hyde meets a dragon-Buffy. If you’re going to keep the journal going throughout, then it’s fine to keep this entry, but I’m not sure it’s entirely necessary.
    I think the first paragraph is a little confusing. I’d start with… Two slayers dead. But I was only injured. Micah sustained…
    Tighten this up just a bit and incorporate into the first chapter. I love the image of daggers along his vertebrae, the picture of this massive beast barely contained and surely in pain, and then the reveal that this beast is his brother. That in itself packs such a huge punch! I would hate to see the impact of that lessened by too much focus on the journal structure or the forced distant tone the “scientific journal” structure necessitates. I think my main suggestion would be not to try to do too much with this intro. I fought a fierce, massive dragon today. That dragon was my twelve-year-old brother. Keep the focus there.

  7. I actually really like the journal entry starting off the story. I think it could be a little more explanatory. But it's a great hook - something different you don't see much.

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