Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Secret Agent #14

TITLE: The Girl Who Yeeted Fire
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Edgeweiss sat alone in the darkness of her room, as she would any other Friday night. Heels on the chair’s seat, legs hugged to her chest, hands on her mouse and keyboard. The desk space behind her laptop held only a stack of textbooks she’d soon start using.

She hummed a song, with cadence that drifted like falling snow. Several stanzas in, she let go of her mouse and stuck a finger out, and a little crow perched upon it. It listened as Edgeweiss hummed.
“You’re always in here,” spoke the little bird. Its voice was airy like hers.

“Is that so?” Edgeweiss said.

“There is a festival at the park tonight. Will you go with me?”

Edgeweiss shrugged, shoulders barely scraping her chin-length hair.

The crow eyed her laundry basket in the corner, inside which a pile of pajamas and underwear accumulated. It was summer break, and she hadn’t reason to leave the house in days.

“You need to talk to people more,” the bird said.

“I do talk.”

“You message strangers on the internet, and that is not the same,” spoke the bird. Its voice was solemn like hers.

“There, I’m my words and nothing more. No one’s bothered by my tone. No one watches my expressions. They don’t judge me by such subjective things; they don’t care who I am. I fit in.”
Edgeweiss curled her finger in toward her chest. The little bird balanced atop, its beady eyes reflecting only the glow of the laptop screen.


  1. I like that she talks to a bird in this. But I'm wondering what type of world this is. So far it seems more MG than YA.

    Also, some of the dialogue read stilted to me. I would suggest reading it out loud and see how it sounds to you. And is there a reason you keep saying the bird's voice sounds like hers? It seems weird, unless that's intentional.

    Good luck with this!

  2. I'm a little confused by the POV. Are you intentionally trying to do omniscient? This doesn't feel like it's in Edgeweiss's POV or in the bird's.

    Good luck!

  3. Your opening sentence needs to have something interesting in it - not just an everyday occurrence. A little crow? How little? Is it a mini-crow to sit on one finger? And is the crow actually speaking or are they communicating telepathically (in which case the crow's dialogue would be better in italics). But then you make reference to the crow's voice... I like the idea of a girl with a crow to talk to, but need more information about the actual logistics of that. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is certainly very intriguing and I’m enjoying the writing. With fantasy, there is more room for things to just exist without question—but as this is contemporary fantasy and the world as we know it (computers, textbooks, etc) PLUS magic, I’d love to see a bit more about how this magic fits in. Does everyone have a bird in this world? Is it just her? Does she have to hide it? You don’t need to inundate the reader with too many details and stall the flow, but they do need a clear sense of how this bird fits into an otherwise normal world so that they can gain their footing in the story. The magic then feels seamless rather than jarring. A promising start!

  5. This opening confused me a little. The MC seems young and talking to the bird makes her sound petulant and younger. It's also difficult to tell who is the POV character, the bird or Edgeweiss. The world also felt off to me with the details of ordinary things: textbooks, internet etc, but the presence of talking birds as well. I think we need to feel more grounded in this opening.