Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Secret Agent #26

TITLE: Longhand
GENRE: Adult Urban Fantasy

My reflection stands beside her as I watch through her window. It’s an image unseen in many years. She knows I’m here; her narcissism is showing. Sitting at her vanity, she brushes the age from the thick waves of hair that falls to her hips—silver to gold. With a few more strokes, the metallic white is brushed away and replaced with the only sunshine I can bear.

The chill of the autumn night fogs the window with the contrasting heat introduced by my presence and obstructs my view. Her petite figure is still viewable through the soft, dreamy aesthetic as if I am watching her in an old Hollywood film; a little Vaseline on the lens to make my actress glow as she dances around a dim-lit bedroom—her youth steadily returning as she moves. An old hand wrinkled with time reaches into a closet to hang the drab dress worn during the day, and is replaced with a youthful porcelain-like hand retrieving a gleaming white silk nightgown with inset flowers on the bust and lace trim.

Her gait is bewitching as she glides around the room as if on air. I catch a shimmer in her eyes, and a sly smirk appears as she gets a glimpse of her returned beauty in a mirror. She lays the nightgown on the bed, smoothing the silk before returning to her seat. She looks to her left hand, and with eyes closed tight, she removes a plain gold wedding ring.

5 comments:

  1. You have some wonderful description here, but I don't think this is starting in quite the right place. I'm unclear if the main character is the narrator who's watching the woman or the woman herself. There's clearly something magical taking place as the woman goes from old to young, but as it stands I'm not sure exactly what's happening here. You do offer some nice hints that suggest the woman is not a person to be trusted, and that intrigued me.

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  2. You have two passive sentences that are confusing to the reader.
    "It’s an image unseen in many years" and "An old hand wrinkled with time reaches into...". Who hasn't seen the image in a long time--the narrator? And whose hand is going into the closet? I assume it's hers but since we are in a fantastical setting, it's hard to say.

    Finally, I think you have a few sentences here that are a tad long and heavy on the description. For example, "An old hand wrinkled with time reaches into a closet to hang the drab dress worn during the day, and is replaced with a youthful porcelain-like hand retrieving a gleaming white silk nightgown with inset flowers on the bust and lace trim." Your reader is trying to picture what you are saying here. In one line I see an old hand, a closet, a drab dress, a youthful hand and a very specific nightgown. It's better to describe one thing really well than try to cover everything. Readers get dizzy otherwise.

    Good luck!
    Holly

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  3. Very lovely writing. I was confused at first who was one which side of the window until the third sentence. In my mind it was also day, but then discovered it was night. You want your first sentence to be perfectly clear. It's written in the first person, but I still have no idea who the narrator is, male or female (saw a female in my head) and there is no conflict revealed. It's a magical description of the transformation, but without understanding more of the why and what the relationship is between the two characters, that's all it is. I'm definitely intrigued, but need to be more grounded in what's going on right away.

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  4. Need a more concrete start here. The writing is lovely, but the images and description are really too nebulous to let me gain the solid footing that I need to become invested in the story. I’m not sure what is happening in the scene.

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