Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Secret Agent #45

TITLE: Wish I Was Here
GENRE: YA Mystery

The bell rang and I jolted upright, my thoughts scattering along with the notebook and pen on my desk. Someone behind me snickered, but I was used to that. I took a moment to reorient myself to clase de español. As usual I’d been day dreaming about this one guy I know. Or used to know. Sort of. Whatever.

I sighed, collected my stuff into my bag, and filed out of the classroom with my fellow sheep. In the hallway, students were gathered in clusters around their lockers, but I kept moving. Someone spotted me and said, “Hey, Ana. Where were you last period? The moon?” I glanced over as another kid spun his finger near his ear.

When are they going to grow up?

At an intersection, Isaac fell into step beside me, his sandy blond hair flopping over his green eyes. He pushed it aside, only to have it fall back again. "How many?" he asked.

“Just two a minute ago. For a while I thought today would be a shut-out for you. How’d you do?”

“I think Brad was feeling nostalgic. He tried to trip me, but I hopped over his foot.”

“Nice.” I held up a hand. He slapped me a half-hearted five.

“Then Jim asked if I remembered to bring my pocket protector.”

“How kind that he’s looking out for you. Or, at least, your shirt.”

He gave me a weak smile.

Weird. He was normally more entertained by our classmates’ poor attempts at bullying.


  1. I like the voice, and humor. Fun dialogue. I would definitely keep reading.

  2. I'd keep reading. You've got the snark and dark humor down for the age, and the angst, so that's good. I also like your short paragraphs at this point. I just wish we had more words so I had a hint of what's going on besides the bullying.

  3. I like the banter between the two main characters. You do a great job setting up tension and relationships.

  4. I like the sense of voice and character in this. I wanted more of a sense of the location, there wasn't much description of the school. Nor of the characters either. But that doesn't necessarily have to be in the first 250 if it's coming relatively soon.

  5. The voice here is great. To me, waking up in class felt a little bit typical. Without knowing more of the story, it’s hard to say where to start exactly, but I felt that that first paragraph was not as dynamic as it could have been—and that’s where you are really capturing your reader. My only other critique would be the dialogue—I’m not even sure kids know what pocket protectors are and it felt a like a dated insult. Something out of an 80s movie, even though this is clearly present day. I would recommend tweaking.

  6. Love this voice! I agree about the pocket protector and was thrown by the use of Intersection (I assumed they'd somehow made it outside although I think you mean an intersection of hallways).


  7. The voice in your story is very realistic. I would like to stay with the MC a little longer before she starts talking to Isaac. You establish the problem of bullying quickly but in the dialogue I don't get a sense that this bothers the MC or Isaac much. Also, because we don't these characters well yet, I'm a little confused as to who is actually speaking.

  8. This has a great voice, but some of it feels dated. I'm not sure how to fix that, but they sound and act the way kids did when I was in school. Now if the setting is 20 years ago, this is great.