Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Secret Agent #23

Title: Shadow of the Stars
Genre: YA Fantasy

Levi exited the wooded path leading toward Oliver’s home and a ribbon of golden light drew a band across his eyes. As he breached the final fallen tree, the carcass of which succumbed to the curse of time, he was forced to cover his face with his sleeve. He paid the price of doing so by stepping through a rotted piece of the trunk. Levi staggered, quickly recovered, and shook free the nasty critters that lived inside the decrepit tree husk whose only crime was growing in a climate that received little to no rainfall.

As he spun around to face the Williams’s house again, the sky blossomed in a vibrant swatch of pinks and oranges as the clouds spread here and there. The last of the dying rays tried to blind Levi a second time, but he found his friend. Just like the sky, Levi’s face went pink. Not so pink where it was noticeable at his distance from Oliver, but pink enough that he could feel the very tingle in his toes that forced him to wiggle the sensation out. But it was so common a feeling, the nerves and aches of being close to Oliver grew wise to Levi’s efforts, and instead they worked up and around his legs, to the small of his back, and ended right at his heart which always began to beat faster.

Levi tugged his ball cap lower to shield his eyes. Oliver came back into view.

5 comments:

  1. Since the sentences are all so long I find it hard to find a rhythm. There are many great descriptors in here, but the commas keep tripping me up. I have to dig and work hard to get the whole picture. That kind of makes me sad because I want to read it.

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  2. You have some lovely descriptive phrases in here! My main suggestion would be to break them up a bit. Make your sentences shorter, perhaps interspersed with interiority from Levi. I'd love to know why he's going to Oliver, and whether he feels some urgency in doing so. In other words, I'm a little unclear what exactly is happening, and a little inner dialogue might help clear that up. One small note - saying "Levi's face went pink" is a bit of a POV issue, since Levi himself wouldn't be able to see that. Nice job!

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  3. First of all I love your title! You have some great descriptive sentences in here. Many of the sentences are so long and have so much description though that I found myself getting tripped up and having to stop and go back and read them again, so I would recommend breaking up some of the lengthier ones like: "But it was so common a feeling, the nerves and aches of being close to Oliver grew wise to Levi’s efforts, and instead they worked up and around his legs, to the small of his back, and ended right at his heart which always began to beat faster."

    I would also like more of a sense of why he is going to see Oliver. Is this just any old day he goes to visit him? Is there something special about today? Something he wants to talk to Oliver about? More context will help strengthen this I think. Hope that helps!

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  4. Great title! You have such a gift of description. I love the way you paint a picture with your words. It's beautiful and really draws the reader in... however, I think it can maybe be edited down a bit and tightened up. I found it lagging a bit for me at times when the sentences got longer, but I like the tension that seems to be creeping in toward the end. It made me eager to find out what was going on between Levi and Oliver. Best of luck!

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  5. This reminds me of a zoomed-in opening shot of a movie, offering a close narration of a moment that evokes the setting and mood beautifully but would only take a couple of seconds to convey on a screen.

    It moves a little too slowly here to pull me in, though. I think you could more effectively establish character, tension, and plot if you pare down some of the descriptive details and pan out sooner to the action, or layer in more significant clues. What’s going on in Levi’s head as he approaches Ollie (beyond the feeling of butterflies)?

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