Thursday, July 17, 2008

#98 SECRET AGENT Are You Hooked?

Title: Great Scott
Genre: YA Fantasy

Mage stared, transfixed, as the teacup in Cery's hand shattered. The shards of porcelain flew in every direction, making a dull tinkling sound as they hit the floor. The light reflected off the thousands of droplets soaring through the air, amber lights dancing on the ceiling and illuminating Cery's paralyzed face.

Wiping stray drops of tea off her face, Cery examined the damage. "Third explosion this week," she remarked.

Mage got off the bed and walked across the floor, scuffing up the porcelain dust with her shoes. She looked up a Cery. "When the cup exploded, weren't there shards?"

Cery shrugged. "You expect me to remember these kinds of things?"

"There were," Mage said. "The porcelain completely disintegrated."

"Mage, you're bleeding."

She drew her hand across her face. When she pulled it away, there was a red smear on her palm. She crossed the room to the mirror. The face in the mirror did not have a single cut on it. The face in mirror also had no freckles, blue eyes instead of brown, and short blond hair. The face in the mirror clearly didn't belong to her. She turned to Cery. "There's a face in the mirror."

"You're hyperventilating," Cery said. "Take a deep breath."

"Right. Someone's spying on me through my own mirror, I'm bleeding but I can't look at my own face, a teacup just completely disintegrated, explosions have been following me everywhere. I'm really going to worry about breathing at a time like this."


  1. Yes, I like the characters, I like the sense of humour showing through, and I like the pace.

  2. Overall, I did like this. I'm not completely hooked though. In the first paragraph, you mentioned droplets. At first, I thought the tea cup was empty and wasn't sure if 'droplets' was how you were trying to describe the porcelain pieces. Also, did Mage know the tea cup was about to explode? Was there some kind of warning? The fact that she was already staring indicates she was waiting for it (Just thought you should know, in case that's not what you meant). I'm not in love with the last paragraph. It's like a summary of what's just happened, but after 250 words the reader shouldn't be confused or need it.

    Good voice!

    Emily H

  3. Yes(ish)

    The face in the mirror did not have a single cut on it. The face in mirror also had no freckles, blue eyes instead of brown, and short blond hair. The face in the mirror clearly didn't belong to her. She turned to Cery. "There's a face in the mirror."

    I was going to pass, but then I read this part. It was creepy and caught my attention.

  4. You had me until the last paragraph. I agree with Emily H. that it's just a summary for me. I got everything she said, and I'm not sure she'd say those things. She's not freaked out by the face in the mirror? The explosions? Unless these types of things have been happening for years, I think a different response is needed. JMHO.

    So, you sort of had me.

  5. Yes. With the exploding tea cup and the face in the mirror that was not hers, I was drawn into this piece and would keep reading.

    One nit though, the first sentence needs to be re-written. Say something like she was startled or jumped with the teacup exploded. This version suggests she was staring at the cup expecting it to explode.

    I liked it.

  6. I enjoyed this and would continue reading, though more emotion from the MC would be helpful :-)

  7. Nice. The reflection in the mirror device is a bit cliche, but the rest was fun. I might read on. Jury's still out.

  8. You hooked me enough by the end of the page that I was amused and willing to read more. I'd love it if we could hear and feel the cup break. More opening action. I do love the character's nonchalance/bravery, though.

  9. I loved the begining but didn't like the last line... I might read on.

  10. I wouldn't say I was completely hooked, but I'd be willing to finish the first chapter to see if it drew me in more.

  11. Tentatively yes. Engage your characters (especailly your MC) into the scene more, rather than the "this happened, then this happened" set up. Also, I think there need to be some additional transitions between actions and speech throughout.

  12. I might keep reading. The last paragraph feels like too much of a summarization. Either start earlier and show all these things happening, or keep the focus of this scene on the strange face in the mirror. If I knew more about the plot, I might read further.

  13. Mildly hooked. Not my genre.

    The characters, I like, as well as the humor and premise. But I thought the descriptions were a bit rough. How much tea could there be in a cup to make amber lighting?

    The face in the mirror is creepy but the last para seemed crammed with recaps.

  14. Last paragraph: no. There's no need to relay all of this information; we know what happened. Interesting. I'm a little hooked.

  15. I'd read on because I like the characters and the premise, but I think the last paragraph could go because it tells us nothing new.

    I also thought "dull tinkling" clashed (Isn't "tinkling" usually a bright, cheery sound?) and suggest taking a closer look at the seventh paragraph. Three of its sentences start with "she," and three start with "the face in the mirror." (The graf isn't awful as it is, but I think it might be less distracting -- and make the same point -- if the sentences were varied just a tad.)

    Good luck with this! :-)

  16. I'd read on.

    Some questions:
    1. Are the girls friends or sisters?
    2. Who caused the cup to explode, Mage or Cery?

    I got confused at "Mage, you're bleeding". I get that Cery said that. No dialogue tag needed. However, since paragraph breaks in dialogue signal a change in speaker, I thought Cery was the one who drew her hand across her face. I had to re-read it a couple of times to get it straight.

    The last sentence of your first paragraph beautifully describes the liquid, yet by describing the droplets, it seems to put the action in slow motion. Was that your intention?

    Again, I would read more.

  17. Yes, I like it! I would read on. I was a bit leery when the mirror description started (as it is cliche) but the fact she's seeing a different face and someone is spying on her, won it over and I'd like to see more. ;)

    Good luck,


  18. Yes, with the caveat that I found the situation confusing until the final three paragraphs, which was nearly enough to make me say no... :) Last para's great, though :)

  19. Yes, I'd keep reading, but I was confused about if Mage caused the explosion (I initially thought it was Cary) and I'd love for the "recap" in the final para to not be dialog. She could think some variation on those things but shouldn't say it--as Cery pretty much already knows.

  20. Lovely start off - such a mundane setting with an instant overlay of bizarre. I'd keep reading to see if you could keep it up!

    Loved the mirror.

    I was slightly disturbed (not in a good way) by the dull tinkling of the shards happening and tehn having teh droplets still in teh air - chronology doesn't match to me (unless that's intentional).
    Also wasn't quite following the whole shards/no shards thing.