Wednesday, July 15, 2009

24 Secret Agent

TITLE: Just Maybe
GENRE: YA Fiction

“Maybe we should go,” I murmured, glancing at my watch. We’d been waiting out here for more than five minutes. It didn’t seem anyone was answering this door.

“No,” Annie replied firmly. “This will be good for her.”

Annie may have thought this visit was a good idea, but I wasn’t so sure. It still felt too soon since I got the news.

After a day of catching up from a holiday trip to visit my father’s family, I finally had a few minutes to lounge when the phone rang. It was Annie and I was surprised. She rarely called. It was better for her that way. My grandmother didn’t like her and wasn’t shy about letting it be known. Annie’s outgoing, bubbly personality was too much for Yai. It made her uncomfortable. Annie was the complete opposite of what Yai thought a young lady should be. To her, Annie was a bit too American. Heaven forbid that rubbed off on me.

But Annie was calling about something important. I could hear it in her tone as soon as I answered. “I wasn’t sure if you would be back yet,” she said softly.

“We just got home this morning,” I replied. “What’s up?”

“I just found out . . . You know the accident? Just before Christmas?” Annie’s voice was soft, wavering.

“What’s going on?” I asked slowly, worried about what she would say, what this had to do with me and somehow already knowing what her answer would be.


  1. I like it but I think it's a little confusing to start where you do. I had to read twice to realize the second paragraph after the dialogue comes chronologically before. Why not just start there?

    Also I'd love a little snapshot description of Annie and perhaps some understanding of where we are. Right now it just needs a bit of tweaking before I'd read on.

  2. I like it, but I still don't know what the story is about... I am intrigued though.

    I like that you mention the Yai right off... and tell me that there will be a foreign aspect (that's greek, right?) to the story!

  3. A mildly confusing start, immediately jumping into a flashback - I would start with the phone call and then go forward. I am curious to know what's going on, though, and would probably read on.

  4. I'd stick the info dump paragraph (starting with 'After a day of...) after the last paragraph (starting with 'What's going on'). That way you already have a hook with the 'accident' mention, to keep us interested in the information you then convey.

    Good writing.

  5. I'm interested....

    I think maybe the writing could be tidied up just a little bit. Firmly place them on a doorstep in the first paragraph. Maybe mention Annie's name less.

    But I do like the hint of an ethnic background, and wonder if that will play a big part or not in the story.

  6. I agree with starting the story with the phone call. The beginning dialogue is vague and says nothing about the storyline or the characters.

    The description of Annie and Yai explains a lot in a very short space, creating an interesting dynamic I want to know more about. I'm also interested with the narrator's relationship with them both.

    I love the "bit too American."

  7. Not really hooked. I like the contrast between Annie and Yai (which you communicate nicely with just their names in addition to the other tidbits of information we get), but I don't like how the main action suddenly stops and back story begins. Keep us on the porch and let us find out about the accident through whoever opens that door.

  8. I agree with Krista G. She took the words out of my mouth.

  9. I agree with Krista. Give us the story in real time, with a scene between Annie and the narrator.

    Also, look at the big paragraph, and how many times "was" appears -- that's a sign you're telling and using the passive voice (neither are good for a story).

  10. There's a lot of good stuff going on here. I would read on because I'm interested in what happens next, but I think you could probably cut a great deal of the 4th paragraph or move it after the first page. Good luck!

  11. Something's going on, but I found it a little confusing. I think the writing needs to be tightened up just a little bit. *Smiles*

    Good Luck! ;)

  12. I'd give this a few more pages, but I am not hooked just yet. I agree with the people who found the chronology confusing, but the bit about Yai interested me and would probably draw me further into the story.

    Note: unless there were many "the accidents" I suspect Annie wouldn't have to add "just after Christmas." "Just after Christmas" gives her dialogue a wooden feel.

    The title is a little bland.

  13. Not hooked. The flashback killed it for me. You start with them at someone's door. Maybe just stay there. When we meet the person Annie's referring to, it'll probably clue us in about the accident.

    The first 3 pargs. are story. The rest is all info dumpy back story.