Wednesday, August 19, 2009

7 Secret Agent

TITLE: Sapphire Stars
GENRE: Futuristic Romance

Anynka Sapir gave another wearied and pointless kick against the thick iron bars of her cell. Her feet and hands chafed from heavy binding. She kept her tongue curled back to keep from touching the oily rag stuffed in her mouth, but it was starting to cramp. Soon it might touch the fabric, and then she’d vomit. Not good.

“Pretty women shouldn’t make trouble,” the guard had said, his eyes beady despite the low light in the prison. His sweaty, fumbling hands had grabbed at her breasts and a** while tying her. The image of his greasy leer stuck in her mind, like the stink of rotten eggs.

She’d been thrown into Ornami two weeks past for “liberating” some military equipment right under the nose of the Anschluss, the military arm of the Hysgart. Anynka kicked the bars again, gritting her teeth. She should have known something was wrong as soon as she’d entered the cockpit of the B5-14 carrier . Sure, she was dressed as a corporal, but no one, not even the pilot, just strolled on in, easy-peasy.

The previous sixteen successful raids had clearly made her far too cocky.

Giving up on the bars, Anynka concentrated on the binds on her wrists and ankles. She picked at the fabric surrounding her wrists with her nails, wondering whether it would accomplish anything.

A hoarse voice carried into her cell. “Stop making such a racket, girl.”


  1. Wow. Good job.

    She seems very sympathetic because of your voice. Also, the setting work + situation has the reader (me) tense and looking ahead to see how she gets away.

    Only thing I could think of is I'd be gagging and trying to throw up anyway, especially if she was chomping down on the rag. BEcause the taste of the oil would be on her tongue and at some point she'd have to swallow...

  2. Lots of great sensory imagery here. I like it! I think you could drop the first sentence of the third para since we will probably find that out over the course of the narrative or through dialogue. I like your smooth, vivid writing style and would definitely read on.

  3. I would ask for more. You pulled me in with the first sentence, gave appropriate back story without boring me and made me want to read more. Also, I like the voice of the character so far.

  4. his eyes beady despite the low light in the prison. His sweaty, fumbling hands had grabbed at her breasts and a** while tying her. The image of his greasy leer stuck in her mind, like the stink of rotten eggs.

    This doesn't work for me.

    Eyes can be beady in any light. If he's tying her up, how can he be grabbing at other body parts? And I understand what you're doing with the last sentence here, but by comparing the way someone looked at her to the stench of rotten eggs, you've combined senses that clash. Like comparing apples and oranges.

    There's a lot of backstory in this first 250 words, too.

    Your character does have a cool name, though.

    I'm not hooked. Sorry.

  5. Hooked - I think the story delivery is smooth so far, i'd read on to find out more about this world, and how she escapes.

  6. The story line hooked me. The logic needs work.

    She's in a prison cell. Her hands and feet are chafed from her bindings. This implies her hands and feet are bound. So how does she kick the cell? How does she pick at her bindings, especially if her wrists are also tied?

    She has a gag in her mouth. How does she grit her teeth? And why would she try since she'd have to bite down on the oily rag and she's trying so hard not to touch it with her tongue?

    Someone's already mentioned the problem with the beady eyes.

    I'd be leery about having to go through an entire manuscript and fixing all the logic problems.

    Clean them up and I'd think you have a shot.

  7. I thought this was intriguing, but some of it didn't make sense to me. She's been there for two weeks...has she been bound and gagged that whole time? Seems unlikely. And if she's in a cell, why bind or gag her at all?

    I probably would have read on a bit to see if any of this was explained, but if it wasn't, i would have quit. Still, there's something here, so maybe a little editing?

  8. I want to be hooked, but I definitely agree with those before me that there are issues with the logic and writing. Too much backstory, too.

  9. This is a very small point but why a**? We can't spell it out? Surely you're not writing this for infants?

  10. Why would she vomit? Is there something in there to make her vomit--or is it just her?

    The writing is good, but I'm not hooked. I feel like you have a good story and good writing, but it needs to be trimmed down a bit more.

  11. I like your writing, but I'd get rid of the backstory in these paragraphs and skip straight to the other person talking to her. Or, I'd start with the unsuccessful raid on the carrier.

  12. I agree with everyone about all the logic problems.

    You are also starting with a character in a static situation. Either start with her getting caught or at the moment she realizes she can escape this place.

  13. Not bad. I don't think I'd use 'Anschluss' as a proper noun, when your other proper names are made up. It does connect your villains with the Nazis, but finding a familiar word where I expect a strange one, and to find it used not quite as it did historically pulled me a little out of the story.

  14. This is fantastic. I particularly love futuristic romance and the market for it is growing. I'd absolutely continue reading and request more material. We have immediate conflict, a strong heroine, and the beginning of some great world-building. I'm very pleased with this one. Congrats!