Wednesday, November 4, 2009

28 Secret Agent

TITLE: Seeing Zombies
GENRE: Urban Fantasy

Ricia looked up, listening for the repetition of the small sound she'd heard, but the house was silent. Should she find some music or get used to the quiet? Newly from a house that had never been empty, she decided to experience the quiet a little longer to get used to living alone.

Especially since she had no idea where she'd left her iPod and the desk wasn't fitting together as easily as she'd hoped. While the twelve pages of instructions had plenty of diagrams and had included such diverse tools as a hexagon bent into an L-shape and a flat wrench that swore it could be used as a screwdriver, it wasn't enough. Not by a long shot.

She sighed, staring at the small tool and mentally reshaping it into a hammer. Oblivious and unconcerned, it remained a tiny metal wrench no matter which non-existent transformation power she turned on it. While she had packed a full set of tools knowing she'd need them to put her house together, she had no idea where to look for them. That happened to be one of many things she'd do differently if she ever had to plan another cross-country move.


  1. Not hooked. There's nothing particularly troublesome here, but there's also nothing that draws me in.

    A phrase I stumbled over: "Newly from a house that had never been empty."

  2. I stumbled over several of the sentences because of the way they were structured which pulled me away from the story and character. Also, the initial set up of being alone in a house setting up a new desk, didn't really pull me in. Try taking another look at your piece for a beginning that might be stronger. Good luck!

  3. Except for the first and last sentences, which just barely scrape the dramatic, there's nothing here to interest me in going further -- and you kill the drama of the first sentence by talking about playing music. If everything's still normal in soon-to-be-zombie world, then you need to find some other way of getting into your book -- some kind of drama involving your protagonist. If there already are zombies running around out there, then your protagonist ought to be showing some fear, unease, disquiet of some sort. I know I would be if there were zombies about and I were all alone.

    And if there are no zombies and that's just a title thing...well, then what I said about some other drama still goes.

  4. I like the title. I like that the ready-to-assemble desk really isn't. Thought the tiny clue about powers was well-placed, but then you didn't do anything with it.

    I'm sure the rest of the novel is stellar, you just need a more active... more something, opening.

  5. I would read on, though I can’t say I’m hooked. “Newly from a house that had never been empty” was a problem, and then next time I see one like that, I’d quit. But I kind of like this person, and she doesn’t have to be pinned against the wall in the first 250 words. Just make sure something happens soon.

  6. I thought the idea of her trying to reshape the hammer and not having transformation powers was a cool detail and said a lot about the main character. This detail hooked me and made me want to read more.

    I found the first paragraph confusing. What sort of sound does she hear? Is there a reason not to tell the reader what she thought she heard? If she just heard a sound, then why is she deciding to experience quiet a little longer--she'd actually been experiencing some sort of sound not quiet.

    Can you simply say she wasn't used to quiet rather than "Newly from a house that had never been empty"?

  7. I liked the second and third paragraphs. Liked the first line of the first paragraph.

    Make that small noise stand out a bit by letting her scalp prickle. Then let her chide herself for being silly. It's just because she's not used to being alone.


    I love the bit about the desk--I've put enough together myself to know what a royal pain they are--and wanting to make a hammer from the wrench. I'm assuming she is going to beat that darned desk into submission. I like her feistiness.

  8. There is nothing wrong with this per se but it isn't particularly hooky.

  9. Could be an interesting story, but nothing here is enticing me to read on. Maybe shorten up the description of the tools to get to something more exciting faster? I think this could benefit from some tightening overall. You have 'get used to' twice in the first paragraph.

  10. I think you could cut out the "Newly from a house that had never been empty" and just start with "She decided to experience . . ." instead.

    I would read on because I found the humor in the paragraph about the desk building. I'd try to get to some action sooner though to keep the reader interested. I'm not hooked yet, but I'd keep going to see when zombies come into play.

  11. The most engaging section of this was the drama of putting together the flat pack desk.

    But it seemed out of place when she'd just described being spooked by the small noise.

    I might be out of step with other critters (I haven't read them), but I would put the reaction to the noise after the desk fiasco.