Wednesday, January 13, 2010

17 Secret Agent

TITLE: Colors Like Memories
GENRE: YA Paranormal

I greeted his tombstone the way I always did—with a swift kick. The release of frustration was more than worth the sharp pain in my toes. The polished marble tilted to the left because of all my visits; a crooked tooth in the rows of pearly white graves.

I sat on the damp grass, folding my legs under me. “I keep hoping one of these days you’ll be here waiting for me.” The words were tradition. I couldn’t keep myself from hoping I’d come over the hill to find him leaning over his grave, wearing a sly smile while he waited for me. He died so very long ago, but I cannot stop wishing.

I leaned my head against my knees, wishing I could sleep. If I slept, though, I would dream of him, and that made things so much harder. I tried to explain this to the man I visited, but tonight it was only empty starlight.

It wasn’t so much a sound that made me jerk upright and glance over my shoulder. Something made me certain I wasn’t alone; a tension in the air, or the rush of someone’s breath, I wasn’t sure which. Scanning the darkness, I couldn’t see anyone lurking in the expanse of headstones. Could a random groundskeeper be working late? Another visitor to someone’s grave? Anyone who saw me would lead to problems I didn’t want to deal with.


  1. I really liked this...I could feel myself there (since it's in first person POV), kneeling and feel my jeans around my knees getting wet. Very intrigued!

  2. Some lovely lyrical writing here. In the last paragraph, does she think it might be 'him'? I'm trying to figure out if she really expects him to eventually show up, in which case that would seem to be her obvious first thought, or if that's just something she says bcz she misses him so much. Would keep reading--intriguing!

  3. This completely rocks! Awesome writing, intriguing start, fully feel in the first person protag's shoes. Nice.

    Couple things, just to polish it: "I tried to explain this to the man I visited, but tonight it was only empty starlight." This sentence confuses me - which man? And what else would the night be? A little more explanation/detail there would be nice.

    Also: "random groundskeeper"? Random seems undescriptive. And I would reword the last sentence to be more active.

    You can see, I'm picking nits here. Because it's awesome. Did I say, it rocks? It does.

    Good luck!

  4. Love the first line.

    A couple small things:

    -The tense of "I cannot stop wishing" is present but needs to be past ("I couldn't stop..."). The tense of "I tried to explain this..." is past but needs to be past perfect ("I had tried...")

    -For some reason, the words "the man I visited" made me think you meant a different man. Maybe say, "him" instead.

  5. Very good opening line and paragraph. Pulls me in. I get her sense of longing. Nice description without getting bogged down.

    Overall, this is a nice set up and I would want to read more. I'm interested in what comes next. Good job!

  6. I laughed out loud at the first line. It was terrific, totally unexpected!
    Felt as if I was there.
    I'd definitely keep reading.

  7. I really liked the beginning of this. A couple of things stuck out in the writing, but overall I liked it and would keep reading.

    "wearing a sly smile while he waited for me" -- I'd cut 'while he waited for me' since it's redundant with the 'waiting for me' you have two sentences before.

    "I tried to explain this to the man I visited, but tonight it was only empty starlight." -- This sentence doesn't make sense to me. The two thoughts here don't seem connected.

    The first sentence of the last paragraph would be stronger if you have her jerk up and glance around, then explain that it wasn't a sound, just a feeling. The way you have it now seems out of order.

  8. I was brought in by this right away. It was fantastic and I could feel her pain and disappointment. I would definitely love to read more.

  9. Great opening parg., particularly the last sentence. 'crooked tooth in rows of pearly white graves.'

    It starts to falter after that. After she speaks in the second parg, you follow it up with narrative that says the same thing, and there's a tense shift there and in the third parg.

    In the fourth parg, you're telling us everything in reverse order. Create the tension in the air first, then let her have the sense that someone's there, then let her feel the breathing and jump. It'll create more tension and have more power than saying she jumped and them explaining why.

    I wouldn't read on because I don't know where you're going. Give us a hint of what's to come, or perhaps when/why/how this person died, or even who he was to her. Give me a taste so I'll come back for more.

  10. This hooked me. The character's voice is really good, and I liked the hint of action to come.

  11. Oooh, I want to read more. Great voice!

    My fingers are double crossed for this one. :D

  12. Author here: Thanks a million for your comments. I really appreciate it!