Wednesday, January 13, 2010

3 Secret Agent

TITLE: Melody's Song
GENRE: Young Adult


“Shhh.” My eyes darted around the crowded cafeteria, hoping no one was eavesdropping. The fine tremor in my hand already had the Jell-o on my spoon doing a wiggle dance, and the way Cassie pronounced my name only made it worse.

“You’re joking, right?”

“Nope. Sort of wish I was.” A glob of green Jell-o slid off Cassie’s fork and plopped back into the plastic bowl. She continued to gawk at me, mouth hung open in disbelief. “Stop staring, Cassie.”

“Sorry. I’m just shocked you aren’t more excited.”

Art twirled around in his seat and faced us from across the aisle, one eyebrow raised in question. "Excited about what?"

I bit down on my lip, holding back a groan of frustration. Great. Art was the class gossip. It’d be less than two minutes flat and everyone in school would know I’d been called to Mrs. Perkins’s office.

“Mel is excused from fourth period Culture to go see Mrs. Perkins.” A hint of triumph danced in Cassie’s voice. It wasn’t often people had news that Art the know-it-all didn’t already know.

“Shut up! Really?” Art’s voice pitched an octave higher.

“It’s no biggie, so let’s drop it.”

“No way, babe. Being called to the Placement Guide can only mean one thing; you’re being put into training!” Cassie shovelled a spoonful of Jell-o into her mouth, speaking between bites. “Not that it’s surprising.”

“Yeah, it’s not like you have to go through Placement or anything. You’re guaranteed to be a Love Muse.”


  1. This intrigues me. I want to know what a 'Love Muse' is, and I like the MC's voice. The other characters are sharply drawn, too. But the first couple paragraphs are confusing; the reactions feel disjointed somehow. I think the problem is that we are in the MC's head, but we don't know what she and Cassie are reacting to. Knowing what is going on straight out would make it a smoother read. That said, with a streamlined opener I'd definitely read on.

  2. I liked this one. The characters and dialogue seem real and I want to know what a 'Love Muse" is, so I would definitely read on.

  3. I agree with the SA. ;) There are intriguing elements here, but some of the dialogue is confusing to follow.

  4. oooh Love Muse - exciting!
    I had abti of trouble keeping up with whome was speaking int eh beginning. There were no tags, which is fine, but you have both Cassie and Melody eating green jello (both of them with the jello wiggling on their utensils) and this forced me to re-read.
    Also I was unsure how to read the first sentance - at first i thought it was Melody showing someone how to pronounce her name. Maybe this is because there's no punctuation?

  5. Sounds like we're in an interesting school of some sorts, training to become a Love Muse, which I haven't ran across before. I am interested.

    I did get a little confused between the girls since both had the same Jell-O thing going on. I wasn't solid on whether the MC was nervous about going to the office or if she was nervous about the muse issue, so it may help to get that issue more clarified. Altogether I like this, though.

  6. I'm very interested in the Love Muse thing. I would totally read more. But I agree with the Secret Agent that the beginning is a little confusing (the first few paragraphs). Overall, you've got my interest.

  7. I thought this was very interesting. I want to know what a Love Muse means, and I want to know what type of school this is. The dialogue was good, but I agree with others that it needs to be a little more clear exactly who is speaking. I actually liked that we didn't know what they were talking about! It makes me want to read on.

  8. The 'Love Muse' bit definitely grabbed me, but as others have said, it was a bit confusing. I thought it was more because of the way you presented it (incorrect pargs. missing punctuation, etc) rather than the writing.

    I thought you did a great job with Art. His little bit of dialogue showed the type of person he was and fixed an image of him in mind.

    I'd read more, but if I had to work too hard to figure things out because of technical errors, I'd put it down.

  9. I liked Art, also. You gave a really good visual of him.
    "..excused from fourth period.." had me thinking uh-oh, she's in trouble.
    Then you went into more detail making this excerpt an interesting read.
    I thought it was good.

  10. Intriguing premise, but the story needs to be more grounded. As its written, I felt like I was bouncing from one person's head to another, in the middle of a conversation i didn't understand. Throwing a reader into a three-person conversation, without letting us know who these people are or why they're so excited, can be frustrating for the reader. A little more description could go a long way for you.

    Best of luck!

  11. I want to read more. I liked the interaction between the characters.

    My only suggestion would be to cut some of the character description and work it into the dialogue.

  12. I like it. I'd read on. I'm unqualified to make suggestions.

  13. Strong dialogue. But, I'm confused with the setting. Is this a special school? Do they have powers? Maybe sprinkle a little bit more setting hints earlier. I would read on though!

  14. I'm agreeing with more setting description. I assumed they were just two gossiping girls until the end thing about placement. Even though it doesn't have to be right up and in your face, I'd say little hints about it would make things clearer.

    Would probably read on to find out what's happening, but nothing here really dragged me in. It seems like a normal day in a lunchroom.

    Good luck!

  15. Minor tweaks to the beginning. I'm reading on. Very intrigued.