Wednesday, January 13, 2010

50 Secret Agent

TITLE: Mystic Misfit
GENRE: Young adult

He just didn’t get it.

The cute new guy in the desk next to mine kept waving at me. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but during one of Mr. Bhatia’s math tests it was a total don’t.

I risked a glance to the front of the classroom. Our teacher focused on the back row—probably eyeballing one of the delinquents who forgot it was a test day and showed up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the dark-haired boy wave at me again. If he was looking to copy off my paper, he was out of luck. The answers I came up with so far that semester were barely making the grade. My stomach churned as I turned my attention back to the calculus problem I was trying to figure out.

“You have to help me,” the guy whispered.

The tip of my pencil snapped against my test paper. Was he nuts? Kelly, my best friend sitting on my right side, eyed me. I shrugged and then nodded at Mr. Help Me—

Who now stood next to my desk.

This was not happening. Didn’t he understand that if I got thrown out for cheating, I’d fail this class? I shook my head and pointed at his desk, hoping he’d return to it before our teacher noticed anything.

“Megan Delaney, I know you can hear me.” His voice was louder than before.

My jaw dropped and I quickly scanned the room. Why wasn’t anyone else noticing him?


  1. Nice writing.

    I like this, but I'm having a believability issue. If this guy is new, I would assume he was introduced to the class. And yet, you end by implying she's the only one who can see him.

    Perhaps if they were not noticing what he was doing rather than not noticing him? That might clear it up for me.

    I'd read on.

  2. I thought this was smooth with a nice voice, and I'd definitely read on to see who this guy is.

  3. I like the voice in this and I definitely get a good look into the narrator's head. There was only one sentence that threw me ("The answers I came...") and I think it's because it's talking about the past, not that day.

  4. Definitely caught me off guard. Like it! I agree with Sarah Laurenson, though. If he's new, he would have been introduced or something.

  5. You sucked me right into the story; I was sweating right along with the heroine. I suspected early on that nobody could see him, but that only made me read on to see if I was right.

    I liked the smooth voice--definitely a young girl's but not forced.

    I would definitely read on.

  6. Love the voice, and the tension of the scene. And the title. Would definitely read on to find out about this guy.

    Like redqueen, the sentence "the answers I came up with . . ." - that sounded a bit off to me. Maybe, "the answers I'd come up with" ?

    Good luck.

  7. I liked the voice and I'd definitely read on. It almost sounds paranormal since only she seems to notice him. I'd have at least thought the teacher would have commented. But then maybe that comes after the 250 words here.

  8. Hooked! I stumbled over the sentence, "The answers I came up with so far that semester.." because it seemed like it would work better as, "The answers I'd come up with so far that semester..." But that's a very small thing.

    Nice voice, nice writing. Although I'm with the others who think this sounds more young adult paranormal than just young adult...

  9. I like this. It only took 250 words and you sucessfully built up the mystery about the guy.

    I agree about the change to "The answers I came up with..." -> this needs to be past perfect.

    I'd be careful about the use of "now" and "so far". These are tough to pull off in past tense.

    My only other comment is that you say the boy "kept waving" but then go on to say he waved again. In my head, he was still waving since you never said he stopped. IMO, I'd get rid of the "kept" and make the initial action specific (ie, he waved at me for the tenth time...).

  10. I liked.
    And i disagree with the new guy issue - in my school, new kids were only introduced in their homeroom classes. After that, they were on their own.

  11. Aha, interesting! I was all set to ask how the teacher looking at the back of the room could miss them (presumably nearer the front), but the end put things in a different perspective. All in all, nice pacing, nice character introduction, and very cool twist at the end of the page. I'd read more!

  12. I liked the hook at the end. I presume that this is someone no one else can see, so I want to know who/what he is. Sounds paranormal to me, other than stright YA. I liked it and would keep reading.

  13. Good voice, I like this. The pacing seems spot on and I'm ready to find out what happens next.

  14. I think it's completely believable that he wouldn't have been introduced to the class! It sounds like it's middle/high school, meaning that there are several separate classes. And she's probably seen him in the hall and assumed him to be new. Teachers don't always introduce new people to the class, it's really at their discretion. True, they usually do in books and movies. But it makes sense for this situation. Good writing, I'd say.

  15. Oh, I'm hooked on this one and would read on. I'm thinking he's a ghost or invisible.

    It's well written too.

  16. Defintely ready to turn the page! Nice voice, good tension. I can almost feel what this girl is feeling when Mr. New Guy is standing by her desk. Nice job!

  17. I like it -- nice voice. I'd definitely keep reading. I think you could easily do away with the believability problem at the start (Like others I was wondering why the teacher wasn't doing anything) by making the MC more aware of the fact that others should be noticing this boy but aren't.

    Overall, great beginning :)

  18. I like this! Where I'm from, in high school, no one bothers introducing anyone, so that didn't throw me at all. I liked how I could feel her tension & then boom - great twist :)

  19. I would definately read more! I liked how you referred to him as Mr. Help Me and the question at the end is the perfect lure to keep me interested.

  20. this is great, very intriguing.

    It seems obvious to me that you're setting us up for something paranormal. Your voice is very real and accurate for the age. I'd love to read on and know what's going on.

  21. I wasn't intending to do any critiques at the moment, but your first line caught my eye and drew me in before I realized what was happening. So, it did exactly what it needed to. Great job!

    I'd definitely read more. I'd like to know why she seems to be the only one that sees and hears him.

  22. I liked her voice and your pacing a lot.

    A few earlier sentences could you some verb revising:

    The answers I came up with so far that semester barely made the grade.

    My stomach churned as I turned my attention back to the calculus problem I tried to figure out.

  23. Agree with comments and would read on! Great voice and awesome twist!