Wednesday, March 10, 2010

29 Secret Agent

TITLE: The Girl in the Bunker
GENRE: Historical fiction

My diary had to be perfect.

22 April 1945. Uncle Adolf finally sent for me!

My words looked splendid and bold on the rich paper, though I could hardly read them because of the cardboard blocking every pane of glass. I tilted my diary towards the threads of light that crept through at the edges. My neck ached, but I had to sit on the windowseat because if I used the dining room table, the little girls would nag me to look at their drawings or put clothing on their dolls. After the war ended, Mother would help me choose a proper writing desk, with compartments for all of my stationery and photographic postcards. She’d instruct Father’s adjutant to place my desk in the corner of her office, not far from her own, so we could work together.

When I was little, Father took me to visit Uncle Adolf as often as once a week, so it’s hard to believe I haven’t seen him since he came to our house in December. We baked him a special cake, and the five of us girls wore our white dresses and sang a lovely folk tune. Then we listened intently as he told us how he’d invented the most marvelous, destructive weapons in the history of the world, to smash all his enemies with. He swung his fists so hard he knocked a teacup off the table!

That was over four months ago. Why did he take so long to end the war?


  1. Great concept! Adolf through the eyes of someone who loved him. Well-written, too! I'd definitely want to read more!

  2. I really like the concept, I'm just a little confused by what is going on in the scene. For some reason when I read 'pane of glass' I didn't instantly connect it with a window until she said 'windowseat.' That's probably just me though...

    Really great concept though. I'd definitely read on.

  3. I like the idea of Hitler being someone's beloved uncle, so I'm hooked. But I was a little confused by the lines "After the war ended, Mother would help me..." and "Why did he take so long to end the war?" Is the war over already, or is it still going on?

  4. Is this actually YA? Or will she age quickly?

    Interesting concept. I'm intrigued by the last line.

  5. The various pieces don't fit together for me very cleanly. Why does a diary, of all things, have to be perfect?

    I'm assuming the purpose of all the text in italics at the bottom of the piece is an extension of the diary entry (it's a little hard to tell when it's in a blog post and not formatted on a page), but it threw me a teeny bit.

    Maybe it would help if you came up with a smoother transition between Adolf sending for her and "When I was little," which actually felt like a time shift.

    That said, very smooth writing, and good details. And a good premise. I'd be interested to read more.

  6. Very interesting idea and good writing. I agree with JoAnn about the timeline of the war, but I'd keep reading. Good job!

  7. I think this would be a tough sell.

    I'd need to know early the direction this was going to take.

    "Then we listened intently as he told us how he’d invented the most marvelous, destructive weapons in the history of the world, to smash all his enemies with."

    then "...Why did he take so long to end the war?

    left me cold.

  8. I thought this could be a very interesting premise, but I didn't think it was set up as well as it could be. Perhaps keep the diary entry together instead of separating it with narrative? And a stronger opening line might be the diary entry - 22 April, 1945. Uncle Adolph finally sent for me!

    You might want to follow that up with her journey to him, or arriving wherever he is and meeting him. As it stands, you tease us with that line about being sent for, and then write about past events. Save the backstory for later.

    A little girl who loves Hitler is an intriguing concept. But I think because it is, you have to make your opening just as intriguing as the idea.

  9. 1st page Chapter 1, I'm not intrigued enough to get involved in this. There is not enough warmth given to this character to make me want to know more about them - if this is your hook, then you haven't connected with me. And added to that your paragraphs are very heavy.
    On American Idol I'd probably behave like Simon and say you aren't ready yet for Hollywood but certainly come back next year.

  10. The concept for this is intriguing, but I do feel like the voice sounds...less than authentic. More like what an adult thinks a girl her age during that decade in Germany should sound, rather than how she would sound? Does that make sense? I would probably keep reading a little further based on concept alone, but if the voice doesn't grab me, I most likely wouldn't get far.