Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Secret Agent #24

TITLE: Undecided

His music is too loud. Not exactly a problem, except that it's louder than mine. I jack up my iPod. My tiny speakers can't drown out the noise.

Especially since they aren't just competing with music, but laughter, splashing, screams. Fun. That's what's on the other side of the fence.

My phone buzzes and skitters across the swing's seat. Amber's name flashes on the Caller ID.

I catch it at the edge and flip it open. "Hey."

"What's all that noise?"

"A party."

"You're having a party and you didn't invite your best friend?"

"Not me, the neighbors. For Ryan's graduation."

"I thought you went to his party the other day."

"I did. That was the family one, the adult one, the boring one. This is the one for his friends."

"Two parties. Sounds like a scam for extra presents."

"Pretty sure that was the point."

"Tell Ryan congrats, and that I'm stealing his idea when we graduate next year."

"Can't. I'm not there."

"Why not?"

"Wasn't invited. Guess cause I got lumped into the invite with my parents for the other one, they left me out of this one."

"You got the crappy end of that deal."

I pick at a loose string in the swing's seat. "Whatever. I probably know more of his parents' friends than his, since they're my parents' friends, too. So what's the plan? Am I going there, or you coming here?"

"Um, actually, neither. Max's parents took his brother camping, so . . ."


  1. A lot of great action and dialog. I think it just needs some beats. What is the narrator thinking behind her words? What thoughts are provoked by her friends words?
    In just 250 words we already get a great sense of character and voice. I'd keep reading.

  2. I like this- it throws us directly into some action and I'm intrigued by the fact that she hasn't been invited to the party but I'm wondering how she's feeling about it.

  3. Out of the five I critted, this is my fave so far. I would keep reading.

    For now I suggest that you fix that difficult 2nd paragraph and maybe add some physical action during the dialog. Talking Heads syndrom ;-)

  4. Good job on your character's voice. I'm left wondering why she wasn't invited to the party so am intrigued. Dialogue is snappy and realistic, however perhaps break it up a little with some internal thoughts?
    Anyway, I'm hooked!

  5. I think you've done a very nice job of reflecting the dialogue of two teens on the phone. Sounds totally real to me.

    I'm just wondering what the conflict is here, though. Is it going to be the kid who's having the party that she wasn't invited to, or is it something that has to do with her plans with her friend falling apart? If it's not party guy, then you've wasted 250 words on a beginning that could be tightened up with the real conflict.

    Just my opinion. I would keep reading either way, because I like your writing. Very realistic.

    good luck!

  6. I'm with melodycolleen on this one, but it is well-written.

    Good luck with SA!

  7. You did a great job with the characters voice and setting the scene without tedious infodumping.

    Not exactly hooked because we don't know what the conflict will be (of course, it's only the first 250), but I would read on based on the voice to see if it's mentioned in the next few pages.

  8. You paint a very realistic picture here. The writing is good and the dialogue is well-written. But I have to say for a first page, I'm not intrigued. Nothing really happens, other than a girl not getting invited to her neighbor's second just doesn't draw me in.
    Good luck!

  9. I really liked this. I just want a touch of conflict and some of her emotions about not being invited. Good start!

  10. The dialogue is realistic, but it doesn't do a lot for me. I'd like to see more information in the conversation. The conversation describes the situation, but I don't really get to know the main character that well. I'd like to find out more about her and what she's thinking in the opening.

  11. The dialogue is realistic, but it's just conversation. Nothing happens.

    Why is not being at that party important to the story? If it's not, you don't need it. If it is, give us clue. How does she feel about not being there? Angry, slightly miffed, doesn't really care.

    While the writing's good, there's no way for me to guess what this story is about. There's no reason to read on.

  12. Not quite hooked. I liked the beginning, but halfway through, I started thinking, "Whoa ... case of the Talking Heads. Not sure who's saying what anymore. Brain overload ..." Long bits of dialog like this, without any tags, might work later on, when we get to know your characters, but too much in the first 250 is overwhelming for the reader who is new to your story. Best of luck!

  13. This sounds very true to life but I'm not sure what the conflict is, so I don't know if I'd keep reading.

  14. There wasn't much happening but I liked it enough that I'd read on. For me, the hook was finding out more about the party she wasn't invited to. The second paragraph suggested to me that the MC wasn't all that happy about not being invited, since she said fun was on the other side of the fence (i.e. not on her side). The back and forth dialogue didn't bother me in this case, I could follow who was saying what, but it can be confusing so I agree with other commenters to insert some actions. Other than that, I like it!

  15. Hooked. I can sense an underlying conflict in this one, but I think perhaps a few more internals would give this greater depth :D

  16. Love! The dialogue is great, and I can feel her resentment for being invited to the family party and not the friend one. I feel like there's much more to the story that will unfold, which will hopefully involve Ryan.