Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Secret Agent #8

GENRE: YA Paranormal

Massachusetts, October 1692

Freezing rain lashed the angel's face and dripped rivulets down his bare chest and back, soaking the wool breeches he wore. He shoved the hair out of his eyes. A small procession left the church in the center of the square, the girl among them. Fetters around her ankles and wrists hindered her movement, and she stumbled in the mud. His feet slid forward, his body aching to help her. Instead, his fingers curled into the bark of the tree he leaned against.

The local magistrate yanked her up by the elbow, half-dragging half-hauling her toward the jailhouse opposite the church. Then a short, bloated man in black overcoat and straight-brimmed hat exited. Reverend Harding, the devil himself. It took every ounce of restraint not to fly through the cover of trees and strip Harding from the inside out right there.

The girl paused and turned her face toward the tree line, as if she knew her angel stood there watching. He stepped further back. The magistrate jerked on the shackles, and she disappeared into the building.

Anger boiled in the pit of the angel's stomach - anger, just like foolish passion, that he should not feel. He sighed and flexed his balled fingers, rubbing them against his thigh. He had to leave; this was his fault. The trial would continue, but he knew the girl was strong enough to withstand Harding's ludicrous accusations.

A flutter came from behind, and a hand gripped the angel's shoulder.


  1. Love this!


    Good luck with SA!

  2. You know, I started noting questions I had and other things that bothered me. Suddenly I realized I was at the end and totally into it. Well done.

  3. I'm hooked.

    And I'm not even a fan of angel stories. :-)

  4. I was totally hooked! The only thing that bothered me was after you refer to him as "the angel" the first time, perhaps you should then give him a name. Perhaps the same with the girl. But I loved it.

  5. I'm not a big fan of paranormal but darn it, you hooked me. Good luck.

  6. Hooked! Loved it and would like to read more. Good job!

  7. I'm not a fan of angel stories, but I thought this was well written. Can I say I'm partially hooked?

  8. I don't know if you want me to like your angel or not, but I didn't. He wants to help the girl, but doesn't. (weak) She's being manhandled, and he stands by and watches. (cowardly) It's his fault she's in that predicament, but what the heck, she can handle it. He's going to leave. (Selfish)

    I was more interested in the girl and her story. I'm assuming we're at the Salem witch trials?

    The writing is good, you set tone and mood, and that, along with my interest in the girl would keep me reading. For how long would depend on what you did with your angel. If he's supposed to be the way I saw him, I'd put up with him because that's who he is, but if he's supposed to be the hero, I'm afraid you'd lose me, because he doesn't come across at heroic or worthy of admiration, and I'd be rooting for the girl to see him for what he was and dump him.

  9. I was pulled out of the story several times by word choices, e.g., further (instead of farther), how his feet seemed to move of their own volition (he moved his feet...)

    Like the idea, but think this needs polishing. A really honest critique group perhaps?

    Keep with it though, because the idea is strong.

  10. Hooked. Definitely hooked. But I have a few critiques:

    What is the difference between dragging and hauling? I think the "half dragging half hauling" description is too much. I'd pick one. Dragging or hauling, but not both. :)

    I'd also avoid ever starting a sentence with the word "Then." It screams telling to me. i.e. first this happened, next this happened, then this happened. Words like first, next, and then always pull me out of the story.

    I'd also delete the "right there" from the end of the 2nd paragraph. It weakens the sentence.

    Finally, I'd name the angel. It gets too repetitive to keep referring to him that way.

    But again: hooked. Totally. I'd read this.

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  12. I think his flaws set you in place to create a lot of growth with the character (lots of assuming on my part there). Not totally hooked but I'd read a bit more.

  13. Ooooh, I really liked this and I definitely want to read more. I think the writing is strong - I love the images and the sentence variance that carried me to the end. I don't have a problem with the angel, I want to see how it plays out. I'm assuming he is shackled in some way as well, just not physically. I agree that we need names to bring them closer.

    One little nitpicky thing - "his feet slid forward" seemed awkward to me. How do feet slid forward? I think he either steps forward or slides down a muddy slope.

    I'm hooked - definitely would like to see more.

  14. I feel like this was a prologue rather than the first 250 words of the story itself. In which case, I rather just jump into the story.

    If that's NOT the case, I would have rather seen you use the angel's name rather than "the angel." It doesn't flow well for me.

    Otherwise, great description.

  15. I loved this myself and would keep reading. But the Reverend who is really the bad guy is a little overplayed. Or is he actually a demon, like there's an actually an angel? I can't tell.

  16. I really liked this. I just finished reading a book with a guardian angel - Eternal - so that's part of the reason this had my interest.

    My only concern is the repeated use of the word angel, rather than a name. It gives the POV a detached feeling. If we're going to continue in this POV, you need to name him. And, if he knows the girl well, I wonder why he doesn't use her name.

    Definitely hooked though.

  17. Not entirely hooked, though I like angel stories and am interested where this goes. This definitely reads like a prologue, which kind of put me off, and I'd have rather seen the angel's name, or more pronouns, if we're going to be in his POV for the scene. (Constantly calling him "the angel" in his pov reads clunkily to me; if he doesn't have a name, I could see more pronouns working instead.)

    I'd probably read on for a bit though.