Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July Secret Agent #12

TITLE: Twisted Summer
GENRE: Young Adult

Deep breaths in and out, in and out; telling myself that helped with the anxiety of post try-out jitters. I'd made it down to the locker rooms to decide if I should change. Since it took time while I stopped to talk, I only had fifteen minutes to get ready before everyone left. The anxiety shouldn't have been that bad. I landed all the jumps. I knew what I was doing. It's not like I hadn't been in this position before. I'd been on the squad for three years running. I guess the stage fright never really went away. I was in my black shorts and tiger shirt, my hair was pulled up in a ponytail. I looked in the mirror and my makeup looked fine. Everything was still in place after try-outs. No need to change clothes. There was too much adrenaline left over for me to walk casually, so I jogged back up the stairs and outside to meet up with my teammates.

Walking out to my car I saw that everyone was standing around it. This wouldn't have been unusual except that they weren't talking. They were all looking patiently at me like I was about to give a speech. I didn't understand what was going on. When I got to the door of my Mini Cooper, a gift from my parents for my sixteenth birthday, I saw something lying in the front seat. My first thought was "who broke into my car?" I never left my car unlocked.


  1. hmmm. Interesting. I want to know what happens next. So far so good. You get a clear picture of the nerves the MC is feeling. Sets it up nicely.

  2. I like it. I'd love to know what's in the car. But the first part to me seems a bit hectic. Maybe it could be broken up into two paragraphs? That;s just a thought. Good job!

  3. Maybe start with the second paragraph. The first one is jumbled and I think the tense is off :-/ Also, it's the only time something interesting happens, IMHO.

  4. I think you can delete a couple of sentences in the first paragraph and we'll still see the MC's state of mind.

    Intriguing -- I want to know what's in her car!


  5. This doesn't grab me. The first paragraph has a lot of telling. I'd sure rather have "seen" her anxiety or even a bit of the try out itself.

    I do think the second paragraph is much better, though I wish we had a clue about the object in the car or even her reaction to the "something" instead of the thought about someone breaking into the car.

    If you cut some or all of the first paragraph, you'd have room to really develop that second paragraph to really draw us in.

  6. The second paragraph grabbed me more than the 1st paragraph did. I do like the opening with the breathing in and out. That shows here anxiety but then there's alot of telling. I don't think you need all the detail about what she's wearing and all the decision making about whether or not to change clothes.

    I also kept getting tripped up on this sentence, 'Since it took time while I stopped to talk..' It seems a bit awkward so making just reword.

    I'm really intriqued to see what's in the car, but I think the 1st paragraph slows the action and you don't want to lose your reader.

  7. I agree with everyone on the first paragraph, to consider cutting it. I think if you change those first couple of sentences on the second paragraph to show rather than tell, it would really make this pop.

    For example on that first sentence you could really reel us in by giving us her reaction to seeing all those people standing by her car AND wondering why they are standing around her car. I'm not sure how she would think but maybe she wonders if there's been an accident, that someone hit her precious mini cooper, or something like that.

    Just some ideas. But I'm with everyone else - I want to know what is in the car and your title is very intriguing to me.

    I would read on.

  8. There is an awful lot of telling in these two paragraphs. Show us what the MC is feeling and seeing.

    You could make the first paragraph stronger by deepening the level of first person POV. For example:

    Deep breaths in and out, in and out, I recited, trying to slow my racing pulse as I headed to the locker room. Even after three years on the squad, try-outs always did a number on me.

    I'd rather hear her thinking as she's thinking, rather than hear her telling me what she's thinking - if that makes any sense. (Look in your second paragraph where your MC tells us what she's thinking rather than simply thinking it.)

    You've kept me too far removed from the character with the telling. I'm afraid I'm not hooked.

  9. I agree about the first chapter. You could cut the whole thing and when she's walking to her car, you could just say, after tryouts I went to my car, or something similar.

    But even the stronger second parg. didn't pull me in. Something being on the seat of her car wasn't enough for me, and I don't have a sense of who your character is.

  10. Things get REALLY interesting in the second paragraph, so I'd definitely read more based on that. I think you could actually get the first paragraph down to one or two descriptive lines--she's high on adrenaline after her tryouts--and get us to the real action.


  11. The second paragraph is obviously, more exciting than the first. Where's the sequel? Her MINI Cooper, is it a convertible? I'd like to picture it in my mind, as its the model I'll be buying when I look for used cars in Indianapolis, Indiana.

    I can sense that your character is a blond, tall, slim girl. Something on the seat of her car is a bit intriguing, though.