Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July Secret Agent #35

TITLE: The Weave

Water surrounds me.

It goes on for miles, on all sides, in every direction. Sometimes I
feel as though I'm being smothered by it--when it's been days without seeing
more than a sliver of a ridge. Other times it feels like a prison. Instead
of metal bars it's the icy water that keeps me captive on this hell boat.
I've been on the Delilah for less than a week and I'm ready to flee.
But I'll have to wait until we get to the outpost. It's not like I can just
up and bolt at an uneasy glare from the captain or the brutal mistreatment
of the first mate. Even if they find out I'm a girl I can't run.
My fishing pole slips through my fingers and clanks to the deck.
I snatch my pole and glance around, hoping no one has seen my
carelessness. I don't need another screech-fest from Johnson today. For the
moment I shake any thoughts of escape from my head. They'll be time to think
about it later, when I need something to distract me from the horror that
goes on in the Captain's quarters each night. Right now I need to catch
food. And there's not much time left before the first mate comes to gather
what little I've caught.

I reel in my line a bit and say a small prayer to the fish gods. Then I pray
there is a fish god.


  1. I really liked this. First you get the tension from the girls being surrounded by a watery jailer, then you spring on us that she IS a girl and no one else knows. Double whammy. And at the end, I love the line: 'Then I pra there is a fish god.' Classic!

    Only one error (and this is super minor) at almost the end of the main paragraph you say 'They'll be time to think...' When it should read "There will be time..."

    But good job so far! Good luck!

  2. Nice ending line with its humor/voice!

  3. I like it. The idea of a girl out on a fish boat is unique and I like the opening line.

    My only suggestion would to be somehow break up that middle paragraph into a couple of shorter ones to make it easier on your reader.

    Hooked, I'd keep reading. Good luck.

  4. I love your ending and the fact that she's a girl in disguise! And the horrors in the captain's quarters? I would love to read what happens there! Good job! I'm hooked.

  5. It's interesting and, like the others, I love the last line.

    My minor gripe is you say "sometimes I feel as though I'm being smothered by it." and then "other times it feels like a prison." as if you're trying to contrast the two, but I think prisons are pretty smothering.

  6. Hooked!

    I have an interesting character in an interesting situation. (A girl disguised as a boy on a ship full of men) I have a problem (she wants to escape because of the horrors that go on in the Captain's quarters) and her dilemma (she can't because she's stuck out at sea) And you didn't spend time telling us how she came to be there. You just stuck her in her situation. You've also created a tone and mood.

    A few things. Your first sentence says she's surrounded by water, so there's no point in saying it's all around her, goes on for mile etc. It's redundant. You might go from - Water surrounds me - to - I've been on the Delilah.
    And that second parg could be broken into at least three.

    Nice job!

  7. I feel like the bit about the horror that goes on in the Captain's quarters could be brought out more. It feels like it's going to be very important, but right now it's kind of buried in there. Frame it, and the reader will know there's a big Something that's going to show up later. They'll be anticipating the conflict, and that's good.

    Good start, though. I like the last two lines!

  8. The imagery, the hint of mystery, and the voice all really worked for me. I want to know more about this girl trapped on the boat.

  9. Several things about this hooked me - girl disguised as boy, horror with the Captain, etc. The only issue I have is with the fishing scene. She says she needs to catch more food but then she seems careless about reeling in the line as though she didn't catch anything? I stumbled a bit there, but otherwise, good job!

  10. I loved the last line.

    I also really enjoy stories about girls masquerading as boys and having an adventure, so my interest is grabbed right there.

    At one point you say "They'll be time to think..." I think you mean to say "There'll"

  11. The part about the horrors of the Captain's quarters hooked me and I'd keep reading to learn more about those.

    One thing I didn't like was that there is a lot of telling in this passage. It sets the scene and provides background information, but there's a dearth of action beyond the fishing. That being said, your "telling" still keeps me interested.

  12. I'm hooked (and not only because you've got a reel in your hands). Cool that she's disguised, that she has to catch food or else, and everyone wants to know what horror she's referring to.

    I'd like it a little tighter (e.g., combine the first lines into something such as "The water is smothering me today." The last paragraph is great.

  13. I didn't love the first line, to be honest, but you had me at "if they find out I'm a girl." How fantastically compelling!

    That said, once I found out the character's predicament, I began to worry that the voice doesn't quite sound like that of a girl who would be in her situation. But it's so early in the story, it's impossible to tell. I'd read more, both to gauge the strength of the voice, and to find out plot trajectory.

  14. Yep, I like this. My biggest gripe is that the first para is really long. Call me shallow, but I like a bit more white space, makes it easier on the eyes :) LOVE the last line.

    I think you can probably do a little tightening without losing the essence of what you're saying - eg "...I feel smothered by it...", eg " distract me from the horrors of the Captain's..."

    Great premise.

  15. Ohh, yes! I love feeling of claustrophobia and threat. It increased when the narrator says she is a really a girl. Double the reason for the main character to be worried and more CONFLICT of course! Excellent. I'd definitely read more.