Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July Secret Agent #40

TITLE: Singing the Wires
GENRE: Middle Grade

'Go on, make her fly, Gossamer,' Orchid Indigo said. Her green eyes glittered with mischief.

'Yes, do it!' Bopplenut said.

Gossamer turned back to Decibelle and the indecision in her eyes cleared. She swept her body around in a half-circle and slammed her wing against Decibelle's shoulder.

Decibelle grabbed a branch, but it was too late. She screamed as she toppled. Instantly, her wings flickered into life. They beat out of time, struggling to balance her body, turning and spinning her in space as she dropped through the leaves.

In the last moments before she hit the ground, the wings found their beat, slowing her descent. Decibelle curled her body on impact and rolled into the thick layer of leaves. The air punched from her lungs.

As she lay there gasping, the three tintookie younglings landed and stood watching.

'You didn't fly up here, did you? You climbed.' Bopplenut Snout shook his spiky blond head in mock disbelief. 'I'll tell on you! Imagine what the clan will say.'

Gossamer's mouth gaped, as though in horror at what she had done.

Decibelle sat up. One grazed knee dribbled blood and her palms throbbed from the rough slide along the track. Much worse than that though, the others had witnessed the embarrassing, clumsy landing. She brushed away tears as her voice tore from her throat.


The tintookies fell back and held their hands over their ears. Pain leached the colour from their faces.


  1. I like this. I'm guessing the last line means that Decibelle (clever name BTW) has sound-related power? I haven't read anything like this before, so it's fresh (to me), from a different perspective. And, well, what can I say, I like fairy stories =)

  2. Oh, I love this one. I agree with Kathryn. I haven't read anything like this before either.

    It's so cute. I can just see this happening, and I felt for the poor little fairy. I love the names. Very original.

    Good luck!

  3. This is cute but a little confusing. Until I got to the "shook his spiky blond head" part, I wasn't sure what the characters were (I thought they might be butterflies). Maybe you can find a way to let the reader know in the first sentence or two that they're fairies?


  4. I can see there being more to Decibelle than meets the eye. I can't say that I'm a fan of all the names. I think that they might be a little too cutsy. Decibelle is cool though, and I really like Gossamer. I just don't like Bopple nut. It's very fitting for middle grade! Good job!

  5. This starts out as though it's Gossamer's story, so you might want to reconsider the opening. Maybe start with Decibelle on the branch feeling scared or something, but if she's your POV character, you should start with her.

    I liked her name and how it relates to the story, but the opening is kind of cliche - bullies picking on the kid - or fairy - who's different. It makes me think that in the end, her difference will save the fairy village and everyone will like her. That may not be where you're going, but it's what the opening makes me think. It's cute, but it doesn't pull me in.

  6. I do like the names. You have lots of great phrases and good action description. Lines like "Gossamer's mouth gaped, as though in horror . . . " seem a little overdone to me, but for the most part, I liked it. I think "tintookies" is a great word, btw!

    Fun! Best wishes!

  7. Some great vivid descriptions here.

    I really like the name, Decibelle too and can already get a good sense of her character.

    My only comment is that I am wondering if you should start with Decibelle's action first.

  8. Such a fun beginning and I agree with the other comments that the names are wonderful. I get a great sense of Decibelle's character and although I am not too sure of what/who they are at the beginning, I am not bothered by this as I know the more I read the more will be revealed. The important thing here is that the characters engaged me and I wanted to keep reading.

    I would also suggest starting with an action from Decibelle so we know from the get go, whose story this is.

  9. Are these birds? I couldn't tell from the description. But then they wouldn't have knees as we know them.

    You gave us the names of four characters in these few words. And I couldn't tell who was the protagonist among them.

    The writing is good. I'm just not seeing the scene.

  10. This I like! Cute names, strong verbs, descriptive. Can see MG readers really getting into this world with these characters.


  11. This was cute. I liked the "tintookies."

  12. It's cute, but there were a few minor issues for me. It's hard to tell who the POV character is in the beginning. I thought it must be Orchid, then Gossamer. For most of the scene I was picturing it happening from one of their POVs - i.e. watching Decibelle fall, not experiencing the fall through Decibelle's eyes, etc. I think you need to make it clear from the start that Decibelle is the main character and show us the events from her point of view. Show us how she reacts to Orchid's suggestion, and the fall from her point of view.

    The other thing was we get quite a few characters in a short space of time, and because they have unusual names, it's hard to digest at first (or maybe it's just me!). Do you need to name all three of the other tintookies, or could you just have Gossamer and Orchid taunting Decibelle?

    Having said all that, I love the concept and Decibelle's name.

  13. This is great. I get the feeling these are really cool fairies.

    I think people are on the right track with suggesting you make all the viewpoint Decibelle's and intensive. I know if I couldn't fly and had lied about flying up a tree and were just about to be pushed out, I'd have a very intense reaction.

    I know a lot of novels start with an omniscient view and zoom in, and that Decibelle is suprised by the push, but I think the gain in getting the reader immediately into Decibelle's mind is worth a little rearranging.

    I think Decibelle would probably have a couple of handy nicknames for Snout and Indy too. (Snout is such a cool name).

  14. I really liked this as well - including the names except for Bopplenut Snout. I was drawn in but am still not sure if these are fairies or something else. I think I'd read a bit further to find out but would want to know fairly quickly. And I liked that we know she is already in trouble but am interested to find out more about her.

  15. I really liked this as well - including the names except for Bopplenut Snout. I was drawn in but am still not sure if these are fairies or something else. I think I'd read a bit further to find out but would want to know fairly quickly. And I liked that we know she is already in trouble but am interested to find out more about her.

  16. this is supercute! And I agree w/all re: the descriptions and your clever naming. But I didn't care for Bopplenut, either. I think it's the nut part. Maybe the Bopple... I don't know.

    Otherwise, this is really sweet, and I can see my daughters LOVING it. Only thing is, they're elementary aged. But there's a huge market there! I'd buy it for them...

    best of luck~

  17. I like this. The writing is strong, the characters are interesting, and the details build the story without getting in the way. Like, like, like! Will be happy to read more.

  18. I like this one, I think it has that nice middle-grade age appropriate tone that is so hard to write. I would definitely read more.

    My only little suggestion is to perhaps start with a sentence before the first line of dialogue as it's a little jarring to me as a reader to start there.

  19. How very perceptive of you, Amy and others, lol. In my mad scramble to send off my entry (from Australia) I left off the first paragraph! Yeah, I have a habit of doing things at the last minute (or seconds in this case) and you know how that always ends up. :)

  20. Well, I guess I'm weird. I knew right away that these were fairies, and I love the name Bopplenut. It just sounds like a fairy name to me.

    This is such a great approach for an MG story. Your imagination is so strong - love tintookies - so I know right away it's going to be a fun read.

  21. Thank you all for taking the time to comment on my story. I really appreciate it!
    Best wishes
    from the author :)