Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July Secret Agent #46

TITLE: Escape # 59
GENRE: YA paranormal

The werewolves did not like games. Never played them. So, of course, to trick them into one was an undying aspiration of every human under sixteen at our school. On my hands and knees, I followed Jaq along the wall of the dining room, making sure to stay hidden behind the tables. The kids snickered into their plates, but played along by not looking at the werewolf perched on the table in the center. It was Dina today, the head of our werewolf personnel, the iciest of them all.

As I was copying Jaq's war crawl, I wished Fox were here. He would know how to trick anyone. He didn't feel like children's games lately, but I knew he would play if I asked. I should have waited for him.

I scuttled into the sunny patch under a window and had to squint. Sunbeams were ricocheting off the glossy purple feathers that covered the floor. They were reflecting off the white tablecloth, hanging down the nearest table. One naughty ray was even bouncing off some silverware I couldn't see from the floor. All in all, the sun light hung in front of me like a golden veil with purplish undertones. Which was the exact color combination of pancakes with grape jelly. The air smelled of them too, because that's what we were having for breakfast. My mouth watered.

I must have made a sound, because Jaq looked over her shoulder and rounded her eyes in a silent warning.


  1. I was interested until the last paragraph. All that description stopped the story, and I wanted you to get back to it. It may be that the sunlight turns out to be important, but if it isn't, perhaps get rid of it?

    And one other thought. If they're crawling around in feathers, those feathers are going to move, fluff up into the air, etc. They might not make any noise, but I think they'd probably give the kids away nonetheless because they'd float around. And wouldn't they be slippery to walk on?

  2. I like the take on werewolves from the first but I thought tht there was a bit too much about the sun and feathers. Keep the action flowing. I'm really intrigued by Fox, despite not really being introduced to him. Good job!

  3. I agree with the other comments, there too much description about the sun. I think you could narrow that down to a couple of sentences.

    Fox sounds like an intriguing character. I would read more to find out about him.

    Good start!

  4. Honestly, I'm not quite sure what is going on in the story, but I would definitely want to read more and find out! Though I am in agreement with Sarah that there was a tad too much description of the sun and feathers.

  5. This is interesting. The beginning has a hook, a good hook, but it gets lost in some of the descriptions.

    I would cut “ undying…” and just say “…was the aspiration…”.

    The next sentence might work better as “I crawled under the tables of the dining room following Jaq, trying to stay hidden. The other kids snickered into their plates but played along by not looking at the werewolf perched on the table…”

    Say what you want to say in fewer words. Leave out the ‘As I…’ and “All in all…”

    The phrase “ naughty ray” stopped me cold. I had to go back and figure out how light can be naughty. Sunbeams ricocheting kinda tripped me also.

    Somewhere I’ve read; don’t use the flowery words until you learn to use the dirt.

    Whatever that means.

  6. Wow, I really like the first paragraph-esp that first sentence! It drew me right in.
    I do agree that the description could be a tad too much. Trim that bit a little and the pacing would be excellent. Nicely done.

  7. There's a certain rhythm to the writing that makes me think it's more middle grade than YA.

    It might just be word choice. Using "naughty" to describe light feels more like middle grade somehow.

  8. I'm sorry, but I have no idea what is happening. A werewolf on a table? Why?

    If this is a cafeteria-like setting, why would anyone allow anyone/thing on the tables when food is on them? Unless they don't follow health regulations.

    The actual writing is fine. I just can't follow where and why this is happening.

  9. I'm with the others. This starts well but the second-last paragraph lost it a bit for me. I think you can cut everything after 'table'. The rest seems like superfluous information that is distracting us from the story.
    I'd rather have more description about the werewolf on the table - are they in wolf form? Human form? Standing? Slurping from a bowl? You get the picture.
    The story idea sounds very intriguing though.

  10. This drew me in but it seemed more MG than YA - and I agree with the others on the description, it broke up the flow that I got pulled in by.

  11. I'm sorry to say I'm not digging this one, mostly because I'm seeing so much werewolf stuff these days, and I'm about as over werewolves as I am vampires--and the market is pretty saturated with both right now.

    For me to take on any vampire or werewolf story these days, the writing would have to positively blow me away. And that just didn't happen for me here. Good luck to you!

  12. I felt totally lost reading this, not understanding who Jaq is--a werewolf? And baffled by the wereworld on the table, at first I thought it was a figurine and that the kids were playing an imaginative game thinking it was real. I understand starting a story in the middle of the action so there isn't as much telling, but this seems too confusing. The writing style is find though.