Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September Secret Agent #21

TITLE: Seeing
GENRE: YA Paranormal

I've never been with a girl - or a guy; I like both. What I mean to say is I'm sixteen years old and a virgin. That's why I didn't run, scream or call the cops when I walked into my bedroom and she was standing there naked.

I froze. I couldn't think - or move. Well, one part of me was moving, but it was just making my jeans a little snugger (and it wasn't something I was doing consciously).

She was in front of the window with her head cocked to the side. She was looking right at me; like she had been waiting for me. White-blond hair, parted in the middle, fell to her waist. Her left breast was covered, but the other one - I could see.

My pants were still getting tighter, but I hadn't moved. Normally, I'd be kind of embarrassed - getting hard in front of someone - but she was naked; we were past that. Also, I didn't know who the hell she was.

"Don't be afraid, Eden," she said. I glanced up at her face and she smiled, straightening her head. "My name is Alice."

I should have been afraid, but I let my eyes drift lower. Plus, Alice seemed like a nice name. A girl named Alice wouldn't hurt me.

I didn't know her. I'd never seen her before. I knew I should run back out of the room. There were a lot of things I should have done.


  1. I am... confused about the main character's gender. You say "pants getting tighter" which makes me think guy, but then your MC is named Eden, which makes me think girl. Doesn't help that s/he is bisexual. This confusion distracts me from what's going on because obviously there's a lot of difference between a guy seeing a girl naked and a girl seeing a girl naked, even if she's bi.

  2. Nice start: Bisexual guy finds nekkid woman of mystery in his room. I'm sure a lot of 16-year-olds have dreams which start like this. For my taste I'd like to see less tight pants and more mystery -- drop the My pants were still getting tighter paragraph and concentrate more on whatever 'fluence Alice is putting on him (at least I assume she's doing something to his mind, what with the strange comment A girl named Alice wouldn't hurt me).

  3. I just don't buy this. If I walk into my bedroom and a naked stranger is standing next to the window, I'm running to the neighbor's house and calling the police. I just don't believe that anyone would react like this - no matter how virginal or bisexual they may be.

    Not hooked.

  4. I like the character's voice, and this opening intrigues me. I'd read on.

  5. I don't know. I find it hard to believe that any boy, straight or bi, would think a beautiful naked girl would hurt him. I can't imagine them being afraid. Perhaps just tell what happens without his commenting on it - re: I should have been afraid; there were a lot of things I should have done.

    The tease is there at the end, which lures a reader on and promises some conflict and tension, so I'm guessing you'd pull readers in.

    I also wonder how far you'll get with an editor who has to consider books in terms of what parents will accept.

  6. I'm on the fence about this. I like that the MC is bi, but was a little confused by his./her gender. I',m assuming he's male, but the name Eden seems too girly. Maybe give him a good, gender specific name and it will clear this right up.

    Don't be afraid to use contractions. When people speak, they don't say "my name is..." they say "my name's..." It makes your dialogue ring truer.

    But I guess I'm interested enough to read on...

  7. i'm interested and confused all the same. at first i thought this was a girl, then with the anatomy moving and growing and pants tightening i'm thinking, definitely, guy. but the name eden really threw me for a loop. it's not at all masculine, nor is it unisex so that it could pass for a guy's name.
    i'd keep reading to find out why some hot blonde nekid chick is in this person's room, that's for sure.
    this has to be a guy, and if it is, the voice i think is right on and guys think like this. i know because i have a hubby and teenage boy who talk out loud about girls quite inappropriately--unfortunately.

  8. I really liked the voice of "but she was naked; we were past that" and "A girl named Alice wouldn't hurt me."

    I'm not sure the logic at the beginning works--he doesn't run away from a strange naked girl because he's a virgin? A non-virgin might not run away from a naked girl either. I think it might be more realistic that he doesn't run because he's so shocked by the situation. You might want to consider cutting most of the first paragraph and start with "I walked into my bedroom and she..." You can give us the details about his age and that he's a virgin bisexual a little later.

    The last paragraph is both redundant and telling. I'd cut it.

  9. Not hooked.

    Lots of sixteen-year-olds are virgins. I don't think that has anything to do with why one might not scream or call the cops when walking in on a beautiful naked girl. The whole virgin thing just confused me more than anything. My first reaction to that was, "So?"

    I can totally buy that he'd get hard when seeing said beautiful naked girl, but I think also, "Who are you?" is a likely response to seeing a stranger in his room. The fact that he doesn't say anything is just kind of weird.

    Also, you use a lot of em-dashes. I'm an em-dash fan myself, but I feel like you're using them as a crutch when you think your reader might not catch this important bit of information you think they need. (And then there's the repetition with the one in paragraph 2. "I froze. I couldn't think -- or move." Yes, you already said he froze.)

    I'm intrigued by the situation, but not so much by the character.

  10. I'm intrigued by the situation, though I think his response - instant arousal - is a bit strange. No matter how hot the girl is, I would think he'd have a different reaction at first, more like being completely startled, and it would take a bit of conversation or movement from her to cause him to shift gears in his head. I like the part where is logic says a girl named Alice wouldn't hurt him. It shows his personality and also how he wants to engage with her.

  11. I thought the MC was a female until he got an erection.
    I think a natural reaction, other than the physical one, would have been "who are you", or, from most teen boys I know, "WTF are you doing in my room..."
    On the fence about this one. Nice teaser line at the end that might make me read on.

  12. I liked the opening. For a young man/boy seeing his first naked woman I'm not sure much in his head would be working - other body parts perhaps.

    However, i did want to know how old the woman was - the third paragraph tell me a bit more - it would be creepy if she were older.

    Perhaps also after "I should have been afraid" afraid she'd dissappear - that would be a more natural reaction to finding a young friendly naked girl in your room.

    I enjoyed the writing, the voice and the whole piece and want to read more.

  13. You're starting with the wrong line. The line you should start with is something about walking into the bedroom to find a naked girl. You can give us the info about age and sexual preference later.

    Drop things that can be implied - like that parenthetical.

    Make sure you vary your sentence structure and sentence beginnings. The third paragraph is a little clunky.

    One of the reasons I'm not hooked, though, is to me this voice doesn't feel authentic. 16 year old virgin finds naked girl in his bedroom. Nervous? yes. Afraid? no. There are multiple references to fear (which I assume are foreshadowing something?), but they feel forced.