Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Secret Agent #11


Sweat poured off her body and onto the floor. Her arms and back ached from all of the physical exertion. Lily Cavanaugh was in heaven. The blowpipe rolled back and forth forming the shape that she wanted. The vibrant blues and greens swirled together to form a circular pattern. Lily had spent the past hour shaping the piece until finally deciding it was finished. She transferred it to the punty and detached it from the blowpipe. She slipped on her gloves before placing the delicate glass into the annealer to safely cool over the next several hours.

Lily stood up and stretched sore muscles. A smile spread across her flushed face. She poured all she had into each piece of glass. Which left her both euphoric and depressed after a piece was completed. She walked out of the studio and into her kitchen, grabbing a bottle of water from the refrigerator. She gulped half the bottle down and was making her way back to the studio when there was a loud banging on the door. Irritated at the interruption, she considered ignoring the sound and returning to work. Unfortunately the banging had shattered her concentration. Eager to get rid of whoever had been dumb enough to interrupt her, Lily stomped over to the door.

"Alright already, hang on a second!"

It took several tugs to open the old metal door but when it finally opened, Lily found two men, dressed in fancy suits, looking down at her.

"Who died?"


  1. I love the setting. So much that i wish you would have spent a bit more time with an emotional description of her working and the finished piece. But the transition at the end worked well and I would keep reading. :)

  2. I don't know much (well, anything) about glassblowing so the fact that there were two 'technical' words in the first paragraph that I had never seen, and had to guess the meaning of, put me off a bit. I don't mind so much later in a story when I'm emotionally invested - in which case I would probably look them up to see if I guessed correctly - but this early on made me wonder if there would be more.

    That said, I liked the second paragraph enough that I would read more because I'm starting to like Lily. So, not hooked yet but could be with a few more pages :)

  3. We have Lily the glassblower being confronted by two strange men. Interesting, and I want to know why.

    The writing, I think, needs to be cleaned up. When I read the first sentence, my first thought was, Wow! That's a lot of sweat. Can sweat really pour off of anyone onto the floor? At its worst, it may drip.

    There's also a lot of telling here. Instead of saying she was in heaven, show us what that means. What is Lily feeling at that moment?

    Lily had spent the past hour shaping the piece until finally deciding it was finished. -- this says she already decided it was finished, and yet she just a moment earlier was still blowing the glass.

    There's a lot of this type of thing throughout the piece. Perhaps give it another revision or two.

  4. I think you should tighten the part about the glassblowing a little so that the pacing is picked up a little. I would read on.

  5. This needs editing. I can't imaging sweat pouring down. Her arms and back ache in paragraph one; her muscles are sore in paragraph two. This is redundant. Why is it dumb to interrupt her? It might be annoying, but at this point I don't see why it's dumb. There could be something interesting going on here, but I'm not hooked.

  6. I think the premise is interesting, and glass blowing is kind of sexy in itself if this is a romance. Just kind of wish you got to the action (dialogue) sooner.

  7. I would suggest varying your sentence structure- most of them started with 'She' (as in, "She walked" and "She gulped") which made it seem slighly mechanical. However, I like the premise of a glassblower- intriguing...

  8. The glass blowing thing is new--I've never encountered it before. I don't mind the technical terms, and I feel like I could catch up, with time. It could move faster. Also, you use her name too much, and this pairs with the above comment about varying sentence structure. I'd read a bit more, I think.

  9. Yeah, I think if you sweated enough for it to pour on the floor, you'd probably have to be hospitalized. :-) Maybe say "dripped" instead!

    Also, you really only need to tell us that she has sore muscles once. We are still thinking it in paragraph two.

  10. I agree with the technical issues others have raised. I really stumbled over "lily Cavanaugh was in heaven." But I was drawn in by her concentration and joy in glass blowing, and caught by the irritation at the interruption. I'd read more.

  11. I think there's a little work to be done. In the first paragraph her muscles are sore. In the second paragraph, you don't need to repeat it. When she gets up and stretches, we know why. You needn't say it.

    I also felt that while the "she did X. She did Y. She did Z" formula works for the glassblowing paragraph, it's not as effective in the second paragraph.

    Glassblowing is a dedicated, intense, strategic process so I like how mechanical she is there, but I don't think the tone works as well when she's in the kitchen.

    I also don't believe that one bang on the door would shatter her concentration. I'd understand if she attempted to ignore a continued knocking on her door, but a single not isn't much to ignore at all.

    With a little polishing, I'd read more.