Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August Secret Agent Contest #44

TITLE: The Spark
GENRE: YA Fantasy

It all started with a dream or maybe it was a wish. I felt almost weightless but cushioned by something beneath me, like I was floating on water, but the space was not fluid, it had a vapor like quality. The glowing light was a soft amber and fuzzy at the edges. In my hand I held another but couldn't see whose. The hand was warm and I had a vague sense of dread when I would have to let it go. Hand in hand we glided, flashes of light catching my attention in the far off distance. I asked, "Why me?" There was no reply just the whoosh of wind in my ears. I asked again, "Why me?" The air moved feathery across my skin. I asked a final time, "Why me?" The words catching desperately as if I already knew no one would answer. As the scene slipped away and my awareness returned I heard a second question as if in response to the first, "Why not?"

My cat's tail brushed by me and I awakened to what was sure to be yet another idle day, not having awoken to the fairytales of my wishes and dreams. I closed my eyes and tried fruitlessly to linger in the floating place. It filled me with warmth and hope, yet longing for understanding. The words, "why not," replayed in my inner voice as if I held the answer to a question whose meaning I did not yet grasp.


  1. I think if you had given us some breaks, the dream sequence would flow better and give more sense of what was going on. Right now it just feels like a block of pretty words.
    Yay for getting woken by a cat. Mine jumps on my head daily.

  2. There are several run-on sentences within the dream sequence, which made it a little confusing. I also remember reading somewhere that starting with dreams is overdone.

    Mentioning the cat tail was unique. I get a mysterious, eerie sense from this, which is good.

  3. The dream seemed disjoined which doesn't help hook me. The first sentence confused me also, your MC can't tell the difference between a dream and a wish? It didn't make sense. I did like the attempt to get back into the dream, that is completely relatable. And cats are always good in my opinion.

  4. There is some nice imagery here, but it needs space and better punctuation. It needs breaks, especially around the speech.

  5. I think there needs to be a solid hook for the first sentence. I think there is a fine line between too much imagery and not enough. I think all writers are constantly trying to find that balance.

  6. I liked that the narrator heard an answer as she was waking. The cat tail was sweet!

  7. Thank you all for your feedback! It is very helpful. Stepping away from the manuscript is in and of itself an art which is what makes this such a great tool!
    I removed the first sentence and added it to the prologue. It did feel a bit clunky.
    I broke up the dialog, so it wasn't crammed in.
    All I would say in response aside from THANK YOU ALL is dreams are a bit confusing, disjointed etc. my intention was to get you inside the head of the MC- perhaps not effectively enough. Thank you all again.

  8. There's nice imagery here, but there's no tension or suspense or conflict, nothing that makes me think, I have to read this.

    My guess is that she'll go into her dreamworld, but then, what will happen there? There are no hints at plot or problems. Perhaps work at least one into your opening.

  9. Not a big fan of dreamscape openings. And this is both a dreamscape opening and what I'd call a soft opening, where the protag's life circumstances still aren't in view after 250 words. But the writing is fairly solid. I think I would stop reading after the last graph, however. The ethereal style is simply not to my liking.