Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September Secret Agent #27

TITLE: Falling In Between
GENRE: YA Romance

Not again. She does this every time. What was worse, I couldn’t stop my head from bobbing side to side as she hummed that stupid Jeopardy tune.

My wet skin shivered as I cowered atop the cliff, even though the wind was as still as my breath. I suddenly regretted wearing the lace underwear instead of the cotton.

All for Robert.

Not that I was actually gonna let him see it, but I still had to wear them anyway. I longed for the jeans and camisole I draped over the rock at the lagoon’s edge. Those warm, dry clothes.

The humming stopped. The sweet sound of her voice was smooth as it taunted me through song now. “Oh, Ja-hen-na!”

Crap, crap, crap…

I forced myself to peek over the edge and look down – way down. There she floated effortlessly in the midnight blue lagoon, playfully squirting water towards me with the squeeze of her fist. Sophie’s aim was dead on.

I had never been afraid of heights before. Of course, I had never tried to throw myself from one before either. And the lack of moonlight in combination with the creepy, placid water was freakin’ me out right now.

Not to mention, I’m pretty sure something squishy like The Blob was hanging out in the far corner waiting to jump out and devour me once I did my face-splat.


  1. Lovely tension here. I totally relate to standing on a ledge, looking down at the water and trying to gather enough courage/stupidity to jump.

    I was a little confused about why she's already wet, and where Robert is. Is he around somewhere to see her? Did she see him earlier?

    Also, if the water is so far below, why does it matter how good Sophie's aim is? No fist is powerful enough to squirt water up to a cliff I'd be scared to jump off of.

    I'd probably read on, but not too much farther without spotting the main conflict somewhere soon.

  2. LOL. I knew someone would catch it. 'Sophie's aim was dead on' should have been deleted, as I had deleted the sentence that followed it. Of course I didn't catch it until it was too late to do anything about it. :) Que sera sera, right?

  3. I love the fun phrasing and was immediately engaged.

    I got a little confused about her fear of heights and her pondering jumping off the cliff. Mention of the cliff is a bit far away, earlier in the piece.

    I was also wondering about her thought regarding letting Robert see her underwear since she's obviously in nothing but.

    I'm not hooked yet, but I want to be and would read on for a few more pages.

  4. Also enjoyed the tension. What is Sophie doing in the water if the protag is waiting in lace thong underwear for Robert? Also, really liked the imagery. Bobbing head to Jeopordy song - possible Blob in the corner. Great job!

  5. LOL. Robert's not actually in this scene. Jenna plans to meet him later that the night. Right now she's only with her friend Sophie and they took an unplanned detour to go swimming, which is why they're in their undies instead of bikinis. :)

    ...think I'm more of a 'hook 'em in 500 words' cause it all gets explained in the next few paragraphs. :)

    But thanks for the observations! It's good to know which parts could be written better.

  6. Hi Devon,

    I think you did a great job with letting us know the protag's emotions, but there are a few things that don't quite make sense. Most of them you already discussed, but I there are a couple others.

    It opens with the protag saying her friend hums the jeopardy song "every time," but then later it says it's the first time she's ever thrown herself from the heights. I'm guessing you meant "every time she wants me to hurry" not "Jump in the water," but it's not clear.

    Also, I'm not sure that wet cotton panties would be any warmer than wet lace panties.

    And lastly, I think you could lose the "not to mention," transition in the last paragraph. It doesn't seem to fit as the following sentence is in direct support of the one preceding it.

    On the other hand, you had great tension (I, too, love the idea of the girl trying to brave it up in her undies to jump in dark water) and some really good sentences:
    " What was worse, I couldn’t stop my head from bobbing side to side as she hummed that stupid Jeopardy tune."
    "I forced myself to peek over the edge and look down – way down."
    "I had never been afraid of heights before. Of course, I had never tried to throw myself from one before either." (Although maybe "them" instead one "one," since you use the plural in the preceding sentence).

    I enjoyed it, good work and good luck!

  7. This opening scene isn't really grabbing my attention--I find it's not actually good to start a book with a character in a moment of indecision. When added together with the inconsistencies that were bothering the other commenters (which I agree with), this isn't something, unfortunately, that I would want to keep reading.

    Try to start in a more emotionally dynamic place.

    The voice is strong and lively.

  8. I thought you did a great job showing us who your MC is, and I also get a sense of Sophie's character, as well as who the love interest is.

    For me, the issue was the writing. There are logic issues, as other have mentioned. Make sure the things you say are happening actually can happen in the way you decsribe. There's also a tense shift in the econd sentence.

    And I did thing a lot of this was wrtten for the readers' benefit, to impart information (most of the stuff about Robert.)

  9. I liked the Jeopardy detail, but not as the first sentence. The bobbing head and reference to 'her' without any context left me frustrated. I'd prefer you to start with your MC shivering on top of the cliff. And I also thought Robert might be there somewhere because you mentioned him. Perhaps you could add a few sentences of dialogue - Sophie teasing the MC about her lace underwear and Jahenna/Jenna explaining she was wearing them because she was going to meet Robert later on.

  10. Bron- I like your suggestion about switching out the first sentence. It definitely reads better that way. Thanks!

    And I think I've found a way to clear up the Robert issues. :)

    Thanks for all your input guys!