Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October Secret Agent #14


“Is this Heaven?” I asked.

My angel laughed, his eyes sparkling in the light from the two moons overhead. “Heaven? You’re messing with me, right?” A warm breeze rustled the field of glowing blossoms surrounding us and tousled his curls. He slipped his arms around my waist. “Okay. I’ll play. No, it’s not Heaven, but sometimes, it feels that way. Especially with you here.”

He leaned in, his scent filling the air. His lips brushed mine--

“Livy?” Patty’s quiet voice jerked me back to reality, from my attempt to escape to a happier place. Even if that world--and the boy I’d come to call my angel--existed only in my dreams. She laid her wrinkled hand over mine. “It’s almost time.”

I glanced across the room at the casket--shiny black with silver handles. Elegant, according to Patty. Like that mattered. It would be buried underground, never to be seen again after today. And that wasn’t my mother in there. Not anymore.

Patty settled down on the arm of the loveseat and tucked my long bangs behind my ear. I resisted the urge to release them, so I could go back to hiding behind their auburn curtain.

“You sure you don’t want to see her?” she asked. “This is the last chance you’ll get.” She meant well. Just doing her job as my pseudo-grandmother and legal guardian. Well, that was what she would’ve been, if I hadn’t turned eighteen on the day my mother was killed.


  1. I'd cut the angel daydream. It's so cheesey that it dulls the impact of the casket and the funeral, which is a shame.

  2. I agree with the cutting the daydream- it really didn't fit with the rest and had me re-reading to figure out what was actually going. Without it you have something interesting here :).

  3. Agree about cutting the angel daydream. Even if it's important later, it weakens this scene. The rest of the scene is quite well done and I would read on.

  4. I agree with the others. If her mother just died, I'd think that's where her thoughts would be, not in a daydream about an angel. And since there's no connection between the two scenes here, it makes the piece feel disjointed.

    I'm also not getting any sense of how she feels about her Mom's death. Is she saddened? Angry? Glad? As is, it's just information. Perhaps back it up with some emotion.

  5. Well, you know I'm hooked, missy. :)

  6. I really like the writing and voice here. Many agents hate starting with a dream or daydream though - I would have liked it if it hadn't been a daydream. I would start with her glancing at the casket. That would be a powerful enough opening sentence and paragraph. Nice job!

  7. Opening with a dream like this is so cliched and over done. I would recommend not doing it. Open with the casket, it is more powerful.

  8. At first, I thought maybe it wasn't a dream but some sort of vision... Even though I completely get the whole idea of using a daydream to escape the reality of losing her mother, it has (unfortunately) become considered cliche... So, if you do drop the daydream, as the others suggest, maybe start with Patty jerking her back to reality... mention that she had been daydreaming (escaping) without going into what it was about... and, later, go back to the daydream (from what I've gathered this isn't the first time she's dreamed about her angel, so it'll probably happen again). That way, readers know what her daydream consisted of without starting with it. Just one idea, anyway.

    In any case, I would definitely continue reading. Good job!

    Good luck!

  9. Agree with Heather that I thought it was a specific kind of vision/daydream....and I thought the angel/boy was real and we'd meet him later. Also agree it's not the best place to start, mostly because it makes your MC seem unsympathetic. Good descriptions, and I'd keep reading!

  10. I like everything from the daydream being interrupted onward. The dream sequence was fine as written, but once I realized the MC was experiencing it before her mother's funeral, I was sort of horrified. I'd really suggest starting with something else, whether it's another dream sequence, or with Patty asking if she's ready.

  11. The writing isn’t bad, but there just doesn’t seem to be anything new here. Funerals and (day)dreams are standard openers, and there isn’t anything extra that makes this stand out from the crowd. The only think that perked my interest was that it’s SF rather than paranormal, but perhaps that stands for speculative fiction instead of science fiction. In any case, just not enough to draw me in.