Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Secret Agent #20

TITLE: ParaWars: Uprising
GENRE: YA Paranormal

It’s always an odd thing, running through my neighborhood. The normalcy of before seems a strange backdrop to the difference of now. The buildings are a little more run down, the road unrepaired. But it’s still so much like it was before. Small towns stay small, I guess, even if the world has self-destructed. The grass still grows, and I still run to stay sane.

It’s been two years since the Paranormal Uprising.

My feet carry me past neighborhoods filled with humans and paras alike. We carved out a new life here in Greenbriar. I like it, but it makes me wonder what it’s like elsewhere. If anyone else has tried to make it work, like we have. Judging by the guns we’ve heard in the distance, it doesn’t sound like it.

The main part of town passes behind me, and I settle into the calming rhythm of my run. The thump-thump of my heartbeat. The pounding of my feet on the broken pavement. The in and out of my breathing. Running’s not glamorous, and I’m not good at it, but there’s a freedom to it, an elation that it gives me, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not even chocolate, if we could still get it. Well, maybe chocolate.

The buildings and people around me fade out and away, taking my thoughts with it. My ponytail swishes behind me, the black hair beginning to stick to my sweaty neck.


  1. I like this and would definitely keep reading. Paranormal Uprising is definitely something i want to learn more about and i LOVE the "Small towns stay small, I guess" bit.
    Good job!

  2. I really like this too. It's not necessarily an exciting place to start, but the writing is excellent and I'm interested to learn more.

  3. This is very well written, and I really like a few of the lines. ("small towns stay small...The grass still grows...:)
    At the same time, it's almost too quiet. I think you could trim a few of the lines and not lose anything - lines like "the normalcy of before..." seem to bog it down and I prefer the details to the vague. Similarly you could cut a sentence or two of the running paragraph. But overall, this reads very well. Good luck!
    Dana (#41)

  4. I would read more. That being said, I think you could tighten it a bit, get us to where something happens a little faster.

    I like the idea that she runs, even though she's not good at it. It's different.

    You have a good voice. I like this a lot.

  5. I'm about halfway through reading this month's submissions, and this is my favorite so far. The writing feels easy, I'm not tripped up by awkward phrasing and adjective-overload. The pacing is great, I have a visual already, and the snappy line about the para uprising is perfect.

    My only minor nitpick is the last sentence is clunky: My ponytail swishes behind me, the black hair beginning to stick to my sweaty neck.
    I have a personal aversion to overly descriptive hair, it feels like you just want to get in that she has dark hair, but that's the issue: it feels like you're trying while the rest of this reads effortless. If you just say the ponytail swishes and leave out the black hair I think it helps.

    Nice job, I'm definitely hooked.

  6. I like the idea of Paranormal Uprising. You get in a fair bit of information without it feeling like it's dumped on us. I would definitely read on:)

  7. A Paranormal Uprising! Love it. I want to know what type of creatures fall into the category of "paranormal," and I love that the uprising didn't completely destroy society. The fact that she lives amongst paras and still feels comfortable enough to go running alone is fascinating to me. I want to see more of this world!

    I'd agree to take the "black" of the hair sentence. It felt forced. You can let us know her hair color somewhere else.

    Fun, fun. Would love to see more.

  8. The first pov here is very effortless. I'd read on for sure. Agreed about the black hair bit, but the rest..great visuals!

  9. You have an easy style and rhythm. I like the normalcy of the run as you layer in details of the MC's world with hints that the problems of the rest of the world will soon encroach on hers.

  10. The voice is good.

    I love the idea of a Paranormal Uprising, but even more than that I LOVE the idea that this small town is making it work while the rest of the world probably isn't. That makes me ask all kinds of questions about what role this little town will play in the future.

    I kind of feel like the town is a character in its own right, which is cool.

    Good job. I'd certainly read on.

  11. I loooooove the first paragraph. (I think ts all good, but the description in those first few lines is awesome.)

    I'd definitely read more. The idea of a paranormal uprising is intriguing.

  12. I like this. The writing has flow and the world is being set up quietly and efficiently.

  13. Oooo, so humans/paras live side by side in this small town but not elsewhere in the world.

    What would that look like specifically? You draw a distinction and now I gotta know specific details.

    A lot of focus on running, which is great, but I'd like more concrete details about how they live together side by side without having to have a war and how she feels so safe running by herself on that first page. It seems to be the key this story turns on.

  14. Just want to say the voice is great and I liked the ponytail swishing behind her.