Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January Secret Agent #19

TITLE: K. Stoker
GENRE: YA Fantasy

Write it all down, he said. From the beginning, he said. Stupid Alistair, he didn’t explain why I’m writing this journal, probably so if I die, he’ll have something interesting to read.

I live – well I guess I lived – in the Mountain Kingdom of Montros until the King’s nephew was killed ten days ago. Was it really only ten days ago? I’m not very good at keeping time straight, which makes this journal even more ironic.

As one of the Montros’ lowly servants I live to serve the royal family with joy and diligence in all that I do… excuse me while I gag. I had aspired to be one of the protectors, but I, uh, failed my tests. Which was rather stupid and really not my fault. The King’s nephew wasn’t even in danger and even if he had been the twit probably deserved to be killed.

All right, maybe that’s a little harsh considering one of the King’s nephews did die… but I’m getting ahead of myself. Should I even bother talking about the attack on the King? Cripes, if that boy weren’t so beautiful, I wouldn’t do anything he said. There, Alistair, I said you were attractive. I doubt you’re surprised.

I became unwillingly involved in this ten (eleven?) days ago, when I was trying to avoid working in the kitchens. I had stayed out past curfew to watch the moons cross paths, and since they only do that once a year, I felt justified.

Madame Carine, however, disagreed with my decision.


  1. I love the voice here! Love the humor, the sarcasm. I would read on just for that, but you've got a good mix of tension as well, with a death in the royal family and the MC's unwilling involvement in the whole thing and his (her? sorry, it's sometimes hard to tell with such a short sample!) attraction to the king. I like it :)

  2. I'm not a huge fan of the voice - I like an irreverent MC, but I feel like her voice is just a bit too contemporary.

  3. If the MC is "writing" this in a journal would she write "uh"? Maybe it could say sort of failed my test.

    The voice is a bit snippy which doesn't faze me one way or the other until we see if she is a brat through the whole book. I like the image of the double moons, it sets up a nice sense of the world.

  4. Just Another YA AuthorJanuary 16, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    I'm torn. On the one hand, I like that the MC has a distinct voice. But on the other hand, I don't think her voice fits the situation. I'm also not a big fan of using journal entries to tell a story. I'd rather live in the moment with the characters.

  5. Ah, the subjectiveness...

    I like the voice. (IMO, it's unfair to judge a voice as "unfit" by only the first 250 words.)But since you refer to a kingdom...It might be worth inventing other phraseology as part of your worldbuilding. Example: Instead of using "twit" come up with a unique name that's clear to the reader what you mean by inference. Tricky..but worth it.

  6. I kind of liked her voice and attitude, but I did think it went on too long. I want the story more than I want her snarkiness and sarcasm. And considering this is a time of Kings and Princesses, perhaps drop the more modern day words. She can still be sarcastic in a more medieval way, and it'll probably be funnier because it will be unique.

  7. I really like the voice, this is a lot of fun. However I think in enjoying yourself writing this particular voice, you've made this first page a bit confusing. Don't get so into the voice that you forget that the reader needs to be grounded at the beginning of a novel.

    I got lost with the King, and the King's nephew, and Alistair (is he the King or the King's nephew or someone else entirely?)

    If you just clarified all of this a touch more, I'd certainly read on.

  8. I like the concept, and the tension that you’ve set up. I like a modern voice in a non-modern setting; however, I think that you are too focused on the voice and talking to the reader, at the expense of giving us context for the story. Phrases like “excuse me while I gag” are a bit over the top. I wonder if taking it out of the journal format might help in that regard. I’m hooked, though. You’ve left me wondering what’s going to happen.