Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Secret Agent #13

GENRE: YA Romantic Comedy

Parker Blake leaned against my locker as if he owned it. "So, Laurel, are you in?"

He smelled of pine trees and spoke in a deep voice that made me tingle.

While my fingers fumbled with the lock, my brain tried to remember the combination. "Am I in on what?"

"The spring break cruise."

I spun the dial on my lock and opened the door with a loud click-clunk. The cruise topped my To Do list.

I pictured myself lounging on the deck of a ship, salty mist soft on my face, sun warm on my back, and lilting voices in the distance.

My daydream faded. "No cruise for me. No cash." I slid my senior English book off the shelf and dumped it into my bag, along with my dreams.

"You refused to grovel? I don't blame you. That would make you look wimpy, which you're not, and not very bright, which you are."

"Thanks. Like that helps." I slammed my locker shut and started down the hall.

He stepped in beside me. "You can still go. I have a proposition for you."

Not again. "What kind of a proposition this time?"

He shoved a handful of blond hair out of his eyes. "Nothing hard. It's simple. I promise."

"Where have I heard that before?" I snarled and pretended my hands were paws with extra-sharp claws that I batted at him. "It better not be illegal."

He grinned and ducked away from my claw-paws. "Illegal? Nah. Immoral, maybe."


  1. Great dialogue. I'd love to get a better feel of their relationship--are they friends, acquaintances, dating? I love how you introduce the plot right away--I totally want to read the rest of this. Good luck!

  2. I like this. The title and the quick, easy dialog fit the genre. I'm curious to find out what the immoral proposition is.

  3. I'm hooked. It's great that you can communicate so much plot through the dialogue.

  4. A YA Romantic Comedy? Already in love. And the bit was excellent. I'd definitely buy this :)

  5. Like other have stated already, you have an excellent eye for dialogue. My only thought is it might be cool to see a little bit more internalization so I can get to know your MC. But that's a just personal preference!

    Good job and much luck!

  6. I'm wondering how the beginning would be if you swapped Parker's dialogue line with him leaning on the locker. Then, the following paragraph could tack onto the first.

    I want to know the MC's name if it's possible to drop it in in the first page.

    I wanted some setting details, just little touches. They are talking about a cruise, so maybe this is an expensive prep school and she's a scholarship student? Are they juniors or seniors? Is this a yearly event? You could drop more of these hints into her thoughts.

    I get the sense that the MC may not like Parker? Does he generally annoy her? Or is he really a friend?

    Delete "claw-paws", we know why he ducks. In the previous paragraph, the description of pretending to have claws seems middle school. Teenage girls may use their nails on boys, but describe it in a more YA fashion.

    If you add little details of the setting, it will give some bulk to the short paragraphs.

    I like where this is going and I'm intrigued to find out what Parker is suggesting. I think that this story would appeal to teens, as well as me!

  7. Actually, I'm hooked. I don't always think dialogue works in openings, but the rhythm here is working for me. I like the banter between them, and the conflict is set up in a natural way.

    I'd keep reading.

  8. I liked this a lot. My only note is I don't think you need this sentence: "I spun the dial on my lock and opened the door with a loud click-clunk. The cruise topped my To Do list."

    You've already mentioned the lock and this doesn't add anything. Then you can move directly to:

    "I pictured myself lounging on the deck of a ship..."