Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Secret Agent #2

TITLE: The Legacy of the Eye
GENRE: Science Fiction Romance (Adult)

Catrine blinked as her eyes adjusted to the brightness outside the main school building. She should have worn a hat. She stared at the school gate, less than a hundred feet away. Just the thought of walking through it for the first time churned her empty stomach. She glanced at David as he closed the heavy pine door behind them. After sixteen years at the Academy of Demia, her best friend looked ready to conquer the galaxy.

“Maybe we should go over your speech one more time,” she said.

His smile dimmed. “I've practiced it five times just today.”

“Four. And you’re still forgetting to mention that the tutors will be traveling to their pupil’s home planet. That’s a big point in the proposal.”

“Do you want to give the speech?”

Her inside twisted in knots. “No.”

"Then stop fretting. If the council hadn’t liked our idea, they wouldn’t have requested an audience.”

“They probably read the proposal once. How much do you think they grasped? You’ve read it a dozen times and you still forget some of the details. I should have made you write it.”

David's smile returned, brighter than ever. “Then it wouldn’t have been perfect.”

"Or written at all."

But Catrine could not keep the corners of her mouth from twitching. David reached for her hand and she latched onto his. He led her down the front steps towards the open gate. The gravel crunched under their feet.


  1. I wouldn't consider either the first paragraph or the last paragraph of this to be much of a hook, but I do like the banter between the two characters. Their interaction makes me want to read more.

  2. This interests me, but I feel like there's not enough setting here. Still, lack of setting wouldn't make me put it down. I'd keep reading for sure.

  3. The first paragraph doesn't have much of a hook Be careful not to start so many sentences with she.

  4. I really enjoyed the dialogue, I think it brought out the characters well. One thing I would suggest is cut back on the use of "she" in the opening paragraph. Such as when you say "She stared at the school gate..." You can instead say "The school gate stood less than a hundred feet away." Likewise "She glanced at David" could say "David closed the heavy pine door behind Catrine." Hope that helps :)

  5. I'm not quite feeling placed yet on any front--which doesn't mean I wouldn't read on. But I am anticipating that this speech will somehow serve as a catalyst for the events of the book? By choosing this moment to drop us into the story, I am placing a great deal of importance on this upcoming presentation.

  6. The dialogue between the characters is very vivid. I liked it a lot, and I'd want to get to know them further. I particularly enjoy the way you set the words at slight odds with the emottional tells: Catrine's twitch of the mouth, etc.

    But I don't feel clear about who they are or the stakes of the story: the "school" in the first line made me think they were young, but by the end of the snippet, I decided they were older than I'd first thought. I'm also unclear about why the speech matters, which makes it hard for me to be invested in the story yet. Hope that helps, and good luck!

  7. This is adult SF, yet anything pertaining to "school" flips a switch inside my head to YA. Maybe it's just me.

    We start in Cetrine's POV, but what's going on appears to have more to do with David than with her. If you go deeper into her thoughts and feelings to reveal how his speech matters to her within the context of the story, you'll be in much better shape.

    What's the proposal about? I sense that's where your story is, whatever conflict this proposal will invoke. If you can work that in as well, it may help strengthen your beginning.

  8. You have a nice style, especially in dialogue. This moves along fairly smoothly.

    But I'd like a little more context about the characters and setting. You've set up their relationship nicely, but I want to know a little more about the science-fiction elements of the setting before they move forward. I don't know enough get to understand what's so important about the proposal they're presenting. Why does Catrine care so much?

    Lingering on those details will help make this a stronger opening.