Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Secret Agent #12

TITLE: Water Speaker
GENRE: YA Fantasy

The pebbles had started growing again. I ran as fast as I could, but by the time I reached them, they'd blown up to the size of refrigerators and blocked the entire length of the playing court. Behind them, my opponent merrily dribbled the ball towards my goal.

Not now. Not this game. Focus on his weakness.

Right. My opponent's boulder-growing magic was nice and all, but it made him a one-trick pony. Once he set up his stupid barriers, he became like a soccer player, moving the ball with his feet and nothing else.

I, on the other hand, had my water.

I cupped my hands and the floating puddle next to me flowed through my fingers, letting me manipulate it like putty. The words, "25 meters to goal," flew across the glowing blue scoreboard.

I sent two jets of water flying into the closest boulders. They broke right through. The fake rocks fell to pieces, sending decent vibrations through the rubber flooring. I leapt over the rubble, and my lungs seized with the dusty air.

"15 meters to goal," flashed the scoreboard. He was halfway there. I split the water again, creating a line of four liquid globes. No problem seeing my opponent now – his uniform was an obnoxious bright red with the words, "Harrisburg Fine Chocolate" emblazoned in yellow on either arm. But the gap between us was huge. It'd take half a minute to catch the guy, at least.


  1. Hello there!
    You have me hooked. :) I would read a little bit more to see if she manages to stop her opponent from scoring.

    I'm sorry I'm not much help ^^;

    I would read through it again though because personally I think there are a few words that could be removed to pare down the descriptions and bring more focus to the action.

  2. What intrigues me most here is the use of fantasy in a normal setting like a competitive sport, and where magic/strange abilities are expected.

    But the problem I have is that as soon as you start introducing magic, I want that magic to follow rules. If he can grow pebbles into boulders, aren't they still rock? If so, how does the MC shoot water through them? Does using these abilities drain the players at all?

    I agree with Sescha about words/phrases being able to be cleaned up. For example, a puddle is generally on the ground. In the air, it would just be water. And, IMO, it would make more sense for the location to come after noun, i.e. "the globe of water flowing next to me".

    That said, you've got me hooked for a few more pages at least.

  3. The setting and situation definitely has me intrigued. I like the abnormal (magic) within the normal (sport/competition). That said, I want a bit more internalization from the MC. Right now I'm not getting a sense of who he/she is. There's a little sense of being analytical, but it's only a tiny little taste.

    Does your MC think the boulder trick is lame or a wise tactical move? Is the opponents jersey tacky or is your mc jealous they don't have such a big sponsor? Little additions here would help us to get to know them better.

  4. Using fantasy within a normal setting: super!

    Good opening line and hook. Yes, I'd read on.

    I like the voice, but didn't have a clue if it was a guy or girl MC.

    Pickies: can you give the MC goal in the first paragraphs?
    Agree with Sarah that it needs more IM.

    Ground us in the world more. Are there people or cyborgs in the stands? What does the MC hear?

    Otherwise, I like this a lot.

  5. Very interesting opening :). Can't think of many other magical sports in children's literature, other than Harry Potter, of course.

    I would agree with the comments above that the magic has to have rules, but I don't think you need to bog down an interesting opening by explaining them here. Be sure to work that in in the first few chapters, though.

    What I would like to see here is that magic has some sort of price. Is he saying a spell he had to practice? Does he mix a potion in advance? Is there a wand involved? Does the magic take a physical toll on him? Slow the scene down a bit and show us how this magic is conjured. That will make it more believable for the reader.

  6. Nice opening sentence. Perhaps give us a sense of how quickly the pebbles are growing. We don’t know, until the end of the next sentence, that he’s on a playing court, so he might be running from anywhere, for an extended length of time. Show that the change is relatively quick.

    Perhaps cut pargs 3 and 4 because all they do is explain what you are about to show us anyway, and showing is almost always better than telling. And tell us what the point of the vibrations is. Nice start!

  7. A magical sporting event's a great way to open. Would suggest working on a stronger sense of space and movement.