Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Secret Agent #22

TITLE: The Casquette Girls
GENRE: YA Paranormal

October 12th

The day had finally come.

The feeling coursed through my head, my chest, my stomach; until the tips of my fingers tingled as if the sensation were trying to escape the confines of my nervous system. My father and I were finally on our way home.

I leaned back in the passenger seat and took deep breaths, inhaling the smells of worn, black leather and bubble gum, trying not to let the anticipation drive me crazy.

The city wasn't exactly encouraging people to come home yet, but my father had always been a bit of a rebel. After the endless nights of me begging and pleading he had finally caved and I fled the French boarding school my Parisian mother had enrolled me in while my father and I were "displaced." I hopped a plane to meet him in Miami, landed late last night, and we were on the road by six this morning.

I didn't want to give him the opportunity to renege.

Ten hours later, we were still purring down the interstate in his 1981 BMW, but I didn't mind. I had never been away from my father for that long. I had never been away from New Orleans for that long. It felt like years since I had last been home, but in reality it had only been two months since the mandatory evacution — two months, two days, and nine hours since the Storm had touched ground.


  1. This is great! It provides just enough detail to give you the basics on what's happening - a girl who's the age to be enrolled in boarding school is arriving home after being away, and after a storm, and it's with trepidation that she's returning to her city and back into her dad's life. A very solid start.

  2. I'd like a little more conflict or suspense and some tie to the paranormal side indicated in the genre.

  3. Gotta say I don't agree with fictionwriter.

    Where's the suspense if you divulge everything right away? And I wouldn't want to find out everything in the first 250 words.

    This works for me great and I agree with Caitlyn.

    I can feel it... I can smell it.. and that very last line gives me the feel of suspense, wondering what they'll find.

    I would definitely want to read more.

  4. I really like this entry. I'm intrigued and would want to read more. I want to know what the paranormal aspect is, but I agree with Maja,
    I wouldn't want to find out everything in the first 250 words.

  5. The first line didn't hook me, but the last one sure did!

  6. I really like this, but I agree with the other commenter who said your last line is the real hook. The voice at times didn't feel YA, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

  7. I am confused why you put this in Paranormal. The Storm seems like an invasion, (although I can't tell in 250)

    You've put a lot of info in here to set the scene and the descriptions are lovely. We are there with her. Very nice!

    I agree with the others that the hook is the last paragraph, which could be split: the evacuation and her not being away from N.O.

    The first line is banal to me. You could use part of the last paragraph and accomplish the same effect. Just a thought.

    Yes, I would read on.

  8. I was hooked and would read on. I was thinking this was after Katrina, but the 1981 car made me question the time period. Still I like unanswered questions in the first page.

  9. Intriguing. The mood is somber, their nerves seem numbed, perfectly portraying the mood of returning home from an evacuation, and in this case an unprecedented long one. I am agreeing with a lot of the other comments that the last line is a definite page turner.

  10. I was a little confused at first if the story was in the past or the present, though I'm not sure why. Something about them being sent away and her father being a rebel to come back to the city before given permission and her mother bring a Parisian made me think it was a historic piece. But then I re-read and did see the modern terms like gum and the plane. Maybe it's the voice feeling too formal to be a modern teenager so I assumed it was a historic teenager?

  11. Nothing happened. It’s all backstory. You’re preparing the reader to read the story instead of just giving us the story.

    Perhaps consider starting when they actually reach home, when they see what has become of their home and neighborhood. As others have said, that's your hook. Start there and stick in a situation and let them speak and act.

  12. I'm intrigued. I want to know what this Storm's about.

  13. I immediately thought this was having to do with Katrina and the aftermath in New Orleans, but maybe that's just me. No matter what, I'm certainly curious and want to learn more!