Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Secret Agent #29

TITLE: Glory
GENRE: Edgy YA Contemporary

When they grabbed me, there was no time to scream. A filthy cloth covered my head as fist after fist ground into my body. More than one hand wove through my hair, pain searing my scalp as they threw me onto the cement. My thoughts scrambled in my mind, what had I done? Who were they?

Multiple voices overlapped calling me every name in the book: skank, bitch, chula. All girls, and by the sound of their voices, they were black as well as Hispanic. Then a third language, was it Chinese? Or maybe Vietnamese?

Tears streamed down my face. Wasn’t it enough that I was all alone? I covered my head, praying the feet kicking me everywhere wouldn’t hit me in the head. When I’d awoken from the coma after the accident four months ago, the doctors had warned me: no more head injuries. I gasped as a pointed shoe connected with my stomach.

The pain was too much and not for the first time I wished I’d died in the accident with Mom and Greg. Was this what my life was going to be like for the next nine months? How had I ended up here?

Two Days Earlier

Walking along the dim sidewalk, garbage lining the fence, a cop to my left and a social worker on my right, I wondered how I’d thought my life couldn’t get worse. My chest still felt tight, though I’d swallowed the last of my sobs hours ago on the plane.


  1. You start with both a really intense line as well as scene, it definitely caught my attention. BUT- how would the character know that the girls were black and Hispanic just by the sounds of their voices? I instantly disliked your MC when I read that line, so unless that's your intention I would rethink that phrasing.

    I'm not a huge fan of prologues which is what this beginning feels like to me, but I am definitely interested by your story and would probably keep reading :)

  2. I agree with Zoe. The MC's assumption that her assailants are black and Hispanic by the sound of their voices alone may need to be rephrased. That depends on if it was your intent to make your MC sound ignorant or not.
    However, I did like your opening. It was suspenseful, and I am wondering what brought her to this state in your prologue. Why her? You have me curious.

  3. Although I am not a fan of flashing back after getting enthralled into an intense scene, I would keep reading. I'd want to know more. And I agree that the MC would not know race by sound of voice. Maybe show more that the MC is assuming and not sure.

  4. I love the first line of this one--really grabs my attention. I also kind of wanted to stay in this exciting scene for longer instead of going to a flashback so soon, but I'd definitely keep reading to find out what's going on!

  5. I admit to being intrigued by this opening, as the potential for a compelling scene is apparent. What stops me from getting "hooked," I'm afraid, is that we're being hit over the head (no pun intended) with so much--violent gang of girls, coma, car wreck--that I'm left overwhelmed. One small thing: if she's got a bag over her head, how are the girls weaving their hands through her hair?

  6. This opening is well written, but it was almost too much going on at once for me to find it believable. I agree that identifying race by voice is likely to offend people. I also agree that the coma is too much. Being beaten is definitely enough drama for the opening scene. And if this is truly the opening scene of your story, don't immediately jump backwards in time. That makes this great first scene feel like a gimmicky stunt to catch the reader's attention before jumping backwards to a less exciting action-filled moment where the story really starts.