Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Secret Agent #31

GENRE: YA Supernatural Romance

Something told me my mental institution-free days were numbered the second I jumped down from the pickup truck and stared out at the towering cable fence arched over the steep banked turns of Daytona’s International Speedway.

My stomach churned.

This place was a death pit of metal, iron, and steel. Granted, it wasn’t all that different from the salvage yard I lived in back home. And while having been sent here against my will sucked big time, it wasn’t why I was freaking out, either. It was having to keep a lid on the magnetic influence I had over all those ferrous metals while smack dab in the middle of a highly media-crazed sport that had me popping chewable antacids all week.

Bye-bye, frying pan. Hello, fire.

I took the roll of Tums out of my pocket, peeled the wrapper and dropped another one on my tongue. How the hell was I going to stay in control of my emotions in this place? I was already more bitter than a key lime and my curse was teetering over the barriers I’d taught myself to keep up.

A sudden gust of wind whipped by, barely stirring air that had turned thick and humid thanks to the series of freak storms that had hit these parts of Florida this past week. I closed my eyes, curled some stray strands of hair around my ears and gave my throbbing right temple a quick rub.

Throbbing temple. Never a good sign.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I like your title and I love your opening line. It made me wonder what happened to the main character and why he/she was in the mental institution to begin with, which is a good thing. I really liked the third paragraph images. I can picture it and to me that makes for a good read. The one thing that I was unclear about was your main character, is the main character male or female? But I would most definitely keep reading.

  3. I really liked the premise and writing style. The premise is mysterious, but in a good way, so good job with that!

    I did have to read this post two times to fully understand what was going on, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if there's a way to experiment with your first few paragraphs to try to make the points you're trying to convey a little clearer, it might make it a little better.

    Also, I might be missing something, but even after reading it twice, I was still unsure what you meant by "Bye-bye, frying pan. Hello, fire." Some sort of clarification would be helpful.

    Great job!

  4. First sentence is a run-on and would benefit from paring it down or making it into two sentences.
    My stomach churned.

    Not sure why she/he's sent to a mental hospital if she has powers. Wouldn't she/he be able to prevent that from happening?

    What curse? maybe a few more words here?

    The sudden gust of wind sentence is also run on. If there's wind, would her hair stay curled around her ears?

    Not sure if this is a male or female and what the main conflict it.

  5. I like your concept, but there are cliches and telling a'plenty in this excerpt. "My stomach churned," for example, is kind of a generic description for what she must be feeling. You could do so much with it.

    The opening line didn't work for me, either. It seemed rambly and a little convoluted... sorry!

    "Bye-bye, frying pan. Hello, fire." is also kind of cliche.

    I'm really not trying to pick on your because I seriously LOVE this concept and I think you could do so much with it... but I don't think key limes are bitter? Aren't they more tart and sour?

    I wish you luck, because this concept has a LOT of potential!

  6. Wow, that's a whopper of an opening sentence. Read it out loud and see if you don't end up breathless. Ditto for the one that begins "It was having to keep a lid . . ."
    That said, this is an interesting premise. I'd read on.

  7. I see bits of interesting voice here, but the unwieldy sentences (the first line is a MOUTHFUL!) would make me hesitant to read further.

  8. Not telling why she's in a mental institute with powers is a tease. Nice.

    The ending line is nice. Can you also add a stronger hook?

    To Fix:
    Rework the opening sentence.
    TMI in this and the action is inverted. (first she jumps from pickup, next she stares, THEN she reflects).

    Show if this is male or female in the first paragraphs.

    Rewrite the run-on sentences for clarity.

  9. There's great voice peaking out of parts of the opening, but you lose that voice when you're trying to shoe horn in the backstory and it gets awkward to read. Phrases that tripped me up were "mental institution-free days", " Daytona’s International Speedway", and "while having been sent here against my will".