Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May Secret Agent #29

TITLE: The Tower
GENRE: Adult Speculative (Sci Fi)

Jay jogged onto the video screen and Flor’s heart stopped beating. She wanted to warn him, had tried to think up something that would clue him in to the truth—but everything she thought of would get him killed.

“I don’t need to remind you not to screw up, Florence.”

The deep ring that followed him punching the doorbell sounded like a death knell.

Before Flor could answer the intercom, Macillan’s sharp nails bit her arm. “Don’t want to seem too eager now, do we.”

She jerked her arm away, cutting herself and making the sergeant laugh. Her bravado meant nothing. They both knew it.

“Hey Jay. I, ah, wasn’t expecting you.”

“Good morning beautiful. I’ve got another song for you.”

Her heart flinched. “This isn’t a good time.”

“The song can wait.” He grinned up at the camera under the portico and her heart began to fissure. “I’ll just watch you work.”

A sob built in her throat. Watch you work meant distract her until she gave up. Kissing her neck while she dosed test tubes, running his fingers down her spine while she used the microscope, backing her into the fridge when she retrieved samples.

She always gave in.

“You can’t come inside anymore, Jay.” Jay, Josh, Joshua. When was the next time she’d get to say his name?

“Did something happen?” Immediately, her knight in shining armor was on alert and Macillan’s glare bored holes in her. Oh, no, no, no.

She reworded. “I won’t let you in.”


  1. I think you build tension nicely here.

    I'm slightly confused that she can see Macillan but Jay can't. Also not sure about the three names. It didn't add anything for me.

    But I liked the paragraph about her work. It has a romance vibe to it - talk of hearts and knights in shining armor.

    Good luck with this.

  2. What happens next?? Who's Macillan? What is her work?? I want to read more!!

  3. I definitely want to read on to find out what's going on. How is she going to keep Jay safe and what does the bad guy want. I want to know!
    I do agree that the names thing didn't add much for me.
    Great job!

  4. I like the conflict she faces. We immediately are curious about how she's going to solve this mysterious problem.

    "Video screen" may be redundant, hard to say without knowing your world but think about it.

    Did her heart really stop beating? Is there a better way to show her distress?

    Who is saying "I don't need to remind you"? Jay?

    "The deep ring" made me think of a physical ring at first, especially with "punching' to follow because I thought of a first. Maybe you can reword this to make it more obvious that he's ringing a doorbell?

    Also confused at who Macillan is and where he is in relationship to her and Jay.

    Would a sob really build in her throat because he's going to distract her? I get that she's sad because he might day or that he's in trouble, but not sure I buy the sob quite yet.

    If Macillan is right next to her and grabbing her arm, what is he (she?) doing while Jay is distracting Flor from her work with kisses?

    Why Jay, Josh, Joshua?

    I think I'd read on if I were a little less confused.

  5. There's a definite sense of tension and danger in this opening. I would definitely read on.

  6. I was confused when reading this so it didn’t grab my interest right away. I thought the MC was seeing Jay on a computer screen, so was mystified by the punching doorbell, and also by the unattributed line: “I don’t need to remind you not to screw up, Florence.” Maybe set us up a little as to where the MC is or what she’s doing when Jay interrupts. A brief interior thought from the MC would give the reader a clue as to who Macillan is, too.

    The MC (and the reader) is still reacting to Macillan when she speaks to Jay. Maybe have her look back up at the video before she speaks to focus the reader’s attention back to the interaction with Jay.

    I was confused by the Jay Josh Joshua, too.

    The “Did something happen?” paragraph has three people doing something in it. They each need their own paragraph.

  7. I write adult science fiction myself, so I'm always a sucker for a good one. I can't tell with this one, though, whether I'll like it or not.

    I was confused for most of the passage. I couldn't tell who was where or what they were doing. On a re-read I got un-confused a bit, but we shouldn't have to re-read the first 250 words because we're already lost by that point. Infodumping is bad, but not giving enough info is just as bad. I don't know who this person is or where they are, what they're doing, why. She's clearly emotional about something, but since I have no sense of anything else, I don't care that she's trying not to cry. For all I know she could just be a drama queen and this is no big deal.

    If you start perhaps with the sense of her as a prisoner and who is holding her captive, then when Jay comes into the picture, we'll know there's a problem and we'll feel it without having to rely purely on the descriptions of her emotional response. We'll be having an emotional response too which is what you really want.

    Good luck with this! There's never too much adult sci-fi if you ask me. ;)

  8. The moment you choose to open on is a confusing one, I'm afraid. I can't see where any of them are. Also, there's a strong case of character soup here: too many characters are introduced at once--Jay, Florence, Macillan, the sergeant--and at this early stage in your story it's hard to tell them apart. Adding multiple names for Jay adds to this confusion.

    You might consider starting with the line “I don’t need to remind you not to screw up, Florence," and showing us a bit more of the scene before you jump into the action.

  9. THIS IS AMAZING! YOU SHOULD WRITE A BOOK! Wow, I want to read more. Wow, you should publish a novel!

  10. I really love your writing. Have you ever thought about publishing?

  11. Me gusta mucho su escritura. De hecho, me gusta tanto que me animo a escribir más. ¿Qué pasa si usted comenzó esta obra en una configuración diferente? Creo que sería muy beneficioso.

  12. Käse.Grün.SchinkenMay 26, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Also ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob ich verstehe, wo diese beginnt. Aber Ich mag diese Geschichte. Halten Sie schriftlich.

  13. xoxodancing_queenxoxoMay 26, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    I want to read more. Please get published soon.