Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July Secret Agent #47

TITLE: The Women
GENRE: YA Science Fiction

He’s coming.

I can’t stop pacing the living room. 5 minutes, maybe less, and he’ll be here.

“How much did you pay for him anyway?” Riker asks, stretching long-legged on the couch with her head thrown back.

“3,000 koyevs.”

“God that’s cheap. I bet he sucks. I heard Model 3 is the worst one.”

Someone told me the same thing but I deny it anyway. “He’s fine, no different than the rest of them. You’ll see.”

“Incoming message for Cola Sparks.” The Speaker’s voice tumbles out through the intercom. “Is Cola Sparks present?”

“Yes! Is my package here?”

“Is Cola Sparks present?” The speaker asks again.

“Yes, I’m Cola. Id Number 2478. Is he here?”

“Thank you Cola Sparks. We have a delivery for you. Incoming in 1 minute, 35 seconds. Please be prepared to sign.”

Riker darts up from the couch and runs to the delivery chute.

“The countdown is going!” she cries back to me.

I follow her quick. 59 seconds. 58. The numbers flash red and glaring in the wall above the chute. 10 seconds and the metal chute door starts vibrating, rattling so hard that the whole wall shakes. Clang! 0:00 flashes bright. Something heavy crashes into place.

“Delivery complete. A signature is required from Cola Sparks.” The Speaker intones.

Impatiently I roll up my sleeves. The flashing numbers sputter out. A small hole opens just above the chute. I shove my arm through it; I’m gobbled up to the elbow. Something hard clamps onto my fingers and bites into them.


  1. I liked how we are immediatly plopped down into the action.

    It might just be the way I read it, but I did get a little confused about what the MC said and what Riker said. I assumed that the speaker was excited about the delivery and Riker was apathetic, but then Riker shoots up to run to the delivery chute. So I got a little confused. (But again, that might just be me)

    I did like it though, lots of intriguing tidbits of information that made me want to read on.

    Good luck!

  2. The title and genre caught my attention, and the first page definitely delivered as far as content goes. The dialogue is spot-on and the scene intriguing.

    However, if I were an agent, I might have had a tough time getting past all the little grammatical errors. Numbers that start sentences should be spelled out, and numbers in dialogue are generally spelled out, too. Also, I noticed several missing commas: "G--, that's cheap." "Thank you, Cola Sparks." "'A signature is required from Cola Sparks,' the Speaker intones." They're little things, for sure, but too many little problems could add up to a big one.

    Good luck with this. Grammatical errors aside, I really do think you've got a good start here.

  3. I liked the action and the unintelligent Speaker, but if MC is gobbled up to the elbow, why are only the fingers clamped and bitten? And how could the same thing clamp onto them and bite them at the same time?

    This is a good start. It just needs a little clarification.

  4. I like the way this sounds, very SciFi-ish. I would recommend making sure there aren't grammatical errors, especially on that first page. I read somewhere that if the first page has more than 10 errors, it's a red flag for agents and can prevent them from reading more even if it's an interesting story.

    In the last paragraph, when her arm gets gobbled up, rather than saying 'something hard clamps onto my fingers', you could name the device doing the finger stick. Saying 'something hard' doesn't really paint a detailed image.

    Great start! Good luck and thanks for sharing!

  5. I loved the pacing of this! Like others have mentioned, I'd watch out for the missing commas. My one other critique is that this part feels a little choppy: I shove my arm through it; I’m gobbled up to the elbow.

    I'm sure you were aiming for fast paced but the semicolon kind of throws it off. Otherwise, great job!

  6. I just need to say that I love this line: "Someone told me the same thing but I deny it anyway."

    Been there, done that! Lol.

    I think your pacing is spot on and this sounds really interesting. :)

  7. This has excellent pacing. I was drawn in right away. I like the character development we get when she denies the obvious overwhelming opinion that she's ordered substandard goods.

  8. Love the first line. I feel like I'm in another world and I must stay to find out what happens. Love the count down and love the ending! A+ All of it works.

  9. Argh. There's so much potential here. So much. You've got good dialogue and I'm definitely intrigued by the "package." The setting is weaved into the scene seamlessly. However, it really needs a good proofreading. Too many grammar mistakes can raise a red flag. This is GOOD, so you don't want to miss an opportunity when just a bit of editing is needed.

  10. LOVE! I am bummed can't read more! Love the action, the suspense. Great job. Good luck!

  11. I really like the short, snappy sentences and dialogue. The details are spare, yet I saw the room, with the intercom and chute and red numbers. I'd like just a wee bit more detail, though, maybe another color to contrast with the red flashes (is the wall white? Gray? Do the numbers reflect on the furniture in the room, like a table or the couch?)

    I like how the Speaker refuses to acknowledge her until she gives her ID number. That's a good detail that puts me in the setting.

    I think by the end of this we should know more about who/what "he" aka Model 3 is - unless that's the very next sentence. Also, I don't think the title is too great, being a rather famous old movie (plus a remake). Sure, maybe most of your audience have never heard of it, but I think you could do better.

    I don't read much Sci-Fi but I'd definitely read more of this!

  12. I really like how you start the story. It is intriguing and makes me want to read more. There is one place that I think you have a tense lapse ("The Speaker's voice "tumbles" out...). Other than this, everything else was great. I would definitely read this.

  13. So did the thing she just paid a bargain price for bite her? Bad thing!

    This is easy reading. I have questions, but not the kind I want to quibble about. I expect you to reveal all at the appropriate time.

    Nice writing!

  14. I thought this worked well. We start off in a situation and get to know your characters through dialogue and action. We even get to see a bit of how your world works, so we know immediately we're in a different place and time.

    Maybe change the second sentence to - I pace the living room.

    Third last parg - the numbers flash red and GLARE - rather than glaring.

    Perhaps turn the last two sentences around.

    Something hard clamps onto my fingers and bites into them.
    I’m gobbled up to the elbow.

    LOve the name Cola SParks!

  15. I got a nice sci-fi vibe from this. I’m very intrigued to see what the main character ordered, especially since it’s a “he.” I realize the big reveal is still to come, but another tiny hint about what the model three is would compel me to keep reading here – maybe Riker makes another barb about something it can’t do (or something her model does better?)

    The biting of your main character’s arm also isn’t entirely clear – something bites her up to the elbow (which sounds terrifying) but then something else clamps down on her fingers? Finally, just a quick note to check for grammatical errors when you submit (there were a few missing commas in this excerpt.)

  16. I think this definitely sets up a lot of intrigue. It has me curious as to what is going on. I was kind of surprised by Riker screaming about the countdown so it makes me think things are more serious than I had imagined. I'd suggest removing the line "something heavy crashes into place" as the Clang signals something heavy dropping. I'd also suggest cutting down on the repeating of the narrator's name, Cola Sparks. It's said 3-4 times within these first 500 words alone.

    Good luck! Good stuff.

  17. I love it and would like to know what/who HE is. The SciFi setting is immediately established wihtout much explanation. The only thing I stumbled over was the name Riker. I thought her male at first (probably due to too many Star Trek episodes ;-) ). Good luck with this.