Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August Secret Agent #21

TITLE: Thunderstruck
GENRE: MG adventure

Chinook forced herself to hold her tongue as she stormed away from the tribal council. She ducked into the cool darkness of the tunnel and steadied herself.

Ten years since the Wakiya had left the valley.

Ten full cycles of seasons since rain had fallen beyond the ridge that rimmed the lake.

Chinook raced down the spiral tunnel and out onto the cove. She splashed into the water and sank.

Humans would not survive without rain.

Yet her people refused to leave.

Lewis, Clark, Columbus. Hunter was in good company—the last of the great explorers. And with all those maps in his collection, there had to be a great unknown somewhere. He just hadn’t expected it to be in the kitchen. He hadn’t expected to crawl around looking for his birthday present, either. But everyone had to start somewhere.

He rifled through drawers, trying not to let the utensils clatter. He didn’t want to wake Mom and Dad or get Brody barking. There was plenty in there, all of it bent, scratched and mismatched. Nothing resembling a present, though. He slammed the drawer harder than he meant to and froze, listening for footsteps.

When no one came down, he started on the cupboards. If they’d gotten him something big, they might have put it in the cabinet with the water tank. He yanked open the door, peering into the spaces around it. Nothing there but—

The gauge stopped him cold. It barely rose above empty. They’d be cutting back, again.


  1. Your writing had real energy - very set up,followed by some frenzied searching action, great end too.
    I think the first section and the second were so different in style it might have been helpful to slow it down slightly and have some kind if a bridge between the two, or start off with the frenzied trying to find the present action. Either way, I would be intrigued to read more!

  2. I agree that your writing has energy and a sense of urgency. I'm imagining that these two story lines will intersect, but they definitely need some kind of section break between them to clarify you're changing characters & POV. As written, it's confusing. I think you can draw out the 4th paragraph more (stretch out the "she splashed into the water and sank").

    I was also confused how the lake was full of water if they hadn't had any rain for 10 seasons/10 years.

    Your ending with Hunter is intriguing, and I'm feeling a sense of impending doom for both the tribe and Hunter's family. Nicely done.

  3. The writing flows pretty well with this one, and I like Hunter as a character, an explorer at heart snooping for his birthday present. The drought in both worlds is a scary thing.

    I was a little confused by the sudden jump from Chinook to Hunter. If Hunter is the MC, you might consider just starting there and revealing Chinook's story later on.

  4. I was completely confused by the jump from Chinook to Hunter. I needed some kind of break or warning!

    I imagine these story lines will intersect but now they seem so very different it's hard to imagine.

    I liked each a lot separately. The writing is strong and interesting. But together, even with an imagined break, I felt a little jolted by the transition.

  5. "Ten full cycles of seasons since rain had fallen beyond the ridge that rimmed the lake."

    Confused -- does this sentence mean rain has fallen on one side of the ridge? This, plus a lake full of water, doesn't really fit with the idea that humans can't survive.

  6. You start with Chinook storming from the tribal council, but you never say why. What happened there to make her so angry? Who did she have a disagreement with and why did the disagree? WHat did they disagree about?

    I was also confused about the drought in her world. I would expect the lake to be dried up it hadn't rained there in 10 years.

    In the next section, the ending would be much stronger if you showed us some evidence of the drought there and how it affects them. If we see how bad it is, then that low water gauge means even more.

  7. I liked that the protagonist referred to himself as 'the last of the great explorers' even though he was only rifling through the drawer. I'd like to see you slow down and describe the setting and the protagonist a little more before you launch into the action. At the moment it is moving too quicklyly - through the drawers and then the cupboard...I get the feeling this is going to be an interesting dystopian story. good luck!

  8. I liked the explorer character. He sounds adventurous. I agree with the others. The jump between characters threw me completely. The sentence about the rain was confusing too. I think if you start with the Hunter character it will make the story more exciting.

  9. Sorry to be so late to comment.

    I liked some of your descriptions, and I'm interested as to where this is going. I was a bit confused at times too, just as some of the others have said. Best of luck!