Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Secret Agent #38

TITLE: The Levitators

Like you, I was born.

The similarities end there.

It’s not an ego thing; seriously, I wish we were more alike. To be precise, I wish I was more like you and everyone else. And less like… well, I don’t know if I’m like anyone. Or anything.

You’re hardly the first to observe that we both eat, drink, sleep, fart, and whatever else you want to think about. So do seals and starfish and every other earthly creature. I readily concede my body is subject to biochemistry and physics just like everyone else’s.

That’s just another way of saying I was born.

But, as I pointed out, the similarities end there.

We’re different because you belong here on Earth. You fit in, like the seals and the starfish. You have a niche.

Not me. I’m on the wrong planet.

It took a while, but I finally realized this two years and seventeen days ago. I remember that day distinctly because it was the last time I wanted to live.

At least, on this planet.

That was the day I learned about the levitators. I saw one, with my own eyes. That was before I moved here, and I know, the new girl with the outlandish stories from “where she used to live” has no credibility. So go ahead, don’t believe me. But I’ll show you, and soon. I’m learning how to do it, and I have a genetic advantage because that levitator I saw?

He was my father.


  1. This is an interesting premise. However, I wasn't hooked by the opening lines. I think a stronger place to start might be the line "I'm on the wrong planet." That would catch my attention more than endless comparisons. Plus, it lets us know right away what kind of world this is (i.e. this isn't a normal world). It's just a suggestion because as I said, I think you have a lot of good stuff to work with here. Good job!

  2. Oh! I so love Writergirl16's suggestion. Also I feel like you drag on and on about how they protagonist isn't similar to humans. I would also add a bit of detail about the planet. Sweet concept!

  3. I loved this! I like the MC's voice. The second sentence in your last paragraph seems long. Can that be broken after: That was before I moved here. I know, the new girl . . . "
    And I wonder if some of the other parts can be removed. . . . has no credibility. But I'll show you. I'm learning how to do it. (I'd also break this sentence. It seems long.) I have a genetic . . .
    I, personally, really liked your beginning. I was hooked at "The similarities end there." because I was trying to figure out what you were - animal, alien etc. I think some of the comparisons could be trimmed a little.
    Excellent writing and seems like a great story! Best of luck !

  4. I don't normally like stories that talk to me, however this one seems to pull it off. Having said that, it feels like I'm being both talked down to and insulted and that turns me off.

    Good luck!

  5. (Commenting as a non-Sci-fi fan.)

    Liked the first two sentences.

    Thought the discussion after that was a bit too long before linking her father to the levitators--what I took as the opening conflict.

    I would have liked to read a definition or description of a levitator.

    The tone of the narrator was a bit confrontational, which put me off slightly. If she's the MC, I need to feel some sympathy for her, which I almost did, until she wanted to "show us" in the last paragraph.

  6. I found myself fascinated by this entry, not sure how to react. Usually I don't like it when the narrator speak directly to me, but the writing is masterful, and it works. The snark is good -- but maybe tone down the confrontational vibe.

    This opening reminds me of The Book Thief, where the narrator speaks directly to the reader -- and it works. You might want to check it out if you have not read it yet. The author strikes a perfect balance between attitude and accessibility.

    Very intriguing premise. Best wishes!

  7. The “similarities end there” opening bit is nice, because it makes the reader wonder what the differences are. We’re thinking this has to do with aliens and that it could be an extended metaphor for teenage-hood as a whole. But there is a lot of telling, not much story. Not a fan of the narrator talking about me (the reader) but this might be personal preference. We think the last paragraph about the levitator being the main character’s father might be a better place to start.

  8. It took 250 words to say "I'm a levitator." Perhaps just start with that and move on. As is, I don't know if we're going to be moved into the here and now and the story will eventually start, or if the story has already happened and the MC is going to take us back to the beginning and tell us the story. In any case, nothing happened. I learned the MC is a levitator, but I have no idea what a levitator is or does, if it's a good thing or a bad thing, or if it makes the MC better off or worse off.

  9. I like the way you start this. It immediately grabbed my attention. I'm not sure yet about the MC talking to me but it could work. I agree with another commenter that the MC sounds confrontational...but maybe that was intentional. Best of luck!