Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January Secret Agent #14

GENRE: YA/Apocalyptic

Midnight has officially passed. Today is my seventeenth birthday. How freaking exciting.

Considering the supply shortages, Elisa did a good job with the party, rounding up a bottle of soda forgotten in the back of her pantry and some of the popcorn her mom stockpiled before the Midwest droughts. No potato chips could be found in the county so she picked up some potatoes and fried them herself. The result is salty, greasy and gone five minutes into the first movie.

We manage to get three in before Elisa’s laptop dies. Since she doesn’t feel like hooking it to the bike-powered charger and pedaling until we can watch another movie, it’s time to find something else to do.

“Quitter,” Greg says. She gives him a punch on the shoulder and he cringes in mock-horror.

“I’ll be right back,” Shawn says and runs up the stairs.

Elisa turns to me. “Bad news, Cassidy. He brought his guitar.”

I force a smile when he comes with the guitar he’s so proud of and starts playing a stupid pop song. Shawn will never play in front of anything but a forgiving—or deaf—audience, but Greg starts making up his own words and we’re all dying at how obscene he manages to make it. It gets bad enough that Shawn has to stop playing, he’s laughing too hard to hit the strings at all.

“Whatever happened to the guy who did that song?” Greg asks.

“He died during the nuclear attack in Boston,” Elisa says.


  1. I love how this takes a huge-scale event and applies it to the everyday lives of teenagers. It feels very real and I'm very hooked. Awesome writing. (I'm also beginning to feel very insecure about my own entry. ha!)

  2. Great job integrating backstory with the action. There's just enough to show what kind of world this is, without feeling like an info-dump.

    I'm not sure yet where the story is going, but I'd read on.

  3. I agree with the other comments. I like the opening, and I would definitely keep reading. I have one siggestion. You could add a couple of lines of lyrics that Greg is singing. I think it could be funny. Of course, that suggestion isn't necessary.

  4. Well, that was a terrible typo. That should be suggestion not siggestion.

  5. Great start. The 250 words don't give me quite enough to know what is going on. Cassidy is your MC, but I don't get a feel of who she is yet. From what I've read, I'd still keep reading.

  6. There wasn't enough here for me. While what you have here is fine, it seems more suited for somewhere else within the story than the opening. While it may take place in a post - apocalyptic setting, it's still just four teens hanging out.

    What makes this story unique? What event drives it? Perhaps consider giving us a hint of that, or start somewhere else where something is about to happen.

  7. I think this strikes a nice balance—there’s enough backstory and setting details to anchor us in the world, but the focus is still on the characters' interactions. That said, I’d love to get a little better sense of our main character here in the opening. I'm not sure where the story's going yet, but I'd keep reading to find out.