Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Secret Agent #10

TITLE: A Nobler Sacrifice
GENRE: YA Fantasy

I lean against the wall, trying to listen for movement over the light, whistle-y, breeze. There's more activity going on around the corner than I'd like. Of course there is, it's four o'clock. The daily harvest is being brought in.

Ten minutes earlier and I could have avoided it. I just had to take the scenic route. Although, to be honest, for someone who's worked in a nursery full of crying babies, anything outside the walls of the Hive could be considered scenic.

I lick my lips and peek around the corner, my heart behaving like it stepped in quicksand at the sight of all the ladies assembled in three orderly lines, waiting to check in their large loads. Why did I have to waste all that time looking for four leaf clovers? Maybe if I'd found one it would've helped.

Who am I kidding?

Well, there's no getting through the front gate, but there has to be at least one window open. I mean, it's a beautiful day, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's dying to enjoy a little summer air. I twitch my long, translucent wings. My black hair is too short to pull back—why did I insist on cutting it?—so I swipe my bangs out of my eyes as I look up the length of the outer wall.

One more peek around the corner, and then I take off flying, careful to stay out of view of the windows.


  1. I am not feeling a connection to this story. It could be me. I have been reading many stories today. I will take a break and come back. I would like to give honest criticism. It would not be fair for me to just write anything. I will return.

  2. The writing here is fine. It's nicely written, flows well from paragraph to paragraph and has an interesting voice. The problem is, the key information telling what the story is about and where it is going is missing.

    o Who is the story about? A winged creature with short black hair. Don't know if it's young or old, female or male.

    o Where is the story set? The Hive which is what exactly?

    o When is the story set? Summer.

    o What is the story problem? Getting out doors?

    It's all a little too vague. In setting the scene, there isn't enough information about the character. Give me someone to root for and a purpose I understand.

    Beginnings must get us grounded in the story. I'm sorry, but I simply don't understand what this story is about or where it is going.

  3. I liked the opening, but there is too much information for me in just a few paragraphs. Maybe pick a goal or a dream or a desire, just one and elaborate on it.

  4. I like your writing style, but I was left with a lot of questions. I have to agree with MargotG, it was too vague and I wasn't pulled immediately into the story.

    I love that this is a story about a girl with wings, I'm getting the impression this is about fairies?

    I would read on though, it seems like it would be a story I would enjoy.

  5. I think you made a character that has a interesting, youthful voice I enjoy. But as it has been said, it is a vague opening. The MC is spending a lot of time talking about what she could have done and her predicament, and so we miss out on what could be happening right now. The only bit of action is when she finally takes flight at the very end.
    We need to find out more about her. Why is it so important for her to get away? Make us want to cheer for her chance to fly away.
    Currently, I don't know enough about her and her surroundings to be concerned about her situation.

    Best wishes on your story!

  6. The opening is intriguing, but I'm not really getting a sense of the main character's goal or the direction of the story, and it feels a bit disconnected. There are some interesting details but overall the world-building feels a little vague. It's possible, of course, that this is addressed in the next few lines, but I think the opening should be focused on pulling the reader in with the immediate action.

  7. I was lost. I don't know who the character is, where she is, or where she is going. I don't know who she's trying to avoid or why. I don't know why she was looking for 4 leaf clovers, or when she had the chance if she just got out of the nursery. And if the streets are crowded with people bringing in the harvest, how can she take off flying without them noticing?

    Try to include on the first page at least who your character is and what she wants. You might also include why she can't have it, and the thing or person that stands in her way.

  8. I was thinking this was going to be a dystopian where all the children were raised in a nursery and the city was called a hive. And I found that pretty interesting. And then I found out that the main character had wings and that just knocked my idea of what the story was right out of my head. Then I thought, "Oh she's really a bee?"

    And then I thought...a fairy.

    Whatever she is, I think you should tell the reader she has wings in the first paragraph. Otherwise it's too much of a shock.

    Nice writing and world-building, though.