Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Secret Agent #18

TITLE: The Guardian of Sudner
GENRE: MG Fantasy

Jaden’s head was buried in a book. His ancient runes scholar gave him permission to study a rare parchment that had just been discovered a few months ago. He’d spent his entire lunch break trying to translate it.

“I thought I’d find you in here.”

Jaden jumped as his runes scholar entered.

“Sir Robert will have my hide if you miss battle training. This parchment can wait.”

Jaden’s stomach dropped. How had he forgotten? Today was his duel. The other boys in his class loved sparring. It was the best part of turning twelve. No longer were they trapped doing nothing but endless boring drills. Now they got to show off their skill going head to head in real duels. For the other boys it was a dream come true. For Jaden, it felt more like a nightmare. He preferred books to battles. If you made a mistake with a book, no one died.

Reluctantly he put his books away and left the castle.

“Jaden, wait up!”

He turned around and saw his friend Brandon running, his wavy brown hair bouncing. Jaden laughed and looked to see if any girls were around. The girls loved Brandon—and his hair.

“Why are you late?”

“I was trapped getting lectured by my father about not taking school seriously enough. You’d think being one of the top battle students would be enough for him, but nooo, apparently I have to have your brains too.”

“What are you failing this year?”


  1. I enjoyed this passage! The only thing I'd suggest is maybe tightening up the 5th paragraph. Some of the sentences seem to say the same thing (other boys loved sparring; for other boys it was dream come true).
    Nicely done. Good luck!

  2. I would continue to read this. I am glad to see a boy as the MC. I am seeing many girl MC in MG; so this is refreshing. This is not anything new, the concept I mean. However, I like it. Some tweaking is needed, but this can win with the right edits. I would read it.

  3. I like this! The setup sounds like Hogwarts for medieval "sword and sorcery," which I think would make a very entertaining book.

  4. This sounds like an interesting concept, but I'm not finding anything that really stands out. There's boy who loathes battling, and a friend shows up, and their set in this different universe. It's safe writing, but I feel like I need to know more about this universe that Jaden is in to want to read more.

  5. I think you need to share a bit more. Why does his ancient runes scholar have no name? Where does Jaden go after he 'left the castle'? What is (or might be) the subject matter of the parchment?

    And when are we? I'd like a clue as to whether this (probably alternate) world is modern or not. I'm not sure. There are ways of dropping clues without spending a lot of time describing things.

    The second line should be 'had given' not 'gave' and you could delete 'that had...ago' by putting 'newly found' in front of 'rare'

    You are supposed to leave your reader asking questions, but drop a few more hints about the whats and wherefores.

  6. Enjoyed this beginning. Reminds me of the ancient tales I loved to read as a youngster. Would like to read more.

  7. I liked the opening with the untranslated parchment, but I wondered why you started there just to immediately leave the scene. Perhaps before he runs off to battle practice he might give us a clue as to what the parchment is about, or what historical time period it came from, just so we have a hint of a mystery or problem. If the parchment has no importance, just start with him on his way to battle practice.

    You might also cut all the stuff about how the other boys felt about battle practice and concentrate more or what Jaden thinks and feels since it's his story.

    He turned and saw his best friend Brandon running - could be - Brandon ran toward him.

    Parchment and a book are two different things and they are used interchangeably here. Perhaps choose one or the other term.

  8. I think this is good writing, but I'm afraid there is nothing here to lift this up above the pack. I don't really care much about this character yet. His voice isn't particularly interesting, his problem isn't unique.

    I want to encourage you to discard your first choice of "what happens next" and press on to find the fourth or fifth choice. That's where you'll find some unique stuff.

    Your writing is fine. But press on to find a more intriguing premise.