Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Secret Agent #3

TITLE: The Source Chronicles: Seeker
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy

His world was only darkness.

Eyes opened or closed, nothing changed.

How long had it been, now? How long since they had brought him here in chains? How long had his only companions been pain and fear?

He sighed…and heard nothing. The numbness was complete, his torso, his limbs, his lips, his ears. He could feel nothing anymore.

A shiver, not from cold, passed through him. Nothing was actually a welcome change. He had felt intense cold when they chained him in an ice locker. The heat had seared and blistered when they shackled him to the innards of an oven. His body had been bruised by fists and chains and rods of wood and iron. They had cut his skin both shallow and deep, to elicit nothing more than a scream.

They still knew nothing more of him.

To his mind, his act had not been criminal. Though he had willfully broken the law, rules known throughout the world, he considered himself above such restrictions. It was only through his own error in judgment that they had managed to take him, in the end.

His thoughts did him no good, they only intensified the fear and uncertainty that had become his life. There was no telling when they would come for him again, or what they would do to him next. He would continue to be at the mercy of his captors.

He came to a choice, then. He could give in to it all, answer their every question, meet every demand...


  1. I AM HOOKED! I enjoyed reading this. I like your writing style. This is good. I would keep reading.

  2. This gives a very ominous, cold feeling. It reads a bit like a prologue, I'm wondering whether it is. I think this opening works to evoke an unsettled feeling, though as a reader I would need more specifics on page 2. A name, some context. But this definitely sets a mood.

  3. Definitely getting a dark mood right away with this story, and I like it. You set up a broken down, pretty much defeated character in a pretty bleak predicament. Suggestions, this mini paragraph caught my eye:
    "How long had it been, now? How long since they had brought him here in chains? How long had his only companions been pain and fear?"

    I think it's a couple "How long's" too many, so perhaps replace those "how long's" with something else, but the rest of the words in the above passage are great.

    I would say I am definitely hooked. I would expect in the following lines from this section that the character here will soon get some interaction with someone else to break the flow of his thoughts. Best wishes on your writing!

  4. Very intriguing. You set up lots of questions that compel the reader to keep reading -- I know I would definitely read on! (I would hope that within the next page or so, we'd get some idea of who this far, we just know "male".)

  5. This is very intriguing! It sets an ominous tone.

    The only issue is that it reads a bit like a prologue in terms of setting the mood but not creating an immediate connection to the character. I don't see this as a problem, but it depends how the story continues from this point, particularly how long it takes before we find out who precisely this person is.

    That being said, I would definitely read on.

  6. I would definitely read on. The writing flows really well and I was hooked for the first sentence!

  7. Definitely hooked, but his being completely numb kind of overrides the torture he had endured. If they did all of that, why could he feel nothing anymore? No residual effect? Is he immune from further torture? To me, it would have more dread if he was still in pain.

  8. I agree with others who said it feels like a prologue (if it is, great). I need some context soon to make me want to continue reading. I don't have any connection to the character, so I'm not feeling any empathy towards him.

    Towards the bottom of the section you mention that he did something to get here, though not what he did. Again, I really want more connection.

  9. Excellent job creating an ominous feeling!

    I also got the sense that this was a prologue since we don't get a real introduction to this man. If it's not a prologue, you might name him so we have someone to identify with.

    In parg 2 we're told nothing has changed. In parg 5, we're told he welcomed the change.

    The making a choice part didn't work for me, because why would he suddenly decide to give in now when he'd already put up with so much? Perhaps if you showed him getting weary of all the torture, it would be more believable that he might give in, but you make him seem so strong and defiant, I just don't believe he would consider doing it.

  10. I'm a little confused by this one. The writing is good. But the character confuses me.

    I like the opening--he is in such dark that it doesn't matter if his eyes are open. Then he sighs and can hear nothing. And he can't feel anything. So I'm thinking this is future and there is some kind of deprivation chamber that not only cuts off outside sounds and sights, but also makes it so he can't hear his own sighs or feel his own body. I'm wanting to read more to find out what he's done to have people put him in such a chamber.

    Then I find out before this deprivation chamber or this dark cave or whatever it is, he was in an ice locker and before that he was inside of an oven. And he was beaten with rods of iron. And all he did was scream. So he could feel pain, but it wasn't that severe. He lives through being frozen and being put in an oven. So now I'm thinking he's a super hero.

    So it seems that people are afraid of him and they don't know what he is. And he won't tell them what he is.

    He thinks he's above the law, which reinforces my idea that he's some kind of superhero.

    Am I close? If so, then you've done your job. If I'm misreading this, then you might rethink some things.

    When you don't give a lot of info, you run the risk of readers making things up in their own minds and then when you set them straight on page five or ten, they go, "Wait a minute! I thought blah blah blah" and they feel tricked or disappointed.

    But if he's a superhero or an alien or a witch of some sort with superhuman strength, then all of this is so far so good.

    But then I see that he is full of fear and he's going to tell them what they want to know. And that part threw me. If he's survived all the torture and he can't feel anything anymore why break now?

    So maybe you can say--he took all the pain, but the deprivation chamber (or whatever it is) was too much for him. Or something. Tell us why he changes his mind now.

    So this intriguing. and I'd read on a bit to see what was going on. I like some of your word choices. innards of the oven, willfully broken the law, above such restrictions...