Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Secret Agent #48

TITLE: Sister of the Beyond
GENRE: YA Paranormal Mystery

August 22. It was our sixteenth birthday, my twin sister Moira’s and mine and I already wished I could murder her.

Our final week at our summer camp was the culprit. Moira and her boyfriend had been at each other’s throat for days now and I was right in the middle of it. Moira didn’t feel like doing anything. She didn’t want to spend time on the streets where traffic was bumper to bumper, s o walking there or rollerblading was out. Summer was almost over in Cape Cod and the tourists were on the move. I didn’t want to go to Eastham; the quaint little town had pulled us deep into the crowd of artists and the punk predominant subculture this season. I was too twitchy about them. And since they were ready to leave, it was party after party. Let’s say I am not that adventurous.

Our summer camp was called Camp Wellfleet, an abandoned military training facility, full of ghosts and teenaged girls. The group here was creative and saying this was an understatement. So why couldn’t any of our friends think of something unusual to do, like scuba diving or something, for our sixteenth birthday? Today was a free day and most of the girls were wandering their own way, having fun.

Instead, the three of us, Caden, me and Moira, strolled on the beach like castaways, gathering materials for our junk art class, barely talking to each other.

“Check this out, Janna!” yelled Moira.

11 comments:

  1. The opening line holds some interest, but it feels a little wordy. Maybe you could cut some words to make it sparkle more.

    I also got a bit confused in the second paragraph-- where you say "walking there or rollerblading was out." Walking...where? I wasn't sure if the summer camp was in Eastham or if Eastham was where the narrator wanted to go? I wasn't sure.

    I'm also waiting to see some sign of the narrator and her twin not getting along and how she's in the middle of Moira and Caden's argument. It feels like there's a tad too much back story or scene setting without anything happening. Maybe if you had the characters talking about what to do and revealed some of the setting information in their dialogue, it would move things along faster.

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  2. I was kind of confused with the second paragraph as well. You mentioned camp and then veered away from it as people were just lolly-gagging around in the third paragraph...

    It seemed a bit disjointed. I liked that she wanted to murder her twin and wanted to know asap why? Also, is Caden a boy's name? Is he the boyfriend?

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  3. I agree that the 2nd paragraph confused me. Then in the 3rd paragraph, it says they're at a camp for teenaged girls - but then how is Moira with her boyfriend, fighting?
    Small item - I think you're missing a comma in the first sentence, after the phrase "my twin sister Moira's and mine".
    Good luck!

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  4. The first sentence got my attention! Immediately, I thought it was going to be a crime story with a twist. I really loved the simile in the second to last graph and the strong YA voice--"junk art class." I can really hear a teen saying this!

    For me, there was too much backstory right away. I want to see, feel and hear Cape Cod versus being told about it. I'd start with your second to last graph and then weave in information.

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  5. You have some good description here, but I feel like you could layer that in and jump more into something active. While I enjoyed reading your entry, it's a lot of "telling" for an opening to a story. I think you could easily drop most of the backstory about the camp and it being their birthday in with dialogue, while having the characters do something that'll hook the reader in even further. Good luck!

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  6. "August 22. It was our sixteenth birthday," --This part works. It hooks.

    "my twin sister Moira’s and mine and I already wished I could murder her." --This part, I'd like to see tightened up considerably.

    Maybe something like... August 22. It was our sixteenth birthday. When you have a twin, you don't have the luxury of forgetting. Or murdering your twin sister without getting caught. Something snarky like that.

    I agree to cut this --"so walking there or rollerblading was out."

    "Summer was almost over in Cape Cod and the tourists were on the move. I didn’t want to go to Eastham; the quaint little town ((that?)) had pulled us deep into the crowd of artists and the punk predominant subculture this season. I was too twitchy about them. And since they were ready to leave, it was party after party. Let’s say I am not that adventurous."

    --There could be more clarity in the last paragraph. Who is making her go to parties? Its got some great word choice, though and good description.

    "Our summer camp was called Camp Wellfleet, an abandoned military training facility, full of ghosts and teenaged girls." --That's on the money right there!! Very well crafted!

    "So why couldn’t any of our friends think of something unusual to do, like scuba diving or something, for our sixteenth birthday?" --Not too found of "or something". Show of YOUR creativity. Scuba diving or base jumping. lol. Be bold. Be snarky.

    "like castaways," --very nice.

    I think as a whole it can use a little polish, but there are places that really shine already.

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  7. I agree with other comments in that you need to tighten the top.
    Also, the word "murder" is pretty harsh if you're trying to be funny. Is this a foreshadowing? If not, just say "kill".
    The second paragraph is too distracting -- the action you're trying to get to obviously starts at the beach, so better to get to it rather than describe the Cape Cod scene. If it's really important for atmospherics, you can get to it later.
    Totally love the line about the camp being for teen girls and ghosts - well done.
    One last thing - I wish we could learn your MC's name before her twin's name. Perhaps just refer to her as "my twin" in that first sentence? We can learn her name just a bit later, after we hear HER voice more.
    Good luck!

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  8. I'm confused by this one. I like the triangle of the twin sisters and the boyfriend. But I had a hard time following what was going on. I thought they were at summer camp and then they we walking around in the traffic and then there were ghosts and girls and it seems they are at summer camp after all. So where are they walking? And if the summer camp is for girls what is the boyfriend doing there? Too many questions for me to continue. Good start and good for you for getting this out there. Now take it through a critique group so you can get fresh eyes to tell you where it's confusing.

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  9. This setting and premise has a lot of promise, and I like the friction between the sisters. I think the issue here might be that the opening page is all explaining rather than grounding in a specific scene. Maybe show the girls doing something at camp and reveal through narration, dialogue and action the background of the camp. You can show the sister and her boyfriend arguing and the MC reflects how its ruining their birthday. The great part about this is you already have the set up, you just now need to pick out what will be most compelling to show to tell your story. Good luck!

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  10. I agree with Stephsco that the premise is interesting and if there were something right up front happening between the sisters, with maybe a tie-in with the punk crowd, it might work better.

    Is it a girl narrator? It isn't clear to me if this is an identical twin, or if it's a fraternal twin brother.

    The reference to being "on the streets," with "traffic" and "walking" and "rollerblading," when worded this way, didn't make sense to me, since traffic or the condition of streets doesn't often effect walking and rollerblading.

    When I got to Camp Wellfleet, it started getting more clear and interesting.

    It would be nice to have more details about what this sixteen year-old considers fun to do for his or her birthday, something particular that sets the stage for more intrigue.

    The final sentence is lovely.

    Nice work!

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