Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March Secret Agent #9

TITLE: After the Mirror
GENRE: MG Adventure

“Snow White sucks!”

As soon as the words left her mouth Melody wished she could take them back. Snatch them out of the air before they were heard, but it was too late, and all she could do was watch in horror as Snow White flinched, the hurt clearly visible in her wide, brown eyes.

“Mum, I…”

“How dare you say that to your mother!” The King strode forward, his voice echoing in the sudden, embarrassed silence that had descended upon the crowded ballroom. He stopped in front of Melody, his usually gentle, blue eyes now icy cold as he stared down at her. “Go to your room!”

“But, Dad…”


Melody turned and fled, trying to hide the tears that sprang to her eyes. She didn’t care about the room full of party guests left standing with their mouths open in shock, or even about the red-faced rage of her father. No, it was only her mother’s face she could see. Snow White’s stricken face looking even paler than usual against her long black hair - so sad, so hurt, and all because of her.

She ran up the grand staircase to the family’s private wing, but passed the door to her own bedroom, carrying on instead to the end of the hallway where she ducked under a tapestry hanging on the wall and climbed the narrow, spiral staircase hidden behind. Reaching the room at the top, she slumped onto the floor and finally let the tears fall freely from her eyes.


  1. This looks like a fun premise!
    You might break up the first sentence into a few for more impact: Snatch them out of the air before they were heard. But it was too late. All she could do was watch in horror as Snow White flinched, the hurt clearly visible in her wide, brown eyes.
    The conflict I see now is with her mother. I'm wondering what the adventure will be. It's tough to get all that in 250 words. I would keep reading, though, to find out--especially since the premise is so unique.
    Good luck!

  2. I totally like the idea of this, but wonder about the voice? It seems like it might possibly be more of an impact if it was written in first person? So...

    "As soon as the words left my mouth I wished I could take them back"

    and then...

    Dad stepped forward, his kingly-king cape glistening in the lights, his voice booming out, "Go to your room, young lady."

    Or something like that. Because while I really wanted to read more of this there was something slightly off about the tense.

    Also, and this is just me, but saying your mom sucks wasn't enough insult in my mind. Obviously you don't want to use bad language, but maybe something like "Too bad you didn't eat more apples!" or whatever.

    Good luck with this project. It looks really interesting! :)

  3. This seems interesting. I must admit, I would keep reading. I would suggest that the POV is not getting me. If you wrote it from a different point of view, it might work. But I would still read it.

  4. I am definitely interested, I love fairy tale retellings. "Snow white sucks" didn't feel right to me. I think it might have had more impact if you said, "Mum sucks" because you find out in the next paragraph she is snow white. But that's just my personal opinion. I'd keep reading though.

  5. I'm a sucker for fairy tale remixes. However, the first couple of paragraphs just didn't reach me. I think it's odd for Melody to just shout "Snow White sucks!" since we find out this is her mother, and it's a strange insult to say to a mother.
    Also the same with Melody's tears. Since her words indicate she's angry with her mother, it's odd that she is suddenly remorseful and bursts into tears later for what she said. Like the others said, maybe it is the matter of POV. First person may get the Melody's true feelings across.

    Still, fairy tale spins are always fun. I wish you the best on your story.

  6. I liked the opening, but it is odd that she would say that opening line. Wouldn't she say "You suck?" I thought she had said it to someone else until the 4th paragraph. That would have made more sense.

    Or if she had tried to explain it wasn't her mom she was talking about?

    Just needs some clarification, but it's a fun premise.

  7. Perhaps reconsider how the characters are introduced here. She says Snow White sucks, rather than You suck, or Mom sucks. Snow white flinches instead of her Mom. The King strides forward instead of her dad. When she talks to her mother, she calls her Mum, but in her mind refers to her as Snow WHite. The same with the king who is Dad when she speaks, but the King in the narrative.

    Refer to these people as Melody would, and you can get in who they are (the King and Snow WHite) in other ways. (Interaction with others, dialogue.)

    You might also work onto the first page why she would say that to her mother, to give the reader a hint of what the initial conflict is.

  8. You have some strong emotion going on. Great job with that.

    I'm not hooked, though. Sorry. On the one hand there is conflict here--conflict with her mother, her father, and the party guests. But when she's in her room crying, I don't care, because I don't know her. The conflict doesn't mean anything to me because I don't know any of these people. I don't care who wins the fight. I don't know who to root for.

    So I would say, "slow down."

    Show us how the conflict is building. Show us her at the party and getting madder and madder because he mother is doing something to hurt her feelings. Let us feel her pain and sympathize with her and also let us know she is going to do something stupid and hope she doesn't. That builds tension for us. WE see it coming and we're saying, "No, don't do it. You're going regret it. You're going end up in your room crying."

    Keep working. Take this one though a critique group and experiment with starting in different places. Keep going. It will get there.