Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Secret Agent #14

TITLE: Finding the Fleury Collection
GENRE: MG Contemporary Adventure Fiction

Usually Savannah felt at ease as soon as she pushed her way through the rotating glass door of her family's museum. The front hall of the Mason Ferry Maritime Museum opened to a cathedral ceiling with a great dome of skylights. The sunlit walls were filled with portraits of mariners, some of them her ancestors. There was even a 150-year-old bust of Captain Thomas Harrington, her father's great-great-great grandfather and the bravest privateer in the western part of the seven seas, or so Savannah thought. She couldn't help but feel a sense of pride every time she saw her family history displayed for all to see. Today though, a white-knuckled grip on the strap of her backpack, she rushed by without a glance.

"Abandon ship!" squawked Henry. He shuffled sideways on his perch behind the front desk and stretched his wings.

She put one finger to her lips. "Hush. I didn't abandon you, Henry." Savannah stroked the neck and wings of her African Grey parrot and fed him a slice of apple. That should buy her a minute of silence.

Savannah glanced around. The door to her father’s office was closed and there were no signs of visitors in the main entrance. She reached inside her collar and pulled out the necklace that held her keys, careful not to jingle them. Not even Hank, the museum’s lone security guard, knew she had a key to the locked drawer near the register. She leaned towards the lock and turned the key.


  1. Engaging start! I loved that it was slowly revealed to us that she was up to mischief. Would read on.

  2. Great start to what sounds like a fun and unique story. My only suggestion is to use a slightly different version of the sentence "Today though..." as your first line. Maybe a combination of that line and the first line. I think the tension in that sentence is great and would carry us through the description in the first paragraph better. I want to know what's in the drawer!

  3. What's in the drawer?!?

    I like it, it made me want to read more.

    However, I agree with GKByrne, there is either too much description in the first paragraph or we need more tension to carry us through it. Personally i would suggest trimming some of the description. Mentions things in passing without lingering on the details, to match the actions and mindset of the MC.

  4. I like the intriguing setting and love Henry's "Abandon ship!"

    What would happen if "or so Savannah thought" were left out? Also "She couldn't help but feel a sense of pride" could be shortened to something like: "Here was her family history displayed for all to see." Not sure Henry's name is needed in Savannah's dialogue.

    I love her having keys--it's so believeable and it looks like the beginning of a delicious adventure.
    Good work!

  5. Great action and suspense once the story gets rolling. And there's a great story question: what's in the drawer? Maybe give us more of a sense of urgency and just a hint of why she has to do this now (what kicks off the story now, rather than at any other time). And the first sentence should say that usually she felt 'at ease' BUT this time was different, so that the tension starts to ratchet up right away.

  6. This is engaging. I do think there's too much description in that first paragraph. I think if you lose some of that, tighten it up, it will increase the momentum and have the reader more engaged immediately. This is well done though.

  7. I really like the way you use the parrot to build tension in the beginning of this story, as if he's foreshadowing that what she's about to do is dangerous and possibly a mistake--nicely done.

    I agree with the others that the first paragraph could use less description and more action/tension.

    Another comment--I wonder if Hank the security guard is there and she's worried about her parrot's squaking alerting Hank to her presence? Seems like there could be a little more urgency there to keep him quiet (which sort of makes you wonder why she'd bring him on a secret mission in the first place).

    I'm intrigued and would definitely read more!

  8. I like that we're immediately put into the story here.

    You could probably do without the opening parg. She give us a lengthy description, but then the last sentence of that parg is that she rushed by without a glance. If that's the case, why is she describing it? And if she's rushing, let her rush. DOn't slow things down with the description. Instead, use some of that wordage to show her skulking around and to create a mood and tone of mystery.