Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Secret Agent #42

TITLE: Crawlspace
GENRE: Middle Grade Adventure

All I wanted to do after school was find the world’s greatest treasure.

Instead I found the world’s biggest butthead.

Wayne Lynch. He was crouched in the alley behind my house, blocking my back gate. His face was squinched up into a you-are-dead-meat look. Bad enough he pushed me around at school, but I couldn’t get away from the guy since he lived next door.

I didn’t need this. Not now. I’d been trying to figure out my grandpa’s latest riddle all day, and I was stumped. Usually his riddles were about finding a book or an old coin, but this one told me to find the world’s greatest treasure. I couldn’t wait to call Grandpa for more clues.

Just one problem. Wayne. I didn’t want to fight him, and I couldn’t just push him out of the way. Might as well try shoving a gorilla. Until I met Wayne I didn’t know they made sixth graders that big.

Wayne’s lip got all sneery. Not easy looking like a tough kid when you had short red hair and freckles, but he managed it. “Well, if it isn’t little Alvie the chipmunk.”

Before I knew what my mouth was doing, it opened and said, “You are such a butthead.”

Wayne stood up. And stood up some more. He kept standing up until he was ten times my size. Or maybe twenty. “Now you’re a dead chipmunk.”

He shoved me down into the gravel covering the alley.


  1. I love the first couple of lines. Pulled me right in. I have a feeling I'd love this whole book. I'm wondering what the inciting incident is and where this is going. There's a lot of description of Wayne in the first 250. Is he a significant part of the book? Overall, the voice is really great. And I love the sample.

  2. Those first two lines made me laugh, great opening. Nice intro to your main character, too. We learn some pertinent info pretty quickly.

    You could probably trim a word here and there:

    His face was squinched up into a you-are-dead-meat look. --> His face squinched in a you-are-dead-meat look.

    Otherwise, good work.

  3. I love the first two lines. It sounds like a really fun book. My only suggestion would be maybe eliminating some of the description of Wayne and revealing it later. Overall great first page.

  4. Nice start. Needs to be trimmed a bit, but phrases such as "you're a dead chipmunk" are entertaining and good characterization. Well done.

  5. What fun! Great voice. Nice opening lines, too. I particularly liked, "Wayne stood up. And stood up some more. He kept standing up until he was ten times my size."

  6. Great start! I agree that there is too much description of Wayne, but that's minor. I like it!

  7. Great opening lines! Definitely drew me in and revealed character right away. I also like the early description but I thought you revisited it one too many times. Love your dialogue!

  8. Nice start, especially the opening lines, but I also think you're spending too much time describing Wayne. I'd rather be given a hint why he's picking on Alvie.

  9. I liked this! The conflict and the mystery. I mostly liked the short punchy sentences, but I wanted you to just combine a couple things. Just say, 'Wayne Lynch was crouched...' Instead of 'Just one problem. Wayne.' I know you want to be choppy, but I think it will be stronger if you combine the two, like, 'Wayne was a problem.'

    Again, overall, I like this beginning that sets up the stakes and the conflict.

  10. Fun story. Pulled me in I would definitely read on.

  11. You set up the mystery at the beginning and the conflict with the bully. I didn't understand why Wayne crouched in the alley to block the gate,if he's that big of a kid.
    I thought you could cut some of the sentences near the end where you have Wayne standing up. It seemed redundant.
    I'd definitely read on.

  12. Well done. I really like the description especially if he is 'the bully' The one we all know! I do like the imagery of him standing up, then standing up more. Gives an impression of size and intimidation. Nice.

  13. I loved this. You've captured the MG voice perfectly. I agree with others that you could trim a word or two, but otherwise I think it's perfect and it sounds like such a fun read.