Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January Secret Agent #10

TITLE: Shadowwalkers
GENRE: Paranormal romance (New Adult, clean)

Anna Mackenzie was twenty-one years old. She was, in fact, twenty-one years old that day. Therefore, it, made perfect sense that she would be rather smug as she walked into the Starlight Club on M Street.

Being able to drink legally was a milestone, after all. She was finally grown up. Those older would have disagreed, but that was the focus of her thoughts as she walked to the bar and ordered a lager. Mixed drinks were insanely expensive, far beyond a college student's budget. Beer, she could afford.

She leaned against the bar, surveying the crowd, her sandy hair flowing over her shoulders. To start with, nobody paid her a second glance. Not here, not in a room full of fit young men and beautiful women.

That did not, however, last long. The man who came up with her had not been drinking beer. His breath smelled of something stronger. "Hey, girl," he said, sounding not at all like the song.

"Hey," she said, warily, assessing him. No, she did not want to be picked up by this guy. Or any guy, really. After college would be time enough. Time enough to date and mate and have babies. Right now, she just wanted the music and the dancing.

"Want to dance?" he asked.

She might have said yes, but as he spoke, his hand drifted onto her thigh. Gently, but firmly, she removed it. "Not right now."

"Oh, come on, what else are you here for?"


  1. I really like the title; it caught my attention at first sight.

    I think this could use a little bit of tightening. For example:

    "Anna Mackenzie was twenty-one as of that day; it made perfect sense why she would be rather smug as she walked into the Starlight Club on M Street."

    When it says "sounding not at all like the song", I'm not sure of what song you're referencing. Also, can be tightened to read instead "Sounding nothing like the song" as well as "She warily assessed him".

    There is a bit of repetitiveness. You want to try and avoid repeating phrases and words on one page, especially the first where it's so crucial to grab the reader's attention There are a lot of pronouns that could be cut. Also, there is no hint of paranormal here in the first page.

    I think you have a good start and with a few tweaks, it could really shine. Good luck! :)

  2. I agree with the tightening suggestions made by K.T. I personally don't think you need to hint at the genre on the first page, but I disagree with the commenter who said there was no hint. I think "Time enough to date and mate and have babies" sounds a bit otherworldly to me, and it made me smile. Also "a room full of fit young men and beautiful women", which normal human college students probably wouldn't say. So I think you have subtle information about the MC. Good luck!

  3. Although I agree that there is some repetition and some sentences could be condensed, perhaps you were going for a particular style or just a rhythm? But the second paragraph does seem to have some redundancy, not just about her age, but also about the beer (you also call it lager the first time.) One of the things that struck me early on was that this 21 year old girl is going into a bar by herself on her birthday. I found that rather unusual and rather fascinating. After reading it twice, I find myself wondering who the supernatural entity might be, the birthday girl or if the guy hitting on her. I'm also having trouble trying to figure out where and when the story is set. Some details might help to ground me a bit. Good idea though. Good luck.

  4. While I realize that you're writing in the 3rd person, which is absolutely fine, your opening feels a bit distant. Like I'm watching Anna from across the street rather than walking into the bar with her. You need to bring in some sensory description earlier. Lights. The scent of smoke or heavy perfume. Sentences like "sandy hair flowing over her shoulders" add to that feeling of distance. Remember, people don't really think about their hair flowing over their shoulders. They feel it tickling their necks. These sorts of details can be added even in 3rd person.

    So far this is a description of a 21 year old girl going to a bar on her birthday and getting hit on by an unappealing stranger. Nothing particularly unusual. Nothing compelling. Give me a reason to keep reading. A hint of danger. A sense that this in no typical girl. Anna has a confident voice, and that does come through. Good luck!

  5. I like your title. It drew me in. Overall I liked it, but I do agree with the tightening suggestions offered above. Maybe a little more detail about the scene. Something to paint a picture what is going on inside. Good luck!

  6. Your first line isn’t as gripping as it could be, but comes off a bit flat and too to-the-point. I find it a bit hard to believe that she’s not interesting in dating until after college. It also makes it a bit odd, if that truly is how she feels, that she’s out at a club alone for her birthday. This sample overall could be a bit more intriguing, since although it’s a typical thing to go to clubs when in college, it doesn’t help it stand apart from the other NA out there.