Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March Secret Agent #28

TITLE: Miss You, Love You
GENRE: Contemporary YA

Once, six girls sat on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, at the start of the earth and the end of it. They perched there where fog met sea and foam met sand and old met new, and it seemed to them they felt the world shift. It was opening up to them, but as it did, it was pulling them apart.

So that night as the sun went down, they promised themselves to stay the same. The ocean took their promise and carried it out to sea in a single wave, out to where it could break against the horizon and be scooped up by the universe. And it was as if the ocean brought a promise back to them, a promise of constancy. A reminder that some things, like water and earth and love, could endure. The waves would keep rolling, and if they could, so could the six friends.

They had returned here, to this shore of their adolescence, many times over the last few years. Sitting there, six silhouettes against the setting sun, it was easy to think things had stayed the same. They imagined their friendship preserved in the water, indelible.

But you can’t drop something into the ocean and expect it to come out unchanged. The summer their promise resurfaced, they didn’t realize it. But that’s because they were looking for the constants. They wanted the predictable tide of the ocean, not its capricious, mercurial swells. They looked toward the future, but they didn’t see it at all.


  1. Poetic language. I love the use of words and the voice. The sentence structure ebbs and flows like the ocean in front of the girls.
    Don't think waves continuing to "roll" and "so could the six friends" fit the friends keep rolling? is there a better verb?
    Love the element of mystery. Want to know what is happening to these six friends and where life has taken each of them.

  2. I love your last line. Your writing flows quite well with very pretty imagery and language. If I hadn't seen 'Contemporary YA' at the top of the post, I never would have guessed that as the genre. This opening reads like a fantasy or even a fairy tale. In your third paragraph, the wording is a tad strange- you use 'here' and 'there' to describe the same place.

  3. I like the beginning - it does indeed sound like a fantasy or fairy tale, but isn't that what adolescence is all about?

    In the last paragraph your second and third sentences sound out of sync with the rest. I'm not sure what they're about - I believe your fourth sentence explains them so you don't need them. The last sentence is powerful! I'd read more.

  4. The writing in this is really beautiful and evocative, but I'm having trouble finding narrative tension in this excerpt. It has a lovely feeling of time moving and life changing, but I'm not feeling a lot of forward momentum.

    Also this line : But you can’t drop something into the ocean and expect it to come out unchanged. is absolutely gorgeous. I love it.

  5. I love the beautiful language here and would keep reading on for that alone. I also would like to see a bit more tension in this opening section, though. It's poetic and lovely, but could use something a bit more specific to anchor the conflict and story that is to follow.

  6. It reads like a prologue to me....a one page set up before the story begins. If it is, then I would have a different reaction to it and be more patient with it. If it is the opening of chapter 1 then it might be wise to focus on one character specifically as a way to ground the reader....."six friends" is too vague to feel invested in. I assume there is a MC so maybe intro her right up front.
    I did not get a YA feel to it from this excerpt


  7. This is really beautiful! Your voice is lyrical and evocative. Plus, I'm a sucker for stories that take place near the ocean--that's one of my weaknesses. I would definitely keep reading! I would just recommend doing one more line edit polish because I spotted a few minor errors. That said, nicely done!

  8. I love the beautiful language and imagery you've evoked. I also love the title and think it's perfect for YA Contemporary. This does read like a prologue, so I'm assuming that it is. I would love to get a glimpse of who the main characters will be - whether it's one of the girls or all six. Other than that, great!