Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Secret Agent #17

TITLE: Basille
GENRE: MG Fantasy

Simon Teller did not know how he had left his body.

One minute, he’d been hunched over his desk pretending to listen to Mr Barrista drone on and on about volcanoes, and the next minute … well, here he was, watching himself hunched over his desk, pretending to listen to Mr Barrista drone on and on about volcanoes.

“It’s strange watching yourself working,” he grumbled, looking around the room. “Anyone else out here? No?”

Simon crossed his arms and tried to think things through. Given not only the bizarre situation that he now found himself in, but the undeniable fact that no one else seemed to be able to see or hear him, there was only one logical conclusion that he could come to. Mr Barrista’s Geography class was especially dull today and, as a result, he had in fact died of boredom. Any minute now, his body would keel over, and then the screaming would start.

Any minute now.

OK, he clearly wasn’t dead. Unfortunately, that meant that he’d most likely fallen asleep, and was just having a particularly unimaginative dream about what the teacher was saying. Simon sighed. “I am so not gonna get away with this one.”

A sudden cold breeze swept over Simon, and he shivered. Looking to his right, he saw that it had come from the now open window at the end of the room. This was strange for two reasons.


  1. It would be great to let us know where he is watching himself from - is he on the ceiling, standing next to himself - where is he? Also the line 'It's strange watching yourself working' seems a bit of a wrong note when he's not actually working? other than that I really liked this, I'd read more :)

  2. This sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm a little disoriented though. I assume he's floating? I'm not sure why he's talking to himself. It seems strange. And if this has never happened before, I think he'd be more freaked out. But I would keep reading, so it's definitely interesting.

  3. I assumed he is floating as well, so as joy suggested, telling us where he was watching himself from would help. I feel you cold completely scrap the line “It’s strange watching yourself working,” he grumbled, looking around the room. “Anyone else out here? No?” as it didn't really fit in well with the rest of the piece.
    You have a nice strong MG voice and had me interested. I was disappointed when it ended because I wanted to keep reading.

  4. Thank you all for the comments thus far, this is quite useful as it gives me a chance to see any patterns in terms of faults with the opening section.

    I think that I can agree that I could probably cut the line where Simon grumbles to himself.

    There's a line a little further on that describes Simon as walking towards the window, but the snippet really does make it seem like he's likely floating. I should be able to make clear that he's standing sooner than that if needed though.

    Thanks again all, I'm glad that you all enjoyed it.

  5. I like the voice a lot, and the humor (that he had died of boredom) seems so right for middle grade. I agree that the grumbling line is a weak spot here. But I totally want to know the two reasons why it strange that the window is open. I'd keep reading. A.Wells

  6. I cracked up reading this. What if he notices things differently from his perch above? Like, oh, that's where the teacher keeps his stash of candy or the detention slips etc. Stuff the kids wouldn't normally see. He has an advantage and you could make this even funnier! I don't think we need to know that he was "thinking things through." Just state his questions or concerns. I'm ready to read more.

  7. I like your main character--he's interesting and funny, in a dry way. I think you could lose the line, “It’s strange watching yourself working,” he grumbled, looking around the room. “Anyone else out here? No?”
    OR, change it up a bit. I don't hate it, not at all, but I think it could be better. Smarter? More surprised? Maybe he'd comment on something he was wearing or how he looked from above?

  8. Great opening! I love the first paragraph too.
    I'm less convinced by the first sentence he says, something about it confused me - does he say this out loud? Is his floating body saying it? I might like it better if he says the first half in his head: "It's strange watching yourself working" - have him think that, and then he can say out loud: "Anyone else out here? No?" - or even just "Anyone out there? No?" to shorten it, but make it clear if he says this out loud or not, because if he did, in the middle of class, wouldn't it elicit a reaction?

    I really love everything about this opening, including the open window at the end. But again, I was confused by the next thing he says: "I am so not gonna get away with this one." - I need more context - what does that mean? What was the last one? And does he say this out loud or not?

    All in all though, I love the voice here and I'd definitely read on.

    Thanks for entering!

  9. Love the humor in this. The part where he thinks he has literally died of boredom made me chuckle.