Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Secret Agent #14

GENRE: YA Contemporary

There were some things in life I would never understand. How some people thought you could like eitherStar Wars or Star Trek, but not both. Why chocolate milk gave me the hiccups. And most importantly, why Alan Merkel,über-goth and total hottie biscotti, had yet to fall hopelessly in love with me.

The last of these had been on my mind for months, ever since Alan had complimented my vintage X-Men shirt at my best friend Madison’s birthday party. It haunted my dreams and waking moments. It crept in at the most inconvenient times ¾ like, say, when I was trying to make important purchase decisions in the back of Cool Comix, Northwest Florida’s finest purveyor of nerd accoutrements.
“I don’t get it,” I said. “What do I have to do to snag him? Put on a Bauhaus-theme song and dance routine?”

“Try actually talking to him, Thea,” Madison said as she browsed through the shelf of trade paperbacks.

 “I can’t just go up and talk to him,” I said, rifling through the back catalogue of manga sitting in boxes on the floor. “He’s a guy. I have no experience socializing with them. I’m afraid I might puke all over him. In fact, I know I will. I’ll totally yack all over his combat boots and then I’ll find out if it is possible to die of humiliation.”

"You do too talk to guys,” Madison said. “You talk to William.”

“William is Caroline’s boyfriend. Talking to my friend's boyfriend so does not count," I said.


  1. First off--I love your opening paragraph. It really gives us a feel for the main character right away. And great voice! However, I did notice a few small issues. One--don't know if it was accidental, but some of the formatting is off. Also, when the dialogue begins, I would say who Thea is talking to right away. At first, it seems as if she's talking to herself. Finally, I think you could eliminate a some of the dialogue tags to avoid a stilted feeling. If it's only 2 characters and you've set up the scene, only one or two dialogue tags should be necessary. You can also use character actions or other little nuances in between the dialogue to show who's speaking (plus give more depth to the characters). But overall, good job!

  2. You're missing some spaces, "eitherStar" for example.

    There's a nice humor in your dialogue.

  3. ARG, the formatting issue was not intentional! That is what I get for trying to apply from my phone. Thank you for your comments, though!

  4. I really like the voice here! Its reminiscent of The Princess Diaries.
    The nerd stuff comes on a little heavy at the beginning, but it's good as a grounding of the character. Maybe one or two references don't need to be there. It's enough that they're browsing in a comic book store really.
    There's a bit of confusion for me when Thea starts talking and I think it could be easily cleared up by adding "with Madison," or some such to the last line of the previous paragraph. Or even, "I don't get it," I said to Madison. "..."
    Other than that I like the dry humor Madison comes off with.
    And don't sweat the formatting issues! Gotta do what ya gotta do! Just don't do it for your query letters and you're all set!

  5. Great job setting up the main character and what she's like! Love "hottie biscotti". I'd love to see a little more about why her crush is so great, besides his complimenting her shirt. Even just a few words so we can swoon along with your mc.

  6. I actually agree with mapworm about omitting a few nerd references. I think that would strengthen this even more. Nice job!

  7. I'm in with Star Trek vs. Star Wars and chocolate milk hiccups! Also love, hottie biscotti and proof one can die of humiliation. Love the language and the characters.

    You might consider 'he' for 'it' haunting her dreams and waking moments, since Alan is really the focus (right?) not just the fact he noticed the mutant on her shirt.

    I do agree about the dialogue tags. Omitting said, especially when you have an action, will help move things along.

    Nice job!

  8. I thought the opening parg worked well. I'd suggest cutting the whole front end of the 2nd parg. Keep the dialogue and cut everything else. And then use what you cut as dialogue between her and madison. As presented, it slows the pacing. Have her say those same things to madison.

  9. I loved that first paragraph and had a really good laugh with the whole “hottie biscotti” term. I would try to provide more clarification on what the “Bauhaus-theme song and dance routine” is and how doing that would snag Alan. I also liked how she was having this conversation while hanging out with her best friend and searching for manga. The tone and setting in this sounded very much like the inner and outer workings of a teenager and it made me wonder if she’ll eventually succeed in her quest to get Alan and how she’ll do it. Thanks for entering!