Sunday, May 17, 2009

Secret ... Agent Man

It had been awhile since I'd had any critique of my work--probably at least six months or more--when I stumbled upon Miss Stark's First Victim, Secret Agent contest. Enter your first 250 words, and get (a) feedback from other bloggers, (b) feedback from the secret agent (man or woman, I'm not sure, but I have the song stuck in my head), (c) a prize--i.e., submission of pages, and/or (d) all of the above.

My answer: (a) and (b)

(a) feedback from other bloggers--I most definitely got that, along with an interesting debate about the merit of a prologue. 15 or so comments in, I realized that even if I didn't "win," I would know what I should do to make mine better for the next agent that looks at it.

(b) feedback from the SA--just got that last night, some time after midnight. Not what I was hoping, but hey ... not every agent likes the same Kool Aid flavor. And I wouldn't want an agent that's only half-heartedly interested about my sorta-kinda paranormal YA, even if it meant I had representation.

For anyone interested (that means you, Omi :P), mine was number 24. (I figured out how to do the link thing--woohoo!) As a brief overview, it's about a high school junior named Lexi who falls in love with new guy, Jake, but being with him unlocks memories from a past she'd rather forget. It has a paranormal element, but the crux of the story is Lexi's self-discovery and personal growth, as well as how this all affects her relationship w/Jake. Vague, I know. I'll work on that later, when the brain cells are up and running again.

Please feel free to let me know what you think or ask any questions. I could talk about writing all day :)

1 comment:

Omi said...

I read your comment the day of the contest (and laughed a little because you'd called me Omni. X3) but I didn't connect *you* with that, some days later (memory like a sieve. not my fault.) So when I found out again that you'd participated in it, I was horrified for a moment, because I was afraid yours had been one of the ones I'd gotten snippy with when my patience with the crap entries ran out. Then I opened it again (via your amazing link-wielding skills) and read the first line, I remembered how awesome I'd thought it was, and scrolled down to see what I'd said. I stand by it, although I could have been more eloquent with it. Like I said, I was so fed up with wading through crap that I was just so relieved to find something that WASN'T crap I didn't have enough of a brain left over to say much beyond 'it was great!'

I'm glad I made your day with it, though. It really was among the best of what I'd read. This is proof to me that I could never be an agent, no matter how cool I think the job sounds. XD I have infinite patience when it comes to things I enjoy, but it tends to run out after repetitive stupidity.

And at first I was disheartened for you that the secret agent hadn't liked it as much as everyone else, based on a wording issue, but it passed after a moment of thinking about it; if the wording of that particular phrase is really that awful, it's a simple enough thing to change, and as the proverb I found years ago said, "Ten People, Ten Colours." Not many people understand that when I say it (its a Japanese proverb) but then I say the American version which is "Different strokes for different folks" or "To each their own" - just because one agent didn't like it, doesn't mean that the ten billion other agents out there won't like it. And with such a strong beginning, I can't possibly see that the rest of it gets anything but better.

I wanted to join, myself, but I only started writing not too long ago, and don't have anything more than about half the second chapter written. I don't think that her secret agent contests are going to suddenly stop in the next year or so, which is my goal for having Eversong finished to at least the first draft.

As for your entry itself; I love ghosts. I'm fascinated by them. I could talk ghosts almost as much as I talk writing, because I have such deep-seated beliefs about them, and that love of the paranormal probably influenced me towards liking your story in the first place, but it was definitely the style of writing that grabbed me and held onto me. Something that had read "AHHH Its a ghost omg scary!" I ran away" ... would have gotten a swift kick in the nuts from me. Yes, it's a ghost story, but the writing is stupid. Yours was absolutely not, and I have renewed interest in it; I dearly can't wait to see it published.

With so wonderful many people writing so many fantastic stories all around me, I'm in a constant state of worry that Eversong's not going to measure up. But that goes back to my mountain analogy; Eversong is my mountain, and since I'm climbing it, I'm able to see all the fallen trees, and dead animals, and other flaws, but other people are standing at a distance from it, and tell me constantly that it's beautiful and great.

Now, because I honestly can't seem to shut up, do you have YIM or Windows Live Messenger? It's a more immediate way of chatting, and also circumvents my mega-comments. XD