Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Secret Agent #33

TITLE: No Body to Love
GENRE: YA paranormal

I still don’t know exactly how it happened.

One minute, I was staring past Dr. Jackson’s face through the plate glass window wishing I could be anywhere, anywhere, but where I was. It wasn’t anything against Dr. Jackson. She’s pretty cool, for a dentist, but I hated being trapped in that chair with the mask strapped across my nose, the whine of the drill in my ear and that sick, metallic taste of ground tooth on my tongue. So I focused on the trees outside, the gently waving branches, the leaves fluttering in the fresh air. And somehow, I got my wish. I wasn’t in the dentist’s chair anymore, but my body was.

It was like the window had morphed into a wide screen and I was watching a movie of myself. I could see Dr. Jackson sitting on a stool and her assistant checking the dials on the laughing gas. In between them, in the chair was somebody wearing my black flip-flops, my faded denim shorts. What had to be my ponytail spilled over the side of the chair and pooled on the floor like black ink. Dr. Jackson actually wheeled over it, but I felt no tug on my head. I heard no buzz from the drill. I heard birds chirping. That's when I realized I didn’t see the tree anymore because I was in it. And I nearly fell out when a guy’s voice spoke from right behind me. “It’s your first time, isn’t it?”

16 comments:

Vivid said...

Hooked!! Love the evocative description of the dentist and the way it contrasts with the outside.

AG said...

Wow! Totally hooked. The line about the taste of ground tooth was incredible. I'd definitely read on!

Alexandra said...

From the dentists chair to out of body experience? VERY cool. I like the voice. Would read on. My one thought is maybe to start on the strange guy's dialogue, though. That could be a really good grabby first line.

Anita Saxena said...

Talk about an out of body experience! Very intrigued.

Matril said...

I'm hooked. I like the juxtaposition of the mundane dentist visit with the out-of-body experience. The voice is great, giving a strong sense of the character from the start. I'd definitely read more.

Danielle La Paglia said...

I love the concept, but I didn't feel any emotion in this opening. There was no connection to the character. You tell us she hates the dentist, but you don't show us her feelings. You tell us she's outside the window, but is she in shock? Does she think she's dreaming? Is she scared, excited, what? I want to feel what the MC is feeling, but I'm just reading about what she's doing.

Stephsco said...

Expanding on what Danielle said, maybe you could break up the paragraphs a bit by showing more of the characters reaction to what's happening. I really like the premise and title. :)

Kelly said...

I love the last line! I would definitely read on.

GSMarlene said...

Love the concept - have wanted to write something with this idea for a long time.

I agree - we need a little more 'feeling', but even with telling, I totally get that horrible feeling of being trapped in the dentists chair - I was always sure that's where people got ideas about alien probes!

I was a little amazed that her hair would be long enough to pool on the floor since the dentists chair is usually fairly high. If her hair was that long, I think they would have taken special care to arrange it better.

Love the last line and would definitely read on.

Alleged Author said...

The double "anywhere" isn't needed. I like this and would read more!

TL Sumner said...

Oh I like this!! Sitting in the dentist chair wishing you were anywhere else but there is relatable. Then to have it actually happen - yup - I'd read on.

Tara Cooper said...

I love the title. The writing is excellent. I think maybe it should be broken up a bit, though, it's a bit hard to focus on.

And like others said - I'd love to know how the protagonist is feeling when she finds herself outside of her body. Kind of an awkward experience, I think!

J.R. Wortham said...

Okay, you got me! Great concept for the opening.

I agree with GSMarlene about the hair pooling on the floor. I don't think that would be happening in the dentist's chair. Maybe change that--you don't need it to make the scene.

Also, I thought she'd be more amazed about being outside of her body.

Overall--You got me!

Anonymous said...

I liked the hair pooling on the floor - very visual, as was the rest - and the out of body experience and 'first time' question are great hooks. I would definitely read on.

Metz Photography said...

Love the contrast of the dentist and experience, however, I have to agree with the others that there is a lack of emotion. Too much telling and not enough showing. I'd like to experience her confusion and awe with her. Great opening concept and the hook at the end really grabbed me.

Secret Agent said...

Great last line. The fist one is kind of stock though, I’ve read a lot of queries with that same first line.

I like the image of the ponytail pooling on the floor but that’s really long hair. Can I assume, since it is paranormal, that it is possible in this world. If not, you’ll have to change it.

I’m sorry to say the story didn’t grab me enough to read more.