Thursday, July 17, 2008

#61 SECRET AGENT Are You Hooked?

GENRE: Women's fiction.

“I love you.” He looked into her eyes when he said it.

Charlotte blinked. Against her will, her lips formed words her brain knew she shouldn’t say. Words quite different than the ones he was likely expecting.

“Why would you do a stupid thing like that?” Was he expecting her to say it back? Of course he was. Why else would he say it?

He smiled and touched her cheek. She hadn’t crossed that line with him yet. But she knew she would. Eventually. Not because she wanted to, but because she couldn’t help it. Something inside her turned nasty and bitter when she was scared, or sad, or unsure. And she was all three.

This was their last summer together. When she returned to Arizona, she wanted to find an apartment and a full time job so she could go straight into the Master’s program after graduation. Her uncertainty about their future led her to pick fights, most of which she couldn’t remember the reason for anymore. Stupid fights. He could usually see past her insecure tactics. Even when her words were particularly venomous, he was quick to open his arms and forgive.

Last night she had taken it too far again, asking if he had any students with promising talent who might keep him busy while she was gone. It was a stupid thing to say. But she hadn’t apologized. And though they’d slept in the same bed, he’d kept his distance.

Until those three words this morning.


  1. I think this would set up better in first person.

    There's an awful lot of back story tossed at us right from the beginning.

    I'd have to pass here.

  2. There' s backstory and, I'm sorry, your MC isn't loveable. I don't see anything here that makes me want to read more about her. Pass.

  3. Sorry, but no. There's no action here. It's set up for a great arguement, but it fails to deliver. Instead, we get backstory and musings. Neither hooked me. Sorry.

  4. There is backstory here, but it's an interesting backstory. I think your character has the potential to be complex and interesting.

  5. It's well written and I rather liked the MC for not being mushy and whatnot, but it's not really a genre I have interest in, so I'm afriad I probably wouldn't read on.

    Good luck,


  6. Not a genre I read at all. Putting that aside, I like the toughness of the protagonist. I'd prefer seeing less background in an opening page, and while the piece is well written, nothing about it hooks me enough to keep reading. Others who like the genre might be more interested.

  7. Too much backstory for my taste. Pass.


    Part of that is because I don't read main-lit romances. But even if I did... I dunno.

    There is a lot of telling and backstory, as the others said. And or the characters aren't that appealing to me.

    But I think this would work for other people.

  9. I like your set up. It's nice to have a character who's flawed and who has a tendency to say the wrong thing. I'm definitely drawn in by imperfect MCs.

    But as other have said, you give us a lot of backstory in these opening paragraphs. Instead of getting to know your MC through her actions, we get an info dump right away. And it makes her less sympathetic.

    I think you've got a great idea, but our introduction to this character needs to be reworked. Good luck!

  10. Not yet, but I could be. I like the voice and the writing, but the storytelling needs work. Don't summarize what happened last night. Play it out on your first page. Let's "see" what the problem is with this girl. That will be your hook. It doesn't work as you have it now.

  11. Not my genre, but your MC has a....different personality. A little too much backstory tossed in.

    I'd stick to the present situation, what's started it, what's going on, what the MC's reactions are and why.

  12. I would read further. The main character sounded like someone I would be sympathetic towards. And it sounds like she's sleeping with one of her teachers - I'd like to know more about the background to that!

  13. I've loved many an unlovable main character but there's a bit too much declaiming how unlovable she is with this one for me to make the leap. I'd rather see the nasty and bitter and irrational than be told about it, and that'd make me step aside on this one.

  14. I also think this would shine better in first person, and perhaps bring out the MC's personality even better.

  15. Not for me, sorry. First person might be a good idea, but as it is I'm just not drawn in by either the situation or the character.