Thursday, October 16, 2008

10 SECRET AGENT: Are You Hooked?

TITLE: Bruised Fruit
GENRE: Literary

I caught only a slight glimpse of him as he walked by, but I know it is him. I remember his muscular, stocky frame from days at the pool and nights underneath the spotlight of the moon. It has been over twenty years since we spoke. Ironically, it was on the day I returned from my honeymoon. After our brief conversation I knew, Ethan Reueken would forever reside as the non-paying tenant of my heart.

I suppress my urgency to run to him and confess my love, but what I want to know is why isn’t he dead.

Whoa, hold on! Don’t you think you should look at his face?

The little voice in my head over speaks the hammering echo coming from my heart.

I turn and look at Jennifer; she is packing up and readying to leave. I long to tell her and all within earshot that the love of my life has came back from the dead, and he's here on the beach, but I don’t because I’m chicken.

“Jennifer, you getting ready to go?” Duh….nothing like asking the obvious.

“Yeah, is that okay?”

“Sure, mind if I take another dip?” It isn’t so much that I want to swim, but he is in the water and I need to see his face. My heart recognizes him, but my brain's demanding proof. If I could see his eyes, I would know.

“Sure, but don’t take too long.”

“Okay.” I hate restrictions, even ones set by my friends.


  1. The conflict is interesting. I wonder why she thinks he is dead. But I don't love the present tense or the vague fell. This feels... untethered maybe is the word. Like I'm floating, seeing bits of the world but not really grounded. It doesn't feel real.

    That might be exactly what you intended, but it doesn't garb me personally.

  2. The first sentence is past-tense and the rest is present.

    I don't really feel engaged here. The internal thoughts don't really flow well with the rest of the piece, IMO, especially the last one.

    It's interesting but I'm not really hooked.

  3. Sorry, but not hooked. The protagonist's voice doesn't seem solid or engaging to me yet, nor does the conflict of seeing Ethan again. I guess I'm not really feeling her internal conflict, or any emotions from her really, since we're being Told how she felt, rather than being Shown.

  4. I like the first two paragraphs. The line about wanting to know why he wasn't dead really got my attention. After that, I'm a rather lost and the momentum drops off.

    I'd maybe put the little voice line before the little voice speaks to anchor it a bit more.

    Then, being that we're told the MC is married and then meet Jennifer - so I read Jennifer as the wife, which makes the MC a man who is oogling Ethan. But the MC seems more female. Then the last line makes it sound like Jennifer is only a friend. So other than Ethan, I'm not sure what to make of the other characters.

  5. Not enough here to hook me. Although I don't read a lot of literary, this doesn't feel like literary to me. I also don't feel connected enough to the protagonist to care about Ethan. Is Jennifer a friend of the protagonist? Or is the protagonist her husband? The latter would be an interesting twist to me.

  6. I am not hooked. I'm not a fan of the italic internal asides unless they are absolutely called for, and the language seemed to veer into sappy. I agree that this does not read as literary, and perhaps I'd be more predisposed to like it if it were labeled as commercial women's fiction. This author should work on their scenework, and the intro would then be greatly improved.

  7. Possible tense issue in the beginning there...

    No, I'm sorry. Your descriptions are great, but I feel like I'm lost in the protagonist's thoughts...

  8. Not my genre, and while the set up is interesting, I can't say I'm hooked.

    Good luck,