Wednesday, May 13, 2009

5 Secret Agent


I’m never getting out of here. I know this, as well as I know my name is Kenny Panteria. That fat ol’ guard might as well take the key, put it between two thick slices of white bread, smear mayo on, and have it for his lunch, for all the good it’s gonna do me.

The cold stainless steel basin in my hands slides down, while I spit the sour juices that erupt from my stomach like a simmering volcano. It has to be empty now. But, no, up comes one more wave of burning yellow foamy gut juice, which I spit into the shiny silver bottom.

“Panteria?” The guard calls.

“Yeah,” I wipe my mouth on the orange sleeve of my jumpsuit.

“Shut the f*** up,” he says.

“Right,” I agree, because you always agree with the guards. And agreeing is what I do. I agreed with Lucky about going out for a ride in Ben’s car. I agreed with Lucky that we wouldn’t tell about the lady in the road. I even, for a while, after meeting and falling in love with Greer, agreed I shouldn’t tell even her. But looking her in the eyes became impossible, and one of the best things about Greer is her sparkling blue eye’s that are full of promise and forgiveness. Maybe forgiveness.

That and her dimples that make my groin jiggle. I’d give just about anything to see Greer’s dimples that make me want to curl up inside of her.


  1. I'm more than mildly hooked. You've got some great imagery and tone in this that I really like. Your tone in particular really, really works for me!

    I LOVE the jiggling groin line!

  2. I would definitely read more. The tone is great, and the set-up is intriguing. Present tense isn't my favorite to read (my brain tries to put it in past), but I'd give this a go.

    There are a couple places that threw me a bit. The basin in his hands sliding down makes it sound like the basin is moving, rather than his hands. And though I liked the "groin jiggle", the last sentence just read weird to me.

  3. I'm not a fan of present tense either. However, I love your voice! I'm definitely hooked.

    I didn't like the "groin jiggling" line. I don't even know what that means.

  4. I'm interested enough to read on.

    You've got a good eye for imagery but I'd cut a few of the adjectives in the 2nd paragraph.

    Also, I like the image of a simmering volcano but I'm not sure if it fits with erupt. In my mind simmering is mild.

    Nice job working a little backstory in the 2nd to last paragraph while also giving some insight into the character. I'd work on trimming some words from it.

    The last paragraph didn't work for me. Not sure why. But still you've set the stage with enough internal and exteral conflict that I'd turn the page. My main concern is that it's overwritten, which is easy to fix with an edit. Nice Job.

  5. I really liked your voice, and I loved the first paragraph. I'm hooked!

    I was stunned, though, when he swore, because until then the light humorous tone made me think MG to early YA. Now I'm confused by the contrast as to which target audience this would be.

  6. I really liked this part:

    “Panteria?” The guard calls.

    “Yeah,” I wipe my mouth on the orange sleeve of my jumpsuit.

    “Shut the f*** up,” he says.

    “Right,” I agree, because you always agree with the guards. And agreeing is what I do. I agreed with Lucky about going out for a ride in Ben’s car. I agreed with Lucky that we wouldn’t tell about the lady in the road.
    The rest didn't really work for me, but I am curious about where your story is going. I'd suggest cutting most of your first two paragraphs to get to that section above faster.

    The part about Greer is somewhat confusing and I think could be tightened. What did he agree not to tell her - that he loved her or something else? That sentence and the ones after it are awkwardly worded and need to be smoothed out. (Plus a typo: eyes not eye's.)

    I didn't like the 'groin jiggle' and the last sentence didn't make sense to me.

  7. (WIthout reading others comments...)

    I'm not sure how I feel about this. I like Kenny's attitude, I'm intrigued to learn if the story is about what landed Kenny in jail or what's going to happen from this point on. But, I'm not sure if I want to keep reading.

    I think it might be that while I like Kenny's attitude, I'm not sure that I want to spend a book with him, listening to him tell his story. I'm afraid I finally understand what agents mean when they say, "I'm sorry; it's just not for me."

    Good luck though! Sorry I didn't have anything more useful to contribute. :)

  8. Great opening paragraph. As I read on I get a good sense of the setting which I like for grounding.

    I wasn't clear on "hands slide down" the basin.

    I loved groin jiggle imagery.
    The character I've been introduced to--I want to see what else he's thinking.

  9. I love the voice for this. Though I agree with the others, I'm not fond of present tense.

    The second paragraph stalled slightly. It could be tightened up.

    And I love the groin jiggle line, but it makes me doubt now that it's YA because of his blunt want of Greer. Then again, he is in a prison.

    I'd read on.

  10. I'm not sure I'd even pick this up in the first place, much less read beyond what you've got here.
    Not because it's bad; it's quite well written, and has a good, strong start, it's just not getting me at all.

    If I were an agent, I'd pass on it, but not because it was bad.

  11. This isn't something I would read, but that's because the story, thus far, doesn't really interest me. The imagery is good, but I don't like the some of the word choice. "jiggling groin" there are much better descriptors. I really don't feel like this is a YA novel. The voice feels more like an adult novel to me, at least with this opening.

  12. I like this. I like the voice. But I too wondered about it being YA. Its definitely older YA.

    In a few cases the sentence structure was clumsy-
    sour juices erupting from my stomach- is tighter than the that clause.

    "That and her dimples that make my..."
    maybe try, "And those dimples that make...

    And eye's- why the apostrohpe?

    But overall I liked it. I'd read on.

  13. great voice. It did feel a bit older than YA but I would read on to see what the character was all about. Good job.

  14. While I think the voice of this is fantastic, there is an ick factor that would keep me away.

    That doesn't mean that there isnt an audience for it, but the puke and the groin jiggle left me wincing by the end of just 250 words.

    Not for me, but still quality writing.

  15. While the character of Kenny is interesting, I think you end the snippet by being too vague. I don't need to know about Greer.

    I want to know about the lady in the road and whether they hit her. Did she die? Did something else happen? Is this why he's in jail?

    The voice was good, but it also felt older than YA. Not quite an adult's voice, but not a teenager's voice either. I can see that throwing me out of the novel later on.

    I'm undecided on this one, but I guess in the end I am somewhat hooked...

  16. Good pacing, voice, and phrasing. Definitely does not have a YA tone, though. I'm not sure I would read on, because it didn't quite catch me, but your skills are evident.