Wednesday, August 19, 2009

42 Secret Agent

GENRE: Contemporary Romance - humorous

Friday turned into a fire drill the moment Bill Perry, my boss, breezed into the office.

He stopped by my cubicle and chirped, "Good morning, Miranda. I think we've got him." Then he disappeared into his office rolling luggage behind him.

First off, Bill never chirps in the morning. So second, it could only mean Corbett Paine was one step closer to signing a golf club endorsement. Corbett is a hottie Australian golfer touted to be the next Tiger Woods. Bill has returned from several days at a golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, where he was courting Corbett with our new Professional Elite line and has a fresh tan to prove it.

Stuart Golf Enterprises manufactures golf clubs and has corporate offices in London and Chicago, which is where Bill and I work many floors up in the Sears Tower. He is Stuart's marketing director, and I'm his marketing coordinator.

We're both tall blue-eyed blonds and kind of cute. Then we part ways. At thirty-two, I'm ultra responsible. Bill is an immature twenty-eight.

Since he's usually an impeccable dresser, his outfit of jeans, yellow Stuart golf shirt and loafers with no socks has me curiously peeking around the corner of my cube to see what he's up to. Stuart is a conservative British company and doesn't observe casual Friday. Ever. I straightened up and took a sip of hot coffee when I saw him head my way.

"Here, let's stay on top of this." He dropped a martini bar napkin


  1. Miranda discribing herself as a tall blue-eyed blonde and kind of cute turns me off. I'm not sure if the POV here is Bill or Miranda?

  2. Wayyy too much telling and not enough showing. The background on the company should go much later. Also you've noted that this is humorous -- there isn't anything humorous here -- light-hearted but not really funny. I don't hate it, but I'm not hooked.

  3. I agree with previous comments (about calling herself cute and saying this is humour).

    I would add that the tense of this piece is a bit unclear. Parts of it are past and parts are present.

    Also, nothing about this seems like a "fire drill" in terms of intensity.

    Sorry, but it doesn't grab me.

  4. not hooked: too much description of where they woork, what they look like... too much telling.

  5. The writing is breezy, which is what you want for humorous romance. However, there was a little too much telling.

  6. I don't know... this is a good setup and sounds like a promising project. Golf bores me to death, but there aren't a lot of books with a golfing background. That makes this unique from a similar project with an ad agency trying to snag a singer or movie star.

    One thing that was a turn off is the "We're both blonds and kind of cute...eight" bit. It made her sound ditsy to be comparing her looks to a guy and describing herself as ultra responsible.

  7. Remember the old Katherine Hepburn movie where she's the pro-golfer? Always a favorite of mine.

    I'm not a golfer, but I liked it. I found the humor fresh and easy going. Some tightening would improve it. The "Stuart Golf.." felt like a drop in info dump, not needed at this point of the game, IMHO.

    I also like male/female relationships that are good friends or good work partners--so I'm going to say hooked.

  8. I enjoyed the light-hearted tone and writing, though I agree that the tense you're writing in confused me. I didn't have a problem with the protagonist saying she was "kinda cute" or "ultra responsible." To me, that says more about her character--that she's a little stuck up and very sure of herself.

    If that's not what you're going for... then maybe you should adjust.

    However, the backstory was a bit off putting. I think you could streamline it--throw in maybe one sentence by merging two. "So second, it could only mean he was one step closer to signing hottie Australian golfer Corbett Paine." Then I'd take out the info about the golf tournament.

    The next paragraph also seemed unnecessary. I think you could sprinkle in that information later--even just having a receptionist picking up the phone and saying "Stuart Golf Enterprises."

    Anyway, yeah, tense and backstory were my problems. But I liked the voice a lot.

    I thought it was funny having a guy "chirp." It doesn't seem very guy-ish, and made me have an instant idea of Bill's character. That was nice.

  9. I liked the first line. It caught my attention. But the voice bounces around for me. Like the line "Corbett is a hottie Australian golfer touted to be..." The word hottie is too simplistic to use with touted. A word like hyped would be more consistent with the voice.

    There is more telling than showing. Like "...I'm ultra responsible. Bill is an immature 28." That line can be shown through character development.

    I'd continue reading a few more pages just to see how it develops. I like contemporary romance, and I like to laugh.

    Good luck

  10. Not hooked. The writing itself is solid, but everything after the first two paragraphs felt like an information dump. While exposition can be interesting, this was just an account of Miranda and her boss and their day job. Didn't draw me in.

  11. I don't handle contemporary romance, so I'm not going to say much about this one except that the tense change from past to present was jarring.

  12. This has the same problem I'm noticing with a few of these entries: a tendency to try and get across too much information in the first 250 words. You've got a whole book to tell us about Stuart Golf Enterprises. I would focus on the scene that's happening now and cut the third, fourth and fifth paragraphs. In the sixth paragraph you have a casual reference to Stuart being a conservative British company. I think this is good - it reveals a little bit of information to us without shoving it in our faces. We can learn what Stuart does later.

  13. Not hooked. Too much description, not enough story (at least for me).

  14. I love golf and think there is potential for some fun romantic comedy here but agree that there's a bit too much telling instead of showing. I completely understood and liked the "hottie Australian golfer touted..." part but there are places where you could probably use fewer words and still get the same message across. Instead of "returned from several days...Georgia" you could say, "returned from the Masters" which pretty much says it all.