Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2 Secret Agent

TITLE: The Fairytale Sisterhood
GENRE: Women’s Fiction

Kat wrapped the white robe around her and padded on bare feet back to the inner room. She fidgeted as she sat amongst the other white-robed beings who bestowed annoyingly serene half-smiles upon her. She ignored them.

She wondered what people found so therapeutic about this place. It was too early in the morning for this, and all the serenity was making her agitated. If someone started the whole ommm thing she might have to hit them.

Her two business partners, Leah and Olivia, had insisted she start taking care of herself. The first step, apparently, was to achieve inner calm.

‘You’re so edgy these days,’ said Olivia, who’d turned stress management into an art form.

Leah grinned. ‘Indeed, grasshopper. You must to learn to go with the ebb and flow of an ever-changing universe.’

Kat couldn’t bring herself to tell them she’d just started her period. But PMT wasn’t the problem. It was the sight of her own menstrual blood that brought an agonized scream to her throat – one she couldn’t release, especially not in the office toilet.

Once Kat would have laughed out loud at the streaks of blood, relieved she wasn’t pregnant. That day, a single tear had shattered on the tiles at her feet as she tried to clean herself up. There would be no celebrating this month, nothing to tell anyone – not that anyone would suspect that she wanted a baby. Kat knew what they’d all think. The career-focused, impregnable Kat wants a…what?


  1. Like the title.

    I knew instantly that she was at a spa and loved your description of the white-robed beings.

    Leah--"you must learn to go" delete the first "to."

    PMT? I thought it was PMS?

    Single tear "shattered." I don't think tears can shatter.

    You do an excellent job describing Kat's disappointment about not being pregnant. Are you using the word "impregnable" for the sense of irony? If not, I'd use impenetrable or formidable instead.

    I think you do a great job showing her pain and total dislike for all things serene. I'd want to see where this story was going and I'd read on.

    Good luck

  2. Hooked! I would definitely keeping reading.

    However, I have a few concerns, in addition to Claire's observations.

    Padded on bare feet? I stumbled over that.

    Overall, I like the flow and tone of the piece.

  3. Good spa setting. I wouldn't name her business partners in the thrid paragrahp, because you naturally assume Olivia and Lea are the business partners talking in the next two paragraphs. I didn't love "that day"--caused me to stumble a bit, but overall good. I'd read on. Good luck!

  4. Paragraph 1. Like the mood. I can tell she is annoyed about the others who are serene and smiling. I already know something is itching at her brain. Graph 2 enforces that.

    Graph 3, could even loose the 'had' and in 4 there is an extra 'to.'

    I wasn't sure what PMT is, heard of PMS, just not PMT.

    Last graph, would chop out most of the 'that's. I'm not too keen on the word, as I find myself using it too much.

    I would keep reading on.

    Love the name Kat, one of my fav's.

  5. Wasn't really hooked until the last paragraph. Perhaps try moving that information to the very beginning? It might increase the tension in the spa and the reader would have more sympathy for Kat being in a place she really doesn't want to be.

  6. I really like this. From the very beginning we get a sense of Kat's personality, her bad mood in general and being grumpy with the world - we know something big is bothering her in her gut.
    The contradictory spa set-up is excellent, and your voice is very smooth. I would definitely read on

  7. I liked the spa setting, but then you jumped to the past and the office, and I wondered why you started with the spa if you're going to introduce the problem with a flashback at work? Why not just start with that day at work?

    Jumping to that second scene so quickly bothered me. Perhaps let's see a bit more of her at the spa first, or maybe just start at work?

    Last parg. you might say 'as she cleaned herself up.' Saying she tried kind of implies she didn't succeed. And you start that parg. in past tense and jump into present.

  8. I really liked this beginning. I immediately got a sense of character, setting, and mood. The writing needs some tweeking, though, with a good, sharp eye. I would definitely read on. Good luck!

  9. The last two paragraphs need some tweaking, true, but I would definitely read on.

    Nicely hooked! Good job.

  10. You've set up your character's problem nicely, but I found the switch between spa to office flashback a little bit jarring so soon into the story.

    Also, should it be PMS?

  11. Is the second half of the page a memory? I think it's important to stay in the spa - not allow her thoughts to meander even though that happens in real life. In the story it takes me away from what is happening now. Or, is Olivia in the spa with her? I can't tell. I think if you delete that third graf there would be no question that Olivia and Leah are with her. I had to read it twice to figure that out, and if it were a book on my nightstand I'd probably continue and hope that it stayed on track.

    I do like your writing.

  12. Nice writing, but I found the last paragraphs off-putting: the menstrual blood, agonized scream, trying to clean herself up. It sounds so gory and horrifying (maybe that's the point?), and overwhelms the emotion of the scene. To me, a scream says terror and fear, whereas the tear suggests sadness, maybe devastation. I think a lighter touch is needed. As is, I wouldn't continue reading.

  13. Loved that I knew instantly that Kat was in a spa from very little description.

    Though I usually do not like women's fiction I'm very curious to see where this goes! I like that Kat seems to be a woman who knows who and what she is - or at least she did.... I would keep reading.

  14. I definitely like the writing and I'll say right off that I'd continue reading. This piece started off nicely. With only a few words you conveyed both the spa setting and Kat's opinion of it. I laughed at "the ommm thing" and I could totally relate!

    A few details:

    You could tighten up the writing a bit, so that it flows more smoothly. In sentence #1 lose the word "white" and you can probably also delete "on bare feet." The first sentence needs to be cleaner so I don't stumble over it. Sentence #2, delete "as she sat" and you can see how it smoothes it out.

    Paragraph #2 is good, but "too early in the morning" came out of left field for me. I'd replace it with some kind of annoying detail about the spa setting, like the sickly new age music or the cloying fragance of the incense.

    Paragraph #3, I'd cut "Leah and Olivia" because their names become clear in the succeeding 2 paragraphs.

    I love "stress management into an art form" and in the next graf, I love "indeed grasshopper." Nice bits of humor here, shows you don't take everything too seriously.

    But the transition to "Kat couldn't bring herself..." is jarring. Really there's no transition. The first 5 grafs are about the spa and Kat's need to relax; suddenly we're in menstrual blood, tears, and a thwarted baby-wish. It's almost like these are two different stories, especially since you've moved from the spa to some undetermined time in the past.

    I think if you're going to open in the spa, then stay there. Don't go away somewhere else to relate what Leah and Olivia told her, and don't go into the past to tell us she started her period. You can probably accomplish everything right here at the spa. Leah and Olivia are there with her, so they say their funny lines right in the here and now, in the spa. Kat could be in the bathroom and discover she'd started her period.

    I don't like the graphic-ness of the menstrual blook, the scream, trying to clean herself up. It doesn't fit with the tone of the scen you're creating here. I'd recommend softening that up a bit.

    But overall, the writing looks strong and I'd read more to see where it's going.

  15. " . . all the serenity was making her agitated." - that was very funny! I love the setting and the character in this piece.

    But I think the segue to starting her period was a little abrupt. Also, the word "impregnable" seemed like an odd choice. I'm not sure what you mean, given the entire paragraph was about impregnation. In that sense, impregnable means "susceptible to impregnation" which is not what I think you mean. If you mean to say she is unassailable or unconquerable, then maybe you should use a different adjective. Nit-picky, I know. But overall, I liked this.

  16. Was confused at first by the 'white-robed beings' and I thought Kat was in some sort of gathering of fantasy wizards...until I read the genre. (My fault, not yours!)

    Once I stopped being a geek and figured out where Kat was, I enjoyed the writing. I get an instant sense of her personality.

    However, like others have mentioned, the menstrual blood scene made me cringe a bit. Other than that, the writing has potential!