Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July Secret Agent #15

TITLE: Magic Shoes

If I had known my shorts would fall down in front of a bunch of varsity hotshots, I never would have gone to play ball at The Wick.

I'm not stupid. These things can take a serious bite out of your rep. And when the biggest baller of them all is your older brother, it's agony like a thousand bee stings to the face.
The only thing worse than being invisible is living in the shadow of your older brother. And my brother Adam cast a Godzilla-sized shadow. As Big Men on Campus go, Adam was Paul Bunyan. Minus the axe. Girls loved him, their parents loved him, even teachers loved him. I was somewhat less enthusiastic. His summer job down at the A&W consisted of serving ice cold root beer to girls with hair that smelled like peaches as they leaned over the counter to flirt with him. While I was dripping sweat from hours spent honing my jump shot in the driveway, he was sitting in our air-conditioned den asking Mom and Dad to bring him more lemonade while he watched music videos. Tough gig - watching hot dogs sizzle on their little metal racks for eight hours a day. Sometimes, I wished he would just go sizzle. But if he did, he couldn't help me on my game. I needed Adam, so I put up with his Adam-centered existence.


  1. I like this a lot. Good voice, shows some conflict, good characterization without too much telling. Nice. I'd read on.

  2. I like what you have so far. I would like to read a scene of how girls react between him and his brother at the A&W. That could be funny.

    I'd keep reading.

  3. I like the voice and your set up here. Not sure if it is a formatting thing or not, but the piece could do with a bit more paragraphing. For example, you might end that third(?) paragraph after, "I was somewhat less than enthusiastic," for effect.

    Overall, though, I'd read more. Nice job.

  4. I loved your opening sentence! I only hope that you go a little more into detail with the situation of his shorts dropping, after these first 250 words?

    Good voice as well and great description (a thousand bee stings to the face - great!). You have teen lingo down to the "T".

    You've set up the differences between the MC and the brother very well and I would love to see where this ends up going.

    I'd definitely read on!

    Good luck in the contest!

  5. Your voice really shines through in this excerpt, which is very hard to do in the first 250 words. Good job.

  6. I loved the opening sentences and I wanted to see the scene at the ball field,so I felt let down when the bulk of this was telling me about his brother.

    Personally, I'd rather learn about his brother in dabs as the story unfolds rather than get it as a large paragraph of backstory. But this could be just my taste.

  7. You do a great job with the character's voice and you immedidately set up the conflict of living in the brother's shadow.

    I agree with the other comment that there needs to be more paragraphs.

    I also like the irony of him needing the brother that he doesn't like worshipping.

    Great Job!

  8. I'm hooked! Great voice and great conflict pulled off in 250 words. Good luck!

  9. Boy stuff! LOVE it!


  10. I wasn't hooked. The story's just starting and you're giving away the ending, or the end of a chapter, or something that would have been a surprise along the way. Now it won't be.

    And the rest is all telling. And it's not even telling about your MC. It's about his brother. I would have preferred to have seen him in a sitaution with his bro, where I was able to see his brother being treated like a god, while the MC is yesterday's newspaper. There's no story in these 250 words. Nothing happened. It's a kid talking.

  11. I don't understand how working at A&W is better than playing basketball and practicing your jump shot? I think most boys would think it's a cooler gig to practice sports than work at a fast food restaurant.

    Maybe it depends on what part of the country you live in though.

    The voice is very good, it sounds authentic and age appropriate.

    Good luck with your novel.

  12. Love the opening of this - such a strong voice.

    But then the pacing slows down because you start to tell the reader what is happening, rather than showing them.

    It would have been more powerful for me if you had shown me what it was like for your MC living in the shadow of the older brother - rather than telling the reader this.

  13. I really love this one. I like the voice--I love that immediately you get a sense of how the main character sees himself in contrast with his brother. I like the details. I would definitely read more!

  14. I loved the voice too! I want to read more :D

  15. Great first line. It had me cracking up.
    I like the rest, it drew me in. I'd read more.

  16. I love it too. I would buy a book like this. Great voice.