Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Secret Agent #4

TITLE: Pink Tigers
GENRE: Contemporary Women's Fiction

Megan reached for the cold metal handle; her hand shook like an addict on withdrawal. Get a grip woman. She'd faced larger giants than the pint-sized ones beyond the gymnasium door. One. She took a breath. Two. The muffled roar of the crowd as it echoed throughout the empty corridors of the school surged towards her, resonating in her ears like the echo of a freight train in an empty station. An explosion of panic threatened to overwhelm her as tiny dots clouded her vision.

Not now. Please God, not now.

Over one hundred children waited inside the gymnasium for her. This was not the time for a panic attack to hit. Megan took a deep breath, her nostrils flared as she wrestled to calm herself. She reached for the handle again, only to have her hand slip. It was drenched in sweat.

Her body trembled, her heart beat thundering in her ears. Dammit, her pills were at home and there wasn't enough chocolate in her purse to still her fears. She pictured Peter's smug stance this morning when he told her she should just concentrate on being a mom.To their own children.

Except she was. That's what he refused to understand.

If she didn't step through those doors, she'd hate herself forever. One more thing to add to the guilt. Through gritted teeth she yanked open the door and plastered a smile on her face.

14 comments:

  1. Great title. Some terrific things happening here: the pills are a good detail, the chocolate raises a whole bunch of intriguing questions. The roar echoing through the empty corridors places me right in the moment. (And the word "surge" is terrific.) All that said, I'm only so-so on this scene. It's a little bit too introspective, I think, a little too self-aware. Perhaps it might benefit from another character to bounce things off of? Maybe it just needs to get to the action on the other side of the door, where hopefully the reason/s for her fears will be revealed?

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  2. You conveyed the MC’s fear quite well with excellent descriptions, visual as well as internal. But IMHO, at some point, I wanted the story to ‘get on with it’. Maybe ‘belaboring the message’ is the correct phrase? Echoing?

    Why not add a drop of humor to it to make it less overwhelming? I would make a point of building her trepidation and let the reader think something terribly scary was behind that door. Then smack the reader with ‘it’s just kids’ as an inside joke.

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  3. Pretty great start here. A few things stood out to me, though. First was the repeat of the word 'echo' in the first paragraph. What you basically said is 'it echoed like an echo', only with more words. Keep up the great work :)

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  4. Hey I remember this from the blogfest! Don't want to repeat myself, so I'll just say I love the title, and I think you changed the end of the first paragraph? I really like it, the 'muffled roar of the crowd' to the 'exploding panic' works really well. As Ramona said, watch word repetition but other than that, great job!

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  5. Great job with this. I've read the chapter so I know humor would not work here. It would actually destroy what you going for and diminish the emotion of the chapter.

    I agree with the echo. You can switch the second on to noise.

    Good luck!

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  6. Nice, really nice. I'm with her, afraid. But it does feel a little drawn out. Just a little. I like the jab from Peter. Makes me care about her even more. And wonder what has made her so afraid. Really liked it. But I think it would benefit from just a little tightening.

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  7. Great job. I can feel her fear and panic. Would have liked to know a bit sooner why, but I know it was primarily to keep me reading on...which I would.

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  8. I also feel like this went on too long. By paragraph three I was feeling like it was time to move on, to turn that handle and enter the gym. Perhaps get her in there a bit sooner.

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  9. I'm not a fan of woman's fiction but I'd totally read this. I've got a friend with panic attacks and always wondered how she must feel. This is a gripping description.

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  10. Vivid, spot-on description of panic disorder. The drawn-out quality is accurate, because time is distorted by anxiety. If anxiety is a major antagonist in the story, we do need to feel it. But maybe in an opening, there should be a bit of speeding up. I'm not sure, though. It depends on the target audience.

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  11. Great description of a panic attack about to hit. I enjoyed the reference in relation to more things to feel guilty about. I could relate and so I would keep on reading. I agree with Patti, the jibe about Peter is great and gave me another reason to cheer for your MC. 250 words is just not enough, I want to know what happens when she goes through the door :-)

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  12. I'm hooked. It does feel a little drawn out, but I think that adds to the anxiety. I'd definitely read more

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  13. What are the stakes? Is she dressed in a Barney costume and has to entertain 100s of angry kindergardeners? Is she a professional gymnast about to give an inspiration speech to inner-city kids and save their lives? Is she the principal? When you pair such (convincing, clear) emotional distress with children, it can go either way--silly, or life & death. I want to know which much sooner.

    Also, kill your similes. Anything with "like" or "as" is weaker than a more concrete detail. Others feel differently about this, but that's my opinion.

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