Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Secret Agent #22

TITLE: See You Soon
GENRE: Women's Fiction

As a child, Anne Donnelly feared the dark, the depths of the woods, and most of all, snakes. As an adult, the only thing that scared her was the dead of night. More specifically, being jolted awake by the ringing of her cell phone. In that split second, anything was possible. Was her brother in a car accident? Had something happened to her niece, Josie? A thousand horrible, gruesome images coursed through her sleep-delirious mind.

The night started off normally enough, even though she and Mickey, her boyfriend of five months, arrived home to Key West later than planned from a weekend of camping on the mainland. As had become habit, instead of going to her brother’s house where she lived for two years, she went to Mickey’s. After unloading their limited gear from his vintage Triumph motorcycle, they grabbed a quick bite. She kissed his cheek and crawled into his soft, king-sized bed alone, not happy about bidding farewell to the weekend. She liked her job enough, loved the people with whom she worked. But selling men’s sportswear on a Monday morning begged for more motivation than she could usually muster.
Mickey, in the basement painting and listening to music, wouldn’t have heard her cell, vibrating on the bedside table. He wouldn’t have witnessed her turn to the phone and, without checking the caller ID, answer it. Most importantly, he wouldn’t have experienced the stillness of her heart and lungs when the caller on the other end identified himself.


  1. Ooo la la - I like. I think you did a great job of fitting in pertinent information in your first 250 - botany an easy task. In my opinion, you did it a pleasing manner - no info. dump. The plot is intriguing. Enjoyed this.

  2. I'm not sure the flashback nature of this first page is doing you any favors. The first paragraph gives away the fact that Anne is going to get some awful phone call, so the sense of foreboding is a little artificial. Then, because this is a flashback, that second paragraph should probably be in past perfect tense, at least to start (i.e., "...even though she and Mickey, her boyfriend of five months, HAD arrived home to Key West...").

    I'd like this better if we started off right in the scene and then you gave us some images and sensory details to tip us off that something terrible was about to happen. That way, our anxiety would grow with Anne's, and we'd be a lot more emotionally invested.

    Good luck!

  3. I would also like this better if we started in the scene. However, I do think the first paragraph sets up some nice stakes. Is there any way to fix the second?

  4. I think the jump to backstory happens too soon. You establish a degree of tension with a phone call in the middle of the night - which almost never brings good news - and then jump out of it. I personally would rather see her struggling to wake up, find the phone, turn on the light, etc., while the thoughts of 'who died?' bang around in her head.

  5. I like the premise but I find very little sense of immmediacy. The opening sentence is powerful, but diffused by the fact that she has just been camping. I wouldn't explain the second sentence, just let it stand- don't give away the coming action. Help me find the kernel of action other than 'normality'.

    A little soft but I'd like to see where you're going.

  6. Love the cliff hanger...I want to know who the caller is. I also can relate to the anxiety produced from the worries of the unquiet mind. There is a lot of exposition in the second graf, so that's something to consider. I would definitely read on.

  7. The end of this section is great. I love the double images of the boyfriend in the basement and her in the bedroom. (It almost feels like a movie.) The first paragraph is also strong. How much of the long second paragraph do you really need? Is their camping trip pertinent to the story? You want to get to the phone call as fast as possible, that is where you hook your reader.