Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Secret Agent #8


“Allison.” Her boss’s head appeared over the edge of her cubicle and startled the pen right out of her hand. She hated any kind of pop-in, but especially the work pop-in. Fucking cubicles, there was nowhere to hide. “Is everything ready for the meeting?”

“Yes Evan, we’re all set.”

“Okay, I’m counting on you. This could be big, you know.”

“I know, I know. No worries. You’re going to be great.”

“We’re going to be great. I swear I don’t know what I’d do without you, Allison.” Earnestness warmed his eyes and caused his handsome head to tilt at a ‘My life depends on whether or not you believe me’ angle and instantly all annoyances were forgotten. “Listen, the meeting is at four so swing by my office half an hour prior and we’ll go over everything.”

“Okay. I’ll see you at 3:30.”

Allison waited for Evan to walk away before retrieving her pen from under the desk. All of her notes and charts were in order, which left an hour to kill before she was needed, and she decided to spend it indulging in her favorite pastime of late- reminiscing about the good old days. Considering she wasn’t even thirty yet, using the term ‘good old days’ was admittedly a bit melodramatic, but it sure felt accurate. Good, because they were full of laughter and hope, and old, because it seemed like a lifetime ago. Laughter and Hope. Both used to fill her days and both of which were presently in short supply.


  1. I might try to streamline the last paragraph a bit, as it doesn't flow as nicely (for me) as the rest of it, which I totally love!

    I'd read this.

  2. There is something dragging...but yet I'm still reading to see hwat this MC is al about.

  3. Nice job - I'd read on. I like the voice. And I especially identify with the 'good old days' sentiment.

    In the first paragraph, watch inserting the MC's thoughts into the boss' dialogue - we aren't sure yet whether her boss is male or female, and this could read as though the MC is thinking it or the boss.

    I would re-work the last sentence - it's awkward. Maybe take out 'of which'.

    Good luck!

  4. For me, the last two sentences are awkward. BUT I love how you insert so much voice in your third person narrative!

  5. "Pop-in" that's funny, I've never heard that phrase. I hate them too.

    I really enjoyed the opening. The voice is fun and it felt very close even though it's written in third person. I'd keep reading. Tell your narrator though she's too young to be that melodramatic! LOL

    Good luck!

  6. I loved the pop-in! Fantastic. I was with it every word up until the last graf. It pulled me out of the scene, and I really just wanted to know more about this relationship with her boss. It felt like we were moving toward back story, and I just wanted to stay with the story. I would definitely keep reading!

  7. Like the setting, but would like to see more of Allison.

    Seems like her boss's head startles her pen. Maybe, She jumped and dropped her pen?

    Not sure about the fucking...some readers don't like swearing, and that could cut into your audience.

    Maybe tell us what the big meeting is about to help set the scene and Allison's job more?

    What is the boss counting on her for? Another chance to show us Allison a bit more.

    What could be big? Another chance to flesh out the story a bit. Then, you can show Allison's reaction to this big meeting, by giving her internal thoughts.

    “I know, I know. No worries. You’re going to be great.”Her comments are a little cliched. Maybe show us more who she is by what she says.

    Ditto with the boss. Also, show what he looks like. Make him talk like he really is. If he's so great, why is she swearing about him talking to her?

    Not sure earnestness can cause something. Maybe a new sentence, e.g., He tilted his head at her in a....

    What annoyances were forgotten? Need more specifics here to really paint a picture for us.

    Does anyone really use the word prior anymore? Maybe before?

    “Okay. I’ll see you at 3:30.”
    need more action here...maybe she takes out a chocolate bar or drinks coffee or goes to get the files she'll need. That's when she sheds a tear or two about why there is no hope for her.

    And why isn't there any hope? I think maybe start with a little clue of this is sentence one where you need a hook.

  8. Ok. I’m a sucker for office stories. I love the description of the tilt of his head with the, “My life depends on whether you believe me or not” angle. Although it seems her cynicism wouldn’t allow it to work on her. Still, I want to know what turned her from happy-go-lucky to nostalgic about the good ole days.

    You could work on the last paragraph. The main character shouldn’t really spend an hour reminiscing; it’s a lost opportunity as a writer. Give her something to do that illustrates some of her traits.

    Also love the title. Does she work at an Advertising firm?

  9. I liked the flippancy of the narrator's voice in contrast to the poignancy of your closing line.