Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Secret Agent #29

GENRE: YA Romantic-Comedy

I rummaged in my bag for a gloss fix and ran right into my arch nemesis and fell on my butt. I looked up and found Vanessa glaring down at me with her pink lips pressed into a smirk. My loose papers gently zigzagged down to the floor like feathers beaten from a pillow and my face was instantly ablaze.

“Ex-cuse me!” Vanessa snipped, as if I did something wrong – like live. She and her entourage stepped around me as I crawled across the cold tile to collect my latest sketches for the fall fashion season.

I watched her catwalk away from me in four inch heels, tight, skinny jeans, and a real Prada bag slung over her shoulder, not like the imitation I had a couple summers ago. Then I noticed the red soles of her shoes. Christian Louboutin heels? For real?

“Seriously, someday I will haul off and punch her in her perfect little nose,” I announced.

“It wouldn't be worth the trouble,” Kate replied as she helped collect my drawings.

“Christian Louboutin heels. Ugh!” I muttered to myself as I stood. The shoes made me despise her even more, if that was possible.

“Ow!” Before I knew what happened I was on my back – again – only this time I was eye to eye with Rob, his nose only an inch from mine. A mixture of mint and musky cologne filled my nose, as heat tickled my cheeks and ears.


  1. First off, I love the title! Very clever. I think the piece itself would be stronger with some re-writing. Your MC sounds pretty young overall, not quite high school, and the first sentence seems to be a bit of a run on. You could easily change it to, "While I rummaged through my bag for a gloss fix, I ran into my arch nemesis and fell flat on my ass." Also next sentence, try to avoid gawking characters and "smirking." Apparently that is a newbie faux pas. "Vanessa glared down at me with her pink lips pressed into a thin line." Just a suggestion but I think you can see what I mean. Good luck!

  2. The MC voice is fantastic, IMHO. She is funny, snarky, and I just wanna hug her. Great for YA! Great start and I would look forward to reading more.

  3. Fun energy and voice and I love the title! I think if you rework and tighten the 1st paragraph, you'll have it made!

  4. I like it - the voice, the dialogue - though the MC seems rather clumsy on her feet haha. It does promise to be a fun read.

  5. I like the voice also. Just some nitpicks in word choice...I think someone is or is not a nemesis. So Vanessa could be her nemesis or an arch-rival but not an "arch nemesis." I liked the economy of description that conveyed a lot like Vanessa catwalking away or the smell of mint and musky cologne with his face so close to hers. (Rob's face). A promising beginning.

  6. Great job! I enjoyed this, and I love the title (although it sounds more adult than YA to me, but could just be me). I would take out one of the "and"s in the first sentence. "I rummaged in my bag for a gloss fix, ran right into my arch nemesis and fell on my butt."

    Also, I wasn't quite sure what happened at the end. She ran into Rob too?

    Great voice - good luck!

  7. Sounds like fun!
    I got caught on that first sentence thinking she found her nemesis (agree, get rid of arch) in her bag!
    I also noticed the smirking - didn't know it was known as a faux pas - but my dad's wife is a librarian, reads everything and commented on how many YA books rely heavily on smirking.
    I would definitely read on.

  8. Love the super cute title! I liked what I read, but I'm going to agree with Rachel on a lot of things.

    The first sentence is a run on, I'd tighten there. There's also a ton of adjectives, lighten up a bit. Like here > "four inch heels, tight, skinny jeans, and a real Prada bag" you can lose the "tight" because that's implied by "skinny jeans". Lose the "ugh".

    Also, how does she know for sure the shoes and handbag are real? Sometimes you have to take those items into an expert to get them checked. I know that's a nit but a fashionista might be wondering the same thing.

    I'd definitely keep reading. Good luck with it, looks like a fun read.

  9. I like the MC's voice, but I want to know more about why she's annoyed by the Prada bag and the Louboutin heels. This may be addressed later, but does she think that's too much money to spend on things? Does she wish she had that kind of money to spend on things? Is it just that everything about Vanessa annoys her?

  10. I would keep reading, but cautiously. I worry that I could find the voice exhausting after a few chapters. I like that you begin with action and quickly establish the MC's place on the social ladder, but I'm not getting why Vanessa is so evil. After all, the MC is the one who caused the accident. A MC with a career goal always appeals to me, and the title is fun.

  11. Thank you Secret Agent & commenters for your critiques/feedback! Thank you to Authoress for this awesome opportunity!

  12. I love the title, and this concept reminds me a little of "Spoiled." I agree with other comments about tightening the writing. I will also now thoroughly inspect my own WIP for any smirking!