Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Secret Agent #41

TITLE: Unwritten
GENRE: Contemporary Romance

Kate pressed her face into the pillow and bit back a scream. With a sigh, she raised her head. The red numbers glaring like angry eyes from her alarm clock read 4:13.

Two minutes since the last time she checked.

She whimpered. Fatigue stung her eyes. Bits of the nightmare lingered, like a residue clinging to her skin. She fought the urge to get up and take a cleansing shower.

Sleep. She needed to sleep.

Kate rolled to her side and took a long, slow breath. Outside her window, the Manhattan skyline glowed over the darkened expanse of Central Park. Behind it, the sky was a deep inky purple, thick and impenetrable to even the brightest star here in the heart of the city.

Her eyes closed, and her body relaxed against the cool silk sheets.

Music shattered the silence like a shout in the darkened room. Kate lurched upright in bed. The opening bars of “Dream On” played from the cell phone flashing impatiently on her bedside table.

She grabbed it. Veronica Padrón’s name showed on the display, accompanied by the photo of a Chihuahua baring its teeth.

Kate groaned as her last hope of sleep was snatched away. No good ever came from a middle of the night phone call from her publicist.

At her feet, Ben raised his fluffy Maltese head and stared at her through droopy eyes. Beside him, Jerry slept undisturbed, his feet twitching with doggy dreams.

She sighed, tucked her hair behind her ears and connected the call.


  1. I think I read an earlier draft of this somewhere else, and I can tell you've polished it. The tension feels appropriate, Kate's reactions make me sympathetic toward her, and I love all the little details you've woven in. The ring tone, the image associated with her publicist, this is all great stuff.

    I can't see anything to point out to correct.

  2. Hooked. I like your descriptions...very tight and to the point. Great job!

  3. The writing is fine, but starting a book in bed with the main character unable to sleep is somewhat overused. Challenge you to tweak that, and you'll likely draw more attention for an agent.

  4. I didn’t get into it.
    The first sentence made me fear I had stepped into a rape scene - but it was only the standard tossing-and-turning heroine whose fitful night’s sleep, along with that of her faithful companions, is about to be interrupted by a phone call.
    The prose seems more appropriate to some greater urgency than insomnia or a bad dream.

  5. I was drawn into the scene with all kinds of questions arising. Loved your descriptions. NICE JOB!!!

  6. I'm hooked. The scene was set nicely, using great detail. This scene left me wanting to know what she's dreaming about, why her publicist is calling, and why one dog woke up and the other didn't :)...Great job.

  7. Really great writing but I was wishing to get more into the meat of the story rather than hear about her sleepless night. Although I can totally feel for her on this. I admit I thought the same thing as someone else about a rape scene and I was nervous about that. Glad it wasn't.

    I definitely love the voice and the writing is really great. I'd read on to see what her publicist wanted so early in the morning - and why she even needs one. :)

  8. Form rejection, and here's why. First, the book begins with the main character waking up in bed at a ridiculous hour. I see this far too often. Second, it would really help if I knew what the MC did for a living, so I could put "her publicist" in context and know what the stakes are for this phone call. If the MC lives in Manhattan and has silk sheets and a lap dog, her life is probably pretty good. What about her will make me want to read about her and sympathize with her? I'm not getting a reaction just yet.

  9. How funny! That's my ringtone.

  10. I think the writing is fine, but starting with a character waking up has been done quite a bit, and I'm wondering what the engaging hook is for your story. I'm just passing on what I continually see on blogs and writing sites - show what makes your story unique as early as possible. I'm sure the hook is there, but I think a more compelling opening would be to your advantage.