Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July Secret Agent #11

TITLE: You'd Better Run
GENRE: New Adult Fiction - humor

Evelyn deWilde took my dog.

She sent a text: “This isn’t working out...”

I found her doing deWilde thing with the guy across the hall one day after she returned from rehab.
The message ended with, “I’m leaving.”

That made sense. But she took my Mojo.

Mojo's a golden retriever, a gift from my previolus girlfriend, Yu Sasha Foo. Foo was frightened off by a stolen steam roller. You know, those giant machines with fat round drums at the front and the back that are used to compress asphalt and cartoon characters?

A man named Ishmael, apparently named after a character in Moby Dick, hijacked the machine thinking he could roll out of town. Yu, who had spent the day drinking Sake with her sister Suki, thought she could stop this midget-with-a-mission with her words.

Luckily, Yu jumped clear of the slow roller, but she took the near-squish experience as a sign and returned to her family in Bangkok.

Ishmael only made it a few more streets. His ride tipped when he tangled with a hard-to-foget Hummer. Ish eventually left town with a woman from down the street. Neighbors told me in hushed whispers they’d discovered her name from her mailbox. They continued to spread the rumor that Ish ran away with A. Spoon.

I didn’t believe it. I met Alice Spoon one night while walking Mojo. She was a kind woman but so unhealthy, she couldn’t run a block.

Anyway, I miss Foo and Mojo. Evelyn deWilde, not so much.


  1. This is funny, but the stream-of-consciousness doesn't work for me. I'm sure others will like it, but it's just not for me. Sorry.

  2. You have a clever sense of humor and made me laugh in a couple of spots. That having been said, though, this feels more like a stand-up comedy routine than a novel. The puns, the elaborate setup for the Ish/A.Spoon gag, etc. don't make me trust the narrator of this story. I'd read a few pages, but I don't think I'd make an hour long investment. Maybe if you were more sparing with the jokes and gave us more plot in the introduction, that might help. Still, you are very funny.

  3. There are definitely some funny lines, but for much of it I thought you were trying TOO hard to be funny, which made the humour a bit juvenile. "doing deWilde thing" for instance. Relax and let me get into the story a little bit. I felt like I was being assaulted by jokes. Also, there were too many characters, too fast, for me.

    I like the premise of this guy who has had a series of bad relationships. I like that his last one broke up via text and took his Mojo. His dog.

    Yu Sahsa Foo is not a Thai name. You can do a search for good Thai names on Google. I assumed she was Thai since her family lives in Bangkok.

  4. There were some funny moments but this opening doesn't work for me at all. By the end, I didn't have any connection with the narrator and was mostly just confused and turned off.

  5. Funny, clever, but what's the point? Where's it going? And can you possibly keep that up for 50-60,000 words?

  6. I've read books that use a similar writing style (humor, rambling, stream of conciousness as someone else termed it). Christopher Moore comes to mind, or Carl Haissan. It might be worth looking for books with a similar vibe to your story and see how they start. Something here isn't quite working; there must be a way to showcase this style of writing while also making clear who the MC is and their goal. What will the MC do to get the dog back?

    Best of luck to you in writing.

  7. Agree with what others have said. A bit of laughs, but the longer it went on, the harder time I had connecting.

  8. There are a couple typos, which I assume you've spotted.

    I think it's funny, but a whole book of this might be too much. It would be better stripped a bit so the awesome lines stand out more.

    I'd read on though:)

  9. so quick and clever, but i wonder about spacing it out more? i agree that it feels like a comedy routine somewhat. FUNNY and fresh, but maybe too intense to last for 200 pages? i'd like to get a sense of story more than the 'comedy routine', but keep the wit and zing it in in smaller doses. i want to know more about it, and would read on.

  10. I love humor, but I'm sorry this didn't make me laugh. At times it made me cringe.

    It would be so much better if you spread things out. Use one joke for this first page. I loved that first line because you immediately sympathize with the MC. I would even stay with an MC, who is just trying to get his dog (mojo) back, through an entire story.

  11. Ya lost me with the steam roller ...

  12. Ahaha, this has some fantastic moments. But you need to work on framing those moments more efficiently, in my opinion. The sentence about compressing cartoon characters has so much comedic potential - just make it shorter and snappier and cut the frills, which is what I'd recommend for the entire excerpt. Be merciless!

    For instance, I'd cut the Moby Dick appositive. I'd cut the midget-with-a-mission thing. I'd cut the line about the Hummer and blend the "few more streets" line with the "he eventually left town" sentence. Thing about jokes is that they have to cut to the chase as much as possible - the "Ish ran away with A. Spoon" line made me splutter, but the set-up needed smoother handling.

    I'd get a beta partner with a perfect sense of comedic timing and set them loose. I feel like humor is one of the hardest genres to write - there's so much good stuff here, but it feels really raw as-is, and it needs more ... grooming, I think.

    Best of luck!

  13. This is fun and a quick read... Unfortunately it doesn't make a lick of sense. Complete stream of conciousness with really odd names. As an agent I might have given it a few more pages to see if I could make sense of it (because you're obviously a creative person) but as a reader I would have put the book down right there and reached for some Advil.