Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August Secret Agent #7

TITLE: Dead Reckoning
GENRE: Historical Erotic Romance

The pirates found Anne below and roughly brought her to the deck of the ship. They pawed at her and pulled at her clothes; her hair unraveled and fell in golden curls on her shoulders. When she pushed their hands away, others would take their place.

“Here comes Flint,” one of the men said and they stopped their jostling. “Look what we found below, Cap’n.” The men parted and revealed Anne disheveled, confused and trembling.

“Where is Captain Cole?” she demanded. Flint glared at her with piercing green eyes and she looked down. No sooner had she done so, he lifted her chin with his hand and forced her to confront him. Flint was a name even she had heard whispered in fear – a pirate who was a curse to the civilized world and a legend among pirates. She fought to meet his stare. She did not want to appear weak, but her body betrayed her. She could not stop from shaking and tears formed in her eyes. She sensed his command and strength and in horror realized he was her only hope.

“Your Captain and those of the crew who would not join us are dead.” Flint took in the struggle within her and dropped his hand. She did not look down, but at the men around her as though to challenge them.

“Gregor, take her to the great cabin,” Flint said, “and the rest of you sort this mess before I get my whip.” He walked past her without looking at her again.


  1. I think you could zero in on the moment more specifically here. "The pirates found Anne below" isn't specific enough to make me experience the moment. I think you've got an interesting concept here, but right now there's a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. I'd day take it slower and develop what's happening moment by moment- as long as those moments are relevant to the story. I'd also like a bit more context. Something that tells me right away where we are and what we're doing. I think this could be great if you do a bit more showing. :)

  2. I agree with the first comment. "roughly brought her" would be stronger as "hauled her" or "wrangled her."

    Also, the POV seems to shift some. "The men parted and revealed Anne disheveled, confused and trembling." - whose POV are we in?

  3. The first two comments are excellent. As for the premise itself, love pirates. Lots of great opportunity for steamy scenes!

  4. Dang. Hoping to read some erotica in the first 250. :p

    I laughed out loud when I read the last line regarding the whip.

    Afer I read the entire entry again, I realized the erotica genre had influenced my brain's ability to understand Flint's threat to his crew.

    All my brain chose to interpret in the last paragraph was "take her to my cabin, I need to find my whip."

    Sorry, I was distracted.

    I think your first sentence could use more pizazz. It's not really important that the pirates found Anne below deck in your first sentence since you repeat that fact via dialogue in your second paragraph.

    "The dirty rabble of pirates pawed and pulled at the woman's clothing. Desperately trying to ward off the attackers, the chignon piled atop her head unraveled and a riotous heap of golden tresses spilled over her bare shoulders..."

    Haha, just having fun.

  5. I agree with Katie T.'s whip comment, I saw erotica in the title and my mind sidetracked fast. Same with the showing not telling. I do like the pirate theme, I'm always up for a little swashbuckling, but have one suggestion- I would change, "- a pirate who was a curse...," to, "- a man who was a curse...," simply because you use the term pirate later in the same sentence.

  6. So I won't repeat other comments - one thing that struck me as odd was the pirates pulling at her clothes, but then when Flint shows up, you don't mentioned them again. Are they all still on? Does she try and cover up some places on her body that are now exposed?

    And then to repeat some :-) I did notice the POV shift - if it is her POV, the first line seems a little off.

    I do like the premise - I'd keep reading :-)

  7. The action in the opening lines is indirect, and I think you could punch it up with just a little shift in focus. It's not clear from this excerpt who the MC or POV character is. If it's Anne, I'd recommend beginning with her fear, impression or assessment of what bad thing she thinks is about to happen to her.

  8. You show great action here, but this doesn't read like a beginning to me. I'm not grounded in the story yet, so I feel like I was dropped in on the action in a disorienting way. I think one or two opening lines could solve this. Provide some context for who the character is, what they're thinking or what they're up against. I think that will read much more smoothly. :)

  9. I think this would be a good place to start if it were a suspense/thriller, but for a hisorical romance, you don't need to begin in the thick of things.

    Maybe begin when your MC is alone in her room below deck, reading, writing, whatever, and then BAM, her door bursts open and they drag her above.

    Just a thought.

    Good luck.

  10. Lots of promise!

    A few suggestions.
    Tense in 3rd sentence: "...others took their place."

    POV correction (as others mentioned)- Anne can't be "revealed" to herself.

    You could end second para. with quote "found below, Cap'n." and then go directly to the next para. "...she demanded, trembling." (We already know she's disheveled from the opening description; her question shows her confusion).

    Later para. condense to <"...are dead." Flint dropped her hand.> (Since she can't know what he thinks unless he speaks it.)

    Final line: "He walked past without looking at her again."

    Whip! Whoa!

  11. I'm going with Aldine on this one. This is historical- and a romance- so we don't need to be pushed right into the fast lane. Which I hate, anyway. I prefer to know who's in the car before it explodes.:)

    Sexy pirates, a hot blonde captive with a bodice begging to be ripped off- oh yeah, we got the makings of a good story here. But let's build up to the meeting. Like suggested, start with Annie down below, maybe writing in her journal ("Dear Diary- The men I meet are so boring. What I wouldn't give for a hot pirate rapist with a heart of gold.") Suddenly, commotion. Capt. Cole rushes in and tells her to lock her doors- they're under attack.
    "Oh,no!" cries Annie. "But I am a virgin, and pirates love to kidnap hot, young virgins!"

    Okay, so maybe I should work with Katie and her whip and write our own pirate book! But you get my drift. Build up to it, get us excited (with suspense, the whip scenes can come later), and let us know why we should care that this probably rich and spoiled young woman is about to be kidnapped by eyeliner-wearing pirates (oh, Johnny!)

    Woo-hoo! Can't wait to read more!

  12. There are a lot of great comments here. The premise and characters are intriguing, from what little we know, but there are POV problems and I'm not a fan of the first paragraph. You need more punch. Also, since this is erotica, I'd use more descriptive terms to describe how disheveled she is--make her alluring. Finally, you may want to slow down the pacing a notch and enjoy her discomfort. Otherwise, this seems interesting.