Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Secret Agent #50

TITLE: Needing Her
GENRE: Women's Fiction

I wanted to hear “It’s a girl!” for Christmas.

A sweet, baby girl I would sing dreamy lullabies to, wrap in my arms, and snuggle close. She’d be a beautiful springtime baby born just in time for Easter.

I envisioned my little girl wearing a dress with pink stripes over soft white linen. I could see her chubby cheeks, eyes as blue as mine, and my husband’s dimples. She would be the perfect match to our three-year-old son.

“Are you ready to find out?” my husband, Ryan, asked me.

We sat in the doctor’s office, waiting for our twenty-week ultrasound. Our son Wyatt played next to me with two dump trucks we brought along.

“BAM!” Wyatt screeched, crashing one dump truck into the other. The loser rolled down the polished armrest of the chair, careening to the carpet.

“Wyatt, pipe down,” Ryan said.

Our son grinned up at his father, one side of his lips hitched up higher.

“I still think the baby’s going to be a girl,” Ryan said, flipping briskly through a sports magazine.

“I hope it’s my girl,” I said, for what seemed like the twentieth time that week.

Ryan grimaced. “Victoria,” he chided. “The health of the baby is all that matters. You know that.”

“I know, I know,” I let my words trail off. He knew all about my longtime dream to have a daughter, so I could piece together a part of the void that lingered in me.


  1. I think you have your motivation worked out--it's in that last line: the piecing together a part of the void. That is the most intriguing part of the whole submission. You have good things to work with here, but we need a little more to hang our emotional investment in. The conflict wants to be more immediate. My first thought was to wonder if the US is going to be irregular in some way. I kind of hope so.

  2. (Excuse me, I meant hang our emotional investment ON. Sick kids talking to me.)

  3. I really like how you set up the motivation. It's clear, and the reader knows that whatever happens will affect the characters. Also, the last line leaves me intrigued to read more.

  4. I love the premise of this! It's so unique and different, yet something I am sure so many women struggle with. I know it will pull at their heartstrings and possibly help them overcome some of the battles they are facing. And even though I am not one of those women, I am intrigued to read on! Can't wait for it to be out on bookshelves! good luck with this!!

  5. I remember this from a recent three-month workshop. You set up the goals and desires beautifully. Good luck with this.

  6. I thought the flow and suspense, along with the adorable nature to it was great. It does pull you in, and even I wish I knew the sex of the baby. haha. I like the sincere normality of this too.

  7. I like it. The tone of the scene comes through very nicely in your writing, and I'm intrigued as to why her one son does not appear to be enough

  8. Not normally my style, to tell the truth (I'm a scifi buff) but in the end I'm "hooked" because you establish the conflict immediately. I'd read a few more pages to find out what's wrong with this woman--why she's got a 'lingering void' about having a girl. Part of me feels wary and disconnected to the MC, though, because of that last sentence. "Void" is a bit strong.

  9. I like the "set up" of this situation. I think the reader will assume that after this opening, either the baby will be a boy (then what to do, what to do?) or it will be a girl but not the cutsie girl the woman is expecting (and then what to do, what to do?) Either way it's a solid premise for what is to come. But I do have a problem with the simplicity of the woman's perspective. I think that even when a mother clearly wants a baby to be a specific gender, she does her best to prepare herself for any outcome. So I think Victoria should exhibit some inner struggle. She wants that girl, but surely she has some "little voice" in the back of her head saying don't be disappointed, or you will love the baby no matter what, or even a voice scolding herself about her attitude. I think the opening would carry more impact if you included some of this inner conflict.

  10. The flow is good, but I agree that inner conflict would be helpful. I find myself disliking this character due to her attitude.