Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August Secret Agent #29

TITLE: Forecast Today, Mostly Deadly
GENRE: mystery

People in unfamiliar circumstance almost always go with what they know and with what they’re familiar. Take the plot of King Kong for example.

A bunch of guys find themselves unexpectedly exploring a dangerous, uncharted, and mysterious island, and find to their amazement, honest to Gawd dinosaurs and a big monkey.

So what’d they bring back to civilization?

The monkey!

Everyone’s seen a monkey, nobody’s ever seen a dinosaur, so what did they do?

They went with what they were familiar.

Look, I don’t argue it makes sense or that’s its reasonable, I only argue that people go with what they know, even if it’s a big monkey.

Undoubtedly, the big monkey in this story is me.

Eight days ago I arrived late morning at my storefront to find a guy pressing his face against the glass and looking in. In contrast to what looked to be his million dollar designer suit, I was wearing my eight dollar designer coveralls and carrying a can of paint.

We don’t need to go off now on a visit of why I needed some paint, but when I saw him, I said, “Help you?”

He responded, looking a little guilty, like I might’ve assumed he was looking in the window for something that looked worthwhile to steal, of which there wasn’t. “Mr. Katz, Roscoe Katz?”

I nodded, and trying to lighten-up the awkward moment, smiled and said, “I am if you’re a guy looking to give me some money.”


  1. Cute opening. I like the insight into King Kong, but I'm not sure why Roscoe thinks he's the monkey. But that's what first pages are all about, make us wonder what's going to happen or why the character thinks that way. I also like the touches of humor. This sounds like it'll be a fun ride.

  2. Ummm... one more thing. The SA is only looking for MG, YA, and Women's Fic.

  3. I like the opening. Very clever. I was a little confused when the man calls the MC, Mr. Katz, however, because I assumed the MC was a teenager. This voice feels very young to me (maybe it's because so many of the other entries are YA). Just something to think about. It would still work if your character was a 20-something year-old, but I'm not sure it works for an older guy.

    The line about not visiting the paint didn't make any sense to me. Also, the line that starts "He responded . . ." really tripped me up. I wonder if shorter sentences wouldn't clear up some of this?

  4. I do like the MC. He sounds like an interesting and fun person. I agree with the others that he sounds like an older guy. The paint thing throws me a little but not that much.

    You have a very intriguing main character. Good job.

  5. The bit about King Kong was funny and endearing. The character has a good voice. I noticed some typos and grammatical mistakes, but I can't whether they're actually mistakes or just part of the voice.

    That said, I'd cut back on that whole King Kong sequence a tad. I can't see right off how it connects to the start of your scene, so it looks like a lot of first-page real estate to spend on something that seems unrelated.

  6. I agree! The comment about King Kong is funny but I felt the joke would probably work better at a party than as an opening of a novel. Humor is very hard to pull-off so I'd leave the jokes until the reader has had a chance to connect with the characters. Best of luck!

  7. I thought the king kong bit went on too long. Maybe end at 'Nobody's ever seen a dinosaur.' What follows is like a comedian explaining his joke after he tells it. Trust the reader to get it. Then jumpt to the monkey in the story is me, and tell us why.

    Maybe cut everything in the help you parg, ecept for the help you. ANd in the next parg, do the same. Just keep the dialogue.

    It also seemed as if your MC was supposed to be an adult male, but the voice came off as a teen's to me.

    The opening itself, I think, doesn't work, because it gives us no clue as to what kind of story to expect, or what the problem might be. FInd a way to get the problem, or a hint of it, on the first page.