Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Secret Agent #20

TITLE: Here Comes the Sun
GENRE: YA-Contemporary Romance

The rules of flying to England with your senior class are simple and finite:

Rule number one: Never take a sleeping pill on a transatlantic flight.

Rule number two: Never give up your aisle seat to sit in the middle of the airplane, especially if you have a bladder as small as mine.

Rule number three: Never drink a gallon of Diet Coke before boarding a flight.

Rule Number four: Never let your classmates see you piss your pants.

I arrive at Manchester Airport with heavy bags both in my hands and under my eyes, a foul, decaying smell wafting from my mouth, and piss-soaked jeans.

I hate jeans. And I hate airplane bathrooms. Apparently they’re super popular, and my urinary sphincter, or whatever the heck it’s called, is super weak. Did I attempt to walk to the back of the plane to use the bathroom? Yes. Did I discreetly mention to the stewardess that my situation was dire? Yes. Did I let out a wee bit of pee while walking like a drunken toddler to the front of the economy section in hopes of an open bathroom? Possibly. Did I unleash a firestorm of piss once I got near the front of economy and saw the giant, red, freaking X glaring at me? You bet your ass I did.

“At least our school was sitting in the back.” Krista attempts to calm me back down as she dabs at her eyes with purple mascara.


  1. I like this overall. I think the rules could be combined to make it snappier, because when I got to four I felt a twinge and worried the entire exerpt would be rules and I wanted the story to get going.

    I can't tell if your MC is male or female and I know it's hard to indicate in first person POV, but it would be helpful to ground me with the character.

    Best of luck with it!

  2. I'm not sure if this is the best place to open the story. The voice is very male, the subject matter is very young teenage boy, but certain things like Diet Coke and a small bladder suggest female. It's a little hard to pin down. I feel like I know more about your MC's body fluids than I do your MC as a person. The awful breath and pissy pants doesn't really get me in the mood for a romance. I like the title though (I have a special place in my heart for The Beatles), and the idea of this being set in another country.

  3. I loved the voice, it hooked me right from the start. But I feel you went on with the list and I agree with Martha Mayberry that you could try to make it snappier, even when you're listing how she wet herself, it takes control of the story, if you could just reduce that and let more of the character play out, it would be awesome!

  4. I like what you're trying to do here and think the voice is good but there are some small issues.

    I like the list although it would be stronger in order of occurence. My main problem with it is that it contradicts what comes later. If she took a sleeping pill, how was she awake to go to the bathroom? This makes it sound like she slept through the peeing but then later, she sounds panicky and alert.

    I don't understand what jeans have to do with this (why did she wear them if she hates them?) or why airplane bathrooms are popular. I, for one, hate them. And why hasn't she changed her pants if she has her bags?

    Finally, why is her friend dabbing her eyes with mascara? I would think that would hurt. She should put it on her eyelashes instead.

    Good luck!

  5. Great voice! I thought it was a boy, but now I'm second guessing that. Good advice in the other comments, but my main problem here is believing that a teenager would pee their pants. Maybe leak out a little pee, but a full-on, pants soaked kind of thing seems odd for a teenager. I don't know. Either way, the voice is the hardest thing to nail, and you did it, so well done. It definitely stands out.

  6. I think you could ramp this up exponentially if, instead of telling us all this, you showed it. Let us see her swig down the last of a 2 liter bottle of soda before she gets on the plane. Let's see her struggling to get out of that middle seat when she has to go. Let's see her waddling down the aisle, frantic to make it in time, only to find the bathroom occupied. This is the perfect scene to show instead of tell.

  7. This opening certainly got our attention, which is great as far as having an interesting scene. It’s wonderful how the rules progressively get worse.

  8. This entry made me LAUGH OUT LOUD. Love the rules, and the voice. The voice is money! :) My only suggestion is the paragraph with the rhetorical questions. I think you can actually slim that down and bring more action up front.

    I'm kind of bummed her best friend's more worried about her mascara than trying to dig out some sweats for her. Then again, this may be part of the dynamics between the two?

    GOOD LUCK with this! I wish you the best!