Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March Secret Agent #6

TITLE: The Girl in the Mirror
GENRE: Women's Fiction (Upmarket)

Jodi’s fist punched the air, startling her awake. With her heart galloping, she searched her foggy brain for dream traces, finding only wisps and shadows. In the darkness, she patted the pillow beside her—“Michael?”—discovering only a dent where his head had been. The hollow was still warm, and she caressed it with her fingers, sniffed it, inhaled his musky scent. She lay her cheek on his pillow while her hands groped for him in the rumpled mass of bed covers. Her consciousness finally acknowledged that he wasn’t there.

"Michael?” she called, sitting up in bed. Silence. She leaned close to the red glow of the alarm clock on her bedside table: 2:37. Still the middle of the night. Part of her longed to pull the covers up and settle back into sleep. The other part couldn’t settle without him beside her. Or without at least knowing where he was. She rubbed her hands over her face and blearily scanned the room. A crack of light shone from under the bathroom door.

She padded barefoot to the door and tapped. “Michael?” She eased the door open, squinting against the brightness. “Are you okay?”

In his boxer shorts, with his hands on the edge of the vanity cabinet, he was leaning toward the mirror, talking softly. He jerked back when he saw her. “Hey, babe,” he said. He extended an arm toward her. “Hope I didn’t wake you.”

She pressed her body into his side.

11 comments:

  1. Beginning a story with a character waking up is common and considered something of a cliche. To avoid this, you may want to think about beginning with her finding Michael in the bathroom, skipping over the part where she wakes up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. Thanks for your comments.

      Delete
  2. I found your opening line confusing. I just had trouble visualizing her "fist pumping the air" while asleep. It may be obvious and just over my head. But if others agree you may want to consider revising it. After all the last thing you want from your first sentence is to confuse your audience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry it was confusing, but glad to know it came across that way. I'll clarify that she was dreaming. Thanks.

      Delete
  3. I guess I want a bit of tension...maybe a quick wake up,noticing she's alone, checking on him in the bathroom...then something important/weird/shocking is divulged. You do give the reader a sense of her feelings for Michael, but tighten that part up and go more directly into the problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tension starts in a few more paragraphs. I'll speed it up. Thanks for your comments.

      Delete
  4. I agree with the above comments. It takes too long to get to the bathroom scene. I love the hook of "jerked back" when he saw her. Lets me know something out of the ordinary is going on.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree with the above comments, as well as wanted to note that I would maybe change 'dream traces.' The wording was awkward for me. But I love the last part of your entry. A husband talking to himself in the mirror in the middle of the night, and it seems its normal for the wife, it's intriguing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really am dying to find out what he was saying as he was looking in the mirror!

    ReplyDelete
  7. The main thought that I had when I finished reading this was that you didn't need to spend as much time getting Jodi into the bathroom as you did. It's always a bit hairy to start with a character waking up and getting his/her bearings, but I think that you have a legitimate reason to do that here. Woman wakes up in the middle of the night to find her husband missing from the bed. I like it. However, she can realize that immediately.

    Logistically, it seems that the bathroom is attached to their bedroom so, with the light radiating out, wouldn't she immediately realize that that's where he is? And, honestly, is there anything odd about getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom? The only red flag here is his conversation with the mirror. (And maybe I'm about to embarrass myself by admitting this, but I do occasionally mutter things to myself in the mirror, so even that...)

    I guess my question for you is: why does Jodi even get out of bed to open the bathroom door in the first place? Is it because he hasn't answered her and he usually would? Even then, why didn't she knock? I'm having a hard time understanding her logic here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comments, Secret Agent. Very helpful. I'll start revising.

      Delete