Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May Secret Agent #3

TITLE: Case File of a Tomboy Princess
GENRE:   Middle Grade Mystery

Dear Dairy,

It’s not easy to escape from the long arm of the law, and it’s impossible to escape from Grandma. Really, it’s not my fault I ran, the cop had a mustache. Mustache = Whiskers. I hate whiskers. All kinds. But more on that later…

I was just writing the cold hard truth of my life. But there was exactly nothing to write about. So My BFF Jimmy and I decided to hide very innocent like and spy on a few neighbors from Grandma’s tree house. Exciting detail: We are camping out in Grandma’s tree house in exactly seven days!

Anyway, I decided I couldn’t spy without a cute outfit. So I was a tad bit delayed. I stuffed Mom’s hot pink high heels with a whole lot of Kleenex. I grabbed my matching rock star wig and ran to the tree house. I was prepared to rock it out or spy. Except I don’t know how rock it out since I’ve never taken dance. Just boring old soccer in my world.

June 1, 9:15am

Jimmy had binoculars. From Grandma’s tree house we could see everything, which is whole lot of nothing. But we did spot out Grandma’s butt which is kinda large, and Mr. Neimeyer’s hairy chest. And then there is the graveyard on the corner with the spooky house right next door. Note: Graveyards contain dead people. We are officially scared of dead people since they are dead.


  1. The first line made me smile. When we jump from the first to the second paragraph, it feels a little confusing. Is she speaking of what she has written in the diary, or is she still writing? This beginning has a friendly feel. The children are getting into some sort of trouble and the reader will be curious as to what happens next. A few of the phrases may need work - 'very innocent like', 'spot out'.....

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  3. I think you need to delineate when she is no longer writing in the diary - that is a bit confusing. Maybe the entire this is the diary.

    I like that grandma is tougher than the police.

    Overall I think this needs to be tightened up a little. The premise offers a promise of fun: tree house, graveyard, mustaches!

  4. This sounds like a fun premise and I like the idea of a Tomboy Princess. But I feel like this beginning is a little confusing. I think the diary entry format gives you a lot of room to carefully craft which details we get and also to sprinkle in some nice humor (whiskers--that was funny!) and voice, but it feels a bit jumbled right now.

    I would also consider cutting "long arm of the law" and "cold hard truth" and "tad bit"--they feel cliche here.

    It sounds like a creepy mystery adventure is in store as they camp out in the treehouse! Best of luck!

  5. I also found the beginning confusing - I think you could possibly just cut it and begin with with "Jimmy had binoculars" - then we're thrown right into everything. Also, right now it reads "Dear Dairy" instead of "Dear Diary."

  6. While I think this was a adorable, and light and funny, I don't know how it would go over as a novel. I think if there was real life and dialogue and then the diary entry where she shined up what really happened for the diary, it would be hilarious.
    I do love light humor. The world is dark enough.

  7. I love the first paragraph. The voice is fun and quirky. I can see a good storyline here with Grandma and the graveyard and what the kids could see while spying. I liked the little details such as she couldn't spy without a cute outfit, but I think there was too much going on in these paragraphs. I would suggest focusing on one main issue in these pages. Thanks!

  8. I love the tone of this. it has personality and a definite gumshoe kid feel. The one aspect that may be a bit confusing is the diary format. Are you sure you need it? If you dropped that and left everything else as is you'd really have a winner. It's charming!

  9. Your mc sounds fun! But I agree with the comments that things are confusing. I think after the first paragraph about the fact that she was in trouble, going right into the story about what got her into trouble would help ( without the bit about the writing). I also think your character feels a little young for mg. convincing mom to get her her own high heels rather than playing around with ones way too big for her would feel more in line to me.

    Best of luck with querying your story!

  10. This is a really sweet voice and I had fun reading this. You have a spunky protagonist!

    I had a hard time figuring out what was journal writing and what was present action. Use italics for the diary entries to differentiate.

    Also, look for small ways to tighten. For instance, do you need this line? — We are camping out in Grandma’s tree house in exactly seven days!

    Overall, fun start!