Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May Secret Agent Contest #43

TITLE: Mitch in Stitches
GENRE: MG Contemporary, Humor

What did the zero say to the eight? Nice Belt!

That beauty is from Book #14. I have exactly 29 joke books, and no, you can’t borrow one. But if you wanna join me for a laugh, sit with me at lunch. I’m the kid with the cape, in the corner alone, joke book in hand, laughing it up. I’m the one “in stitches”—get it?

I didn’t get it either but it means laughing.

I know I should be running around at recess, getting red faced and sweaty like all the other kids. But honestly? I’d rather walk around in circles, repeating puns out loud in hopes the kids learning Double Dutch are listening. I could try a knock-knock joke on the boys playing kick-the-ball-as-hard-as-you-can-and-try-not-to-get-in-trouble-when-it-hits-somebody-in-the-head. (About 97% of the time it’s my head. Are they aiming?) But what if they don’t laugh?

I steer clear of the kids cramming for this week’s Math Olympics. They’ll only listen if I mention a number or the square root of something, which isn’t very funny. Besides the zero/belt joke, the only other number one I’ve got is “Why is 6 afraid of 7?” (Because 7 8 9…get it? Seven ATE nine. That would be totally scary if it wasn’t hilarious.) Pretty sure they heard that one in preschool though.
None of these other playground kids are Math Olympics bound. Maybe one'll listen? I flip back my manly cape and stand tall. “Knock! Knock!” I say to the bunch of rowdy six graders.


  1. This looks fun. I wonder how it would be if you didn't have Mitch tell us everything but let us see him in action. Instead of him telling us jokes, I want to know how his friends/classmates respond to him. That would help me develop empathy for Mitch. Good luck!

  2. I agree with Ellen. I think you've got a strong character, but the telling isn't allowing me to really get into the story. The voice is a little too old for MG, in my opinion. That could be fixed by showing as well. Good luck!!

  3. I agree that putting your MC into action here would be stronger. Why are jokes so important to your MC? Perhaps seeing him interact with other kids would give you an opportunity to show that, as well as what the MC wants.

  4. I absolutely love the voice, tone, and imagery in this scene.

    This punchy joke at the beginning made me chuckle. From there I found a vivid, interesting character who pulled me through the rest of the scene.

    I have to say, when I got to "in stitches" I was hoping for a kid with actual stitches and some unexpected and surprising character depth to juxtapose the jovial opening.

    To me, this character feels a little more juvenile than 6th grade.

    Maybe consider axing the final 2 paragraphs and seguing into the actual story.

    This would ‘show’ that the MC is socially awkward rather than ‘telling’ through internal dialogue.

    Thank you for sharing!