Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Secret Agent #49

TITLE: Big Bright Thing
GENRE: Adult Women's Fiction

I was standing by my car, waiting for my shift to start, when this lady came up and said, “People are allergic, you know. You should be more careful.”

It took me a second to figure out what she was getting at. But then I stuffed my bag of peanuts in my backpack, rubbed my greasy hands on my shirt and said, “Maybe I’ve got a death wish.”

“What I meant,” said this lady, who was probably some mom of one of my high school classmates, “was that you’re about to go into that restaurant,” (ha! Imagine calling Freezer King a restaurant), “and touch people’s food. What if they’re allergic? They could die.”

“Maybe I’m an assassin.”

“I should talk to your manager.”

“I am the manager.” This wasn’t totally true. Kevin was the manager of the dinner shift. I was only the manager after seven, when he went home to put his kid to bed, and I was stuck working the register and the fro-yo machine.

“I hope you don’t work too late. I assume you’ve got school tomorrow.”

“Assassin training school.”

The lady shook her head and walked off. She pulled a keychain from her pocket, and it held so many keys, like she was a jail warden. A lot of people must have trusted her with their stuff. I only had three keys- my house, my car, and the Freezer King.

I didn't know what that woman was getting at asking me about school.


  1. I like the humor and the pacing. This young woman (I assume it's a woman) has a quick wit and sass. I like the detail of wiping the greasy hands on the shirt.
    The last line of the extract has me intrigued, as she's already told us she has high school classmates. I would happily read on.

  2. Strong character already. I didn't get a sense of concrete conflict, but it's there in her sassy attitude! Somehow, you are able to ooze the feel of things to come, without showing or telling the reader. The quick pacing leads me to believe things will liven up quickly. I would keep reading!

  3. I like this first page. The voice is great. It has strong characterization and a hint of conflict to keep me interested. The only thing I stumbled over was the genre. Not only does it have a high-school-age MC, which I don't associate with women's fiction, but also, the tone feels very young adult. I say that as a compliment because I love YA, but I wonder if an agent would be confused? Maybe it's something you can sort out with the query? Anyway, I just wanted to make that point along with saying again that I really enjoyed this excerpt.

  4. The story feels like it is starting abruptly. You don’t want to give too much backstory and you want to cut to the action—but this feel jarring. I’m not quite sure who the narrator is and I'm being thrown into the scene in a way that makes it hard to get my footing. Also, this seems like the character is perhaps still in high school? I find that confusing given this is labeled as women’s fiction. Now certainly teen characters can be the narrator in adult book (ie The Lovely Bones) but I’m not sure that is happening here. I love the humor, but perhaps would have liked to have seen a deeper POV.

  5. This reads like YA to me, which isn't a bad thing, I just see you said your genre as women's fiction. I like the humor and I think that comes across. The last line "assassin training school" is maybe a little too much. I think if you cut that out the humor would be more poignant. The name "Freezer King" made me stumble for a bit. I eventually came to know it was a fro-yo place, but at first I pictured a frozen food grocery store? Or maybe a place that sells freezers? That could just be me and not a big deal haha. Overall, I think you've done a really good job here giving me a sense of character and some interesting/fun details. Good job!

  6. I was also expecting this character to be an adult (because of the Women's Fiction). I also find her quite unlikable for not caring that she might kill someone with an allergy. I'm not sure it's wise to have us dislike your main character right from the start.

    Good luck!

  7. I'm all for the en media res intro, but I feel lost from the outset. It's all well written and the pacing is good, but I have no idea what the heck is going on.


  8. بعد التحيه يسير شركة شام ان تعلن لجميع عملائها بمدينة الرياض الكرام بمناسبة قدوم فصل الصيف عن افضل عروض تنظيف وصيانة برك السباحه باحدث الطرق وافضل الاساليب وذلك من خلال فروعها بالرياض
    شركة صيانة مسابح بالرياض
    والذي توفر شركة شام من خلاله لجميع اهالي الرياض خدمات المسابح بكل انواعها من تنظيف وصيانه وترميم باعلى جوده وبافضل الاسعار ، فلا تتردد عزيزي العميل واطلبنا الان لتحصل على ما تتمناه من خدمات لنصلك في الحال .