Wednesday, April 15, 2009

30 Secret Agent

TITLE: A Man To Dye For
GENRE: Women's Fiction Mystery

I wobbled into my apartment, legs wide, as if I’d spent the last seven hours on a horse. Instead, I’d suffered through the inhumane treatment masochistic women endured—a Brazilian wax. “It feels like I fell asleep while sunbathing…in stirrups.”

Cat, my sister, chuckled and set a mountain of packages onto my sofa, in the exact spot I eyed upon trudging through the door. “I’ll run down and get the rest.”

Thank God, ‘cause the idea of climbing that one flight of stairs brought tears to my eyes. I glanced at my recliner, but it sat way across the living area, then to the breakfast bar stools… Hell, no! The refrigerator caught my attention, and I remembered the unopened pint of Ben & Jerry’s Brownie Batter ice cream.

Cat reentered my apartment, as I leaned up against the counter and scooped out an enormous chunk of chocolaty Prozac.

“Giada, what are you doing?” she shrieked and nearly tripped over a shoebox. One that contained a hundred dollar pair of break-your-neck heels. “You can’t eat that. Fruits, vegetables and protein. That’s it.”

I rolled my eyes. There was no way I’d abide by her starvation techniques. “What does it matter? I’m not going on the show to gain Mr. Man’s attention.”

She stared into space then nodded. “You’re right. But don’t you dare gain weight and have all these clothes not fit. We're leaving tomorrow.”


  1. Huh. As soon as you mentioned some kind of "show," I was HOOKED!

    I'm thinking you might have over described the beginning a little. Maybe just end the paragraph after "wax."

    And when describing the recliner vs. the bar stool, it took me out of the story a bit. I don't think you need it.

    But I definitely want to turn the page!

  2. I agree with Katie. There are a few unnecessary details that take away from the story. Also, the first sentence in the second paragraph is a bit confusing. However, great hook - I can't wait to see what happens!

  3. IMO not a strong enough opening. You have this marked as a mystery so I'd suggest starting with the mystery. Her Brazilian wax, looking for a place to sit and settling for ice-cream is all unnecessary stage direction.

    good luck

  4. I'd turn the page, I like your characters and I thought there were some funny moments here!!

  5. I would turn the page. I like to have a little backstory and descriptions mixed with tension. I found your voice to be light and funny.

    Good job.

  6. I'd keep reading, but I agree with some comments above--too much about the wax. Tighten and good luck.

  7. Nice. Seems to be an easy to read, kill time fiction for women. I suppose we'll get a clue about the mystery on next page. I think I'd like to settle in with the book on a lazy day at the beach--especially since they seem to be on their way to a foreign beach.

    One line that threw me a bit was when she eyed the sofa to lie down and then (seemed to say) she'd just run down to get the rest. Too double entendre.

  8. I thought the wax vs riding a horse thing was funny.

    The last paragraph with the sister seemed too much like using dialogue to fill in backstory.

    I'm curious where the mystery comes in.

    Funny note: I was half-wondering if she was going to put the ice cream container against her uh, sore areas, or whether she was going to eat it. Like the prozac comment.

    I'm hooked. Curious when the mystery will start and whether it will involve Mr. Man.


  9. I don't agree with changing anything. I liked the humor and the descriptions. This really showed a lot of character. Her eyeing all possible resting places was hilarious.

    This had a Stephanie Plum ring to it from the Janet Evanovich novels, which I love.

    Good work.

  10. This isn't my genre, but I still found this entertaining. I definitely agree with Katie at comment #1 and loved the prozac phrase (though I might like 'e' instead of 'y' for chocolaty).

    I also want to know something about the mystery, but I'll assume it's coming (this is, after all, only 250 words).

    If you are going to keep the dialogue from the first paragraph, it should be it's own paragraph.

  11. Definitley some funny moments and there's a good voice here, but just a few too many details bogged me down a bit while reading. The show got me interested again though, so I'd read on.

  12. I'm hooked just to read more of the humor never mind the mystery lurking around the corner.

    I'd place masochistic before treatment. I think it reads smoother. And I had to read the couch paragraph again.

    Great voice.

  13. A most hilarious and picture provoking fisrt sentence. This is great writing...very hooked.
    Just 1 pickie: Cat's a great sister's name, but later we have Mr. this really Mr. Hunk or some such, if not Man is too elemental and it stopped me (for just a moment).

  14. Jean said > Funny note: I was half-wondering if she was going to put the ice cream container against her uh, sore areas, or whether she was going to eat it. Like the prozac comment.

    OMG - I thought the same thing! I was actually surprised when I found out she was going to EAT the ice cream.

    I don't know, I do really like it, but that transition from the "wax" to the ice cream seemed awkward and distracted me.

    That being said, I'd keep reading, I'm curious where they are going. Hopefully somewhere fun!

    Best of luck - AK

  15. In other words, this person waddled instead of wobbled. :P

    That first bit of dialogue needs a little setup. Not sure if I get the whole sunbathing inn stirrups thing.

    One thing I kinda thought was it might be awkward to sit down. You could have her plop down in that recliner and spring back up with that first statement, before waddling into the kitchen for ice cream.

  16. I'm definitely intrigued. Normally women's fiction is full of my-man-left-me angst, but this protagonist has spunk and personality and a great character voice! I think I'd definitely read on!

    Good luck!

  17. You had me at "chocolaty Prozac." That was very nice. I like the voice. I'd read more. Good job!

  18. I got confused, but there are some definite witty touches which is greatd!

  19. Not my genre, but I like the opening line and the idea that something is going to happen with the show.

  20. Not hooked. For one thing, I'm afraid most novels about reality tv are a turn-off for me, though I'm only guessing that that's where this one is heading.

    In addition, the shoes, dieting, and ice cream binging all feels a little too cliched.


  21. The first sentence didn't get me... to much description. However it seems like a story I would enjoy reading and chocolate Prozac.. Wow.. that was great.

    I'd read on.

  22. Anyone who whinged this much about a Brazilian wax is not someone I'd like to spend a whole novel with. Sorry.

  23. Thank you all for the wonderful comments (even the not so wonderful ones). I appreciate all the time everyone put into reading and commenting. I may very well turn that pint of ice cream into a ice pack. ;)

  24. I'm not sure about this one. I'm slightly curious by the end when you mention the show, but the rest didn't really hold my interest.

    The writing is fine for the most part, but maybe could be a bit tighter. For instance: **and set a mountain of packages onto my sofa, in the exact spot I eyed upon trudging through the door.** could be something like: and dropped a mountain of packages on my sofa, right where I planned to sit.

  25. I wanted to see her use the pint of ice cream as an ice pack!

  26. I was thinking the same thing as Jean and Amy!

    I agree with Melinda's suggestion - I was going to say something similar because at the moment I had to re-read it to get what the author meant.

    Am I hooked? Somewhat. I don't know if I'd buy this in a bookstore, but I'd borrow it off a friend.

  27. I quite liked the sunbathing in stirrups line.

    Like other readers, I wondered if the icecream was going to be applied externally! Golden opportunity there.
    But then describing it by flavour (choclatey prozac) explained its current destination. Loved that bit.

    Was wobbled the right verb to start with, I wonder? Perhaps staggered might have worked better.

    I agree with Melinda about editing the sofa line. Much neater that way.

    But I liked the voice in general.

  28. Although I found this humorous, I felt that it dragged on too long. Editing would improve it. Also, I'm a little confused over what they're about to do. I took it as some sort of talk show - the Mr. Man wasn't clear to me. I'd read a couple of pages to see what the plot is all about but it would have to do something quickly. Nice style, though.

  29. I admit, I did laugh out loud at the beginning. Sadly, this is another story that has been done to death. I'm so tired of the no ice cream, hundred dollar shoe stories. It just doesn't interest me at all. Not hooked.