Wednesday, November 4, 2009

47 Secret Agent

TITLE: Center Court Seats and a Pair of Jimmy Choos
GENRE: Women's fiction

Mimi undid another button and peeked down at her black lace bra for inspiration. She crossed through the last sentences of her draft and tried again.

She lay sprawled on a private beach, her long, tanned limbs entwined with those of a gorgeous blond lifeguard she’d met earlier that day. They writhed, skin against hot, sweaty skin, oblivious to the sand grinding beneath them as the torturous midday sun intensified their body heat. He stroked her back and moaned, “Ah, Grace.”

Mimi rested her head back against the restaurant booth. Maybe Grace wouldn’t be so aggressive. She glanced at her cleavage again.

“Hate to disappoint you, but I think they stopped growing after high school.” Jaclyn dropped her portfolio on the opposite seat. “What are you looking for?”

Mimi smiled at her older sister. “Sand.”

“You realize you’re in a restaurant.”

“I’m starting a new book. Paranormal.”

“ Para -what?” Jac grabbed the menu.

“Paranormal romances contain a supernatural element.” No way would her sister listen to the details of her story. Jac barely acknowledged her career at all. “My character is haunted by the ghost of a woman who was a burlesque dancer. Now she has erotic desires.”

“Sounds like there's a Pulitzer in your future,” Jac said.

“Your encouragement is overwhelming.” Mimi rolled her eyes.

“I just don’t see why anyone reads that stuff.” As an investigative reporter for the Dallas Post-Herald, Jac believed in reporting facts, exposing corruption, bringing bad guys to justice. Fiction was an F-word.


  1. I like this. The sisters obviously care for one another, yet don't mind being real. The relationship doesn't seem forced. The dialogue is also nice, and the comment about "Para-what?" was dead on. The only problem you might run into is the static nature of a restaurant booth, but the voice is strong enough right now to keep me reading regardless. I'm hooked.

  2. I, too, like the real nature of the sisters. The part I don't like is the quote from the novel Mimi is working on. That part sounds forced. I'd keep reading, though.

  3. Did I misunderstand or does looking at her own breasts give her inspiration?

    That took me right out of the story and I stopped reading.

  4. Somewhat hooked.

    I did laugh to myself about her runaway imagination. I can totally relate to that!

    The story within story is intriguing to me, but I don't get a sense of urgency as to what is at stake for the narrator.

  5. I definitely relate to this. ;)

    The quote from the love scene was a little long, breaking up the actual story. I'd suggest making it shorter if you keep it in there.

    The dialog and sentiments have a good pace though.

    I'd read a couple more pages to see where this was going. Not firmly hooked, but curious.

  6. I am not so hooked on this one. It's hard to imagine someone sitting in a public place (restaurant), looking down at her own bra.

    I also found the dialogue a bit forced - for example, "What are you looking for?" doesn't seem like a realistic responise to Mimi's bra-gazing. "What are you doing?" or "Why are you staring at your own boobs?" seems more realistic to me.

    On the other hand though, I like the conflict you've set up - Jac the investigative reporter looking down her nose at fiction (esp paranormal!).

  7. I love the sister who looks down her nose at something 'so trivial' as fiction, but thought the way Mimi got her inspiration 'loosing her blouse' didn't quite ring true. With a better look into her process, it has definite readability.

  8. This has a very chick-lit vibe to it. I associate women's fiction with something a little more upmarket, but that's just me. Young professionals in publishing of some sort is very common in chick lit.

    I say that the best line - your hook - is your short last line. "Fiction was an F-word." Very clever and would keep me reading but the overall tone of this excerpt makes me think it's a classic chick-lit. If it's not, you might want the reader to know right up front.

    Good luck.

  9. So, I loved this! I loved the voice and the characterizations you've painted for these characters and you've got great dialogue here. There's not a lot happening tension-wise, but the writing is so clean and engaging that I'd definitely read on to see where this is going.

  10. very funny. I'd read on to see where this was going.

  11. The repartee was working for me but you were losing me with the protagonist who kept looking at her own breasts for inspiration. It feels like chick lit and that is really, really tough to sell right now. It isn't bad but I might hesitate to request for market reasons.

  12. I liked it, but there wasn't anything in the first 250 words that grabbed me and made me want to read on. If I was in a bookstore though, I could read the back cover blurb and if it sounded interesting, I'd definitely read on.

  13. Fun banter between the sisters. I agree you could cut some of the cleavage gazing for more impact. One suggestion -- take out the entire first paragraph and start with the scene she's writing. Then, instead of saying "she glanced at her cleavage again," how about something like -- "she looked down at her own not-so-impressive cleavage" (presuming she's not quite as hot stuff as her characters, you could have a little fun with her there). Then, when her sister asks what she's looking for, her answer could be simply, "inspiration."

    Just a suggestion -- but otherwise, I enjoyed your dialogue and the setup of the polar opposite sisters. I'd enjoy seeing where this goes.

  14. I'd read more. I like stories about sisters, and from this first page I like the tone and your voice. Though I do have to agree with the comments above about look at her breasts for inspiration- kind of pulled me out of the story a bit. Good luck!

  15. I'm not the audience, and I don't know if women's fiction has different rules, but I think you're onto something here. My two concerns are it's not terribly interesting to read about someone writing (book within a book) and there doesn't seem to be much of a conflict. I know it's early, so I'd ride this one out for a while longer because I like the MC and her voice. While I don't quite understand the breast glances, I kind of like it--she's trying to force the mood (eroticism) to stoke the writing. The dialogue is good and the relationship feels real between the "rival writers."