Wednesday, March 10, 2010

33 Secret Agent

TITLE: Heaven Sent
GENRE: Women's Fiction

Lemme tell you, heaven isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When I was alive, I really did think heaven was nothing but lounging around on puffy clouds, dressed in sandals and glowing robes, sucking down nectar and ambrosia all day—whatever that stuff is. And everyone would have wings, just like the big fluffy ones the Victoria Secret models strut down the runway wearing. Oh, and golden halos—can’t forget those.

But heaven isn’t that way at all. Don’t get me wrong—it’s nice. I don’t ever feel hungry or thirsty. I don’t have a period anymore, and I don’t worry about whether my butt looks too wide, or whether I should buy some of those chicken-cutlet thingies to make my boobs look bigger. My pits don’t sweat, and my breath doesn’t stink. Those kinds of things just don’t matter anymore.

But heaven is work. Hard work. Angels—if that’s what you wanna call us—don’t just sit around on their duffs all day—we’ve gotta earn our keep. Heaven is a big place, and just like anywhere else, it takes a lot of upkeep. Keeping the trains running on time, as my dad always used to say, is vital to any business. And that’s exactly what heaven is. There aren’t any paychecks on Fridays or sick-leave or health benefits, but it’s still a business.

There are millions of people on earth who need protection. Or sometimes, they just need a little nudge in the right direction. There are angels who inspire artists, and angels who deliver messages. And there are angels who solve the mysteries that the living can’t seem to, which is what my job ended up being.

After I died, I had to solve the mystery of my own murder. Kind of a crappy job, considering—but you gotta roll with the punches. That one’s another tidbit of wisdom from my father, and it’s a good one.


  1. I really like the voice of this piece. That first sentence is awesome. And even though there's no real drama in the scene, it's not lacking because we get to the part where the narrator has to solve her own murder. Very cool.

    The Lovely Bones comes to mind, but leaves quickly enough as this piece has a much lighter more conversational tone.

    I'd definitely keep reading.

  2. This is good. Good tone, and no real glitches. I felt it could be a bit tighter ("—whatever that stuff is" and "can't forget those" from the first graf, e.g.)

    Also, the third graf has seven sentences that more or less express the exact same idea. I felt it would have worked better if it were shorter.

    But you get to the hook, and it's interesting, even though I'm puzzled how someone would know they were murdered but not know who did it.

    Still, I'd keep reading to find out.

  3. I find the voice engaging and sassy,


    I think showing some of the Angels interacting, working, etc would be far more effective. This reads as all telling to me.

    Watch for overused phrasing-"cracked up to be" "tidbit of wisdom" , "roll with the punches"

  4. I like this and would keep reading. I love the paragraph about all the stuff angels don't care about. I agree with John, third paragraph is all the same idea, but this flows really well. Good job!

  5. A fabulous start!! I am loving the narrator's voice, and I am HOOKED!

    I would suggest moving the sentence "After I died, I had to solve the mystery of my own murder" into the second paragraph. Paragraphs 2-4 felt kinda fluffy to me, so I skimmed them, looking for the next hook. "I had to solve the mystery of my own murder" is a KILLER HOOK, so I'd move it up...I definitely wanna know this angel's story!! ㋡

  6. Lovely voice and nice, easy read. I could go for some more.

  7. I enjoyed it and would like to read more.

  8. Hooked. I think it's hilarious and intriguing.

  9. This is good. I'm hooked, would keep on reading. A story from the point of view of an angle? Cool idea!

    The opening sentence would be MUCH stronger if you take out "Lemme tell you,".

    Heaven isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    Now that is a strong opening. Will hook tons of readers. The next two paragraphs start exactly the same: But heaven, But heaven. Diversify, take one of the 'but's out. "Heaven is work. Hard work." We don't need the second 'But'...

    I'm not liking the train analogy. It doesn't flow very well, think about reworking it. And you have some typos in the last line here. Try not to rush. Sounds like a great idea, eager to read more ;)

  10. Lia Mack said what I was thinking. Lose "Lemme tell you" and the first sentence is very strong.

  11. The strong voice worked for me even though there's no action. I didn't mind all the paragraphs. I'd drop the "which is what my job ended up being". Let the reader realize through her actions what kind of angel she is.

    Tighten up a bit and I'd definitely keep reading. Intriguing concept with that voice!

  12. I'd start with the last paragraph,and cut "after I died." So you're starting with, "I had to solve the murder of my own death." I thought that would be a great opening line.

    My thought was all the stuff about heaven that comes before that line now, doesn't really matter because it seems the story won't take place in heaven (although your MC may go back and forth, and if he/she does, we'll get to see what heaven's like then)

    It's well written, but when you get right down to it, it's just four paragraphs of you talking to the reader. The last paragraph is where your story begins.

  13. At an airport this'd be called a smooth take-off. LOL.

  14. The voice is great, but this opening went on for much too long. I found myself skimming to the end to figure out the point.

    Good voice and good writing though!