Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October Secret Agent #23

TITLE: Deadly Betrayals
GENRE: Fiction

I squeezed the trigger, the noise of the gun deafening in the confined space of the elevator. My legs trembled as I made my way over to where he lay, sprawled on the parking garage floor. Blood seeped from the four gaping holes in his chest, while his eyes stared unseeing up at me. The gun slipped from my grasp, clattered to the concrete, and landed next to the body. I reached into his coat pocket and grabbed the cell phone that he had taken from me, only moments earlier. My hands shook as I punched in the number.

"Homicide, Detective Quinn speaking."

"Ryan, it's me."

"Hello me, are you calling to apologize?"

"No, I'm calling to report a shooting."

"S***. Are you alright? Where are you?"

"I'm okay. I'm in the parking garage in the new medical building on Route 48."

"Alright, I'll send an ambulance. I can be there in ten minutes."

"Don't forget to send for the medical examiner while you're at it."

"Damn. Alright, a patrol car is on its way and I'll be there soon. Don't say anything until I get there."

"I know. Thanks, Ryan." I hung up the phone and waited for help to arrive.


  1. I'm intrigued. Not sure if the MC is female or male though - which is why I'll keep reading - so I can find out.
    Good job!

  2. I like it once the dialogue starts, but the beginning confused me. Is the MC in an elevator or a parking garage? And did he/she squeeze the trigger once or four times? Or does he/she shoot a person who is dead already? I feel like this needs a bit more clarity. You don't want to confuse readers from the start.

  3. I had the same questions Holly did, fwiw. The only other thing I'd change is the last bit of dialogue from Det. Quinn; maybe remove the middle sentence. We can assume a patrol car will be on the way, and the sentence will be much sharper and more urgent.

  4. I like this, but...

    not sure why MC shoots from an elevator. wouldn't the doors close?

    especially because later we find out MC is familiar with police procedure; suggest you do a Google search about police procedure for this kind of thing because this doesn't ring true for me.

    Where did the other three holes come from? MC only squeezed once.

    Not sure the gun has the ability to slip by itself

    how does MC know which pocket?

    wouldn't he/she get the station, not a specific person? or is MC calling somebody's cell?

    believe it's spelled all right, and why is the detective surprised? isn't that what they do?

  5. Fiction isn't a genre. You'll need to place this in romantic suspense or thriller or something.

    Is the MC male or female? I'm assuming female, but I'm not sure why.

    I have the same questions about shooting from an elevator--doors would close, right?

    A little fine tuning and this will be ready to go. Realistic dialogue.

  6. I love this kind of story, but I, like the others, want clarity up front...Just a little change here or there will do it:

    "Hello me---drop me and put in her first name or title if she's a cop. Not knowing the sex of a person, isn't considered a hook to keep people reading IMO.

    The dialogue is crisp and perfect for mystery or a police procedural.

    Good job.

  7. I had the same questions as others. At first, I thought she was shooting her gun in a closed elevator, then I saw she was in the elevator firing at someone outside the elevator. I didn't have a problem with the closing elevator door because she could easily get off four shots before the door closed. But I did have a problem with her firing and once and the guy ending up with four holes in him.

    I assumed the MC was a woman. You might want to clarify that.

    And I wonder about where you chose to start. You could garner more empathy for your MC by starting with the attack and the theft of her phone. Just a thought.

  8. The opening sounds intriguing enough but I echo some of the same points already brought out.

    Alright is used twice in the opening. As far as I know, it should be two words (all right) in both instances.

    The dialogue didn't really wet my fancy. Felt like it needed to be amped up to make it a bit more interesting.

  9. I liked being dropped right in the action. I'm guessing this is a thriller or mystery and the dialogue was spot-on for that.

    I thought the MC was a woman, just based on the "hello, me". It's a flirtatious comment. I guessed Ryan is a husband or boyfriend and they had a fight earlier in the day.

  10. The speech seems very controlled and cool for having just shot someone; mainly because his/her hands were shaking after firing.

    I would keep reading.

  11. All good comments about the opening paragraph - a little confusing but the action and pace was enough to make me want more...

    I'd read on.

  12. So first of all I thought shooting in an elevator was kind of confusing as well. I imagine the bullet ricocheting off the walls and hitting the shooter. Althoguh I take it that's not what happened.

    I also would like to know who "me" is. If we assume it's a woman and someone ryan is involved with--and Ryan is a homicide detecvtive no less--I'd want a slightly stronger reaction I think if me were me. Unless I were some Jennifer Garner Alias crazy kick ass character. But she doesn't seem like that with the shaky hands and all.

    and if "me" is a partner or something, well why wouldn't they be together so that's probably not it but still, I would expect Ryan's reaction to be a little stronger. I think this is a little too subdued. Cursing doesn't replace squealing tires in my mind.I want him making that 10 minute drive in 4 minutes.

    Also, sorry to say this but I hate "alright." It's just not a word. manuscripts come in with little typos and various mistakes all the time, but to see that twice on the first page feels like a red flag to me that you need to go through your entire manuscript with a grammatical fine tooth comb. Glaring errors really take me out of the story and while they maybe easy to fix, that's your job, not mine.

    All that said, this is an action packed beginning and who doesn't like to be pulled right in. I think it needs some work, but it feels like it has potential.