Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February Secret Agent #29

TITLE: Little Miss Perfect and Me

Lucy was ready. Dark blue T-shirt, dark blue jeans-she'd blend right into the shadows.

She eased open her bedroom door and listened. No sound from Charlotte's room. Her new stepsister was probably studying. Being the perfect daughter as usual.

Lucy picked up her barn boots and tiptoed to the stairs. She listened again.

"M! Pick an M!" she heard her stepfather say.

"No, Mike," Lucy's mother said. "He needs a D."

Lucy smiled as she inched her way down the stairs. Mike really loved those TV game shows. He and Mom probably wouldn't even notice she was gone.

One step, two steps, three! Duck into the dining room. Dash into the kitchen and...

"Charlotte!" Lucy skidded to a stop inches from Charlotte's backside.

"Watch out, Lucy." Charlotte straightened from the refrigerator, her long brown braid swinging across her back. The violet bow on the end of her braid matched her violet blouse perfectly. "You almost made me drop the pickles."


"Why should I shush?" Charlotte saw the boots in Lucy's hands. "You're sneaking out to see that horse!"

Lucy decided to not dump the pickles on Charlotte's head and make a dash for the door. No, instead she'd explain-again-how important this was. "My horse was supposed to arrive at Miss Mary Jo's barn an hour ago. I have to see him, Charlotte! My very own horse!"

"He's not your horse." Charlotte pulled out a pickle and screwed the lid back on. "Dad and Susan will never let you keep him."


  1. Love, love, love this! I'm right there with Lucy, feeling the excitement of sneaking out and being annoyed with Miss Perfect. Great middle grade voices here :)

  2. Nice set-up. Love the imagery of the pickles. Already empathetic toward the girl trying to sneak out.

  3. I like this--you capture the MG voice well. I would read on.

  4. I agree- you've got the MG voice. I love this girl and Miss Matchypants is already annoying. Great job connecting the reader to the characters with a few words.

  5. "My horse was supposed to arrive at Miss Mary Jo's barn an hour ago. I have to see him, Charlotte! My very own horse!"

    This reads like you, the writer, trying to impart information to the reader, rather than what one girl would say to another in this situation.

  6. I love the Title and your excerpt. You manage to cover the inciting incident, her relationship with little Miss Perfect. Her parents are even developed, and you nailed the voice. But most important of all, the pickles made me hungry, hungry for more.

    I'd read on if I'd ever read MG.

  7. I like the beginning of this and I'm with the MC all the way as she tries to sneak out, short staccato sentences and all!

    "Charlotte saw the boots in Lucy's hand," is a head-hop. Find a way to keep this in Lucy's POV here.

    And "my horse was supposed to arrive," is a case of dialogue to impart info. What would she really say? "Please, Charlotte. I have to see him,"? Better yet, impart a character trait. "You're not going to stop me," or something like that. Wring every ounce of conflict you can from your dialogue.

    I would read on to see what happens next, but I would hope you would up the ante pretty soon.

  8. I agree with Michael, with the head-hopping.

    I liked the first half then I got bored. I would have liked a bit more.

    I did like your voice.

  9. I liked this and thought it was done pretty well. The second last parg is an info dump. Don't have her explain the situation. Use dialogue someone would use in that situation. Charlotte would know what she was talking about.

    It's an easy enough fix, as is the POV slip. ANd you might want to work in if Charlotte is older or younger than her. I'd read more.

  10. I love this! And I love the parents in the background with their game show. I definitely felt the family dynamics.

  11. Oh, very nice. Excellent MG voice and premise. "You almost made me drop the pickles!" had me laughing at the randomness and yet perfect pique of it from Miss Perfect. :) Well done!

  12. Good voice for middle grade. I got a sense of who she was immediately. I like the idea of her sneaking out to see her horse and the conflict she has with her stepsister.

    I'd read on but hope we get out of the house soon.