Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January Secret Agent #38

GENRE: Women's fiction

"I’ve got something 2 do 2night, but u can spend the night if u want 2 hang."

I gaped at my phone. Hours later, this was the text I got in response to asking my boyfriend if he wanted to have dinner? He’d taken so long to reply that I’d not only eaten a sandwich, I’d also bought an umbrella, tried on half a dozen pairs of shoes, and walked 10 blocks toward home.

Plus, I could sleep there if I wanted to “hang”? Gee, how romantic! But, still, I hadn’t seen him in a week or so…

You shouldnt let yourself be at his beck and call, I told myself sternly.

Im not! I insisted. I am a strong, liberated woman who is okay admitting that shed like to spend time with her boyfriend this evening without making him plan some fancy date first or schedule it three days in advance.

It didn’t take long to pack a bag. A short walk and three Metro stops later, I knocked on Dominic’s front door.

I strained to hear if he was coming, but couldn’t make out anything over the rain and the wind. Shivering, I rubbed my hands on my arms as I waited. What’s taking so long? Maybe I should ask if he ever found that key he made me. Oh, well. At least my new umbrella kept me dry.

Finally, the door swung open. “Hey, Jen!” Dominic greeted me with a smile and a quick kiss.


  1. I like the subtle ways you signal that this woman is not in a good relationship. In particular I liked, "maybe I should ask if he ever found that key he made me."

    "Oh, yeah, that key. Maybe next week?"

    Odds that some other woman left about half an hour before she got to her boyfriend's house? Pretty high.

  2. I'm a bit confused on how this connects to the title. I feel you might be opening in the wrong place. I also don't get a sense of where she is. She's out, then she's home, then she's out again...but where? Metro, okay. Chicago? San Francisco? But I do understand where she ends at-the non-dedicated boyfriend's house. Is he important to the story?

    Also, Tightening up your sentences will help the paragraphs flow better.

    I like that you mention the MC is confident: "strong" and "liberated" and then she brings up the missing key. This is good because I think it suggests she might have trust issues and not always as confident as she thinks.

  3. I'm not a huge fan of opening a book with cell phone texting, but that's just me. It's jarring to me, especially throwing in the numbers. I do like your voice and am very curious to see what the boyfriend's issue is.

  4. I though you did a great job of dropping subtle context clues that inform the reader of her current situation with her boyfriend, as well as to her character. Nicely done.

    The voice, though, came across as a teen voice. I didn't feel as though I was dealing with a woman, but perhaps that's due to the fact that she's not yet emotionally mature? If not, perhaps you might elevate the language a bit.

  5. We get a lot of great clues about Jen’s character and her relationship here, but I’m still a little unclear about how old she is. I’m not completely hooked, but I’d read on a bit in order to meet Damien.

  6. I like your voice and the way the mc reflects to herself. I get a sense of her relationship, but I'm not sure she feels like a woman. Rather more like a teen from her maturity level.

  7. Based on some of the other comments here, it might work to start with her standing in front of Dominic's front door. She could review the text he'd sent, wonder about it for a line, and then the door swings open. That way, you can show through their interaction whether your MC was at his beck and call, and have her struggle with being a liberated woman; she might say one thing and do another.