Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March Secret Agent #13

TITLE: Keeping My Chin Up
GENRE: Women's Fiction

“Excuse me, Doctor Smith.”

Jaime Smith didn’t bother looking up. She continued to scan the patient file in her hand. “What?”

“Dr. Fogel would like to see you in his office. He said it was urgent.” The nurse's voice lowered to a mere whisper, “He sounded very upset.”

Jaime reached the end of the corridor and pressed on the elevator button. The bell rang and the large stainless steel doors slid open. She stepped into the elevator and glanced at her watch. It was already eleven o’clock. Her brows furrowed together. Dr. Fogel had never stayed at the hospital this late before.

She knocked on the door of his office and walked in. She dragged a chair closer to his large wooden desk. She plunked both elbows on top of the desk and cupped her chin. “I’ve already covered two complete shifts. I’m tired. I’m going to bed.”

Dr. Fogel smiled fondly. “I’m not asking you to stay on longer.” He wheeled his chair closer to the desk until his round belly made contact with the edge. He lowered his gaze and picked up a pen. He twirled it in his hands.

The light of the desk lamp shone on his face. His features were taut. The knot of his tie had been roughly pulled down. The fine hair left on his almost bare scalp stood at odd ends. Something was wrong, very wrong.

Jaime leaned back into her chair. “I’m too tired to play guessing games.”


  1. I think your main character sounds interesting...a busy, no-nonsense doctor..I would like to get to the problem more directly. You have lots of details about elevators and chairs and office description...skip these and get directly to the conversation.

  2. While this is definitely an active scene with the MC losing her job, the tension gets a bit lost in the physical movements and placement of characters in the scene. I think beginning the story with a compelling line that conveys emotion, or theme, could really draw in a reader, followed by the character just about to receive the news (perhaps skipping the elevator and "traveling" to get to the action). What she notices, and how the mundane is described, can really set the tone, especially if this job loss is a shock.

  3. Agree with what has already been said. I am intrigued by where this conversation is headed, but I think you could cut some of the choreography and description and get to the dialogue faster.

    But I did find it interesting and very easy to read. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for the feedback. It is very helpful.

  5. My thoughts on this are based more in more style than content. You tend toward very short, staccato, sentence structure, which can start to feel abrupt and repetitive. I'd recommend varying the tempo a bit by mixing in longer sentences. I'd also like to get a few of Jaime's passing thoughts as she walks around. So far, you don't really give a sense of her beyond the dialogue she has, which is only part of the picture. I like the scenario you've set up, though!

    1. Thank-you for the feedback. It will guide me in the right direction for the changes that need to be made. My write brain is excited and eager to revise.