Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Secret Agent #18

TITLE: Run or Be Dragged
GENRE: Adult Romantic Suspense

As much as I’d like to blame my boyfriend and the stupid fight we had, it’s my fault I’m lost in the woods with no flashlight and only a denim jacket for warmth. He’s the adventurous one, this camping trip to the Adirondacks was all his idea. In my defense it wasn’t dark when I stormed away from camp and it should have been only a five minute hike to the lake.

The early autumn wind cut right through me as I tried to get my bearings in the dark. Even though the moon was full, I couldn’t see any sign of the lake. A dense canopy filtered out all but the weakest light, leaving just enough to give me false confidence.

Loud male voices made me pause. Was there a campsite this far from the others or had I been hiking in a big circle? Dry leaves shuffled over my ankles as I jogged forward and caught a glimpse of the moon reflecting off the lake.

“We can’t just leave her there!” a man shouted.

His plaintive tone stopped me in my tracks. Crouching low, I peered through the branches of an evergreen and saw two men in leather jackets sitting at the edge of the lake.

“We can too,” another man said, in a thick Brooklyn accent. “It ain’t none of our business Nick, so don’t start going soft on me now.”

“She’s unhappy,” the first voice, Nick, insisted.

“She made her own decisions,” the second voice said flatly.


  1. Love the mystery that builds once the dialogue appears.

  2. I love the suspense that builds right from the beginning, the mc walking off from a campsite into the woods. Great descriptions of her surroundings, too. I felt like I was out there in the woods with her.

    I was curious to hear the conversation going on amongst the men and was further intrigued by what they had to say. The only thing I was confused by was the sentence 'She's unhappy'. It didn't seem to fit the rest of their conversation, but maybe that will become more clear in the next few paragraphs.
    Great opening!

  3. Oh, I really want to know what's already happened, and what's going to happen next! The one thing that distracted me was the repetition of the word "lake." I think it appeared three times and the second time I saw it, it took me out of the story. I think it would be pretty easy to fix, though. This is really interesting, good luck!

  4. Interesting, but I wouldn't use "the second voice said flatly" at the end. I don't think it's necessary because you know who's speaking, and I think there's also a rule about avoiding adverbs such as "flatly." Using first-person is a good choice for this type of book. Good luck!

  5. I want to read more! What happens? Who is she? Ooooh I like it.

    Just a couple of tiny suggestions:
    -He’s the adventurous one, this camping trip to the Adirondacks was all his idea. --> I think a period would work better than a comma there.

    -I agree with the flatly comments. Maybe have her reaction to his voice instead? How the flatness made her feel to give us a sense it's flat.

    Good luck!

  6. Some good mystery here, since I assume she's come across two people that don't want to be found. I do want to know more though: if she's still mad about the argument, mad about the camping trip, mad that the boyfriend hasn't found her yet, panicked about being in the woods in the dark (especially since she's not the adventurous one), and what she plans to do once it gets too dark for false confidence.

    Good start!

  7. I love the beginning here. The opening sentences gets my attention and the suspense keeps me reading-- it lives up to the promise of the opening sentence.

    This is probably just me, but I'd like a little hint of her inner emotions-- is she nervous? Is she trying not to panic? Is she angry?

    Also, on an editing note-- you could try omitting "filter" words like "I saw" and just say "Two men..."

    It would definitely read more.

  8. Uh-oh. This is a mystery and it's set up already. I'm wondering why the voice is Brooklyn; that seems a bit cliche to me. However, I get it... I know what you're trying to do. If I had an idea that the scene was many miles from Brooklyn, now you've gotten past that cliche thing. I'd like to read more, assuming that you'd explain why Brooklyn and not saying something like "an unidentifiable foreign accent" which is what I would have done... but I suspect you would have a better idea. Not my genre but interesting and you've left me curious for more.

  9. You caught my interest with the title!

    I thought you could keep the first sentence and remove the rest and instead tack on the first sentence to the beginning of the second paragraph. The sentences describing her boyfriend and how she left aren’t really needed and you could use the space to help incorporate more tension in the situation.

    Is the conversation with the two guys really imperative? Because again you could remove the part after she hides and starts watching the men and include something that provides more to the story rather than just some unknown female being unhappy. Since this is a romantic suspense, more suspense is needed to keep the reader reading and has to stay suspenseful until the end to keep them invested.

    Thanks for entering!