Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Secret Agent #43

GENRE: Adult Women's

Kynelle Harris was born, triggering anger simply because she existed.

New father Russ knew how his boss would react when he heard of the impending birth. Boss threw a paperweight at Russ and snapped, “I can make sure that brat never interferes with your work.” New mom Evie's boss said, “Well, I can always hope you’re just packing on fat.”

None of that mattered now.

A voice: “How did you get here without a car?”

Another voice: “Hitchhiked. It’s safe, now.”

­­­­Flowers appeared. Outfits and blankets and stuffed toys rose out of paper bags. The Parker grandparents rescheduled their flight another week. Child cousins arrived with uncles and aunts and Ky was passed around like a championship trophy.

Ky’s parents didn’t check for text messages from their bosses: they knew what they’d find. They could escape the cruel talk until they returned to their cubicles.

Evie appeared as one would expect: disheveled, short of energy, yet glowing.

Russ had the common male look of amazement, a hint of sheepishness at not helping more. This may be why men do what they do in the way of work; it's a hard-wired sense of nobility to build a better world with their labor, a best attempt to make up for the fact that they cannot give birth to a new human being. Families of disparate races and religions were more united in the name of Kynelle Rania Harris.


  1. This seems interesting. Except the first sentence is slightly confusing. You might want to say, "Kynelle Harris's birth triggered anger simply by her existence.
    The comma splice makes it very difficult to understand. Also there's way too many characters being introduced in the first 25O words.You might want to cut a few and add more setting and description. Where did they come from? Where are they now? Your title is definitely interesting.

  2. I'm getting the importance of family dynamics, and the introduction of the main character's mother and father from your first page. I'm not sure where to focus, though - which character is most important. So much of the information is about this young couple having a baby, and not really about Kynelle. Maybe the page could have more about Kynelle and why she is important before we talk about the world's anger at her existence. As readers, we want to be able to focus in on the main character on page one.

    The two lines "A voice:..." and "Another voice:..." are difficult for me to place in the context of the page. Who is hearing them? Kynelle? Who is speaking? They could be powerful if we knew those things.

    I'd love to read page two - especially because I think it probably gets more to Kynelle, and I'm intrigued by her!

  3. I'm definitely curious about why everyone's so angry at this girl's birth.

    However, I'm having trouble connecting with this story. I think it's the distance created using character references like "a voice" "Boss" instead of "his boss"--stuff like that.

    If this were labeled thriller or sci-fi, I might realize we're in another kind of world.

    I'm not sure why these are important narrative elements yet, so I'd need to read more before standing 100% behind my initial response.

    This is not a genre I normally read.

    Good luck!

  4. The first line was powerful! The sample great! My only concern is the Voice part... it pulls me out of the scene a bit because it reads like a play. Maybe incorporate?

  5. Sorry, but I just don't get it. We start out with Kynelle, then are told about everyone but her. The set up with the bosses makes me think we may be in the future, but the genre is listed as women's fiction, not sci-fi. I don't know who the voices are. I was thinking they might be the grandparents, but why would they hitchhike, and you mention them rescheduling a flight. I'm just lost. If it's just me, don't worry about it. If others feel the same way, you may want to reconsider your opening.

  6. I didn’t really understand this scene. I liked the first sentence but after that I got confused. Why would their bosses be angry? Were they worried about their performance? Why were they so cruel and name calling a child that hadn’t been born yet?

    Also, who’s telling this story? The parents? The boss? A narrator who knows and sees all? Who’s “a voice” and “another voice”? Are we getting access to the parents’ conversation?

    I can’t hear the voice in this story. Voice is everything and the stronger you can make it, the easier it is to be pulled into the story.

    Thanks for entering!

  7. I loved, loved, loved the opening lines. I agree you might want to tighten them, but they have power. I'm drawn in to wanting to know why her birth causes such a visceral reaction from the bosses.

    The "voice" and "another voice" sequence confused me and I lost a bit of the sense of place. I did like the familial bond presented. I think we need to know less about who came to visit in this section and more about where they are. You could always move the cousins and aunts and uncles a couple of paragraphs down.

  8. OOOOHH, why are the peeps so upset about this person's birth? I'm intrigued, but also confused with the introduction of so many characters in so little time. Whose opinion should we care about?

    Good start!

  9. I was intrigued by the first line, but then felt bandied about by the POV. There are a lot of family dynamics here, and social pressures, but what's given strikes me more like a newspaper report of a variety of loosely connected opinions and conversations. I really want a unifying voice to ground me.

    Keep at it! You and Ky will find your way.

  10. You'll all be pleased to know that I threw out this first chapter.