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I am a writer of dark magical realism. All that is visible but rarely seen, all that is real but seems surreal, all that is dark yet radiates light.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


So, I am trying to shop a book and I need some help.  I have three main characters and the story is non-linear the first half, so I can pretty much open the novel with any character at any point in time.  When submitting a book to a literary agent, you submit a query letter explaining the project, as well as the first ten pages.  The first ten pages make or break you; this is challenging for me, as I have a bunch of different styles going on.  I copied and pasted three short excerpts of the main characters.  Please read each section and pretend you are a literary agent, if you came across these selections which character would you be interested in reading more of.  Kindly post your preference in the comment section.  Thank you! 

Tye: My favorite character and this is my current opening, it reads like urban fiction.
      Wearing depression like a cloak need rising in his body like mercury in a thermometer, Tye dressed for his solo mission.  Dark nondescript clothing, well worn sneakers and a low slung baseball cap were his gear of choice, nothing flashing to deter detection from both cops and robbers.  With $2,500 of his newly cashed paycheck dispersed throughout his person: $500 in each sneaker, $100 in his left pocket with the remainder stashed in a secret compartment in his pants just in case; Tye stepped out into the brisk night. 
            Unlocking the door to his black Mustang, Tye slid into the sports vehicle. 
            "I'm just going to get my drugs and go home,” Tye said to himself, surreptitiously avoiding his own gaze in the rear view mirror.  Tye could tell himself whatever he wanted, but the demon inside knew the truth and the lie could be seen in his eyes.
            Less than forty minutes later, Tye reached his destination and parked his car three blocks up from the spot.  Faraway enough from the roving eyes of the night creatures, close enough for a quick getaway in case the spot was hot tonight.  Paranoid, walking quickly, Tye approached the first woman he saw.
            "You holding?" Tye asked. 
            The woman looked him up and down, "You a cop?" she asked.
            "Nah man, you holding?" Tye repeated. 
            Anxiety permeated from him as he shifted from side to side while nervously looking over his shoulder.  If this bitch don't come the fuck on, he thought.  Damn she know me.
            The woman chuckled to herself.  She was teasing Tye. He always looked so nervous.  She thought the little joke might make him lighten up and relax, but it didn’t; he remained tense and serious.
            "Yea, you ain't no cop." "You a shook nigga," she said.  "How much you want?" 
            "Lemme get a dollar," said Tye. 
            "A dollar will make you holla," the woman said laughing.  "I ain't holding but I got work back at the crib."
            Desperate, Tye ignored common sense and followed the woman back to her apartment.  Ignoring the drug dealers, drug addicts, pimps, hoes and johns…the night creatures, Tye followed the woman watching her round ass switch back and forth with each swivel of her ample hips.  Need of a different kind rose in Tye, "I'm just going to get my drugs and go home," he repeated to himself like a mantra.  
SEAN: He is boring in the beginning but gets more interesting as the story progresses.  This is how he is first introduced:

Sean woke up at 5:00AM, just before the buzzer sounded on his preset alarm.   He always woke up before the alarm but still set it each morning as a precaution.  Sean was very cautious; his life experiences had taught him you always needed a backup plan--you never knew when life was going to throw you a curve ball.  Sean lived his life strategically.   He planned each of his moves like a chess game: examining each probable outcome and its result; choosing his course of action based on which would yield the most favorable outcome for him giving the situation.  Sean left nothing to chance. 

            Sean laced up his running sneakers; he had already dressed for his morning run from the night before.  He usually slept in his running clothes, a pair of shorts and t-Shirt in warmer weather, sweats and a hoodie on cooler days.  It was simpler that way, kept the routine consistent.  Sean learned this trick from his cross country coach at boarding school.  When Sean had first started the team he was consistently late, relying on the alarm clock to wake him up.  He would hit the snooze button at least two times before finally getting out of bed; then he had to find his running outfit and sneakers which took an extra fifteen minutes.   By the time he caught up with the rest of team he had to sprint the first mile and a half to catch up.  
 AJNA: She brings the magical realism element into the story. 

"Body in motion, she has curves like the Nile Ocean, twists and turns like the Mississippi River, her embankments crash into my delta, as she moved I felt her..."

            Ajna listened to the brother on stage at the weekly spoken word event at Cafe Angelie.  While not exactly poetic, what he lacked in skill he made up for in delivery.  His voice was full with a rich timbre, strong and confident.  She liked the sound of it.  Ajna listened closely and picked up on the undercurrent of vulnerability underneath the bravado.  She could do that; Ajna had the ability to see what was not apparently visible and hear the unsaid.  She allowed herself to be lulled by his voice: enjoying the sound, ignoring his words.

            She drank in the sight of him.  As he stood on the small stage, she examined him from head to toe twice and on her third look over; she paused.  She was arrested by his amber brown eyes.  His eyes spoke directly to her and commanded her to stop.  “Silence…Stop thinking and listen,” his eyes said to her.  They had something to say.   So she did.  Ajna cleared her mind and opened her heart.


  1. I copied and paste from Word and the text is all screwy. Sorry!

  2. i would want to read 3, 1 then 2 last. There is some captivation in 3 and 1. While 3 is common place depending on your audience, 1 is comparatively rear. Being your literary agent I would want to read more about Tye.

  3. @shai:Thank you for your contribution.