Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bouncer Round 6 #5

Genre: MG Fantasy
Word Count: 54,000


Witches are born with a pair of witch stones embedded in their palms, but Rossi, the daughter of the Nowan County Witch, is born with only one. A single stone makes harnessing her element hard enough. Harder when that element is lightning. She has very little room for error, if she doesn’t want to be fried like chicken.
Shortly after first catching the dangerous lightning, several strangers arrive and much to her surprise, Rossi learns of a legendary One Stone Witch. That couldn’t possibly her, could it? If so, could her stone have a perfect match? Is there more to her witch stone that she ever believed?
As Rossi attempts to learn the craft and control her lightning, she has to confront the dangers of being the One Stone while planning the Spring Celebration and navigating village life. But something more sinister is lurking in the shadows of her mountains. Something that wants to steal her stone for the dark craft.
First 250:
Lightning struck the dirt close to where Rossi sat, her fingers jammed in her ears. She jumped with every crackle of energy, but didn't dare open her eyes. Rossi hated harvesting lightning. It was loud, hot and smelled like roasted cat. Plus, her short brown hair always stood on end for several days afterward, frizzed beyond any hope from the mix of electricity and drenching rain that would follow. 
Why did they have to be lightning witches? If only the element from which they drew their power was a gentle babbling brook, she would have been much more at ease. But no, they had to inherit the one element that could sizzle the skin right off her back.

“Mom, that was too close. Stop flinging it at me.” Rossi glanced at her mother perched on the edge of Nowan cliff, arms outstretched like she was welcoming an old friend. Her white gown whipped around her legs in the storm winds. She always dressed in her finest for the lightning ritual while Rossi threw a jacket over her mud spattered pants and her favorite worn shirt that was missing two buttons.

“You could use a charge or two. You've been rather pale lately.” Mom lowered her arms and another bolt streaked through the night sky straight for the emeralds embedded in her palms. “Come here and try. You give up too easy.”

“No!” Rossi opened her hands. A brilliant diamond sparkled in her left palm. Her right hand, empty.


  1. I really like your premise and your query had me with the first paragraph but when I read on to the second, I got a bit confused. The first sentence is a bit long and has a lot of information in it and I wasn't quite sure what you were saying in the next sentence. The third paragraph gets back on track but I found it a bit vague. Maybe consider giving a tiny bit more detail about what wants to steal her stone.

    I really like your first 250. I'm intrigued by what's happening with the lightning. Be careful that you don't throw too much into your sentences. There's a couple like the first one that have things spliced in with commas that make the sentences feel unnecessarily long. But you also have some really lovely sentences like "Rossi glanced at her mother perched on the edge of Nowan cliff, arms outstretched like she was welcoming an old friend." That gave me a great image. I'd definitely read on.

    Good luck with your entry :)
    Jamie #36

  2. I like your concept, and I'm going to echo Jamie on a few things.

    Your first line in your query is a bit long, and I think you can probably cut the Nowan County Witch part to help tighten it. I'd also look at reworking the questions in your query so they are actions Rossi takes.

    I enjoyed the first 250 and like the scene you've set. However in your first paragraph you've got Rossi refusing to open her eyes and yet her first line of dialogues indicates she had them open. Perhaps bridge this gap?

    I'd read on. Good luck with it. :)

  3. I really liked the premise. I enjoyed the first 250 as well. Some of the shorter sentences in the first paragraph may be better if joined with the next as it would give you a clearer, easier read. Good Job though.


  4. I really liked the first 250. The Query though needs some tightening up. It is a wonderful idea and if presented a little differently will go as far as you hope it would.

  5. I'll echo what everyone else has been saying. The premise itself is actually really neat, but the query is a little disjointed. I think if you read it out loud, you'll be able to see where the flow breaks and be able to tighten it up. Aside from that, good job.


  6. This was one of my favorite entries from my earlier round. I love the concept, and I think the voice and imagery in the first 250 are great! Best of luck!

    Monica #26

  7. Just stopping by to say that I love the concept of this, and Rossi is totally reminding me of Tiffany Aching from Terry Prachett's series and I adore TP so you've already got me sold on that alone!

    The query was a little bit confusing. There are three instances of "witch" in the first sentence and that tripped me up. Loved the last line of that para though!

    Then I got a bit confused again in the 2nd paragraph. Did she not know she had only one stone, or ...? Anyway I think a few very minor changes and this could be amazing!!

    Best of luck!

    Carissa -- #24