Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bouncer Round 6 #25

Genre: YA Steampunk Fantasy
Word Count: 70,000


Idonea doesn’t want to go the Empire where witches like her are persecuted. But when her mother disappears, Idonea sets asides her fears to follow the trail leading straight there.

Armed with her staff and determination, Idonea hitches a ride with sky pirates. A day after her arrival, she faces an Empire official who wants to seal her unsanctioned dark magic. Trapped with no way out, Idonea can only think of how she failed her mother.

Just as she thinks her magic will be stripped, her long-lost father shows up. He’s in charge of a community for light witches, and he wants her there. But when they arrive, Idonea learns something sinister lurks in the dark, and young witches are dying. Worse, it seems like the deaths might just be linked to her mother’s disappearance.

DARKWEAVE is reminiscent of Marianne de Pierre's Burn Bright with a search for a family member while delving deep into a world of secrets.

First 250:

The ivy-twined iron gates stood closed again tonight. Though I’d come to this cemetery for the past year, its Guardian still demanded my respect. I knocked three times on the gate, acknowledging his presence and mentally greeted him. In my mind he finally responded with my name: Idonea.

The gates protested as I pushed them open. Rust flaked away when my hands withdrew. As I passed the threshold, I dropped three silver scales on the ground as payment. I faced forward so the Guardian knew my intentions weren’t sinister, like usual. All I needed was grave dirt. I thought we had enough, but my mother Nellith insisted.

Light from the crescent moon and stars filtered down through the thin layers of steam blanketing the town and the numerous pine trees. The scent of pine mixed in with the heavy air, and I wiped a thin film of mist from my goggles.

By nature’s light I stepped carefully past the headstones. Giving more than a cursory glance at any particular epitaph would invite unwanted attention. I stopped at an old grave with a large winged messenger statue, mildew discolouring the white stone. Down on my knees, I pulled a small glass jar and hand shovel from my canvas bag.

I knocked three times on the exact spot I wanted to shovel and stated my intention. “I’m collecting this dirt for any future magical workings that call upon the virtues of the cemetery.”

With that necessity done I gathered the grave dirt I needed.


  1. I loved this!!

    Witches and Sky Pirates! Love!

    Your 250 rocked...the grave dirt rocked.

    I'd certainly keep going!

    Good Luck!!

    Mandy #5

  2. I love the character names, so inventive.

    The little details in the first 250 really make it pop. Feels like this ms will have great world building.

  3. Your first 250 is a sensory experience...I love it! You've got great detail here and I would definitely read more.

    Good luck from #20!

  4. I love this just as much as the first time I read it!! It's making me want to go revise my own steampunk WIP opening!

    Carissa -- #24

  5. I love your first 250. You've got some great descriptions and it's in just the right amounts.

    Your query is also pretty solid, but the one thing I think is missing is the consequences if she chooses to help her dad vs run away and maybe solve things on her own, or risk losing her mother. I'd try to make that a little bit more clear.

    Also I think you are missing a word in the first sentence of your query.
    Idonea doesn’t want to go TO the Empire where witches.

    I really like the concept here. Good luck with your entry.
    Jamie # 36

  6. I think this sounds like great fun and would be an awesome read. I don't have anything new to critique, I think it flows really well and is intriguing.

    Virginia #9

  7. Great stuff! I agree with Jamie on the missing consequences in the query, but that isn't a huge deal for me. One tiny correction in the query's second sentence: "Idonea sets aside her..." (not asides).

    Your world building and setting put me right there in the cemetery with Idonea with the mist clinging to my skin and giving me goose bumps! I really enjoyed this.

    Best of luck!
    Bonnie #12

  8. I really enjoyed the rich details of this excerpt. Great job!

    Larissa (#18)