Wednesday, January 14, 2009


TITLE: The Weaver

GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy

Tucked in a lush valley between two snowcapped mountains was the village of The Tales. Mary heard stories of other villages in other places but in all of her eleven years, she’d never been to any. Yet she knew her village was special.

Those who lived in the village were known as Weavers. Each person in The Tales could tell stories about anything at anytime and they often did. Prose, poetry, limericks or yarns; they told stories of all types and styles. Parents of young weavers didn’t measure their children’s progress by their first step or first word, they bragged about their first story.

“My little Emma wove her first story today!”

“How exciting! What did the precious little weaver say?”

“She said, ‘Swirling snow settles over the shanty, sheltering the shivering squirrel.’”

“Oh my, alliteration at such a young age, she will be a fine weaver, indeed.”

The most respected weaver in The Tales was Mary’s mother, Abigail Wordsmith. Abigail’s lyrical fables entranced even those who told horror stories. When she wove a story everything around her stopped so that all could listen. During a recent trip to the grocers, shopping was abandoned as Abigail paid for her groceries. She said:

A simple woman paid for her groceries with money her husband had gained by humble means.

“Not enough!” barked the grocer.

“Yet, ‘tis all I have,” replied the simple woman. “Will you accept my scarf? It is special to me because it was knitted by my dear, departed mother.”


  1. I think the premise of your story is unique. I wanted to know more of how the characters' words are actually part of their storytelling.

    Interesting! I liked it very much.

  2. I was confused at the jump from the narration about this city of weavers to suddenly being in a grocery store and not having enough money. I had pictured it being during another time period.

    It does seem unique, but there was nothing about the character that drew me into her story and made me care about her. Sorry.

  3. It's a maybe for me. I would have to read a few more pages.

    The only dialog that sounded unrealistic was "What did the precious little weaver say?"

    Maybe "What did she say?" would be better. It's simpler, but it sounds more realistic.

    Good luck

  4. I like the story. Very unique. I wonder about the grocery. Is Abigail trying to purchase food with her story?
    If so, that's way cool, and I'd hit on that. It seems more important than telling about little Emma's first story. But hitting at it at like, 240 words isn't bad.
    I'd keep reading.

  5. I liked the style and flow of this, but I would need to read on a bit to see if it were for me. The story in the grocery was a bit jarring, but likely because you were only able to begin it's telling.

    Thanks for sharing it!

  6. Though I like the overall idea behind this story, it didn't work its magic on me.

    I easily imagined it as a picture book, though.

  7. Had you considered, perhaps, starting with the trip to the grocer and Abigail's "weaving?" And then weaving in the back story so we know the importance of storytelling here?

    That said, I like the premise a lot, and the tone, and I'd read on to see how you work your characters' stories into your story!

    I did notice a lot of repetition--the words "village" and "villages" occur in each of the first four sentences, and "story/stories" is repeated a lot, too, for what it's worth. Also, I hope to get back to Mary's presence pretty soon--she has kind of disappeared, hasn't she?

  8. Totally hooked. What a great concept. It felt a bit like Princess Academy, which I loved. But I'm confused at the end. If Abigail is such a great storyteller, why does she tell such a boring story to the grocer?

  9. The premise hooked me, but the writing was bumpy in parts (as others pointed out). Because I like this type of story, I'd read on, but if the premise had not been so unique, I'm afraid I might drop it. I think some editing with an eye for formatting and comprehension would help.

  10. I like the premise, too, and like the others would want more of the weaving. If the narrator doesn't have that gift, maybe it should be more apparant right up front.

    The grocer's also threw me. If it's a different time, maybe a market where haggling is taking place would work. If it's more contemporary, maybe a hint or two before we get to that point (so it's not quite so jarring).

    I do like it, though, and would read a bit further before making a final decision.

  11. I liked the premise. You can go so many places with this!
    But I don't know anything about the main character. Who can I root for? Also, the opening told too much. I think that children this age really wanted to be transported into another world (lol don't we all) SHow me how awesomely cool your world is!

  12. There's a really interesting/original central premise here - the weaving of stories, and stories as currency. Nice one. But - it all gets rather confusing. eg. We think initially we're going to see things from Mary's perspective, but that doesn't happen. We're told Abigail is an amazing weaver of stories, but her story isn't sufficient.. . You need to find your p.o.v. and stick with it - and give more focus to your opening.

  13. A little too much telling not showing for this to work for me.

  14. I'm not wild about the opening line. I'd much rather jump right into Mary's story and have the set up be told in snatches throughout. I think the idea overall is interesting, I'd just like to see more about the main character right away. As is, I'm hooked on the idea, not the opening.

  15. Not hooked. Nothing happened. Perhaps start with the event that changes your MC's life, that makes things different and fill in the back story later.

    The premise is very clever and original, though. Perhaps play with it a bit more.

  16. Doesn’t hook me…
    Because almost all of it feels like info dump. There is no hint of the coming conflict, nothing to cause me to care about any of the characters…. I’m not hooked.

  17. I love the idea - it's really unique. You had me completely hooked until, "The most respected weaver in The Tales ..."

    Then you lost me. I didn't think what Abigail said really proved that she was the most respected weaver in the Tales. If Abigail is so un-interesting, I don't have any hope for any of the other weavers.

  18. Almost Neil Gaiman-esque storytelling--it reminded me a bit of Stardust. I was with you until the very end with the mother at the grocers, but I would definitely read on to see where this is going. Though, I would recommend tightening up the POV a bit--much of this doesn't feel like it's really all in Mary's POV.

  19. Great premise! And sound advice from many on how to spruce it up. Great job on an original idea.

  20. I liked the premise. There was a little too much narration

  21. I love this one. I love the narator's voice. I'd definately read on. Good job.

  22. I like the idea of your story. But the flow isn't quite right. There's not a clear Point of view. It didn't hook me and I wish it would've.

  23. I think what confused me the first time I read this was the ending. At first I thouht the grocer was telling Abigail that her story wasn't sufficient to pay for her groceries. But on second read I think we're still in the story Abigail is telling.

    If I'm wrong, forgive me.

    I am hooked, however.

  24. It feels too adult to me. I think the target audience has been missed. Interesting idea.

  25. Weavers as storytellers, not fabric makers. Interesting twist on the word.

    I would read further to see what the story is about and hoped it moved from the omniscient to the more personal and limited.

  26. Thanks to everyone who read my submission and commented! I appreciate your time.