Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Secret Agent #14

TITLE: The Gear'd Heart
GENRE: NA Steampunk

Keira sits in the dancing grass, the tip of her tongue caught tight between her teeth as she watches the sun through her eyelids. It is a confusion of sparkles, trembling lines of gold and red in a sea of orange.

Opening her eyes, she bends over the cluster of gears in her lap, carefully fitting each to the next. There is a piece of quartz on the one side, gears interlocking over the top, then a tiny spring; the whole affair fits into a carved piece of brass about the size of a pocket watch.

The spring, ornery as springs always are, slithers out of her fingers and disappears into the grass. “Pox.”

“That's a strong word, Kee.”

She twitches, snatching up the last few gears and scrambling to her feet as Da settles against the stone wall that separates this stretch of green from the next. “Da.”

“What've you got there?”

Keira tucks her hand, the broken Sun-catcher clenched between her fingers, behind her back. “Nothing.”

“A funny bit of nothing to warrant a pox.” His voice is stern, his eyes glinting blue as the sky.

She hands him the charm, wipes her hands on her dress – nervous and waiting for hard words over wasting her time on gears. But the words don't come.

Da examines the charm in silence, then tips his head back and looks at her, serious. “You built this?”

“Tá. It catches the sun all gold and green and violet.” She chews her lip.


  1. love the imagery so far! pretty and simple. I'd keep reading :)

  2. It seems intriguing thus far. It's hard to get a sense of exactly where you're going, but I don't subscribe to the common belief that you have to cram the entire point of your novel into the first 250 words. There's nothing wrong with a gentle beginning. I would definitely read on.

  3. I like it pretty well so far. It's cleanly written and has a nice voice and likeable characters.

    Is this adult? YA? MG? It seems MG at this moment in the narrative.

    I'm not usually bothered by tense, but the present tense stood out to me in a distancing way in the first paragraph. It got more natural that, though.

    I'm not sure about the "'" in the title. Does Geared not do what you want it to?

  4. I like this so far. The voice does seem young for New Adult but maybe this is a flashback? Or maybe the language is a function of the time period?

    The first mention of Da, I'd use 'father.' I'm assuming he's the dad because Da is a common Irish term for dad.

  5. I love the use of poetic imagery - the words paint a vivid picture of another time and place. The use of present tense is daring and modern, and lends a strong hand toward creating a unique voice.
    Well done.

  6. I loved this. I would definitely read on. I don't read New Adult, but this reminded me of YA. Love the introduction to the relationship between the MC and her father. The language/dialogue was very convincing! I write various forms of historicals, and this felt 'right'. Love it!

  7. Some pretty imagery, I like the voice and your style. Not sure why you have an accent on Ta.

  8. I enjoyed the writing, especially the interaction between the MC and her Da. I would agree with a few of the other comments; the voice didn't really sound NA to me.

    I'm not particularly a fan of present tense, but that's just a personal preference, and it looks like it would work for the story. Nice start!

  9. Thanks for the comments, folks. I appreciate the feedback. :)