Monday, April 18, 2011

submission Aheila

Name: Aheïla

Email: thewriteaholicblog (at)

Title & Genre: OIL AND BOILING WATER -- Steampunk adventure with romantic elements

Pitch: Tatiana reckons a finer Britannia starts with a female Scholar. Broken engines, flirty French pirates and noes are hurdles of little import.

First 250 words:

The door slammed shut in my face. Its hinges rang from the shock for a couple of my angry heartbeats. I looked down at my bulging breasts, cursing them as my newfound habit instructed. I tried everything to get through the mahogany threshold and past the high marble walls of the University. Never was I allowed to step in.

Once, I strapped my breasts, which wasn’t as uncomfortable as releasing the glued fabric after wearing it for a day. I borrowed my brother’s clothes and tied my hair in a fashion appropriate for young educated lads. Altering my voice would have been tawdry and tedious to maintain. I wanted to agree with the general image of the people allowed in, but I held my gender in high regards and wouldn’t go as far as to forfeit it.

They derided me.

I opted for a new approach, one that lay at the other end of the spectrum. I put my breasts on a nigh indecent display in a precious dress and wore pricey perfumes. I adorned my neck with my most beautiful jewellery, powdered my nose and reddened my lips. They offered to accompany me somewhere else. Somewhere private.

Shoddy fops.

It seemed to me I had done it right this time. I wore the appropriate kind of corset, humble yet full of promise. My feet suffered in tight leather shoes with ridiculously high heels. I spoke in the low, charming voice suitable for a lady. I bowed, I fluttered and I smiled.


  1. The voice here is so lovely, and it's very rustic. It's not just the big words that are used occasionally, it's the entire flow and tone that feels old, and slightly rigid. It's PERFECT for a steampunk. Absolutely PERFECT.

    I also love the premise, and the genderbend, girl-diguises-self thing is one of my favorites to read. ;)

  2. 'Its hinges rang from the shock for a couple of my angry heartbeats.' I LOVE this line! I like the voice, very feminine. I got a little lost in the last line of the first paragraph. I had to reread it several times to make sure I was getting the right meaning.

  3. @Michelle, thank you very much for your comments. I'm glad the voice works. I'm from Quebec city (so French-speaking) so I'm always a bit worried that might ruin the voice.
    Since it sounds like this is your kind of book, would you be interested in beta reading once I'm done?

    @Darcy Drake, it's one of my favorites too. I'll try to see what I can do for that problematic line. Thanks for pointing it out!