Book Jacket

 

rank 4566
word count 20247
date submitted 19.07.2010
date updated 08.08.2013
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Historic...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Holding Alpha

Miller Hayden

Five soldiers examine their lives: from home life and enlistment (including reasons for joining), to experiences while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom [OEF] in Afghanistan.

 

Five soldiers recount times amidst Middle Eastern turmoil. Their stories span from home life and enlistment (including reasons for joining), to experiences while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom [OEF] in Afghanistan.

Told from the viewpoints of five different men, this is more a conglomerate of short stories and segments in time rather than a traditional novel: though the whole makes a larger tale of camaraderie; tribulations; emotion; and even scars.

CAUTION: includes violence, mild language, and depictions of war.


About this work:
This is a first draft I started during NaNoWriMo 2009. It is far from conventional in its layout; and maybe even esoteric or subtle in parts.

 
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tags

afghanistan, character study, charlie kaufman influenced, esoteric, friendship, memoirs, military, multiple pov, oef, operation enduring freedom, sold...

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32 comments

 

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Burgio wrote 1329 days ago

HOLDING ALPHA
I was never in the Armed Forces so I like to read war stories; this one is unique in that it’s really a series of short stories. It’s the kind of book I would buy to take on vacation when I knew I’d have hours of uninterrupted time to read because it’s obviously written from a veteran’s standpoint so is rich in detail I wouldn’t want to miss. I’m happy to add it to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 3rd place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

paperbat wrote 1328 days ago

Miller.
Fascinating set of 'stories'. Yes each soldier has adifferent story. But thats the interesting thing about your book. Whether a chaplian or marine.
I think you have the biginnings of something. Please continue. I willl BACK it to encourage.
Jerry [paperbat]
Obviously love it if you could glance at my short childrens' story called Paperbat Advebntures - kids should love them.

Benjamin Dancer wrote 1328 days ago

I'm teaching a class on war so this was a timely find. The point of view is interesting. I thought of old things in new ways as I read this. I'd like to come back and give it more time in the near future. As for now, it's backed. I left a message in your news feed as well.

celticwriter wrote 1326 days ago

Hi Miller. With all due respect to the previous comment, I enjoyed your synopsis. It's very real, unpretentious. I know I'm going to get your heart and soul, not just someone who is trying to dazzle and impress. You string your sentences together effortlessly, and take a journey path which tells a story (or stories) which makes the reader (me, anyway,) enjoy, take in, and not even see any errors there might be. My advice? Make the genre your own. Just be you. It's going to work. And, yeah, make for a terrific flic! :-) Backed.

blessings,
jim
jack & charmian london

Neville wrote 315 days ago

Holding Alpha.
By Miller Jivaro.


I like the feel of this story which from the start causes the reader to ponder upon the way that youth builds up a relationship from early school age, that comradeship that exists between those of a similar background and upbringing. Your writing is very compelling and cleverly penned to entice the reader to consider their own place in society. It evokes childhood memories of early days and the friends associated with at the time.
It holds a fascination of its own as we look at the world, viewed from the perspective of different people propelled into a situation not of their own making. Their thoughts make for a compelling read that holds questions as to comradeship in battle.
High stars!

Neville.

One Off, Sir!
The secrets of the Forest (Series) - Cosmos 501.
The Secrets of the Forest (Series) - The Time Zone.

SusieGulick wrote 1257 days ago

You are totally fantastic, Miller! :) How can I ever thank you enough for backing my memoirs book? :)
God bless you. :) p.s. I have ****** 'd your book :) - could you please ****** mine? :) Thank you from the bottom of my heart, because every ****** 'ing & backing moves our books closer to the editor's desk & I'm 14 away from the top. :) Hope you'll be able to keep my book on your bookshelf to help me finish in the top 5 at the end of the month. :) I would so appreciate it. :) :) :)

SRFire wrote 1278 days ago

Backed with pleasure, Sana x

Andrew Burans wrote 1299 days ago

I really like your premise of each soldier telling their own story. Your work is gripping, well written, highly realistic and a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

Bocri wrote 1299 days ago

The premise of the book is great but the writing of it has worked out with far too much tell and not nearly enough show. These are action people but you've nailed them to the page with the heavy authorial voice which prevents the reader knowing them as individuals. I really feel there is a great book here struggling to get out if you'll loosen the grip and allow your characters to be themselves. Try letting the reader bring some part of himself to the reading 'dream', a good book (which I think this can certainly be) is a two way process. Blunt I know but I think it's worth it.
Backed for it's promise
Robert Davidson
THE TUZLA RUN

yasmin esack wrote 1305 days ago

Blow mind stuff. I love your witing which at time borders on poetic and I surely believe this one deseves a place on bookshelves in stores and shops everywhere, A fitting tribute to war and those were a part of it.

best

tisseurdecontes wrote 1305 days ago

HOLDING ALPHA is a story with great potential. You have an engaging style that is very readable and you have a story to tell that people need to hear. Because I feel you have the possibility of making this really great, I'm going to be more brutal than I would normally be in my comments. If you feel I am off base, then disregard what follows.

One of the criticisms that I have received on my book is that I don't get to the action quick enough, and I think the same applies here. Chapter 1 has some good stuff in it, but it is all back story, some of it is repetitive and many of the paragraphs feel to me like they were written at different times and shoved together. Some of them don't seem to flow from one to the next. I would encourage you to revise chapter 1 ruthlessly. Take out everything that doesn't absolutely need to be there and make sure that what remains is as succinct as possible. You might want to call it a prologue or an introduction rather than chapter 1.

Are chapters 2 and 3 the stories of two different people? It sounds like it. The characterization seems different, but both are written in the first person and we aren't told who they are. And again, you are giving a lot of back story. One of the things that I have picked up on this site and another writing site I frequent, is the difference between showing and telling. Sometimes you have to tell, but it is always more interesting for the reader if you can show. In these early chapters you are doing a lot of telling. Again, I personally think this would work better if you get to the action quicker and maybe use flashbacks to slowly fill the reader in on some of the back story. A book on this site that does that very well is APOCALYPSE THEN (I don't care for the title, but it is a great book and he starts right in the action and goes back and forth almost seamlessly between the "past" and the "present". He does a fair amount of "telling", but it is surrounded with "showing" and the reader hardly notices. -- And I get no bonus points for recommending his book, it's just good and I think could be helpful to you with what you are trying to do.).

You clearly have the talent, so I hope you will find this helpful and not be discouraged by it. You'll find a lot of people on authonomy who will tell you that your book is the best they've ever read, and we all like to hear that, but it doesn't help us improve. If you have any questions, feel free to message me.

I am backing you because this has real potential to be a great book if you will work to get it just right. Remember most agents will not read more than the first three chapters before they make a decision and quite a few will only read the fist couple of pages, so you need to grab them (like you need to grab the reader) quickly.

Best wishes.

Steven Lloyd
THE AUDACITY OF HOPE AND CHANGE

eurodan49 wrote 1311 days ago

Read only a few chapters, that’s all the time I had, but got good vibes.
Solid narration, though a little too lengthy (all first chapter and half of second), and you’re voice cones through. A little less “telling” and some more “showing” would catapult this book forward.
When you come to it, dialogue is fresh and realistic…I like that. The first person POV is handled well and helps picture the character.
I was disappointed a little by the flashback and “telling” mode of the third chapter. I would have loved more action (in present) than the flat voice of reminisces…maybe you could spice it up some by using internal dialogue instead of narration. Keep in mind that readers who pick this kind of books expect (actually demand) fast pace, lots of action and tension on every page.
I’m backing it on the strength of your voice….Good luck.

fh wrote 1321 days ago

HOLDING ALPHA
Hello Miller, thank you for asking me to take a look at your book. First can I just say that your pitch reads a bit dry. It is a bit short and without giving us any feeling of excitement. This is of course just a personal view.
In your opening paras there is a lot of repetitiveness. You tend to stress over and over just what you're trying to say. This slows down the general flow of the script -which is well written apart from that and could lose some readers.
The idea is interesting and I'm sure there are a lot of people who will be interested in your stories. I personally feel that you need to tighten up a lot more - cut out the unnecessary detail and let us have the facts. Good luck with this, once you've taken a longer look I think this could be promising.
Faith
THE ASSASSINS VILLAGE

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

I agree with you wholly. Things didn't start taking shape until chapter three, but the previous chapters serve their purpose and lead to a payoff further down the road by revealing the writers' personalities.

When I wrote this, quantity was stressed over quality (NaNoWriMo '09) so I know much can be cut down. The critique is very much appreciated, and I think you.

contains some grimly interesting comments on recent conflicts; but rather a slow start and too many obiter dicta

Lynne Ellison

The Green Bronze Mirror

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

Is there a diplomatic way to say you are both right? :)
Actually, I knew I needed to fix it a little bit. I got slammed a little hard on another site, so maybe I worked too hard nailing the point home it's more a Charlie Kaufman-type exercise than a great work of literature. Either way, I'm sure you'll like the pitch much better now.
Thanks for the generous praise, and I hope this book gets better the further one reads into it.

Hi Miller. With all due respect to the previous comment, I enjoyed your synopsis. It's very real, unpretentious. I know I'm going to get your heart and soul, not just someone who is trying to dazzle and impress. You string your sentences together effortlessly, and take a journey path which tells a story (or stories) which makes the reader (me, anyway,) enjoy, take in, and not even see any errors there might be. My advice? Make the genre your own. Just be you. It's going to work. And, yeah, make for a terrific flic! :-) Backed.

blessings,
jim
jack & charmian london

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

Thanks *most* kindly for taking the time to rework my pitch. I did remove a lot since my first try...but I did an edit based off what you gave me. Thanks!

Obviously I'll try to squeeze in a tactful way to say you helped my pitch. This also means I have to give you a more thorough read of your story. :) Congrats on how far it has recently climbed also.

Hi Miller,
I'm enjoying the story and will comment properly on it later.
I thought I'd start with your pitch, which was a bit repetitive and awkward. I've tried to tighten it up.

I hope it helps or at least gives you some ideas. the book is great.
Best wishes,
Barry
LITTLE KRISNA AND THE BIHAR BOYS

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

They say it's all about timing...so I am glad I timed things so well for you. Around chapter ten or so are actual parts of their tour. I didn't intend it to take so long, but I wanted to flesh the characters out. It's nice to hear such positivity about the book from you.

I'm teaching a class on war so this was a timely find. The point of view is interesting. I thought of old things in new ways as I read this. I'd like to come back and give it more time in the near future. As for now, it's backed. I left a message in your news feed as well.

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

[Thanks for letting me know about your other book. At first I thought it was a duplicate or alternate title.]
It's great getting such high praise from a highly-ranked talent spotter. I thought you would have skipped right past mine. :) Best of luck on both books.

Dear Miller, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed my memoir book, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not." I really appreciate it. :) Could you please back my other memoir book, "Tell Me True Love Stories?" I would be ever so grateful. :) Thank you. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. I'll be #5 to put your book on my wachlist. :)

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

Thanks for highlighting what you liked in the structure. I'm anxious to read your story as well, but having trouble staying on top of all the enthusiasm people had so far. It's on my watchlist and I hope to have time for it soon.

Miller.
Fascinating set of 'stories'. Yes each soldier has a different story. But that's the interesting thing about your book. Whether a chaplain or marine.
I think you have the beginnings of something. Please continue. I will BACK it to encourage.
Jerry [paperbat]
Obviously love it if you could glance at my short childrens' story called Paperbat Adventures - kids should love them.

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

All of your comments have really helped out. Part of the cool thing is I tried writing the novel so people can skip around until maybe the last five chapters of it (which I still need to write).

HOLDING ALPHA
I was never in the Armed Forces so I like to read war stories; this one is unique in that it’s really a series of short stories. It’s the kind of book I would buy to take on vacation when I knew I’d have hours of uninterrupted time to read because it’s obviously written from a veteran’s standpoint so is rich in detail I wouldn’t want to miss. I’m happy to add it to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 3rd place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

Thanks for thinking my story is so important. I know it CERTAINLY needs a rewrite because I changed the whole aim of it even...practically negating the whole first chapter. I intend to finish the remaining six chapters then worry about a rewrite - hoping this is the place to get the best feedback.

As you mention in your profile, a loving edit would tighten the narrative and sharpen your already strong voice. This strikes me as an important book and worth the effort of a rewrite.

Memphisgirl
Ashes By Now

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

Thanks for the endorsement. I picked The Cheech Room for my watchlist.

Original and talented writing! Easy to back.

Liz
The Cheech Room
A Fine Pickle

Lee Tarvis wrote 1324 days ago

Thanks for all the compliments and support. I appreciate it.

Dear Miller

I would like to commend you on the skill you have and the imagination and the talent in writing this work of art
of yours. I wish I had half of your talent. Where does one get such original work like this, such a gift. I feel sure you
feel like me that it is your baby and you so want to see it succeed. I do wish you all the best in rising and also
getting this book of your published. ( I wish I had half the talent some of you have on this site)

BACKED BY ME FOR SURE.
Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK
also

The VERY best of luck to you

Denise
The Letter

Lynne Ellison wrote 1326 days ago

contains some grimly interesting comments on recent conflicts; but rather a slow start and too many obiter dicta

Lynne Ellison


The Green Bronze Mirror

celticwriter wrote 1326 days ago

Hi Miller. With all due respect to the previous comment, I enjoyed your synopsis. It's very real, unpretentious. I know I'm going to get your heart and soul, not just someone who is trying to dazzle and impress. You string your sentences together effortlessly, and take a journey path which tells a story (or stories) which makes the reader (me, anyway,) enjoy, take in, and not even see any errors there might be. My advice? Make the genre your own. Just be you. It's going to work. And, yeah, make for a terrific flic! :-) Backed.

blessings,
jim
jack & charmian london

Barry Wenlock wrote 1327 days ago

Hi Miller,
I'm enjoying the story and will comment properly on it later.
I thought I'd start with your pitch, which was a bit repetitive and awkward. I've tried to tighten it up.
How's this?
Short pitch:
Five soldiers examine their lives before and during their military service and tell of the various missions they carried out.
Long pitch:
A squad of soldiers recount their time together amidst middle eastern turmoil. They talk about various encounters while stationed during OEF (Operation Enduring Freedom) and of their early lives; how they enlisted and how they finally returned home.

This is a series of stories which make up a larger tale of camaraderie, tribulations, emotion, and scars.

A rough, unfinished novel that is far from conventional.
All constructive comments welcome.
CAUTION: novel includes graphic recollections of war.

I hope it helps or at least gives you some ideas. the book is great.
Best wishes,
Barry
LITTLE KRISNA AND THE BIHAR BOYS

Benjamin Dancer wrote 1328 days ago

I'm teaching a class on war so this was a timely find. The point of view is interesting. I thought of old things in new ways as I read this. I'd like to come back and give it more time in the near future. As for now, it's backed. I left a message in your news feed as well.

SusieGulick wrote 1328 days ago

Dear Miller, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed my memoir book, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not." I really appreciate it. :) Could you please back my other memoir book, "Tell Me True Love Stories?" I would be ever so grateful. :) Thank you. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. I'll be #5 to put your book on my wachlist. :)

paperbat wrote 1328 days ago

Miller.
Fascinating set of 'stories'. Yes each soldier has adifferent story. But thats the interesting thing about your book. Whether a chaplian or marine.
I think you have the biginnings of something. Please continue. I willl BACK it to encourage.
Jerry [paperbat]
Obviously love it if you could glance at my short childrens' story called Paperbat Advebntures - kids should love them.

Lee Tarvis wrote 1328 days ago

Thanks so much for your gracious comments. You were the first person to comment on my novel Holding Alpha (and positively also), which I am grateful for. Your "He Loves Me" memoir happened to be the first novel I backed; based on merit rather than kindness on my part. :)
Good luck with the memoir, and I hope to get time later to read your other.

Dear Miller, I love how you put me right there with each of your heroes as they told their stories. :) May the Lord bless all of those who provide our peace & freedom. :) Thank you for sharing all of these things that I was not even aware of. :) One more thing to be thankful that I have never seen action, being in California my whole 70 years. :) Great write. :) I have backed your book :) - hope you'll take a moment to back my 2 memoir books. :) Thanks so very much. :) Love, Susie :)

Burgio wrote 1329 days ago

HOLDING ALPHA
I was never in the Armed Forces so I like to read war stories; this one is unique in that it’s really a series of short stories. It’s the kind of book I would buy to take on vacation when I knew I’d have hours of uninterrupted time to read because it’s obviously written from a veteran’s standpoint so is rich in detail I wouldn’t want to miss. I’m happy to add it to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 3rd place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio

memphisgirl wrote 1329 days ago

As you mention in your profile, a loving edit would tighten the narrative and sharpen your already strong voice. This strikes me as an important book and worth the effort of a rewrite.

Memphisgirl
Ashes By Now

lizjrnm wrote 1330 days ago

Original and talented writing! Easy to back.

Liz
The Cheech Room
A Fine Pickle

name falied moderation wrote 1330 days ago

Dear Miller

and again....much research gone into this writing for sure....I have started to read your writing and must say that it is compelling. Already you have established your animated characters in my head, ( they are not leaving soon) and i feel strongly to back your book now. I do wish to be part of your climb to the top on this site. CONGRATS and I will comment more as I read more

BACKED BY ME FOR SURE.
Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK also

The VERY best of luck to you

Denise
The Letter

name falied moderation wrote 1330 days ago

Dear Miller


I would like to commend you on the skill you have and the imagination and the talent in writing this work of art
of yours. I wish I had half of your talent. Where does one get such original work like this, such a gift. I feel sure you
feel like me that it is your baby and you so want to see it succeed. I do wish you all the best in rising and also
getting this book of your published. ( I wish I had half the talent some of you have on this site)

BACKED BY ME FOR SURE.
Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK
also

The VERY best of luck to you

Denise
The Letter

SusieGulick wrote 1330 days ago

Dear Miller, I love how you put me right there with each of your heros as they told their stories. :) May the Lord bless all of those who provide our peace & freedom. :) Thank you for sharing all of these things that I was not even aware of. :) One more thing to be thankful that I have never seen action, being in California my whole 70 years. :) Great write. :) I have backed your book :) - hope you'll take a moment to back my 2 memoir books. :) Thanks so very much. :) Love, Susie :)

This is information from authonomy (so beware of any other untrue information you may receive that is spam & not quotes of authonomy):
"When you back a book, it only improves the ranking of that book, not yours. However, the author whose book you are backing may decide to back your book also, in which case yes, your ranking would be improved"
"Every time you place a book on your bookshelf, your recommendation pushes the book up the rankings. And while that book sits on your bookshelf, your reputation as a talent spotter increases depending on how well that book performs."

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