Book Jacket

 

rank 691
word count 18347
date submitted 05.11.2010
date updated 10.02.2011
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance,...
classification: universal
incomplete

The Wildfire

Joy J. Kaimaparamban

A journey through a part of history, which is apart from the history of India we heard till now.

 

Following the First World War, Malabar, a part of British India, became a burning coconut shell of riots.

The Khilaphath Movement was started as non-violent activity against the ruling British Government due to its unkind treatment of the Spiritual Leader of Muslims - The Caliph. The efforts of the non-violent workers became valueless. The situation was changing into violent communal riots. Along with the wicked people, innocent persons were punished. Women of different ages were raped. Numerous Hindus and Muslims were killed. Some dead bodies were haltered.

Leaders of The Indian National Congress and Khilaphath Movement tried to lead the people to peace. The Government machinery worked constantly to suppress the riots. Violence flared in almost all Malabar until the Ghoorkha Regiment was posted: it suppressed the riots easily.

Throughout the time of reading the novel, readers will get on top of anxiety and tension.

Despite this novel being based on the time from 1920, you cannot call it a historical one. I have tried to analyze characters by putting them in the old surroundings.

Shams, Kalma, Seethikoya Thangal, Andunhi Musaliyaar, Vaasudevan, Rasheed, Sreedevi, Edwin, Godwin, Barbara are some among them.

 
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tags

ayurveda, britain, british, caliph, congress, first world war, india, india novel, indian novel, kaimaparamban, kerala, khilaphat, khilaphath, khilaph...

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91 comments

 

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JMF wrote 377 days ago

Return read for your support of Shadow Jumper. Thanks so much for that.
I have to confess I found this difficult to get into and it is not the usual type of book I would read, so please ignore my comments if they do not resonate with you.
You do a good job of writing in English, but I did struggle to understand parts of what you were trying to put across. It may be of benefit to get someone else to edit it for you. Having said that I did enjoy your dialogue and think this is a strength of yours. I think also your characterisation shows promise.
I'm sorry my comment is so short and not that detailed, but I feel out of my depth here with providing you with constructive criticism. I hope you are gaining some useful reviews from others on this site.
All the best with your writing.
Julia

Stark Silvercoin wrote 436 days ago

The Wildfire is a beautifully written tale set in 1920’s India. It’s a story that many of us have probably never heard. The characters in the book are subjected to incredible hardships that would make most modern day troubles seem quaint by comparison. Yet, they never lose their humanity, which is excellently painted in broad strokes by author Joy J. Kaimaparamban.

The strongest part of the tale that is posted so far is the dialog, which is used skillfully by the author to both grant deep insights into the characters themselves and to advance the story. The emphasis on characterization, with the setting as a backdrop to that, makes The Wildfire literary fiction, and some of the best you will read if you’re interested in that part of the world, and all the fascinating stories it offers.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

A G Chaudhuri wrote 810 days ago

Dear Joy,

‘The Wildfire’ was a pleasant read. The pitch had the feel of historical fiction.
But on reading, I found that it was something else – a character driven story of many dimensions.

I’d strongly suggest that you rewrite the pitch to reflect the real nature of your story.
If I were you, I’d focus more on the characters and their trials and tribulations, keeping the Malabar Riot in the background. In all fairness, I shouldn’t be making such a comment, given that I’ve only read the first chapter. But I sincerely believe that you’ll benefit substantially by revising the pitch.

I had to stop for paucity of time, but will surely come back for more. Meanwhile, I’d suggest that you split the opening chapter into smaller ones. It’s rather too long at the moment. Please also remove the chapter title ‘The Absconding’ that appears incorrectly before the story title.

My rating for now: 5 stars

By the way, you’ve got a great cover, simple and eye-catching.
I wonder who designed it.

Best regards,
AGC


silvachilla wrote 911 days ago

Hi Joy

I must say I found this hard to get on with. I think the layout, not having conventional paragraphs threw me off a fair bit as I found it broke the pace a bit. That said, it is literary fiction and I know it's a genre that can break the rules.

You have some repetition, but your command of English is very good, considering it's not your mother tongue. I do think that your pitch could be tightened up a touch - the use of the phrase 'wicked people' got my back up a bit as it felt as though it was leaning more towards a biased narrative.

In any case, while this isn't for me, I can see it's struck a chord with others. Sorry it's taken so long to return the read!

Silva

jlbwye wrote 924 days ago

The Wildfire. A striking cover. Although the short pitch doesnt attempt to entice the reader, and the long pitch promises violence, I am interested in how the colonies reacted.
I take notes as I read, but dontpretend to be an expert.

Ch.1. You have repeated the word temple four times in as many lines. Perhaps an opening something like this might be worked up... Shams stood some distance away from the river looking at the temple, which stood on a hill surrounded by peopul and banyan trees on the opposite bank. Muted sounds drifted across the water.'
I love the picture of the (do you mean adventurous) roots hanging downwards with the ambition of kissing the earth. I know exactly what you mean.
And that sentence 'From inside nobody answered his question,' describes the pathos of his loneliness so well.
And the sound of splashing water pouring into him the consciousness it was a native boat. Evocative words.
Your quaint mixture of English and Indian-speak (sorry, I dont know which language) in the dialogue gives your tale a unique texture.
You dont need the first person: 'Hadn't Alavi believed him?'
What a poetic way with words you have: 'Shams broke the skin of silence.' (You dont need the himself).
I'd never have likened a swollen river to an obese body - but you do it well, with the hot sun not being able to take anything from her.
And then sympathy sprouting in Shams's soul, and burning in the detest rising against Alavi, after that unspeakable act. What sensitivity.

Ch.2. I am becoming used to your use of language, but dont you mean his face became bright as a big white flower?
Gradually the political indoctrination is happening, but it doesnt seem to be connected to the plight of Shams and Kaaderunhi - yet. I prefer their story.

Ch.3. Your work is full of wonderful metaphors, written with such simplicity, like Kaaderunhi scratching the back of his head - the sign of a question which had not delivered out of his mouth.

Thinking back over your story, I'm reminded in a way of one of my favourite reads, The Life of Pi.
You need to find an editor who will put acceptable grammar and order into your sentences, without spoiling the charm of your poetic words.

Jane (Breath of Africa).

Linda Lou wrote 1092 days ago

THE WILDFIRE
hullo Joy. An interesting peek into another culture. your work has been starred. Please take a look at mine, The Tuskegee Strangler and give me an opinion. thanks so much LLL

DDickson wrote 1105 days ago

This is not really my type of thing. Although I admire your efforts and freely acknowledge that your command of English as other than your mother tongue is extremely good I don't think that this work is of a standard that is ready for the desk and so at this time I don't think I would be helping you at all by a shelving. I wish you the very best of luck with your work - Diane

Michael Croucher wrote 1109 days ago

Quite an interesting read; fascinating subject matter, and well crafted descriptions that give the writing a bit of magic. I enjoyed what I've read, and I hope to read on. Highly rated.
Michael Croucher (Bravo's Veil)

M. A. McRae. wrote 1143 days ago

You have a story to tell, but your written English is poor. What you need is an editor that would make the story easier to read, but be discerning enough to leave the occasional musical phrase. For instance, Ch 3, in regard to the policeman: 'their words would be naked.' Policemen tend to be direct, often too much so, but saying it this way is like a little bit of music.
Your story has worth, to be backed, Marj.

dee farrell wrote 1152 days ago

Interesting. I also like reading about different cultures. The imagery alone made me want to read more. ******rated WL

lizjrnm wrote 1155 days ago

I love reading books about places and cultures that are unfamiliar to me. This is an excellent, intelligent story that many will learn from. Backed 100% for talented writing and a story that needs telling.

Liz
The Cheech Room

Neeky78 wrote 1157 days ago

Your write romantically of the scenery which is lovely. I did find it a bit distracting with so many unfamiliar names and nouns introduced so quickly.
Good luck with your book!

Higherpurpose wrote 1167 days ago

Recommend having this re-edited. Otherwise, very interesting.

Thanks for bringing this story to life.

God bless.
D.S. Gibson
"Ascendance"

Pat Black wrote 1181 days ago

Such a strange, phantasmagorical opening to your book - it's dreamy and reminiscent of a great many other magical realism novels of recent times. Very absorbing work

P

SusieGulick wrote 1186 days ago

You're so nice to help me again, John. :) Hope it'll push me back into the top 5. :) Love, Susie :)

Stark Silvercoin wrote 1188 days ago

The Wildfire is a great piece of historical fiction. There are two main types of historical fiction. The first is the kind like “Guns of the South” where the past is altered in ways that simply could never happen (adding AK-47s into the American Civil War). The second, and much better type, takes beautifully created characters and drops them into well-researched historical settings. The Wildfire is a delightful foray into the second type.

You can’t find a much more turbulent time than the period between world wars in Colonial India. Besides the resentment of British government control by the local population, there was also the hatred and violence between native Muslims and Hindus. Author Joy J. Kaimaparamban has captured this cruel and remarkable time perfectly. You will feel like you are right there, at street level, observing the events he paints with a practiced and skilled hand. Metaphors and vivid descriptions are only part of this author’s arsenal. Realistic characters and dialogue round out the storytelling.

The Wildfire is less a book about a historical period in India’s long history and more a time machine transporting readers there. It gets six stars and a humble backing from me.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

Neophyte-the beginner......... wrote 1189 days ago

HI Joy,

I have just startted to read ur book in a asusual way. But after reading a few pages i understood that I am not reading but living and seeing through the history that u have narated...
NIce Book man Keep going...
Awaitting ur other books soon......

Br..

- Renjith -

eurodan49 wrote 1190 days ago

Hi. Only had time to brows through the first few chapters. While romance is not something I usually read, I have enjoyed it enough to back it. My days are hectic and don’t have lots if time. If you would like a specific comment, send me a request and I’ll do my best.
Could you please take a look at mine?
Dan

ed_larel wrote 1190 days ago

The story is good, but the difficulty of reading to understand it prevented me from enjoying it as much as I think I could have. I will place it on my watch list, for sure, and hope that you take to heart the comments you're receiving with suggestions to try and bring the tale a little further west (in a sense) than you already have.

Margaret Woodward wrote 1191 days ago

Dear Joy/John,

I have read some and dipped into later bits of your story and, although I find your use of English difficult I applaud the message you so clearly transmit and I became drawn into your vivid and informative story. You show quite a different interpretation on historical events I knew a little about but from another perspective. This is a story that should certainly be told.

May I make two suggestions, please? The first comes from my puzzlement at your use of a pseudonym, especially with a change of gender - or is Joy a male name in your culture? You say you are already a published writer of academic texts in your own language. I can understand your wish to use another name for a completely different category, but you might find that a future publisher will want you to use the one under which you are already published in the hope of gleaning some kudos from it. The Indian surname you have chosen is also a little difficult for non-Indian readers to remember. Perhaps you could use just the first two or three syllables of it, with one of your real first names? I hope I am not being too impudent in this!

The second stumbling block is your highly idiosynchratic language. Although your academic background still shows, your passion and poetry, both lyrical and philosophic, shine through, but as it stands the language might be just too 'different' for a publisher to consider. Publishers are notoriously conservative and unwilling to take a chance on something which does not fit into a recognised category, or which might expect a general reader to work. Publishers regularly misjudge readers, even their own!

Some of the finest writing in English today comes from India - as it has done in the past - but it tends to be formal, classic English and that is what the Western market has come to expect of Indian writers. I would be sad to see your uniquely style and 'essence' emasculated by over-correction, but I wonder if there is some way in which it could be cherished while being adapted just enough to please a Western publisher. Perhaps you could find somebody from your own area who is familiar with the cadences of your language while also being thoroughly versed in English who could collaborate with you in this. Most successful Indian writers in English come from one of the big northern cities, but there are southern writers in English too. Perhaps one of these could suggest something, or somebody? I feel that if you could only get past the publisher/agent problem this book might fly off the shelves. The subject is rarely discussed nowadays, but it is relevant to British readers at least, and a valuable historical comment.

You say it is incomplete. I do hope you have not been put off by criticism you have had because The Wildfire is well worth persevering with. - I do like that title. I have starred it and may put it on my shelf for a few days.

Very best wishes, Margaret Woodward

SusieGulick wrote 1193 days ago

You are totally fantastic, John!! :) How can I ever thank you enough for backing my memoirs/testimony book? :) God bless you. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. I just looked to see if I had ******-ed your book & it is ******-rated (6 gold ******'s) :) Every ****** -ing & backing more than 24 hours moves our books up authonomy's lists. :) I want to ask you if you could please keep my book on your bookshelf because I'm #5 on the editor's desk & have to be in the top 5 to be chosen, the end of January :) - I had a mini-stroke Nov. 10 with slurred speech for an hour & numbness of tongue still & over 24 smaller ones where I couldn't speak since & I"d sure like to cross the finish line of the editor's desk after 10 months trying on authonomy. :) Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me :) - I have lost 3 sisters to strokes & my last sister, Mary had 2 heart attacks this past year.

SusieGulick wrote 1193 days ago

Dear John, I love that your are sharing about Malabar, a part of British India, following WWI in the 1920, the violent communal riots, rapes, killings, unkind treatment to the Caliph, the Muslim Spiritual leader until the Ghoorkha Regiment was posted & suppressed the riot easily, as your pitch portrays. :) I love that you put me right there with you in your story to feel what your characters are feeling & your crisp dialogue & paragraphs moved me right through your historically based story. :) The word of Turkey's Caliph going to mouth to mouth in chapter one was really a good write & the coconuts in chapter 2 was an excellent account. :) "He kept a loveful heart. His love blazed with affection and sympathy" really touched my heart in chapter 3. Losing an ear rather that a leg, I was deeply touched that Karthambu said, "In contrast with him, I was lucky." This is the greatest of writes, John. :) Thank you for letting the world know what happened in a place most of us know nothing about. :) I have read & commented on your book & will back it more than 24 hours when space opens on my bookshelf. :) I have also gold ******-rated your book :) - could you please ****** mine, too? :) Thank you so very much for backing my memoirs/testimony book & I hope you'll keep it on your shelf to help me to be chosen the end of January in the top 5 on the editor's desk. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. every ******-ing moves our books up authonomy's lists, as does backing-more-than-24-hours & the longer on our bookshelves, the more they move up :)

Hannah N. wrote 1197 days ago

Hey Joy, I'm reading as you requested.

However, I'm sorry to say I can't get into this book. Your writing style is very choppy, with consistent short sentences that make it feel like panting, breathing too heavy without room to actually take in a good breath. It might be what you wanted, actually, but I'm afraid it's not really my thing and I couldn't really focus on it to understand the story and what was happening.

I do wish you the best, though!
Hannah

SusieGulick wrote 1202 days ago

:) I will comment on your book as soon as I read it - read & commented on 8 days later :)

hockgtjoa wrote 1205 days ago

I was fascinated although I found the flow of your narrative a little "twitchy"; my preference would be not to have a single sentence serve as a paragraph except for an occasional dramatic effect.

But your work deserves wider recognition and I hope you succeed in getting representation. I have "backed" your title.

enid.wilson28 wrote 1206 days ago

Joy, you've an excellent story here and your writing is great. It's a bit too serious to my taste but I think many readers will love it. Best of luck! I've added it to my watch list. Enid

greeneyes1660 wrote 1207 days ago

Joy, I think this has appeal for you genre I myself felt to many names were thrown atme in the first chapter and had a difficult time, having to reread to stay on course. I think the Historic merit alone is worthy of backing, however, for me, I felt like someone outside looking in as opposed to being on the journey, again this is just a preference and not a reflecion on the merit of your work. Backed patricia aka Columbia Layers of the Heart
I also star rated.....

eriexchick wrote 1208 days ago

I think this started out on my shelf. It's on my watch list now and I just stared it. I keep the ones I like and rotate them. Could you please take a look at my Butterflies?

Anthony Brady wrote 1212 days ago

It's a joy - no pun intended - to read this engrossing book. Joy Kaimaparambam word paints on a broad canvas: colour, tone and depth of description are faultless. Here is writing recalling the classic storytellers that one loved in one's youth. One does not for a moment doubt his historical command and research veracity: such is his assured touch. The characterisation is vivid and calls up the reader's empathy and continuing interest as the novel develops. The author is the master of creating and sustaining mood, ambiance and atmosphere. The prose is shaped with much use of adjectives and simily: qualities that modern editors tend to eshew, so no concessions are made to economising on the author's descriptive flair. There are some lapses in idiom - but they are minor and forgivable - given that the writer is writing in english as his second language. Not least among the many qualities of this enjoyable book is the lyrical strength of the narrative which is engaging and compelling. Definitely highly starred and not to be missed wherever first class writing is appreciated.

Tony Brady - SCENES FROM AN EXAMINED LIFE - Books 1,2 & 3.

PatrickArmstead wrote 1213 days ago

Hi Joy,

This story is very well told. Although I'm not familiar with the history of India, I am convinced you are. Your writing is compelling and descriptive, which makes it easy for the reader to visualize your characters and setting. Very well done, and good luck.

Patrick Armstead
Dark Lands

ThePhantom wrote 1216 days ago

I like the way the story slowly unravels, and there is something happening on every line - always a good thing.
All the unfamiliar names make it a bit ahrder to follow as you try to remember how they fit it. Looks like good work though.

ThePhantom

Robert Mourningstar wrote 1217 days ago

In my opinion, you have very little that might need attention in your book, but I’m looking at some of your wording; and I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong with your wording, but I think it sometimes doesn’t flow as smooth as it could. Example is the following sentence. The sounds rising from the temple were muted after drifting across the river. I think that this is grammatically correct, but the flow of the sentence isn’t as smooth as it could be. The following is an explanation of what I talking about. You’re writing in past tense; and the false suspected subject-verb, sounds-rising, throws me as a reader when the actual subject-verb is sounds-were muted. For flow purposes, I’d put the subject-verb together; and I’d change it to active tense. I would rewrite this sentence as follows:
Rising from the temple, the sounds became mute after drifting across the river.
The following sentence is somewhat unclear to me, but I’m not sure if it really matters if the trees were on the hill or not.
The temple stood on a hill surrounded by peepul and banyan trees.
I can’t positively tell by the way the sentence is constructed if the “peepul and banyan trees” surrounded “the temple” or just “the hill”. An adjective indicating the hill was treeless might make it clear.
On a barren hill, the temple stood surrounded by peepul and bayan trees.
To me, you have some misplaced comma before prepositional and gerund phrases.
You have sentences that are flowery that sometimes don’t make as much sense. You say the following:
The darkness was deepening. Through it Shams walked.
I don’t want to imply that I don’t understand what you’re saying; or that there is necessarily anything wrong with euphemism; but darkness deepening doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me; the deep darkness did make sense earlier. I thought about it a little and decided one word could fix the inconsistency. Darkness can’t deepen, but it can feel like it deepens.
The darkness felt deepening. Through it Shams walked.
Overall, I really enjoyed what I read. You can see that I’ve been meticulous, which is a credit to your writing skills. I think with a few minor clean up this will be a wonderful piece of work; and considering, that you have many books published in your native tongue. I think you’ll knock this one out of the ballpark. Good luck, I hope some of what I have said is helpful.

Carol Browne wrote 1217 days ago

This is poetic and compelling and the premise has an epic scope. However, while the dialogue is authentic and should stand as it is, the English of the narrative is still rather eccentric, even after the editing, and would need further work.

Fontaine wrote 1218 days ago

Well, Joy, I have read chapter 1 so far. I can see that you have had help with the English but you have managed to retain your own voice. I really think this works now and that you should continue like this. Your imagery is stunning. As I said before, poetic. Please continue with this. I think it will be a success. Best wishes.

Stuart & Victor wrote 1219 days ago

Dialect adds authenticity, but theres always a danger of going to far. In this case it seems like you've struck a nice balance. Will keep on reading! ****

ARLatif wrote 1221 days ago

let me tell you a story my friend.
My great-great uncle lived during that time period. The village he lived in was ruled by a hindu raaj who worked for the british. My great-great uncle put a necklace of shoes on the statue of the raaj in his plaza. He began inciting his friends to rebellion. All were jailed.

A cultural note to the first chapter- indian muslims of that time didn't believe in ghosts, but most believed in Jinns.

Interesting read.

A.R. Latif
The Power of the Ancients

stoatsnest wrote 1221 days ago

There is a poetic quality about this book. It is not easy for someone used to English as spoken in England, but I am aware natives of India write in this way. The trick will be to convert it without losing its poetry. I'm giving it five stars for its aesthetic qualities.

writingwildly wrote 1222 days ago

I think this is probably an important book; however, the lack of proper English made it impossible for me to read. I am comfortable with characters speaking with incorrect wordage, but the narrative should be accessible for North American readers.

child wrote 1222 days ago

The Wildfire - This work is much more than it appears to be at first. Historical - the traditional rights of landlords established, probably over many centuries, are laid out in no uncertain terms, evicting for the smallest so-called transgression, taking women where they will and tenant harvesting coconuts to feed his starving family is not permissible under that law. The philosophy of freedom, how it might be if poverty-stricken people starving while they work the land and so aptly described as, 'bullocks, which pull carts and yokes', find the courage to unite against their oppressors. Political actions proposed to bring injustice to an end and give the down-trodden some equity in work done through an act of rebellion tentatively begun in non-violence and followed through with raw, full-bloomed, horrific violence.
Some lovely descriptions, one of which stood out. 'Alavi's words were brushes, which painted the life story of Seethikoya Thangal on the mind-wall of Shams.'
As English is not the author's first language there are problems with phraseology etc but these are easily surmounted with a little patience and, in a way, add authenticity to a way of life and culture that is so different to those of us living in the Western part of the world.
A good read.

Child - Atramentus Speaks

Old Bob wrote 1222 days ago

Joy,

This is really an impressive piece of writing. I am drawn in by several things in your first chapter. First, you're obviously writing in a second language. Most of us can barely speak a second language, let alone think in it well enough to write. Initially I thought, "a good editor could fix the writing if the story is good enough." After reading further, it becomes evident that the writing is part of the story. The dialect only adds to everything else that is very real.

Also, you have the gift of being able to write good descriptive narative as well as good dialogue. Both are capable of carrying the story forward. I look forward to reading more.

Good luck,

Old Bob
A PLACE IN LIFE

A. Zoomer wrote 1225 days ago

THE WILDFIRE

dear Kaimaparamban,

THIS IS A MAGNIFICENT STORY.
I like to dialogue and the authenticity.
Pls keep working on it.
Backed with pleasure.
A zoomer

cicuta wrote 1225 days ago

Dear Kaimaparamban, an epic written with passion and a purpose that doesn't fail to deliver, once the reader delves in. I was enthralled in your battle from the past, [ being a former British Soldier myself ], I've read and reminisced with some former Indian military men, and I must say that your book is told with a real verve that portrays the value of another's fight to win their freedom. This is worth the recognition for the way the writer tries to tell his moving story. Good luck with your book Kaimaparamban. It deserves its merits. Take care, Cicuta, [ Carl, Arcane ]. ps, I have listed below some of the finest regiments, that i had the pleasure of meeting men from. [ My Sisters Husband is Indian, which is why! If you were wondering how I got to know them. Best wishes. And please look out for my backing.
Maratha Light Infantry
Rajputana Rifles
Rajput Regiment
Jat Regiment
Sikh Regiment
Sikh Light Infantry
Dogra Regiment
Garhwal Rifles
Kumaon Regiment
Assam Regiment
Bihar Regiment
Mahar Regiment
Jammu & Kashmir Rifles
Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry
Naga Regiment
1 Gorkha Rifles
3 Gorkha Rifles
4 Gorkha Rifles
5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force)
8 Gorkha Rifles
9 Gorkha Rifles
11 Gorkha Rifles
Ladakh Scouts

clara_w wrote 1227 days ago

Hi!

You're such an accomplished writer, a true inspiration! I'm quite curious about your work!
I think you have a very interesting story here, but some problems with your English. I know how hard it is to write in a language that isnt your native tongue because, well, that's my case too.
Still, I think you're doing a marvelous job!

Darryl Markowitz wrote 1227 days ago

I read your bio and you are obviously an accomplished writer. I'm curious. Do you think in English when you write or in your native language and then translate. This is an important question because as a writer you are aware of the smooth flow and intricacy of how words relate in your native language. But translating does not have the same effect. Good writing involves everything from diverse word choice to understanding when a comma makes or breaks a sentence. The story is definitely worth telling. It then becomes a consideration as to how you want to address the issues I've raised.

My sincere best wishes,

Darryl

Ariena Ariff wrote 1228 days ago

wow! I never knew this part of the indian-british history, guess somethings are hidden. Loved the book! Very interesting writing. review my book?

richardraiment wrote 1228 days ago

Hello John,

Others have addressed the main difficulties already, and the bottom line is that you need help with your written English. Please don't be offended by that - English is the language I was born to and though I've dabbled in other European languages, writing a novel in one would be entirely beyond me. You display a real courage in even attempting to do what you do.

Help with the English, though, raises a problem, because there is something very special here. As Fontaine wrote, 'there is a poetic elegance' which, I would say, runs like a golden thread through what you have written, and it must not be sacrificed, not for anything.

I will return to this when I have more time. I really want to see it work.

Affection, always,

Richard

Fontaine wrote 1229 days ago

Hi Joy,
I have read most of this, now. I agree with other comments that the language is a difficutly for the reader but on the other hand there is a poetic elegance to some phrases. I think you should continue to write and add more chapters on here so that readers can judge it better. Good luck and I will come back for another look after a while to see how it is developing.

briantodd wrote 1229 days ago

There are some great characters and a lot of drama in this story but at times it is as confusing as a Google translation. If you sorted this problem out I would read the whole work and probably shelve it as the whole tale is presented with great imagination and every human emotion is on the page. On TV's 'QI' chaired by Stephen Fry last night one of the panel talked of Burns 'Address to a Haggis' and mentioned the line 'great chieftain o' the puddin' race.' Its a memorable line and known to many people other than scholars of Burns. A german translation would be 'mighty fuehrer of all the sausage clan' which just doesnt have the same ring to it, although it is funny. I think some of the best passages in your story have been lost for the same reason.

regards

Brian

Rosemary Peel wrote 1229 days ago

This has potential; it is a story that will catch the imagination. However the language errors begin to cloud the flow of the writing almost from the very first line. It really does need someone to transcribe it into a more easily readable form. I have starred it for its potential, but do not feel ableto back it in its present form. I will keep it on my watchlist and will certainly consider it again after editing.

Rosemary

CarolinaAl wrote 1230 days ago

I read 'The Absconding.'

General comments: An engaging start to what promises to be a thought-provoking historical story. An interesting main character. Good descriptions. Good tension. Good pacing. Manuscript needs editing (see below for some suggestions). I agree with John Warren-Anderson's comment that the 'rustic' dialogue adds an exotic flavor to the story, but the narrative has to be polished/edited to avoid reader confusion.

Specific comments on 'The Absconding':
1) ' ... became mild after swimming crossing the river.' 'Crossing' should be 'across.'
2) 'It might be trying jumping out of the catching of a strong enemy.' 'Jumping' should be 'to jump' and 'catching' should be 'catch.'
3) He said, "don't you know ghosts ..." Capitalize 'don't.' When you write dialogue, start each sentence with a capitalize word. There are more cases of this type of problem.
4) ' ... a sudden laugh of ridiculing.' 'Ridiculing' should be 'ridicule.' I'm not going to be able to catch all the instances of you writing 'ing' words inappropriately. If I did, I'd not be able to properly review your first chapter for other problems. Just be aware that there are many more instances of this type of problem in your first chapter (and probably in your entire manuscript).
5) 'One day I'll comeback brother.' 'Comeback' should be 'come back' and you should put a comma after 'back.' When you address someone, offset their name or title with a comma.
6) 'How long can I walk.' Put a question mark after 'walk.'
7) 'The rulers wold never hurt any religious faith.' 'Wold' should be 'would.'
8) 'The World Ward had come for helping these people.' 'Ward' should be 'War.'
9) 'There bended backbones became more weak.' 'There' should be 'their.'

I hope this critique will help you polish your all important first chapter. These are just my opinions. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

Thank you for backing "Savannah Passion." I hope it will remain on your shelf until it is selected for the editor's desk.

Have a fabulous day.

Happy writing.

Al

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