Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 59636
date submitted 08.01.2011
date updated 30.06.2013
genres: Fiction, Comedy
classification: moderate
incomplete

Wilberforce & Grace

Peter Turner

Misdeeds and mishaps aplenty as polar opposite siblings plough farcical furrows.

 

Wilberforce Windcheater seems a hopeless case. A keen subscriber to obsessive-compulsive disorder, his idea of a good time includes verifying the accuracy of the TV Test Card and studying the joys of railway level-crossings.

Grace possesses caustic wit, intelligence, and an ability to render any man a helpless pool of regretful gunge. A liaison with her is marginally more advisable than aggravating a wronged crocodile.

The world of the Windcheaters turns upside down when the family move next door to the swarthy and pleasure-seeking Leonard Loveland. He and his wife are destined to remain childless, and surrogate kids in the guise of sibling golden retrievers, Keith and Judith, won't suffice.

Peripheral comic characters such as boss-eyed spinster, Valeria Worlechort; the haemorrhoid battling Bradley Bland; and biology professor turned evangelical fundamentalist loony, Barnstaple Spreadage – take the story into episodic silliness.

You are cordially invited to take a ride through five decades of farce with Wilberforce & Grace.

 
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tags

1950's, 1960's 1970's, 1980's, absurd, autism, comedy, comic, deception, dreams, drugs, farce, revenge, schooldays, surreal

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213 comments

 

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HarperCollins Wrote

Broad Overview

Plot Summary
Five decades in the lives of siblings Grace and Wilberforce Windcheater.

First Impressions
The author has a confident writing style, but the chronology is slightly confusing.

Strengths
A book with such an extended timeframe needs to have strong characters to hang the narrative from, and I think you have done some good groundwork here. The opening section drops us into the story in media res, and sets up the character of Wilberforce, and his OCD tendencies, nicely. It also introduces us to the relationship – and, importantly, the age gap – between Grace and Wilberforce, and I think this bit could be expanded further, particularly since after this we go straight back to before the children are born. It’s a shame to move away from this portrait of the siblings so quickly – I would have liked to see more of it!

Weaknesses
The sections are very short, and the constant changing between time, place, character and plotline means that it is very difficult to be drawn into the story. It takes a paragraph or two for the reader to settle into a new section, so when each section is only three or four paragraphs long the reader never really has a chance to be engaged. It feels as if it lacks focus, and I think a bit of work on rearranging this – drawing plotlines together into longer sections – would make all for a more immersive reading experience. Likewise, early on it is not currently very clear when we are moving in time, so that in chapter two it took a couple of seconds for me to realise we had gone back to read about Wilberforce and Grace’s parents, and I think this (and future moves forward in time) could be signposted more clearly for the reader.

Your writing is generally good, but you have a tendency to rely on too many adjectives; for example, the sentence, “Clarissa Colleridge-Phillpotts was quivering with undiluted glee as she handed the beautifully handwritten letter over to her friend” is overly wordy and does not flow smoothly for the reader. I would advise reading sections of your writing out loud; if it doesn’t sound natural, re-word – and be brutal!

Decision
The issues with pace and language are barriers to the reading experience, which hinder the ability to enjoy the plot or appreciate the comedy, which is actually of a good standard, something very difficult to achieve in a novel.

At present, this needs further work before it could be considered commercially.

I’d advise reading some other novels dealing with long time-spans, to get a feeling of how other authors have managed pace. And perhaps also some comic family sagas, whether fiction or non-fiction, to look at the ways in which the characters are built up (e.g. My Family and Other Animals).

Joe Kingdom wrote 439 days ago

A wonderful juxtaposition of colourful characters playing on a stage of classic bawdy British humour. The names are straight out of the high tradition of quality farce and they alone made me laugh – ‘Clodagh Cladding; the Company’s matronly distributor of the mid-morning patisseries.
I enjoyed the OCD quirkiness of Wilberforce and the extraordinary behaviour it leads to. The theatrical teacher reminded me of characters I had known, mocked mercilessly in caricature here. The historical references took me back in a pleasant, nostalgic way – ‘a souped-up Ford Zephyr sped past the women, blaring out ‘Move It’ from its radio. A light blue suited teddy boy was at the wheel.’ – I knew him!
I found it hard to keep up with the array of characters at times, but soon got to love the parade.
Thoroughly enjoyed this portrayal of class, prejudice and character. Humour has to be one of the most challenging of genres and you have it nailed, dear writer.

Sharda D wrote 662 days ago

Chps1-20 (hoping to read the whole thing, but here's my comment on the first part)

Dear whoster,
I have previously dipped in and out of W&G but I have been meaning to read the whole thing for some time and decided to get started today. Half an hour later I was on chp 10. I couldn't put it down. The short chapters are brilliant and I like the way you chop from character to character, so that the pace and interest are maintained beautifully. You have a lot of characters which normally I would find confusing, but you introduce them gradually and draw them so well, I was never confused.

The authorial voice is completely original and very much your own. I read a lot and have never come across anything quite like it. There is a joy of words which is palpable in every sentence (loved the sentence about Picalilli and Garibaldis), and above all you manage to create empathy for all your characters, even the unpleasant ones. It is this ability which kept me wanting to read on. Grace, in particular, was glorious, but I even 'liked' Mr Loveland, Miss Worlechort and the sadistic headmaster. I've said it before, but your greatest quality is the compassion with which you write. You clearly feel a great fondness and empathy for all your characters and because you do, we do too. It is infectious and carries us along on a wave through the story. The scene between Wilbur and Tommy about Tommy's wife and the cat brought a tear to my eye.

You're great with description and detail too, it's beautifully written, economical and very well observed. I loved the conker fight and the evening of Grace's deflowering with the blow by blow account of the seduction. The bend of the slipper as the headmaster prepares to wallop someone and poor Wilbur's desperate search for masturbation material. The splash of a puddle here and the music from a passing car there. I can see, hear and smell it all, but your touch is so light, we almost don't feel there is any description at all.

There were times when I laughed out loud, but yours is not the comedy of the wise crack, or the one-liner. It is more subtle than that, it is derived from bathos, from a masterful use of language and from the brilliantly well-observed foibles of human nature. We like all the characters because we can identify with them all, and by smiling at them we are smiling at ourselves.The writing gives us all license to be who we are however flawed and pathetic that might be.

I've said it before, but this is genius. I've only ever used that word once or twice before on Authonomy and I've read close to 300 MSs. Not only that, but it's enjoyable, charming and readable genius. If this doesn't get picked up and published, there is no hope for any of us.

Best of luck with it all,
Sharda.

MIRO1K wrote 735 days ago

A Comlit Review:

Wow! Can I admit to a writing man-crush? This is brilliant, brilliant writing. I think bunderful articulated it best in your comments- it's dense -not dumb dense -but brilliant dense in that you really should read this with a double shot expresso in your hand not a glass of wine because even if you skip a line, you'll miss some literary treasure. There is some lovely historical detail and also fantastic shape and rhythm in the writing and the one-liners come in a very natural way. I love the structure - it's like The Hours but a far better read - and there's such efficient and effortless characterisation. I'm reading on -hooked!

I laughed out loud several times - Mrs Worlechort was hilarious -Britain sinking under the weight of immigration....etc, etc
It was laughter and awe reading this - it MUST be published and is going on my shelf.

6 easy stars

Kaal Kaczmarek


Parogar wrote 781 days ago

Whoster, this is a work of genius, I backed this based on the first two chapters alone. I mean, seriously, Of everything I have read today, this is by far the best. I've read. It's grammatically perfect, hilarious to the point where I wonder how you came up with the stuff, and most of all, it combines the perfect combination of wit and observational humor. I have zero criticisms for this, except for the fact that you're letting people read it for free. Even glancing at the first page, should be enough for any agent to know that it needs to be published. This really is a work of genius. You had me at the guy's name, I shit you not. Even from the first paragraph "A carnal achieved only via cash payment."

This looks like the kind of thing Hank Moody would write, if he was a real person. I don't have any criticisms for this, and I really tried to come up with some. This is a work of insanity, but in a good way. You posted in this thread that it's a "silly comedy." No, "silly" is when daffy duck hits himself over the head with a hammer because he wants to see stars. No, this work is the result of someone trying to divide by zero.

I love it!

Eric Laing wrote 659 days ago

I just spent a bit of time with a nice grin plastered on my face. Your writing is a hoot...top-notch work.

I really, really enjoyed it. You have a very deft and sure voice and the understated humor is solid and polished.

I wish I could offer something substantial crit-wise. If you weren't so damned talented, maybe I could!

MJStar wrote 383 days ago

Every one of us has little bit of OCD but you really brought that out in these fabulous peaches that I live through reading. Great job!
the characters seem to leap off the pages and the descriptions are just to die for.
The teacher is hilarious and I never thought I would enjoy so much British humor, as I did with your tail.
I really could not put it down.
It is truly an original voice that you have placed in this humorous tale. And I am not one for comedy. I got a sense of compassion and love in your writing. It flows through to you readers. As we sense it as well.
I am very be to back your book and, then put it on my watchlist.

if you get a chance to review these the first chapter of my book I'll be ecstatic

MJStar
Lovely Dark Fallen

Hedley Pilkington-Minge wrote 390 days ago

Congrats Pete...I'm back in the UK and back on authonomy (until I find something better to do).

bjack wrote 410 days ago

Sorry. Within paragraphs I knew this was not for me. With all the words in the English language, offensive ones turn me off right away. Interesting comments by others regarding your characters and wit, but I can't get past what if offensive to my sense of propriety. Sorry.

Lyn4ny wrote 415 days ago

Hello,

Very well-written with great characters and humor within it. I will read on when I get some time here. Thanks for sharing this story. High Stars.

-Lyn
Forty-Four Footprints Following Me

KathrynW wrote 415 days ago

Dear Peter

I've been checking out the dizzy heights of the top five, and have just read your first two chapters. You are deservedly up there: witty, poignant, full of character, clever but easy to read at the same time. I've backed you and hope you maintain or exceed your current position by the end of the month.

Kathryn
Highway Code

Dollybottom wrote 423 days ago

I GENUINELY love this! A writer of comedy myself (and hard to please to boot) I felt immediately drawn into your wonderful depiction of the OCD, and the naughty comments ha ha. I don't usually go back for more (I just don't have time, and have made a pact to read at least one chapter of those I come in contact with) but I WILL GO BACK TO YOURS; it drew me in, and I love humour. Have a wee peek at mine if you can, I think you'll feel the pull of humour too. Lots of luck!!! I genuinely feel you will be published, and if not you should definitely go the kindle route.
Well done and best regards
Janey (DollyBottom) PS...one little thing...Please change he was "sat" on the toilet...use anything, --he was glued to the toilet seat, he was welded to the toilet seat, even he was "sitting" on the toilet seat. This hideous expression that has slipped into the English language, i.e she was stood, she was sat, etc is enough to evoke in me an urge to take a rope, twist it into a nice noose, slip it quietly round my delicate neck and kick the sodding chair away :((

emarie wrote 423 days ago

Funny, enjoyable. Like it . Characters are believeable.
--emarie
Jackson Jacob Henry Brown, III

Asif_w wrote 424 days ago

A superb 1st chapter. I shall becoming back to read more. I like your writing style and enjoy the characters. Very well done.

Lyn4ny wrote 429 days ago

Hey Peter,

Just read Ch. 1 so far. Great start to a uniquely written & witty book. Creative characters and great writing style. I won't wish you any luck because you really don't need it here your doing so well. Congrats on a job well done!!

-Lyn

Nartana wrote 429 days ago

This is excellent!

palynch wrote 433 days ago

Hi Peter,

Highly amusing style and characters. First time I have laughed at a book on this site! Hope this does very well.

Patrick Lynch
The Spirits in the Shadows

GK Stritch wrote 436 days ago

Dear Peter Turner,

Best wishes for Wilberforce & Grace -- good show and backed.

GK Stritch
CBGB Was My High School

Joe Kingdom wrote 439 days ago

A wonderful juxtaposition of colourful characters playing on a stage of classic bawdy British humour. The names are straight out of the high tradition of quality farce and they alone made me laugh – ‘Clodagh Cladding; the Company’s matronly distributor of the mid-morning patisseries.
I enjoyed the OCD quirkiness of Wilberforce and the extraordinary behaviour it leads to. The theatrical teacher reminded me of characters I had known, mocked mercilessly in caricature here. The historical references took me back in a pleasant, nostalgic way – ‘a souped-up Ford Zephyr sped past the women, blaring out ‘Move It’ from its radio. A light blue suited teddy boy was at the wheel.’ – I knew him!
I found it hard to keep up with the array of characters at times, but soon got to love the parade.
Thoroughly enjoyed this portrayal of class, prejudice and character. Humour has to be one of the most challenging of genres and you have it nailed, dear writer.

Mad Badger wrote 439 days ago

PS if this isn’t published then someone deserves to get their arse reddened!

Mad Badger wrote 439 days ago

This is a real page turner from Mr Turner (cough… sorry)

Some great gags and brilliant, witty dialog. Love the parallel stories that weave together.

6 stars from me.

Sneaky Long wrote 439 days ago

Hey Pete,

I have read the first five chapters. Well done! I'm sure you have heard it all by now so I won't go on and on about how polished and well written your book is. Suffice it to say it is an easy and enjoyable read. Your descriptions and dialogue are spot on.

I see you are headed for the ED desk this month. Congratulations on a job well done. This is one of the few books I have read, which richly deserves to be there.

High stars and backed. I know it's late but better late than never.

Sneaky Long
"Trophy Wives"

Darla Ferrara wrote 445 days ago

Overall, I thought this was very good. There isn’t much to critique. You do a good job of defining your main character by his compulsions. That almost makes his OCD another character, which is cool. The only pitfall I saw was some of the wording. It is easy to overwrite in an attempt to be literary and clever. I do that too. Usually, simple is the best way to go. For example:

“After about ten minutes sat on the toilet” This sentence is awkward, maybe just simplify it, “After ten minutes on the toilet”

“The accused immediately became stone-faced and red-checked from a concoction of” The use of concoction is odd in that sentence and combined with immediately, makes for quite a mouthful.

It is a rare happening though. Most of the prose flows well. You might consider doing a search for ‘ly’ words and trimming them down. In the above sentence, you could lose ‘immediately’ and the sentence flows better. Just a suggestion. Cutting the adverbs that end in ‘ly’ helps alleviate the overwriting and will usually improve the story.

Nice work. I have to admit, the story didn’t draw me in, but I think it would many readers. I tend to like scary thrillers so … but the writing and style are well worked.

Good luck with it.

Darla

Frith wrote 448 days ago

I have just been informed I need to leave a comment. I enjoyed your book so have placed it on my shelf.

Goliath Stokes wrote 456 days ago

You've already got millions of great detailed critiques here so you don't need another from me.
All I'd like to say is I read the first chapter and laughed a lot. Then I read the second chapter and laughed a lot some more. As the book is in the genre of comedy, I'd say it's working very well.

Cheers
Goliath

Margaret Anthony wrote 456 days ago

Polished, quirky, dry, amusing and observational, probabably like the writer himself dare I say? I read this book some long while ago, but it is still refreshing and original. Nothing to add really that hasn't already been said other than in view of the time lapse, it deserves another place on my shelf. Margaret.

Mad Badger wrote 463 days ago

This is a huge amount of fun. I ended up going to bed late reading this. It’s a great blend of farce and cringe-worthy moments. I love the boss being crushed by the cabinet and felt for the heal of a neighbour. He deserved what he got but she was a little vindictive too. Fingers crossed you’ll get it published. Lloyd.

fit wrote 469 days ago

On the shelf.

sherit wrote 470 days ago

Hi Peter. Hope this finds you well. I was checking my good friend Joe's book in the ranks (Budda) and read your short pitch and was intrigued. So happy to have found this book! It is truly one of the most entertaining and polished manuscripts I've come across. Many of the books I'm reading are deep, science fictioney (not really my thing). I'm much more into stories about people, their relationships and journey. I only meant to read one chapter and I've gone and finished three! I'm just a simple girl from Atlanta, Georgia but I do love the British so this fired on all cylinders for me. I hope this will be taken as the compliment it's meant to be, but I almost felt as though I was reading a "Lemony Snicket" for grownups. (Hope that sounded good???). Anyway, I'm truly sorry my shelf is full at the moment, but I do think three of my friends books will make ED soon, opening up space. But as good as your book is you'll likely get there before them. I will put you on my watchlist if that's okay so I'll be sure to come back and read more. And I give you one of my rare six stars....just because I'm picky that way. I'm pretty generous with five though!
All the best,
Sheri Emery / Crazy Quilt

Seringapatam wrote 475 days ago

This is superb writing and right up my street. The humour is is just what I like to see as I can imagine it more then anything else in books. I love the way you sell this to the reader and I am so glad I have put this on my shelf. Very big pat on the back for this. Well recommended and what I looked for in my own book.

Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R)

Kieran Otway wrote 481 days ago

A pretty silly comment - I preferred the yellow cover, it had more pizazz, imho
But a very funny clever book. stars aplenty.

up 4 it dave wrote 501 days ago

This is a real crack mate, luvving it loads!
Dave

carol jefferies wrote 506 days ago

Hi Peter,

I've just read the first chapter of 'Wilberforce & Grace, and found it very amusing.

No reader can feel anything but sympathy for the hapless Wilberforce. I found the first sentence was a bit too long, and also wondered if it was written from personal experience!

Good Luck with it,

Carol Jefferies
(A Prince Unboyed)

Lavinia Dane wrote 508 days ago

Like looking in a patisserie window - everything line is delicious!

Camille Harding wrote 509 days ago

I'm only up to chapter four but I've already laughed out loud twice and the 'haddock trawler quim' made me spit all over my laptop- I love a bit of vulgarity!
I've backed this and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it.

I wish you the best of luck (although I doubt you'll need it).

Camille
Fifty Shades of Crusty Skin, Hairy Legs and Morning Breath

levielm wrote 514 days ago

Love your first paragraph hook. It is clean, precise, intriguing, and paint a picture of a character that compels readers to keep moving forward. Will return to read more. JK

Bobby Boy Ewing wrote 519 days ago

Funny stuff, silly in all the right places.

alcook wrote 526 days ago

I have heard so many good things about this book. I finally decided to sit down and read it. I am so glad that this lives up to the hype.

I've read the first two chapters. This is marvelously written. I got a sense of poor Wilberforce's plight and character right from the start. The first chapter is brilliant.

The second chapter follows in an equally brilliant fashion. The characters are vivid and interesting, and the narration is quirky and light. Very well written. My only overall note on this chapter is that it seems to go from a sort of irrelevant story from William's childhood - that seems to focus more on Watson than William at first - to the more pertinent story of his meeting Catherine. While I enjoyed the story at the top of the chapter, I question how important it is to the book.

That being said, my notes on this are almost all grammar things. I think you might want to look over semicolon and comma use. There are several mistakes, and, since these are consistent problems, I'm sure they continue throughout the MS.

Chapter 1:
- The first sentence needs a comma somewhere. Without a pause, I feel like I’m going to run out of breath reading that sentence. There needs to be a break just to help me collect my thoughts.
- No comma after “a few colleagues”
- Tommy Trite is a brilliant name
- No comma after “of the five provided” – you don’t need a comma before “and” unless there is a new subject in the clause that follows.
- No comma after “current year”
- No comma after “bending of the rules”
- I like the ending of this chapter.

Chapter 2:
- No comma after “out to Watson”
- “more calm” should be “calmer”
- “teacher was huffing and pussing” – the “was” makes this passive. More active to say “teacher huffed and puffed”
- The comma here should be a semicolon: “confidence, though in truth”
- No comma after “stirring propaganda”
- “but reckoned without his lack of flair and courage” I feel like there’s supposed to be more to this sentence. Like it’s supposed to continue with something like “he couldn’t…” but it doesn’t continue. I think it’s because of the way it’s worded. It feels like it’s leading toward something and doesn’t reach it.
- Don’t write out eighth, that’s weird. “May eighth 1945”
- Comma here should be a semicolon: “joy and relief, so if ever”
- No comma after “sweet nothings”
- “for when being on display” “being” is unnecessary and awkward here
- Should be a semicolon, not a comma: “along the floor, one of which”
- Should be a comma, not a semicolon: “into the house; displaying”
- “was no seemingly” is passive. It’s active to say “now seemed” instead
- Hyphenate “hard working”
- No comma: “only children, and decided”

Very good job! I'll have to find a way to give this some shelf time soon - though that might not be until the end of the month. Either way, I'll be back to read more, and this will get time on my shelf.

Anna-Lara

Jaclyn Aurore wrote 527 days ago

read the chapter you recommended for me... bah, it makes me hate all men... and it's sad that i know too many women like that... i was probably like that too back in the day... i hope i wasn't... but hey ho, that's by the by

ya... well done sir, i love your style and the ability you have to suck the reader in... even though i was cringing and disliking Robert more and more... and Grace is an idiot for falling for it... shame

Jac

Karly Fornea wrote 537 days ago

Giggled all the way through the first four chapters of your book. My mom would absolutely love this, is it available in print? Have you self-pubbed? You so should.

Breanna Ardill wrote 549 days ago

This has to be one of the funniest books I have come across here. Thank you, Mr Turner. I really can't imagine this not going to print very soon.

Tornbridge wrote 549 days ago

Well done for hitting the top twenty.

Guilty Secret wrote 551 days ago

Tickled my funniest bone matey. Loving the anti-Hitler rant.

klouholmes wrote 560 days ago

Hi Peter, I was in the mood for some humor and you delivered. I enjoyed how the time was brought out with eccentric characters and yet they really seem fairly normal. Usually, we don't see the decades of the 40s and 50s treated with such narrative glee yet it's certainly reflected in the music then. Liked the scene at the bank and the picture enclosed in Clarissa's letter from Jean Claude! And would like to read on. Shelved - Katherine

StaceyM wrote 561 days ago

It made me laugh. What more do I need to say?
Whoster - backed with pleasure!

Venenum wrote 565 days ago

Pete,
Wilberforce and Grace is a very pleasurable read. It’s something new from the other books on the site and is packed with humor and creativity. Always appreciate a good underdog story, especially when the dialogue is written so well. There wasn’t much that I saw that needed critiquing. What you have here is very subtle and sharpened, written with elegance and a thought out color to your writing. It is most charming in such a peculiar sense and that what makes it stand out from the rest. Good work on this and good luck.

JC Whitfield-The Misery Jar

Tornbridge wrote 566 days ago

I’m about a third of the way in and just wanted to let you know I’m enjoying the read. Great comedic moments. There is a quaintness to it which is often, in a good way, at odds with the writing style. This adds extra enjoyment and depth and is a real strength. The gentleness of the period of village life is given a kick in the pants with some very sharp contemporary humour.

Kevin Bergeron wrote 567 days ago

I've read only the first two chapters. I was a little confused by the transition from ch. 1 to ch. 2, and I didn't get up to speed on what was going on until I was about halfway through ch. 2. I'm not sure why you structured it this way; why, for instance, Wilberborce is the subject of chapter one, his father is the subject of chapter 2, and Grace hasn't appeared yet, even though she was born before Wilberforce.

These first two chapters have a style, wit, and a voice that is distinctive and compelling, but also somewhat cynical. Whether the cynicism will be tempered with sympathy is something I'll have to read on to determine. I will read on, though, so I am engaged, if tentatively.

spadge wrote 567 days ago

Hi Peter,
Thanks go to Sharda for recommending this little story of yours. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was reminded of the 'Wilt' books by Tom Sharpe.
It's a funny tale which almost immediately has the reader feeling sympathetic toward Wilberforce. Exactly what a good story should do
The writing is extremely good although I'm not entirely sure about the names of some of the characters! Some of the references to past times won't be liked or understood by the current generation although I do see that they are important parts of the era the story starts off in.
All in all it's a great read and you deserve to go racing upwards.
Good luck, I have backed you!
Regards

Steve
'Merlin's Cave'

pickarooney wrote 568 days ago

Hi Peter,

Your book is gathering momentum and picking up all sorts of (well-deserved) positive comments. You don't need any more back-patting at this stage, so instead I'm going to piss all over chapter one as I reckon that, even if you reject most of these comments out of hand, you might find some of them useful.

Chapter One

'fist clench his heart' - while technically a correct use of clench, it's universally understood that a fist clenches itself. Using 'around' circumvents the problem.

The first sentence is a bit too long. You could shave off a few words so as to not lose the reader three quarters way through.

'he wallowed in self pity' - you don't really need this. The fact he's holding his head in his hands should tell us this. Also, 'wallow' implies a lengthy soak whereas this is an instantaneous act.

'exhaled joyful guffaws' - try exhaling and guffawing at the same time. I don't thin it's possible. Why tell us that these guffaws are joyful? Guffaw is such a specific word you shouldn't need to describe the manner in which they do it or the emotion it expresses. 'Joy' isn't what immediately springs to mind in this scenario.

'they swapped random jibes' - what's random about the jibes? They're pre-mediated and all concern the same subject.

'played the downtrodden underdog' - is he consiously playing a role or is this just the hand he's been dealt? Is a downtrodden underdog not a tautology?

'in response to' - this doesn't feel right. He can respond to something immediate such as the jibes but not so much to a lifelong affliction

'her; reinforcing' - semi-colon should be a colon

You're telling us an awful lot that could be shown much more efficiently with a few actions.

'only positive course of action available' - this is all too wordy. You don't need to overanalyse each situation and provide the reader with a reason for every character movement.

The Horace Wimp thing - why mention it now? The colleagues haven't used the term so it just feels like information dumping. Besides, how many readers are going to understand the reference?

All the semi-colons should probably be colons. Read up on when to use them.

the names are a bit of a mouthful and I'm personally not a fan of too much alliteration

There's way to much overdescription and narrator interference. Just have Wilberforce go through his routines and the reader will pick up on his autism and OCD. It's as though you don't trust your own writing (or your readers' intuition) enough that you have to batter us over the head with explanations. Trust me, you're well capable of making yourself understood with fewer, well-chosen words.

'populating', 'aesthetically displeasing' - it sometimes reads as though you want to use a big word for the sake of it when a smaller, more accurate word will do.

Instead of describing the tap ritual before he carries it out, why not just have him do it and pique the reader's curiosity?

I think internal monologue would work so much better for this scene than third person. You don't need to go full-on Rain Man but a couple of lines of Wilberforce talking to himself could convey so much about him.

up the anti - ante

there are too many adjectives and adverbs here and again there are more long words that have no reason to be here other than to show that the author knows them. 'perpendicular journey towards the lino', for example. What does the story gain by this as opposed to 'fell off'?

'time wasn't of the essence' - why not? give us some clue as to why he has free time

'with a compulsive thoroughness' - we expect him to do this. Maybe state that he washed them 'six times' or 'over and over'

What does Windcheater mean? Who is Barry Duct? What is this huge change coming up? - Obviously we're supposed to wonder but this feels like so much 'Next time on Batman' as opposed to a natural wrap up to the chapter

If any of this is useful to you, I can read a few more chapters

Cheers
Richard

Katie J wrote 569 days ago

Hi Peter,

Chapter 1 - what a delightful read and I will certainly be back for more - it's on my watch list.
I wish you lots of luck with this,
Katie Jay
'Books Suck'

LMJ Rayner wrote 570 days ago

Really intriguing, i enjoyed the first few chapters a lot and look forward to reading the rest.

Good Luck,

L.M.J Rayner
Atlas Cloud and the Amulet of Thieves

Mia the Sloth wrote 570 days ago

This was so funny. It really made me laugh.

I really liked the way you build up the characters and the historical overview of the family works well to introduce us to the story. The only thing I wasn't sure about was the title. It's a nice play on words but is presumably a reference to Will and Grace, a fairly insignificant tv comedy that is far less funny than this. Obviously you're not going to change it now but I did wonder why you'd chosen such a reference as a starting point.

Best of luck with it, I'm sure you'll be at the top before long!
Mia
(oh and have full stars!)

whoster wrote 575 days ago

Funny, bizarre and at times down right hilarious. I read a few chapters over the weekend and it made the rain outside more bearable.



Many thanks HR. As I can't message you, I hope you see this - many thanks for the backing also.

H.R Richards wrote 575 days ago

Funny, bizarre and at times down right hilarious. I read a few chapters over the weekend and it made the rain outside more bearable.

D.J.Milne wrote 588 days ago

Hi Peter
Being from Edinburgh, I will use the soft but militant Edinburgh burr of Mr Flammetrie for this comment, as I too consider myself a man who believes he knows his onions, although i am not always one to gain respect from both sides of any given fence.
This is a uniquely crafted piece of work that felt to me like a jog down memory lane, the test card girl with her noughts and crosses was always a spooky image to leave for anyone off to bed late and has featured in many a nightmare. ELO sound tracks and Vauxhall Viva's cruising to If Paradise Is (Half As Nice), well it beats the hell out of hip-hop. A slice of battenberg cake to keep you going along the way, all great stuff.
Witty, funny and a comic tale with character names worthy of Tom Sharpe, I have enjoyed what I have read so far. My only negative was that it should be a tale to be avoided by men with the inability to pierce candyfloss.
Six stars and if I had a sixth shelf space it would be there. If you ever get a chance to look up a writer on Twitter called @robolollycop, Craig Stone on Amazon, he is short listed for the Dundee literary prize this year for his ebook Liife Knocks,I think you would like him too, your writing reminded me of his a little. Well off to flush the loo with some toilet paper wrapped around the handle, and tell me can you still buy Stevenson's Rocket mugs?
D.J
The Ghost Shirt