Book Jacket

 

rank 424
word count 19398
date submitted 15.01.2011
date updated 16.09.2011
genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance,...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Faithful

A J Migdal

Brian's wife, Heather, collapses by the roadside. Brian's friends Lee and Kelly are with him as they all watch helplessly.

 

Nine years later, Brian has fallen for a girl fourteen years younger than him called Ashley. Initially he convinces himself it is simply a fling after being alone for so long. When it starts to become more, he starts to struggle with the moral boundaries of what he is doing.

Brian finally introduces his new girlfriend Ashley to Lee and Kelly. Whilst initially disgusted at the idea, Kelly warms to Ashley quickly. The affection is reciprocated.

Then, an accident involving Lee and Kelly's five-year-old daughter Megan awakens Brian's anger and shatters Lee's grip on his faith.

A counsellor at the local hospital, Justin, talks to Lee and Brian, trying to help them get through their individual pain and regret. Eventually, Brian realises that the counsellor is Justin Kerioth – the person responsible for his wife's collapse so long ago.

 
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tags

abortion, abuse, acceptance, addiction, affairs, atheism, christian, church, death, demons, dreams, drugs, fear, fiction, fictional, forgiveness, gay,...

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65 comments

 

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kiwigirl2011 wrote 943 days ago

Oh so sad :-( You describe Brians pain in chapter two so well it makes the readers heart break a little in sympathy. The only error I spotted was this line in chapter one:

Why was his wife was still checking her lipstick? – you have the word ‘was’ again in the wrong place.

The writing style could do with a little smoothing in early chapter one, is a little jerky. But chapter two on is much better. Wondering if there is too much 'nothing' happening in chapter one before 'it' happens. Could be condensed and become more powerful.
A great storyline though and excellent pitch
Tammy

O.N.I. Pen Dracus wrote 1007 days ago

wow, this is incredibly moving, the pitch is amazing, it really draws the reader in, i'll try to read some more if i have time, but if it's as good at the prologue, then i'd say this is definitely a bestseller! :)

Rose Princess Kaysielynn wrote 1045 days ago

I read the first two chapters of this some time ago - I can't believe I didn't comment then! - and found it highly entertaining. One of these days, perhaps I'll get round to reading the rest of it. I wish you good luck with it as I think you have a remarkable tale on your hands.

O.N.I. Pen Dracus wrote 1049 days ago

Your pitch is quite expressional and witty, I'll definitely check this out, this seems like one to catch in the net before it bites :P

amadeusbach wrote 1099 days ago

I like your pitch, and I've read the first two chapters. It's not something I'd read personally, but it's well written and your characters are well-developed. I read a couple of the comments below. I think either 'sitting' or 'sat' works... it reads fine as it is to me. I'll read more when I can.

ajmigdal wrote 1104 days ago

Hi,
After reading this piece of work(?), and once I'd managed to fight my way through the abundance of "classroom" errors,I found it to be quite a good story.
If the writer takes the time for a re-write, and edits out all of the superflous description, it may be a good read.
Good luck with this
Bob



Yes, yes ... another friend of that guy I dared to criticise on another writer forum ... I never knew writers were so bitchy?

BobOlive wrote 1104 days ago

Hi,
After reading this piece of work(?), and once I'd managed to fight my way through the abundance of "classroom" errors,I found it to be quite a good story.
If the writer takes the time for a re-write, and edits out all of the superflous description, it may be a good read.
Good luck with this
Bob

ajmigdal wrote 1108 days ago

Hello AJ, I have read the first three chapters of MINE ALONE. On the whole this is quite well written, although it could do with an edit here and there. You have used the word 'sat', where 'sitting' would be more appropriate and also the changes in point of view are a little offputting and slow the action down. Other than that, your story shows great promise.
Best wishes to you.

Phyllis
PAPER DREAMS & A PASSING STORM



Every time I change a sat for a sitting or a sitting for a sat ... someone comments that it's now wrong! Is this a cultural thing or something?!?!

A J ;)

ajmigdal wrote 1108 days ago

Perhaps some dialogue earlier in the chapter would help. Other than that I think you've done a good job.



This is something that has been on my mind for a while. I've just gone in for my umpteenth rewrite with focus on expanding the dialogue. Many long descriptive paragraphs have been replaced with the characters voicing their feelings to each other rather than internally monologue-ing it. I don't want to do this with the opening section though. I wanted to spend some time in Heather's head before "striking her down" so the reader could start getting in to the character. Otherwise, I don't think people would care that much about her if she simply had a few lines then collapsed. I didn't want her memory to be dismissed and I wanted to keep the opening section as short as possible.

Thanks!
A J

ajmigdal wrote 1108 days ago

We all read many Chapter 1's. Do we comment or move on soundlessly? I do not see a story emerging. It is more the opening scene in a TV drama or film, an accident, something that will be explained later. What is the hook, who is the character I am drawn to? Early middle aged concert goers drive home and one has a seizure and I am afraid that is pretty much it. It is an opening scene borrowed from a Midsomer murder, but there are no clues, nor descriptions of character. To the writer I suggest some element of plot needs to be inserted in the chapter, otherwise convert it to a screenplay. To Jenny Peacock who raves about this work, your hyperbole upsets me because it is exactly the sort of rubbish that diminishes this site.
Norton



Certainly a new tactic Norton Stone -- go around people's books and write inflammatory remarks to get their attention. It worked. I read your book to see what caused you to build your pedestal ... I was mostly un-impressed by the fact that everything you criticised my work for, your work was lacking in those things even more.

Might want to watch that. Your tactic may be working (as I see several people have flocked to your profile page in reaction to the comments you've left them) but you really need to have an amazing piece of work in place for people to accept your criticism. You might want to tone down your comments a bit.

Certainly avoid ever accusing a writer of "borrowing" material unless there is actually a direct link. This is not a crime novel. Therefore, I'm not in the business of dropping clues for you. You might want to check the category of the writer you select to aggravate so your comments can actually be relevant.

All the best with your scheme
A J

Norton Stone wrote 1108 days ago

We all read many Chapter 1's. Do we comment or move on soundlessly? I do not see a story emerging. It is more the opening scene in a TV drama or film, an accident, something that will be explained later. What is the hook, who is the character I am drawn to? Early middle aged concert goers drive home and one has a seizure and I am afraid that is pretty much it. It is an opening scene borrowed from a Midsomer murder, but there are no clues, nor descriptions of character. To the writer I suggest some element of plot needs to be inserted in the chapter, otherwise convert it to a screenplay. To Jenny Peacock who raves about this work, your hyperbole upsets me because it is exactly the sort of rubbish that diminishes this site.
Norton

Jannypeacock wrote 1114 days ago

I am rarely at a loss for words but I am now. Wow is the only expression that comes to mind.
I can't believe I was reading something so incredibly well written and I hadn't picked it up from the bestseller stand in my local bookstore.
I was hooked from the first sentence. I was so excited to continue reading my eyes could barely keep up as I raced along.
The scene was so well set from the beginning. Without the need for long, boring discription I stil got a vivid image.
I was so drawn in that my heart raced as I felt the panic as if I was standing beside your characters.
I have only read the first chapter and I can't wait to continue. Backed with much pleasure. Wonderful work.
Janny :)

briantodd wrote 1123 days ago

Took another look at Till Death after chapter seven uploaded. It is certainly a dramatic chapter! Is it possible to be too dramatic? So much happens in this chapter that it almost tests the readers credulity. I enjoyed the football talk of Brian and Lee although it could have been a bit wittier/streetsmart. As you move into the 'series of unfortunate events' a concern I had was the physical setting up of the scene. Would a police officer who has been knocked unconscious be driving immediately afterward ? What was the doctor doing exactly when Brian/Lee/Police Officer were arresting/ beating up the drunk/ arguing over the gun? Brian/Lee's discussion over death and Brian's decision to shoot Lee stretched my credulity. In such a dramatic and emotional series of events I would have expected to have been more emotionally involved but because it all seemed so far fetched I wasn't. I think you have to restrain the drama in this section and somehow make Lee's grief over Megan's accident more emotionally involving. My view would be to drop the gun bits altogether. Have them threatened with a knife instead. After the accident and Megan's 'death', Lee could run off, unable to deal with what he sees. Brian chases him and they have their discussion about death seperate from the scene. Lee could be threatening to jump off a bridge around the same time that Megan is calling for him. Just a thought as to how to keep all the drama but make it more credible.

Kathleen Lee wrote 1125 days ago

Terrific first sentance. Hooked me in straight away. I've read the first chapter now and want to say that this is intense, economical writing of the highest quality. The short paragraphs combine dialogue with pithy physical descriptions so, for example we see the characters in the car and understand their status, without any fuss. The ending of the chapter is a model of how to buld tension, drop in a false note of relief and then smack the reader with an urgent need to turn the page. I shall be doing so shortly. I'm sorry if my review is lacking in any detailed lit. crit. I'm not a comma-counter. In fact, it's been pointed out to me several times that I often leave out bits and pieces of punctuation and use the word and too often. I do know that I don't get excited about everything I come across in Authonomy, and 'Till Death' has impressed me. W/L now will put on book shelf soon.
Kathleen

ajmigdal wrote 1127 days ago

Yes, and a title change too. After purchasing a review from The Literary Consultancy, the last chapter got scrapped which kind of made the original title of "Mine Alone" ... pointless. So, "Till Death" is the new title as the story focuses on two marriages and difference in concept, approach and reaction to the infidelities in both resulting from two intertwined tragedies.

ajmigdal wrote 1127 days ago

New chapter uploaded. Would appreciate any comments ... other than to have "written it in the present tense" as it was a specific choice not to do so despite its content. Not all action sequences need to be written in the present tense do they?

Narcissus wrote 1128 days ago

RE: Till Death
Whenever I'm asked to review anything, I've got to be picky right away, which is not to say I don't like the material. But small errors make it difficult to move forward as I wonder if the author has spent ample time editing before throwing it out there. If not, why? So far, good story. Well written. I advise you to make several "beta copies" and find a select few who you trust to read and make notes for you. Anything from punctuation, grammar, story line, flow, voice, composition, character development, anything confusing, etc.
Below are some very small, but still stumbling blocks for me.
"Sat in the rear of the car, she surveyed...." Maybe should be, "Sitting..." ?
Page 1, 5th paragraph: "Whilst" is used twice. First of all, I think the word itself is not apropriate unless you're writting a period piece or something Shakespearian. Either way, I try not to use the same word more than once, even a page apart, unless absolutely necessary.
6th paragraph: "Happily it was confirmed she had a grougeous face." Somehow, this doesn't sound right to me. I'm thinking, take out "was". In other words, the mirror itself ( "it" ) confirmed....makes more sense to me.
At the first of the 2nd chapter, again you begin with, "Sat in his car, Brian's body..." Not sure where you're from...maybe this is a cultural way of speaking that i'm not used to hearing or reading, ever. I'd write, "While sitting in his car..." or "Waiting in his car..." or "Relaxing in his car..." Does that make sense?
In the same paragraph, you begin a sentence with, "However..." Then, in the next paragraph, (the very next sentence) you start with, "However". Again - I'm just saying....
I think many books are never "done". Mine has felt that way at times. There may still be some minor errors in my book that I have not been able to recognize. I am currently having my manuscript read by several hand picked "beta readers" for the express purpose of finding the things I mentioned above.
I like your subject and story line. Good writing. I want to know what happens next... Still, I feel there are still enough small issues that make me, the reader, feel it has still not been thoroughly edited. I do think it has great promise!
Hope this was helpful. I'l try to read more later...

Phyllis Burton wrote 1134 days ago

Hello AJ, I have read the first three chapters of MINE ALONE. On the whole this is quite well written, although it could do with an edit here and there. You have used the word 'sat', where 'sitting' would be more appropriate and also the changes in point of view are a little offputting and slow the action down. Other than that, your story shows great promise.
Best wishes to you.

Phyllis
PAPER DREAMS & A PASSING STORM

eric.swanson wrote 1135 days ago

Perhaps some dialogue earlier in the chapter would help. Other than that I think you've done a good job.

Petra25 wrote 1136 days ago

This work shows promise, and with each chapter I sensed your expanding self confidence. I like what I've read and would be interested to see how your narrative develops. Please go on. Pleased to back.

todd89 wrote 1136 days ago

Wow, this is really good. I find its good enough to be published.

Richard Todd

The Madness of Avlon Klynn

Tyranny of Talin

Diane60 wrote 1139 days ago

A J,
From the very first chapter you grab the reader and hold their attention.
I've read all 6 and the grip doesn' t lessen as you read on.
Great characters and story so far... like the way you casually get Justin into the main story at the park.
:)
Diane

Diane60 wrote 1139 days ago

A J,
From the very first chapter you grab the reader and hold their attention.
I've read all 6 and the grip doesn' t lessen as you read on.
Great characters and story so far... like the way you casually get Justin into the main story at the park.
:)
Diane

ajmigdal wrote 1151 days ago

I purchased a review from the literary consultancy a couple of weeks ago and the first six chapters have now been overhauled and uploaded based on the recommendations.

I must say, I was gutted when I got back a 13-page-report packed with criticisms and suggested changes ... but after reading it for the nth time, I picked up a few recurring messages that I actually agreed with and ran with them. Of course, the couple of pages listing simple errors were sorted pretty damn quick!

Some techniques that were criticised I have not changed. The usage of multiple points of view that people seem to be debating the effectiveness of here, for example, has not been lost - just toned down i.e. all four characters still get their say, but one at a time rather than jumbled together.

I hope the changes will change agent's/editor's/publisher's opinions from my work being "on the right track" to "please come down to our offices". ;)

A J

ajmigdal wrote 1151 days ago

Hi A.J.,

I very much enjoyed reading the chapters of Mine Alone that you have posted. I've read all six chapters and the realism improves with each. The Ashley - Brian talk in chapter 6 is the best and most emotional sceneof the work. It is excellent. You pitch mentions Brian's atheism, but I suggest that you miss an opportunity by not having Brian and Heather talk about death and faith as part of the conversation about aging before Heather dies. I like the paragraph after Heather's death where you say all Brian can do is have faith in Lee's faith but Brian's very real struggle with the sudden death of Heather provides a major opportunity to explore Brian's (and Heather's?) doubt and Lee's attempts to give Brian hope that Brian himself does not have. Your story though is one worth telling, and I look forward to reading more when you add new chapters to the website. Backed and starred. Do let me know when there is more to read. John (Jnortonpa, Epistle, Booh I, The Promise, and Epistle, Book II, The Present)



It's interesting (and I suppose encouraging) that the religious writers on this site pick up mostly on the religious content. As life and death are being dealt with I wanted to incorporate common views whilst keeping as far away as possible from it being viewed as a religious piece. The fact that religious writers like the religious content whilst others have never commented that it felt to "religious themed" is giving me some piece of mind that such has been achieved.

Of course ... those opinions might change once the other chapters are up on here ... ;)

A J

ajmigdal wrote 1151 days ago

I can't say that this is my cup of tea, but hey, if we were all the same then I guess the world would be a really boring place to live.
There isn't too many "and's" in what I read, however.........

.........I'd rather watch the luchtime news !!!



"Bad form old boy!"

I gave constructive, helpfully-intentioned comments on your writing citing specific examples where I felt I had been let down by the work. If you disagree with what I said, ignore it. Don't trantrum.

A J

Old Bob wrote 1151 days ago

Hi AJ. First of all, I wouldn't worry too much about minor criticisms. Get your story down on paper and then you can go back and take a more serious look at the form. Literary fiction is both form and substance.

I only had time to read the first chapter today but think you're off to a good start. The story, and there really is a good one there, is off to a good start. Not too much narrative before you introduced the dialogue. The dialogue, by the way, sounds pretty real.

The chapter moved along very well, zero to sixty without stopping to take a breath. The hook at the end is good, too. All in all, fairly well done for a start.

If you have a chance, please take a look at a chapter or two of my book, A PLACE IN LIFE, and let me know what your first impression of it is.

Many thanks.

Old Bob
A PLACE IN LIFE

Margaret Woodward wrote 1151 days ago

AJ, Mine Alone has huge possibilities as a complex, multi-layered story, which I assume you have completed already. You have several themes here which are deeply thought-provoking and I would love to see how you have worked them through. - So go on rising in the charts and get into print, please!

May I make one suggestion? You mention in your pitch that the boy responsible for Heather's condition comes back into Brian's life. Would it not be a good hook to post your chapters up to that point? It would open out the circumstances in the reader's mind.

That apart, this is a well written set of chapters, with clearly defined settings, although I did find the humour slightly laboured, - perhaps a little too drawn out? Humour in a story like this is, however, an important levener, so don't be tempted to scrub it.

I have starred this well and hope to see you continue to rise. Margaret Woodward: The Devil's Bairn

Newtown wrote 1151 days ago

Hi,
I read through the six chapters you have posted.
Overall I think it’s good.
The writing improves through the chapters, so it may be worth taking another look at chap.1; you are cramming a lot of critical action/information into it and it comes across as a bit rushed.

I enjoyed the multiple POV and they made the dinner party scene quite dynamic.

The characters seem to be weighted; my impression is that you are focusing more on Kelly and Lee than Brian and Ashley, but than again as the story progresses there may be a reason for it.
The ghost character is Heather and so far she feels like the millstone around everyone’s neck. I wonder if we get to know more about her...

Best of luck
Newtown

sye wrote 1151 days ago

I can't say that this is my cup of tea, but hey, if we were all the same then I guess the world would be a really boring place to live.
There isn't too many "and's" in what I read, however.........

.........I'd rather watch the luchtime news !!!

jnortonpa wrote 1154 days ago

Hi A.J.,

I very much enjoyed reading the chapters of Mine Alone that you have posted. I've read all six chapters and the realism improves with each. The Ashley - Brian talk in chapter 6 is the best and most emotional sceneof the work. It is excellent. You pitch mentions Brian's atheism, but I suggest that you miss an opportunity by not having Brian and Heather talk about death and faith as part of the conversation about aging before Heather dies. I like the paragraph after Heather's death where you say all Brian can do is have faith in Lee's faith but Brian's very real struggle with the sudden death of Heather provides a major opportunity to explore Brian's (and Heather's?) doubt and Lee's attempts to give Brian hope that Brian himself does not have. Your story though is one worth telling, and I look forward to reading more when you add new chapters to the website. Backed and starred. Do let me know when there is more to read. John (Jnortonpa, Epistle, Booh I, The Promise, and Epistle, Book II, The Present)

Gefordson wrote 1159 days ago

AJ,
I’m going to focus on the first chapter for my comment.
There’s a lot here to like but it feels that the story takes a while to develop rather than pulling the reader in. Everything comes alive with Heather’s convulsion. In some ways the paragraph beginning ‘Brian smiled and gripped his wife’s hand …’ would be the obvious place to start the story – hooking the reader straight into the action.
The back story/character development can all be easily worked into the next chapter or chapters.
My other response would be to say that you could edit things down more. You can get to the point succinctly and that’s when your best writing shines through.
A minor quibble would be about your use of the semi-colon (it’s used when clauses are connected but you sometimes use it instead of a comma). I also wondered why you chose the phrase ‘verbally contradicted’ when to non -verbally contradict someone (someone says a glass is unbreakable and their friend breaks it to prove a point) is pretty rare. It just felt unnecessary.
Anyway, that’s my two pennorth. Good dialogue, interesting setting and potentially a really good read.
Best of luck with it.
Gefordson.
Nothing you can do.

John Adamson wrote 1159 days ago
ajmigdal wrote 1160 days ago

AJ,

I just finished the first chapters of Mine Alone. You do a nice job developing the four characters and then building tension within a seemingly innocuous scene. The very short paragraphs at the beginning of the first chapter irked me a little bit. As a general principle, I like to see at least three sentences in a paragraph, otherwise it's not really a paragraph. It's okay to break that convention once in a while, but to do it several times at the very beginning of the book is a bit risky. Also, the convention you use when you write, "Brian's body felt like it was falling," is a bit odd. As written, it's as though the reader should ask, 'Brian's body felt like it was falling to who?" Personally, I would prefer, "Brian felt like he was falling." Such a structure is more precise. Also, you have a typo on the third sentence of the second chapter. Again, in the second chapter, you write, "run" instead of "ran." Most importantly, a reader must suspend reality to believe the boy would get no more than a slap on the wrist for manslaughter. Perhaps it's a country by country thing, but here in the U.S., no one, regardless of age, will get a suspended sentence for killing someone, even if it's accidental. He would not go to prison until he's eighteen, but he would certainly go to a juvenile detention center. Regardless, I liked the bits about jabbing the empty bottle in his eye and the biochemist/doctor observation, as well as the detail about the collection of mail sweeping across the floor, and I particularly appreciated the last line of the chapter about the sirens sounding a long way off. Keep up the good work.

Kind regards,

Rob

P.S. I'm not sure if it's an American convention, but in multiple instances where I would have written "into," you write "in to."



Thank you for your comments. Yes, the fact he got off pretty much completely was a difficult decision to write. I didn't make it lightly though. The facts of the case i.e. that he had no intention and did not believe he was putting any one at risk - are possible mitigating factors. I make reference to the high-priced lawyers and influential parents as 'not being the reason' for him getting off so lightly in Brian's opinion, but he is a forgiving man always ready with justifications in mind. To the reader, they hopefully will (like you) feel that a huge injustice has been done here. BUT - it is not an unprecedented injustice on either side of the water. This sort of nonsense happens rarely in our courts (vs the number of actual cases), but it does happen regularly with several "are you serious?!" decisions every year.

The main necessity was for Justin to have no way to feel that he had actually paid in any way for his crime. For him to grow up having got away with it and to have gotten away with it due to his parents who he hated.

Thank you for the grammar/spelling tips too! I'll be getting on them asap.

A J

Charles Thompson wrote 1161 days ago

AJ,

I just finished the first chapters of Mine Alone. You do a nice job developing the four characters and then building tension within a seemingly innocuous scene. The very short paragraphs at the beginning of the first chapter irked me a little bit. As a general principle, I like to see at least three sentences in a paragraph, otherwise it's not really a paragraph. It's okay to break that convention once in a while, but to do it several times at the very beginning of the book is a bit risky. Also, the convention you use when you write, "Brian's body felt like it was falling," is a bit odd. As written, it's as though the reader should ask, 'Brian's body felt like it was falling to who?" Personally, I would prefer, "Brian felt like he was falling." Such a structure is more precise. Also, you have a typo on the third sentence of the second chapter. Again, in the second chapter, you write, "run" instead of "ran." Most importantly, a reader must suspend reality to believe the boy would get no more than a slap on the wrist for manslaughter. Perhaps it's a country by country thing, but here in the U.S., no one, regardless of age, will get a suspended sentence for killing someone, even if it's accidental. He would not go to prison until he's eighteen, but he would certainly go to a juvenile detention center. Regardless, I liked the bits about jabbing the empty bottle in his eye and the biochemist/doctor observation, as well as the detail about the collection of mail sweeping across the floor, and I particularly appreciated the last line of the chapter about the sirens sounding a long way off. Keep up the good work.

Kind regards,

Rob

P.S. I'm not sure if it's an American convention, but in multiple instances where I would have written "into," you write "in to."

ajmigdal wrote 1163 days ago

This is a winner, its a great read,well done.

alison



Short and very sweet!

Thank you
A J

ajmigdal wrote 1163 days ago

Hi AJ, I've read the first two and a half chapters and this is a very good free-flowing read which is deservedly doing very well on the rankings - well done! It steers a good course between commercial and literary fiction, and I can easily see it being published. On my WL and highly rated!
For me there could be a little more time on the formative events in the first 2 chapters before the flash forward to the relationship with Ashley. By chapter 3 we don't yet know enough about Brian to understand why he would win the affection of Ashley, but that may well become clearer as the story unfolds.
Anyway, best of luck. If you have a chance to take a quick look at Ambassador 12 I'd welcome any comments. Philip



Thankyou for making that assumption rather than criticising the lack of information as some others have. Yes, I wanted to lead the reader down a path where they start to get their own ideas about the 'why' about certain things and then slowly toy with them. For example, the young girl/old guy storyline often heads down the "he is rich, she's a gold-digger" path. In this story, I give the information that she is a hairdresser hoping that many will jump to that same conclusion - but we eventually find out that she is loaded and her career choice is for a very different reason.

That kind of thing. I want people to think they know where the story is going and then take a very logical and believable side-step that was set up from the beginning.

Thanks for the great encouragement
A J

ajmigdal wrote 1163 days ago

This is a fascinating book. The pitch hints at some great conflict to come and you don't disappoint in the first coupld of chapters. I love the flow and your voice, it makes this a real treat to read. I felt like I could get into the rhythm easily and read more had it not been on a computer screen. You give us just enough of each characters story to make the reader curious and keep going. The story itself is interesting, lots of layers and drama. I want to know more about Heather but I'm assuming you have that coming later on in the book. All in all, I found this easy to get involved in and it captured me quickly.

Missy



First thing I do when I see a lovely comment is check out the reviewers own page to see how well others think THEY can write to begin with. As someone who has hit the editor's desk already, I was particularly chuffed to get these comments from you!

Thanks so much for the encouragement
A J

ajmigdal wrote 1163 days ago

I like how everyone's thought processes are so well described. Very real. Definitely an interesting read. Backed and rated.

Cat
Twisted
Lies & Love



Thankyou for your comments. You're the first one to state you liked the individual thoughts. Most complained about multiple points of view. I nearly changed the whole thing but luckily some forum threads helped me realise that there are a lot of people going around on this site criticising "POV" as a matter of course.

Thanks very much, your comments have given me some much needed re-assurance!
A J

missyfleming_22 wrote 1163 days ago

This is a fascinating book. The pitch hints at some great conflict to come and you don't disappoint in the first coupld of chapters. I love the flow and your voice, it makes this a real treat to read. I felt like I could get into the rhythm easily and read more had it not been on a computer screen. You give us just enough of each characters story to make the reader curious and keep going. The story itself is interesting, lots of layers and drama. I want to know more about Heather but I'm assuming you have that coming later on in the book. All in all, I found this easy to get involved in and it captured me quickly.

Missy

Cat091971 wrote 1164 days ago

I like how everyone's thought processes are so well described. Very real. Definitely an interesting read. Backed and rated.

Cat
Twisted
Lies & Love

Philip Churchman wrote 1169 days ago

Hi AJ, I've read the first two and a half chapters and this is a very good free-flowing read which is deservedly doing very well on the rankings - well done! It steers a good course between commercial and literary fiction, and I can easily see it being published. On my WL and highly rated!
For me there could be a little more time on the formative events in the first 2 chapters before the flash forward to the relationship with Ashley. By chapter 3 we don't yet know enough about Brian to understand why he would win the affection of Ashley, but that may well become clearer as the story unfolds.
Anyway, best of luck. If you have a chance to take a quick look at Ambassador 12 I'd welcome any comments. Philip

alison woodward wrote 1173 days ago

This is a winner, its a great read,well done.

alison

ajmigdal wrote 1175 days ago

Having read the whole of your upload I would like to comment mostly on one specific point. Heather is suddenly seriously ill and her husband, Brian, and friends Kelly and Lee do they their best to revive her at the roadside. An ambulance can be heard in the distance. We are then with Brian, reflecting on his wifes death, feeling suicidal, in their empty house. Not long after years have passed but all three miss Heather. I thought we should have heard more about this catastrophe. In Ian Mcewans brilliant 'A Child in Time' dealing with the devastating effects of a child abduction the days event is gone over obsessively in minute detail. Much of your story arc derives from this tragedy and what the paramedics did, the hospital doctors attempts at resuscitation, a vigil in an Intencsive care unit, the investigation into the mystery of her death, the police finding that it was that bottle 'of water' that had killed her (forensic scientists must have been involved and we later hear that the prank killed several people) would all have been good opportunity for showing us Brian's love for Heather (and the devastation of her pals) in their actions and behaviour.I feel short changed that as a reader I am invited to have a view on Ashley when I know so little about Heather, with whom she is being compared. Instead much of the early story is introspective and I agree with one comment that the point of view can be confusing. You flit from Omniscient Authorial Voice to Heather to the other characters too quickly although this isn't so prevalent in the later chapters. The dinner party scene is great. You do dialogue very well. Great idea to get that oil billionaire and Anna Nicole Smith game of 'Press Conference' in. I like Lee and Kelly best and hope that when the incident you describe in the pitch takes place you give everything you have to let us reader's share their trauma. I will certainly be following this to find out.



As the umpteenth commentator on jarring perspective shifts in chapter one ... I guess I'm going to have to overhaul that beginning!

However you are the first to be interested in more information on the Heather incident. I suppose this is the trouble you have as a writer and why it is great to have others read your work. I know the story - I know why the information is limited and why the incident is kept to an almost flashback. (Mainly, I wanted to avoid the feeling of closure on the subject.) But if it feels like something is missing or being held back without the feeling that it being held back is part of the story -- then that's not good either.

Thank you very much for your comments! Very helpful.
A J

briantodd wrote 1176 days ago

Having read the whole of your upload I would like to comment mostly on one specific point. Heather is suddenly seriously ill and her husband, Brian, and friends Kelly and Lee do they their best to revive her at the roadside. An ambulance can be heard in the distance. We are then with Brian, reflecting on his wifes death, feeling suicidal, in their empty house. Not long after years have passed but all three miss Heather. I thought we should have heard more about this catastrophe. In Ian Mcewans brilliant 'A Child in Time' dealing with the devastating effects of a child abduction the days event is gone over obsessively in minute detail. Much of your story arc derives from this tragedy and what the paramedics did, the hospital doctors attempts at resuscitation, a vigil in an Intencsive care unit, the investigation into the mystery of her death, the police finding that it was that bottle 'of water' that had killed her (forensic scientists must have been involved and we later hear that the prank killed several people) would all have been good opportunity for showing us Brian's love for Heather (and the devastation of her pals) in their actions and behaviour.I feel short changed that as a reader I am invited to have a view on Ashley when I know so little about Heather, with whom she is being compared. Instead much of the early story is introspective and I agree with one comment that the point of view can be confusing. You flit from Omniscient Authorial Voice to Heather to the other characters too quickly although this isn't so prevalent in the later chapters. The dinner party scene is great. You do dialogue very well. Great idea to get that oil billionaire and Anna Nicole Smith game of 'Press Conference' in. I like Lee and Kelly best and hope that when the incident you describe in the pitch takes place you give everything you have to let us reader's share their trauma. I will certainly be following this to find out.

ajmigdal wrote 1177 days ago

"Brian, seeing Kelley's eyes closing"- don't you mean Heather?
i think you have a good opening chapter here. i think your pitch isn't doing the writing justice. in the short pitch the idea that he doesn't believe his wife is dead AND he's dating someone is inconsistent. in the long pitch, you seem to be cramming in too many plot points and character names. it's convoluted. the story is actually much smoother and just the kind of thing i like to read.



"Brian, seeing Kelly's ..." - do you know how many times I, and other people, have read that chapter and missed it? Unbelievable! It always worries me that during each read-through of the book I still find bits like this. Am I really bad at writing then? Or am I just a really bad proof-reader?

As for the pitching -- yes, everyone seems to think it's poor no matter which way I come at it. You should have seen the first version though! I'm kicking myself as I sent off terrible pitches to the first half dozen agents, unaware that my pitches were so bad. It feels like I wasted my shot with some of the top agencies.

Thank you for your candid comments. Looks like I'm working on pitches again tonight!
A J

katie78 wrote 1177 days ago
katie78 wrote 1177 days ago

"Brian, seeing Kelley's eyes closing"- don't you mean Heather?
i think you have a good opening chapter here. i think your pitch isn't doing the writing justice. in the short pitch the idea that he doesn't believe his wife is dead AND he's dating someone is inconsistent. in the long pitch, you seem to be cramming in too many plot points and character names. it's convoluted. the story is actually much smoother and just the kind of thing i like to read.

ajmigdal wrote 1177 days ago

I came along from the forum to have a read and I'm enjoying it so far. I've only read three chapters so perhaps should wait longer before commenting seriously. In general as I say, its a thoughtful story - the impact of a sudden unexpected disaster and its aftermath, told in a spare style that works well.

Particular comments - first I was rather surprised at her age. All that talk of being too old for things, I assumed she must be 15-20 years older than that. I'm still not wondering that unless I'm in a club surrounded by teens!

I wasn't keen on 'awfully insightful' - seemed wrong to pair those two words, and it should be 'heroin' without the e. and that's it for errors - no typos etc. that I can see.

I shall be reading on over the next day or so to see how it goes on. It's going to be hard to manage - as someone else said, a biggish cast and a bit theme, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.
Cariad
STONES.



Thank you so much for your comments.

For the age thing, I had to rely on my perceptions of the people I know. For example, I have single friends that are 30ish and some try to act the same as their 20-25 year old friends - some express their fears about aging, some clearly repress them and some appear to have none. I have married friends that are 30ish and they are split in their attitude to their age. Thrown in some kids - and I've yet to meet a 30ish couple that doesn't feel 50+. ;) With Heather, i wanted her to have just really started to notice that the people around her in the activities she still engages in - are "getting" younger. Still a newly wed and no children yet. Sort of at a starting point for the next chapter in her life.

The "awfully insightful" was meant to come across as self-deprecating/sarcastic. Perhaps inverted commas would help get that across?

I've put Mine Alone to the side for a while to let it breath and started a new story. It too has an array of characters. There are five main characters already ... considering you're not the first to comment on the five main characters being a bit much in this story ... it's giving me pause :(

Thankyou again for your comments. It's always nice to get useful feedback!
A J

Cariad wrote 1177 days ago

I came along from the forum to have a read and I'm enjoying it so far. I've only read three chapters so perhaps should wait longer before commenting seriously. In general as I say, its a thoughtful story - the impact of a sudden unexpected disaster and its aftermath, told in a spare style that works well.

Particular comments - first I was rather surprised at her age. All that talk of being too old for things, I assumed she must be 15-20 years older than that. I'm still not wondering that unless I'm in a club surrounded by teens!

I wasn't keen on 'awfully insightful' - seemed wrong to pair those two words, and it should be 'heroin' without the e. and that's it for errors - no typos etc. that I can see.

I shall be reading on over the next day or so to see how it goes on. It's going to be hard to manage - as someone else said, a biggish cast and a bit theme, but I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.
Cariad
STONES.

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