Book Jacket

 

rank 477
word count 38894
date submitted 19.08.2011
date updated 11.02.2012
genres: Thriller, Science Fiction, Fantasy
classification: moderate
incomplete

Crystal Child

Orma Moore

What does a child psychologist, a metaphysical scientist and a disturbed mother have in common? Sarah! All four experience the power of the paranormal.

 

Caroline and Pete Greenwood believe their seven-year-old daughter just has a vivid imagination. But this is causing trouble for her at school. When the principal insists Sarah should have a psychological evaluation she is sent to child psychologist, Judith Carlton.
Judith believes she can dispel Sarah’s imaginary friends. Instead, she finds herself drawn into Sarah’s world. She enlists the help of her former colleague, lover and Doctor of Metaphysical Science, Aaron Marshall who is excited at this miraculous discovery. As both doctors investigate the enigma that is Sarah, they are pulled deeper into the arena of psychic awareness. Sarah’s mother suffers from a severe anxiety disorder which is destroying their happy family life. As Caroline battles with past memories, her daughter’s plight adds fuel to her instability.
Judith has vowed to protect Sarah. To do this she must deal with Caroline’s delusions and Aaron’s need for paranormal evidence. She must also face her own demons as she experiences a psychic emergency.

 
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, awakening, children, clairvoyant, drama, fantasy, female, fiction, ghost, ghostly, horror, love, medium, metaphysics, mystery, new age, paranormal, ...

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orma wrote 911 days ago

Crystal Child has been edited and uploaded on 20/10/11
I have tried to cover most of the critique I've been given and found these very helpful.
I am grateful to all who helped in this way.
Having said that, if there is still anything you find amiss please let me know.
I'm interested in making Crystal Child the best it can be.
Most of the critique I've had has been on chapters one and two, so I would be grateful to anyone who would consider reading past these two chapters and let me know what you think.
Best wishes and thank you to all, Orma.

MendelE wrote 936 days ago

Orma. I've lived the last four decades like Sarah, surrounded by people like Pete, Helen, Sarah's principal. I just love your work and skill as a writer. For those who do not believe in the spirit world, who are atteched to materiality by the crazy glue of life will find your book entertaining, indeed riveting, with empathy for poor Sarah. To me this read more like narrative nonfiction--reality wrapped within the chrysalis of a budding novel. Well done. I can't wait to see the rest of the chapters. Anxiously waiting to see how all of this affects Judith as well.

SBMartin wrote 942 days ago

Great opening chapter! This is a very well written story. I was immediately drawn into the story with energy at the beginning and then held as the story progressed and we begin to find out about the characters in a way that held my interest. You've laid the ground work with Judith, who we find out is a child psychologist and Caroline, the mother of a young girl who seems, by the end of the 1st chapter, to be a child with an overly active imagination, but then we remember what we read at the beginning and start to wonder if Sarah's imaginary friend is as imaginary as we first thought. I think I'm going to move on to chapter 2 now and find out because you've drawn me into your story and I can't just pass on the rest. I'm far too interested now.

Tom Bye wrote 941 days ago

Hello OrmA-

BOOK - Crystal Child--

read all chapters posted and have to admit, i got engrossed in the book -
loved every moment of the inter active dialogue between the characters, Judith, Sarah , her mother Caroline as they discuss the school related problems about young Sarah,
it's developing into quite a serious and dark read which makes for a good premise to come.
any book that relates to the paranormal now a day appears to do well.
i wish you all the best with it ,
#
tom bye
from hugs to kisses;
glance at mine and oblige- you might enjoy chapter 14 mystic woman and or , chapter 16 in heaven with the angels.

Sharahzade wrote 955 days ago

A Brutal Honesty Critique Group Review

CRYSTAL CHILD
Orma Moore

I liked the opening chapter very much. I read through all six posted here wondering why our first encounter with Judith caused her to be so frightened. Didn't know who she was in relation to the story until later. But this sure got the excitement surging through me and I still want to know what that first chapter was all about. I certainly hope you post more here soon. I feel incredibly engulfed in this story and I believe that anything involving the innocence of a child brings out the maternal instincts in me.

I love your little Sarah and her sweet view of those in her life. She relates both to real people and spiritual entities with equal love. You can tell she only wishes to be a good child and has need of friends who accept her for who she is. That is so important to one of such a tender age. You have written this well thus making it true and believable. The fact that it borders on another existence, to me, flows naturally without being creepy.

The characterization of the educators, if they can call themselves that with any accuracy, is also believable. I can imagine those who assume those roles in real life could become totally judgemental, oppressive and over the top when it comes to the discipline of a young child. The fact that they, in turn, treat the parents of the child with the same kind of superior attitude is also not to far out of the realm of possibility when faced with something as unique as what Sarah experiences. I feel tolerance with anything that disrupts their orderly schedules is not very well accepted. You have set this up so well that it makes me long for a bit of comeuppance directed toward them.

I believe this story would interest anyone who is a parent, but it also has other leanings and I am eager to see where you are going with it. Please let me know should you post more chapters.

Sincerely,

Mary Enck

Cami Talu wrote 107 days ago

I like the premise of your book. I’ve read the first two chapters and I'm enjoying them... Your ability to convey Caroline state of mind is excellent. High stars and I'll keep the book on my watchlist.

Good luck,
Cami

renesilverman wrote 218 days ago

This is an amazing book! And I'm only on section 7- oh my!

renesilverman wrote 220 days ago

This sounds like an amazing book! Very timely, and I hope many parents will read this book. I don't have time to read it right now, but it is worth backing and is now on my bookshelf. I can't wait to dive in! I would love it if you could just take a peak at my book, which I think you might enjoy :)

Seringapatam wrote 370 days ago

Orma. What a story this is. Wow if this doesnt get the juices flowing of some of the readers on this site then I dont know what will. Your writing is magnificent and you have slotted into a genre that suits you down to a T. I love this and it had me going and opened up a few scars as it will with a lot of readers. I take my hat of to you and you should feel proud of yourself for this masterpiece.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. ( B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you. Many thanks. Sean

TMHickman wrote 735 days ago

This is fantastic! You have obviously put work int this. Your characters are relateable and realistic, your dialogue flows seemlessly, and the way you transition between viewpoints is inspired. =) I couldn't stop reading once I picked it up. Six stars, and on my shelf. =)

-Tamara

Johnny Appleseed wrote 751 days ago

CRYSTAL CHILD by Orma Moore is an interesting paranormal story about Sarah, a little girl who sees spirits, and the concerned adults in her life—adults unable (or unwilling) to understand the oddity of the child.

The Prologue starts off with a sense of urgency, even doom. Judith, a child psychologist, is panicked and concerned over Pete and Caroline, Sarah’s parents. Judith is rushing presumably to find and help them. The story then flash’s back to the beginning of the complication of the narrative: What is wrong with Sarah? The little girl his having trouble at school, and the principal insists to Caroline, Sarah’s mother, that the girl get some counseling. Enter Judith. Initially, the doctor sees Sarah as a bright, imaginative little girl; she also detects that Caroline is not a little anxious.

Then come the strange characters in Sarah’s life: Tommie appears in class…Grandma Foster on the playground…Auntie Alicia in the bathroom… And they all disappear as suddenly as they appear. The reader assumes they are spirits or ghosts and that Sarah, as Grandma Foster hints, has a gift.

The first six chapters of CRYSTAL CHILD set up the story quite well. Its particular strength is in its characterization. The characters are fully realized and distinctive. I particularly like the mix of internal and external dialogue, showing the complexity of the characters. The use of italics is done quite well.

I am not quite certain headings are needed since the sections are written so clearly from that character’s point of view that there can be no mistake on the reader’s part. Also, the chapter transition from two to three is awkward. The scene is still within the doctor’s office at the beginning of three. Perhaps chapter three should start with the Caroline heading (without the heading, of course).

Lastly, let me point out a comma issue with nouns of direct address. There are quite a number of them, but let me point out a few in chapter three.

What is your name (,) child?
You’ll find out when you’re older (,) dear.
You’re a liar (,) Sarah Greenwood.
Tell Melanie you are telling lies (,) Sarah.

Nouns of direct address, whether at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence, are to be set off with commas.

Many single word introductory elements need to be set off too:

Right (,) that’s enough from you (,) young lady.

As far as the narrative, its pace, its building suspense, and especially its characters, CRYSTAL CHILD is very effective and enjoyable. I look forward to coming back for more.

Johnny Appleseed
THE DARK BETWIXT

wekabird3 wrote 785 days ago

Crystal Child by Orma Moore.

Hi, I read your comment regarding some feedback on later chapters. I intended to go for chapter10-15 but got really bogged down in 10. I know nothing about the Spirit World, something about psychology, something about young people but am anti-psychiatry. I am also UK based so there is a language difference. I will not offer any positive remarks because you probably have lots. If this is what you want, let me know. If not, let me know. Bear in mind that I have not read earlier chapters. Please accept this as a constructive crit.

'As she...' (maybe find alternative word/phrase, whilst she fumbled.)
Para. 2. After a quick glance – SPACE – the hotel room.
'Her hand trembled 'as she' (again).
'On the way down..' (maybe unnecessary.).
The word 'was.' Creeping in too much. (maybe find alternative phrase/method).
'She inhaled deeply the fresh air.' (re-arrange).
Para. 3. 10 'had' words. (maybe re-write.).
Maybe begin new para. at 'Her hands felt clammy and omit 'as she.'
As she weaved through the throng of noisy people who sat at the table.
IMPORTANT. I won't mention any more 'as she, had or was words.').
Maybe a gentleman would introduce ANNE first. (unless he's blatantly sexist.).
Maybe 'shook hands with them both.'
'At the podium.' (maybe omit, as they do not need company at this time.).
'The young couple smiled a greeting. (maybe use dialogue here.).
Why didn't he ask Anne and Mark if they wanted a drink?
Whiskey prior to giving a lecture? Not professional. Is he alcoholic? Lacks confidence?
It is fairly common for young children (in 'normal' families also) to have an 'imaginary friend.' This usually only lasts a short period and the last thing required is referral to psychologist/psychiatrist/psychotherapist.
Aaron reserved three seats in the front row.'
THE SPEECH. Try breaking it down and you will see that it doesn't work too well e.g. 'The freedom of children etc, etc, (omit who are developing ...) present generation of children remarkable insights.' You need a connecting word/phrase).
I wouldn't be too enthralled; his speech is absent of proven research etc.
Maybe, 'he stood at her side watching the stragglers leave the room.'
'Well, what do you think?' (Let the dialogue flow.).
'You had quite an effect on them.'
That's because believe
believe
believe.
Aaron is a bit of an arrogant/rude guy. (my understatement).
'He crammed the last... (maybe unnecessary).
Like I pointed out earlier, children see what they want to see – no real problem except for those in the medical profession maybe.
I find it hard to believe that an experienced psychologist would stand for Aaron's responses.
Watch those commas. Scene in conference room - over and over – (maybe repeatedly in her mind).
'Damn fool.' (and arrogant.).
'She held her ear...' (maybe another word.).
The word 'face' followed quickly by 'face.'
'Where on earth did you find these?' She asked. (maybe lower-case s.)
Did she really 'fling' the door open? (or open it a little wider.).
'Come in before someone sees you.' (two adults here.).
Next sentence – ('sees him.').
I find it hard to believe that at this point in time she would change the subject to 'Sarah.' Apart from being unprofessional (patient confidentiality) her priorities are with her 'lover.'
'Then Aaron suddenly he continued. (omit he.).
'Way back?' The Sixties?' (Capital). Is that way back? Middle Ages.
'Called from the bathroom. (maybe omit the toothpaste).
Continental Breakfast. 'Breads and Cheese?' (maybe Croissants, jam and coffee. (Europe).

Like I said, this may be what you require, maybe not. Without reading the earlier chapters I haven't got a grip on the plot or characters. However, there are plenty of authonomy readers who do that.

All the best
Chris. Collateral Damage.CO.OK (anti-war).


Nick Goulding wrote 791 days ago

‘Crystal Child’
The cover is strikingly beautiful and the title, perfect.

Short pitch: Should it be ‘what do’ rather than ‘what does’ as the do refers to three
people? Maybe the exclamation after Sarah is unnecessary? Otherwise intriguing.

Long pitch: I loved the long pitch, just my sort of thing. Punchy, concise and tantalising.

Prologue – A gripping hook that is a real page-turner. Dramatic writing.

Ch1 – I really loved the theme of this having worked with children who had imaginary friends to whom they talked. The perceptions of behaviour are perfectly transcribed. The author is a natural observer of the minutiae of human behaviour. I was once called to a woman with a panic attack in the Head’s office and the situation described here feels real. Nice ending with Caroline’s paranoia building. I quite like inner thoughts in italics. I used that approach in my own book though some reviewers had no idea it was a thought stream (surprisingly).
Minor typos/stylistics: redundant comma after but in ‘little girl, but, there’s…’?
I’d put a comma after excitedly in ‘nodded excitedly looked to her…’
No comma after chestnut brown in ‘chestnut brown, pony tail’ (also pony-tail hyphenated later).
‘she allowed vague suspicions entry to her mind’ sounded awkward, ‘to enter’?
‘head felt woozy a signal’ – comma after woozy?
‘I bet she thinks I’m a neurotic woman, if only she knew.’ – maybe as stop after woman and a new sentence would add impact?

Ch2 – I like the multiple perspective approach, seeing things from different characters viewpoints. Not easy to get right but it works here, I feel. The appearance of the ‘friends’ appears natural and not scary, as it would if Sarah had these experiences regularly. Her dilemma comes across well.
Not sure if you can shrug your eyes (urban slang?).
‘that, Grandma Foster loves you.’ – comma unnecessary.

Ch3 – The rift between mother and school is developing well. I wondered if there is any mileage in Caroline being distracted and over-shooting/almost missing the red light, or not noticing the green light had appeared, showing her distraction? Caroline’s frustration coming out in her roughness with Sarah is timely. Pete’s dismissal of the seriousness is well described as is Caroline’s isolation and the developing rift between the couple. Little Caroline at the end of the chapter is a master stroke.

Ch4 – I like the switch of perspective to Judith and the child’s drawings. Judith’s back story is neatly delivered in a natural way. The psychology of Judith is building well. The chilling episode in the bathroom and Pete’s response all add to the conflict. I’m impressed with the subtle use of body language in emphasising the dynamics here.

Ch5 – ‘Alicia is my new friend’ – perfectly chosen and underplayed for greatest impact. Kelly is a necessary addition at this point – another angle on the issue and a temporary release of pressure. I loved the appearance of Ian, gripping stuff.
‘said bluntly wishing Kelly…’ I’d put a comma after bluntly.
‘Pete that isn’t’t’ – extra ‘t.

Ch6 – The reaction of the teaching staff raises anger in the reader (as a psychology trained ex-teacher, I know I would have reacted differently, but others would not). It was a relief to have Judith witness the validity of the visions. Well written.`
‘ah, Mrs Greenwood’ – no full stop.
‘do you make up [unwanted paragraph mid sentence] anything else?’ and again in ‘lying in his [ ] coffin’.

Ch7 – The entry of Aaron and the Crystal Child theory is timed well and takes the story forward well. The hint of romance at the end adds a certain frisson to the tale.

Overall, I really enjoyed what I have read so far. Elements of the story reminded me of Barbara Erskine, a favourite of mine, so I felt at home reading this. There are minor typo issues that a minor edit will cure but in general this is a very well written work. Dialogue is convincing and written in a natural style. Characters are believable and I liked the multiple viewpoint approach and the thoughts in italics. Descriptions were well balanced with action and dialogue and they added well to the paranormal theme. Super work.
Nick
'Where She Lies'

jsault2003 wrote 803 days ago

Prologue
The use of too many commas can impede your sentence structure. Compare these two versions of the same sentence…Caroline, who she’d met several months earlier, was a pale imitation of the original…compared to…Caroline was now a pale imitation of the original she’d met months ago. Both sentences are technically correct, however the flow of the second sentence (granted, this is only my opinion) has a smoother flow. The most important consideration to the above is that agents and publishers will judge your work on whether or not the commas (as well as other punctuation) were even needed. (If you want validation of this, please read this article that is on this site by another writer from this site…http://www.authonomy.com/forums/threads/92062/why-agents-reject-what-they-look-for-/…as there is a wealth of information in this article to help every last one of us on this site).

Judith
“Hello, Ms. Greenwood. My name is…to my office, please.” This works better broken into three sentences.

The uses of commas where they are not needed are hindering your sentences instead of helping them.

Caroline
The headings of Judith and Caroline are not needed as the natural flow of the manuscript will direct the reader’s attention to the character(s), their mentality, and the developing plot.

You are using some very good descriptions, one of which is…Caroline forced her chin out, ready to defend, but the knot in her stomach squeezed her abdomen muscles tighter.

The suspense of what…Don’t tell the reader what they’re supposed to be feeling. If your prose is written in the most effective manner then they will feel what you want them to feel.

My impression was that Sarah was in the same vicinity of the principal and her mother as she rocked on the horse, so how did she suddenly appear in her classroom down the long corridor? Some clarity is needed here.

It’s got to the stage…(gotten)

The manner in which you describe Caroline’s elevating tension is excellent.
I’m at the end of Chapter 1 and there is a technical consideration to mention. Where is your hook? This is something that all books in every genre are expected to have as a device to pull the reader into adjoining chapters.

You have classified this as a thriller, so where are those characteristics that place it in that genre (action sequences, for instance)?

Chapter 2
I suggest removing the underline from all words. Let the sentence stand on its own strength.

The continuity from Chapter 1 to Chapter 2 is excellent as the events and characters are on point. Since the reader is given more insight into Sarah’s gift, it is easy to connect the dots and develop a feel for where the story is going.

Chapter 3
It is here that I am now becoming concerned about the pace of the story. You have set the stage as to who the characters are and how they interact. We have an idea as to the family structure and relationship between Sarah and her mother.

…to-day(today)

The manner in which you build tension between the characters is fabulous. We have introduced to Sarah’s gift and the problems it causes in school. It’s time to move on to the next phrase of the story.

The storyline is great and your character development is excellent. The pace is one the reader will be comfortable with. Myself, I would like to see the story move a little faster as I am curious about the protagonist/antagonist relationship.

Even in light of the technical concerns this is a good read. You’re on the right track. Five stars and shelf space.

I look forward to any and all comments you would like to give on my manuscript. Please know that I placed your book on my shelf based on the merits of the work alone and no other factor. Let’s make it a great day.

jsault2003
My link:
http://www.authonomy.com/books/38506/battle-against-the-beast/read-book/#chapter

FrancesK wrote 808 days ago

Hi Orma. I know you've done a lot of revision already, so please only take note of what is helpful to you at this stage. You have a fascinating central dilemma here, of who to believe. We, the readers, can believe absolutely in Sarah's reality, but she is only a child. Her mother is unreliable, and her father and the psychologist don't entertain the possibility that what she sees might be the spirits of real people. Your first chapter comes at us from all kinds of directions - Judith, then Caroline, then the teachers. It would help the reader if you started the book with the incident at school, rather than Judith's perceptions of how Caroline is getting better or worse. The incident at school is a great starting point, and it shows us the problem in a clear and vivid way. I'm not sure about the relationship between Caroline and Pete - is it on the rocks? Over? There seems to be little trust or respect there from the outset. I like Caroline's wonkiness, it's great that she too has a problem getting people to see her version of reality [and maybe eventually she realises she and her daughter have that in common?] - and as a good writer, you are building up the forces of antagonism against Sarah and Caroline, so they are going to have a hard struggle to get where they want to be. I wasn't too comfortable with Judith talking about a case outside work to someone who is nothing to do with her job, and then inviting him in to the session - surely this is breaching confidentiality? She would have a supervisor she could talk to - does Aaron have that qualification? It jarred with me, and felt unsafe, and I lost respect for Judith [maybe we are meant to?]. This story is so well worth working on. Stories for adults about children always have such a strong message. Good luck with this. Frances.

karlee.hall wrote 811 days ago

Orma,
Thank you for uploading such an amazing story here. All my time on this site I haven't been compelled enough to read all chapters that have been uploaded but I found myself unable to pull myself away from the screen while reading Crystal Child. This book is beautiful. I have nothing more too say, I found myself tearing up in some parts...that is how much emotion this book evoked in me. Sarah is just perfect...I will back your book until it reaches the editors desk. This needs to be published.
Thank you again,
Karlee - Chained

Nichola Hunter wrote 811 days ago

Hi - Orma - I read the first three chapters - I would definitely read on, if I had some more time. It's a good read and an interesting story (even though I'm not a sci-fi reader generally). The beginning/prologue is interesting and well-paced and makes me want to find out what is happening. The switches in pov are also interesting.

I am a pedantic editor (at least when it comes to other peoples' work :-) ) so I noticed a few things along the way that you might want to consider.

Prologue

- the word “snatched” is used twice in two lines, which kind of bothers me

next para “Judith” starts two sentences in a row (well almost – there is one sentence in between but this also starts with a person’s name) – then later you have “Judith hit the accelerator” and shortly after “It’s Judith.” follwed shortly thereafter by the heading ‘Judith’
For me there’s just too many Judiths (sounds like a children’s title doesn’t it?)

… we can talk of what worries you (for me “about” is better than “of”)

Maybe switch to a new chapter when it moves to Caroline’s perspective?

I like the way you describe the intimidating principal.

The prologue says that Caroline has changed from a calm steady person and then in the next scene we see her at first meeting having a panic attack.

I think it’s a bit strange that Judith doesn’t talk to the child in their first session – is this normal?

finish to-days session – should be - today’s session

You can’t “shrug” you eyes, only your shoulders – Maybe a different verb here

Hope you don't mind my pedantry - as I said it's yours to use or throw away.

Very best of luck with this book. I have given it high stars.

Victoria Hunter
Ramadan Sky

CGHarris wrote 811 days ago

I just read te first two chapters and enjoyed every moment. You have a great talent for telling a story. I wish I could give you some sort of helpful advice, but I can find nothing to complain about. You have written a great book. 6 stars for sure.

ScottTrimas wrote 812 days ago

I agree with MendelE you have an excellent as a writer and I also love your work! Very good concept and lots of detail.
Thanks,
Scott

sassychick wrote 813 days ago

To start off with, i only intended to read the first chapter today and then read some more later.

I couldn't.

I ended up reading four chapters unable to stop. I love the different POV, they help me sympathize with multiple characters, and i love knowing what individual characters are thinking instead of just a single one. right off you feel for Caroline, wanting to do whats best for her daughter but also feeling the need to defend her.
Also, as the novel continues, i feel for little Sarah too. it must be aggrivating to have a gift and be surrounded by people who not only cant understand, but dont believe what you are going through writing you off as an erratic child with an over-active imagination.

Six stars and i will be clearing a place for this novel so i can back it. Great job.

Amanda

61BBboy wrote 823 days ago

Nice work! Happy to back. Hope you have a chance to take a look at Dark Side by CC Brown.
61BBboy

ccb1 wrote 826 days ago

Backed Crystal Child. Read Chapters 1-3. Great job of building the suspension and keeping the reader desperate to find out more about Caroline and Sarah. Really like the way you use the character’s thoughts to guide the reader through the story line.

Saw you were asking for comments for chapters other than 1 and two so will comment on chapter 3. We just revised using suggestions from readers on Authonomy. It was a great help to us. When you decide to edit we have a few suggestions.

Chapter 3
Paragraph 8: Needs a comma.- “Sarah has been caught lying and she has greatly upset on of the pupils in her class.” -Should be written as--“Sarah has been caught lying, and she has greatly upset on of the pupils in her class.”

Paragraph 9: Should be three paragraphs.

1. Caroline felt her mouth dry up and fought against an ensuring panic attack. I’m not letting her intimidate me again. “I see, and what exactly has she lied about?” Caroline spoke bluntly through labored breathing, a hint at her anxious state.

2. Miss Rogers took off her glasses, pausing for a moment.

3. Here we go, the lecture begins. Caroline eyed the principal suspiciously.

Paragraph 13: Needs a comma-“The playgrounds are strictly monitored and I can assure you….”-Should be written as- "The playgrounds are strictly monitored, and I can assure you….”

Paragraph 19: Needs a comma-As they neared home Caroline checked the mirror again.-Should be written as- As they neared home, Caroline checked the mirror again.


Our two book trailers are finally complete. Please go to the two links below. Watch and leave a comment. We are interested in which people like best.

Video book Trailer
http://youtu.be/NaNbrDf7VgI

Graphic Books Trailer
http://youtu.be/ZuALZ76nVII

Good luck on Authonomy. Hope you will find time to take a look at our book book, Dark Side.
CC Brown

Brittanee Zaitsoff wrote 830 days ago

Hey, I just read up to chapter 7 and I had to jot down some of my notes before I continue. I think that this is such a gripping story. My education and work is in child psychology, so i find this topic facinating. You do a good job of relaying the story from all points of view, especially the child and the psychologist. The pace is good, and I am very intersted in where this story will go...hopefully something more chilling.
A few things came to mind....because you have "Judith" right after the prologue (in the same heading of chapter 1) I am confused as to whether or not this is meant to be an extension of the prologue, or just the begining of the first chapter. I am also interested if each heading of a characterss name is the begining of a chapter since or if they are organized in the Authonomy chapters, since some of the bleed into the next chapter.
Other than that, and a few typos, it is a very intriguing story that I will continue to read.
Brittanee
- Sinful

RK Summers wrote 835 days ago

Just finished chapter two, I got so drawn in, I didn't even mean to read that far! I was just going to take a peek so I could get myself accustomed to your writing style, but WOW, this drew me in so much I just had to continue!

Fabulous story, wonderful pacing, I love Sarah, she's such a sweet and engaging child, and you've captured her voice magnificently. The only little niggle I have is in the first couple of paragraphs, the word "snatched" is repeated about three times. Is there another word you can use there?

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and will definitely be returning to read more! High stars from me! :)

RK Summers
The Albion Pages

Nicholette Wolfe wrote 840 days ago

For our swap: (sorry it took so long :0

So, prologue: I like where it starts, kinda grabs the reader and holds their attention. Interesting situation and I think you portray it well in your words, like I can picture her doing all this with her phone and I think I may have even felt something close to a tad bit of adrenaline there. Only a really good writer could do this.
Next section- I love how you describe the clinic, really good, can picture close to whole room. I feel maybe though you say clinic a lot? Maybe look for synonyms, but that's just me.
Great change of character. I could picture like my doctor saying something like that. Believable situation.
Next section- I would make the transition into the flashback a bit more clear. Maybe a line ~~~ or something to separate the paragraphs. Just a small thing
You miss a lot of sentences where they should end in ? Marks but you put periods. Mainly when the characters are thinking to themselves.
I like the little girl character atthe moment! She's so much like me. I bet my mom may have thought strange of me at that time too :p
Your mom is a realistic mom. Charoline radiates a sort of motherly protectiveness, which I'm sure you were going for, and it worked well.
There were a few points where you were missing commas, but no biggie.
Overall- nice story. Right now, for me, it's not grabbing my attention that hard, so I'm gonna watch it, and come back and read more later. See if I can get into it
Nice job I would say though. Good writing :)


Nicholette Wolfe wrote 840 days ago

For our swap: (sorry it took so long :0

So, prologue: I like where it starts, kinda grabs the reader and holds their attention. Interesting situation and I think you portray it well in your words, like I can picture her doing all this with her phone and I think I may have even felt something close to a tad bit of adrenaline there. Only a really good writer could do this.
Next section- I love how you describe the clinic, really good, can picture close to whole room. I feel maybe though you say clinic a lot? Maybe look for synonyms, but that's just me.
Great change of character. I could picture like my doctor saying something like that. Believable situation.
Next section- I would make the transition into the flashback a bit more clear. Maybe a line ~~~ or something to separate the paragraphs. Just a small thing
You miss a lot of sentences where they should end in ? Marks but you put periods. Mainly when the characters are thinking to themselves.
I like the little girl character atthe moment! She's so much like me. I bet my mom may have thought strange of me at that time too :p
Your mom is a realistic mom. Charoline radiates a sort of motherly protectiveness, which I'm sure you were going for, and it worked well.
There were a few points where you were missing commas, but no biggie.
Overall- nice story. Right now, for me, it's not grabbing my attention that hard, so I'm gonna watch it, and come back and read more later. See if I can get into it
Nice job I would say though. Good writing :)


Nicholette Wolfe wrote 840 days ago

For our swap: (sorry it took so long :0

So, prologue: I like where it starts, kinda grabs the reader and holds their attention. Interesting situation and I think you portray it well in your words, like I can picture her doing all this with her phone and I think I may have even felt something close to a tad bit of adrenaline there. Only a really good writer could do this.
Next section- I love how you describe the clinic, really good, can picture close to whole room. I feel maybe though you say clinic a lot? Maybe look for synonyms, but that's just me.
Great change of character. I could picture like my doctor saying something like that. Believable situation.
Next section- I would make the transition into the flashback a bit more clear. Maybe a line ~~~ or something to separate the paragraphs. Just a small thing
You miss a lot of sentences where they should end in ? Marks but you put periods. Mainly when the characters are thinking to themselves.
I like the little girl character atthe moment! She's so much like me. I bet my mom may have thought strange of me at that time too :p
Your mom is a realistic mom. Charoline radiates a sort of motherly protectiveness, which I'm sure you were going for, and it worked well.
There were a few points where you were missing commas, but no biggie.
Overall- nice story. Right now, for me, it's not grabbing my attention that hard, so I'm gonna watch it, and come back and read more later. See if I can get into it
Nice job I would say though. Good writing :)


Nicholette Wolfe wrote 840 days ago

For our swap: (sorry it took so long :0

So, prologue: I like where it starts, kinda grabs the reader and holds their attention. Interesting situation and I think you portray it well in your words, like I can picture her doing all this with her phone and I think I may have even felt something close to a tad bit of adrenaline there. Only a really good writer could do this.
Next section- I love how you describe the clinic, really good, can picture close to whole room. I feel maybe though you say clinic a lot? Maybe look for synonyms, but that's just me.
Great change of character. I could picture like my doctor saying something like that. Believable situation.
Next section- I would make the transition into the flashback a bit more clear. Maybe a line ~~~ or something to separate the paragraphs. Just a small thing
You miss a lot of sentences where they should end in ? Marks but you put periods. Mainly when the characters are thinking to themselves.
I like the little girl character atthe moment! She's so much like me. I bet my mom may have thought strange of me at that time too :p
Your mom is a realistic mom. Charoline radiates a sort of motherly protectiveness, which I'm sure you were going for, and it worked well.
There were a few points where you were missing commas, but no biggie.
Overall- nice story. Right now, for me, it's not grabbing my attention that hard, so I'm gonna watch it, and come back and read more later. See if I can get into it
Nice job I would say though. Good writing :)


Nicholette Wolfe wrote 840 days ago

For our swap: (sorry it took so long :0

So, prologue: I like where it starts, kinda grabs the reader and holds their attention. Interesting situation and I think you portray it well in your words, like I can picture her doing all this with her phone and I think I may have even felt something close to a tad bit of adrenaline there. Only a really good writer could do this.
Next section- I love how you describe the clinic, really good, can picture close to whole room. I feel maybe though you say clinic a lot? Maybe look for synonyms, but that's just me.
Great change of character. I could picture like my doctor saying something like that. Believable situation.
Next section- I would make the transition into the flashback a bit more clear. Maybe a line ~~~ or something to separate the paragraphs. Just a small thing
You miss a lot of sentences where they should end in ? Marks but you put periods. Mainly when the characters are thinking to themselves.
I like the little girl character atthe moment! She's so much like me. I bet my mom may have thought strange of me at that time too :p
Your mom is a realistic mom. Charoline radiates a sort of motherly protectiveness, which I'm sure you were going for, and it worked well.
There were a few points where you were missing commas, but no biggie.
Overall- nice story. Right now, for me, it's not grabbing my attention that hard, so I'm gonna watch it, and come back and read more later. See if I can get into it
Nice job I would say though. Good writing :)


Jim Heter wrote 843 days ago

Hi Orma,
I saw your book on Scott Kenny's shelf along with mine, and decided to read it. Read all you posted. Nice start. I like the "crystal child" theory of the New Age awakening. I'm going to make room on my shelf so I can back your book too.
Jim

Noelle J. Alabaster wrote 848 days ago

BHCG review-
Hi Orma.
I love the book. A brand new twist on the paranormal is sure to be a hit with the right publisher.
Your opening is great. Immediately I wanted to keep reading and find out what was happening. Then you skip back to Judith's office and I wonder, 'What does Sarah do that's so strange?' Wonderful! I get so frustrated when authors insist on boring backgrounds right away. You did great with this.
Typos:
"the large office was a cozy, child friendly enviroment." No comma after friendly, and you might even want to put a hyphen after child.
"her blouse, neatening its folds, and . . ." no apostrophe in its, and put commas after blouse and folds. It just makes the sentences easier to read.
" . . . you will see exactly what the problem is." Quotation marks after is.
Loved this! it's on my WL now, waiting to get to my shelf. Hope this helps, and good luck!
Noelle J. Alabaster 'Justice for All: Dark Origins'

Brittany Engstrand wrote 849 days ago

I'm so glad I finally had a chance to check out Crystal Child. So far, I'm really hooked on this read. You had me hooked right away, something even I find hard to do. I feel like I'm watching the events happen as I read. I couldn't find really anything to critique on, but I do know I'll be back for more! Shelved with confidence :)

Brittany E.
Melaney and the Mirror

str8 wrote 852 days ago

Orma- I'm here for our read swap. I like the book, even though I'm not usually big on the paranormal. The plot is good, and I like how you use the little girl as a focal point of the story. I'm a little confused as to why you chose to break up the book into different sections, and have different characters be the center. The sections seem to be short, and not to have much purpose for being broken u. Other than that, nice job.
-Nissim

George Flores wrote 852 days ago

Orma,

I definitely enjoyed Crystal Child and read all of the chapters you posted. The choice to use POVs of Judith, Sarah, and Caroline was a good one and I imagine that the exercise gave you greater insight into each character. Nothing stopped the reading flow for me. The following are notes I took while reading and should not be interpreted to mean that I didn't have a blast reading:

Chaps 1-6
No problems except for occasional typos. I noticed you had some trouble with the apostrophes. I had the same thing happen to me when I was using Works as my primary processing unit and wonder if that is the problem.

Chap. 7
I was left wondering about what happened after Sarah told Judith about her father's note, it just went on ahead. Perhaps Judith could spend some time recalling the rest of the session, so the reader does not feel left out.

In the lift, she asks Lynn about ghosts and Lynn says she sees her grandfather and Aunt Lily. Judith laughs. I'm not sure if it is the right response after what she just heard Sarah tell her about her father. Maybe you can have her almost respond with, "Really?" and stop herself after noticing Lynn's grin or something. I don't know.

Chap. 8
I loved the scene with Ben where Sarah holds his hand and he sees Alicia. It was very realistic how Caroline's demeanor causes poor little Sarah to tell her first lie. Very believable because children will do almost anything, at times, to please a parent.

What is a "white hair grip"?

Chap. 9
I'm glad that you explained Judith's past relationship with Aaron. It wasn't something that bothered me in the beginning chapters, but it helped fill in the details.

At this point, I began to wonder what kind of therapy Judith was using with Sarah. Maybe you could add some parts where Judith formulates a diagnosis or therapy plan. Probably better in an earlier chapter.

I also wondered why Aaron is so convinced that this phenomenon only concerns children of the current millenium? I've heard about Crystal children (or was it Indigo children?) for some time and thought it also applied to other generations.

Chap. 10
Good. No trouble here, that I saw.

Chap. 11
Nice work on Lily, and Ben being able to see her without holding on to Sarah. Interesting implications that Sarah can pass along her ability. It was truly believable the scene of Ben's horror when he experiences such a challenge to his belief system. Same with Kelly's reaction. Believable and unfortunate. A very sad scene that was written in just the right way, not trying to minimize the damage done.

Chap. 12
In Caroline's POV, there are continuity problems. First she is with Sarah in Judith's waiting room and suddenly she is at the breakfast table with Sarah and Pete.

I like that Judith decided to also help Caroline. I think you need to explain a bit, though, because I wonder if it was an actual prescription or a note telling her doctor to prescribe something. Over here, in teh U.S., it's enough that she made out a prescription. Caroline could take it to the pharmacy, as is, and get it filled. The primary care physician doesn't need to okay it.

Continuity about Lynn's aunt. She could have more than one aunt, of course, but I remember that in Chap. 7, her aunt's name was Lily and in this chapter it is Vivian.

All in all, I liked it a lot and felt that I could read it all the way through. I only stopped the first night on Chap. 6 because I was drinking, but if I hadn't, it was the type of book where I would've stayed up all night reading it. Great job! I'm not good at identifying many review type things, so I just gave you my notes, as is. I hope this has helped a little. Please let me know when you post more chapters, so I can keep reading.

Georgina

karen 19 wrote 853 days ago

The prologue is great and sets the scene for something terrifying.

Sarah is an unusual girl and having imaginary friends is one thing, but she'd doing well in her studies, not lagging behind the other kids, so why does the head want her to have a psyche evaluation? I think it would be the obvious thing for a head teacher to do. The head is a well drawn character and although she doesn't understand what's going on with Sarah, she is trying to help by sending her to a child psychologist.
Sarah's visions and conversations are with people in spirit world who are coming to visit her. that's obvious to me, but other readers might find that hard to believe and think that Sarah is mentally ill in some way - especially as her Grandfather was schitzophrenic - but this is a nice twist and serves the story well.

Crystal Child is a well told story which is building to something that's scary and intriguing. Sarah is a little girl with a gift, and while I think that this does happen, its not that common, and the parents/teachers are right to be alarmed. The Crystal Child is an enigma and I found this to be a good read with excellent characterizations and a good flow.

A couple of things I think you might want to change in chapter 3:

Caroline spoke bluntly though laboured breathing - through
she gulped at the fresh air as they exited the building - just my opinion, I think it would read better as, left the building
'disrupting behaviour' - disruptive

Highly starred and shelved
Karen 19
The Way Things Are

Michael Johnson wrote 859 days ago

Hello, Orma.

I've just read the first twelve chapters of Crystal Child. Here are my comments.

I think your characterisation works quite well. The different characters react differently to events but they react credibly. They also interact credibly.

The reader, at least this reader, is willing to accept the reality of Sarah's visions. At first you show it from outside. By the time you describe Sarah's psychic experiences from her point of view, we are able to accept them as reality.

The only cavil I have is that your treatment of the teachers seems rather unkind. Would they really be that unsympathetic and even intolerant? Ah well, you can meet people like that everywhere.

I see that you record having editied the work. There are still some little errors, e.g., incorrectly placed apostrophies, but that's no worse than most manuscripts.

Your story is well told, to the extent that the reader is fully involved. He wants Caroline to be sympathetic towards Sarah and for Pete to be sympathetic towards Caroline. He wants Kelly to come back and for Judith to understand. You've controlled the narrative well, shifting from one character's viewpoint to another, and there's the opening passage that draws the reader directly into the story.

My own belief is that the dead only live on in the memories of those they leave behind and, in another sense, in the consequences of the actions they took when they were alive. Do you personally have a belief in the possibility of communication with the dead? In spite of my disbelief, I really want to know what happens in the following chapters.

My own book, Just Making Sure, deals very much with the living. The characters, though, are rather unpleasant to each other in various ways - but there is always a reason or a cause of their behaviour. Perhaps that gives it something in common with yours.

Best of luck with Crystal Child. I'll rate it and put it on my watchlist with a view to backing it in the future.

Michael Johnson (Felix Bradninch).

DerekTobin wrote 862 days ago

More of the same - excellent stuff - crammed with tension and solid character's who demand I empathise. Dont know where it's going but I'm coming along for the ride. One grammatical - "to-days session" - thought it should be "today's session" Backed.

DerekTobin wrote 862 days ago

This is great stuff Orma - hooked right from the start.

Excellent - lots of showing and not telling - tremor and tense posture - always far more powerful and I could sense her anxiety long before Judith thought it - good work. Excellent use of internal dialogue throughout this - all these thoughts defiantely help me get a handle on -who - Caroline is and make me empathise with her - I'm completely on side with her already.
Nice tension - I could sense the tug of war between wanting to be the protective mother and also being somewhat at the end of her tether re the situation - that all generates conflict which is key in my opinion - really impressive start for me. Spotted one grammatical - in prologue "Caroline who she'd met several months earlier" Thought it should've been "whom" not much I know but every little helps. On to chapter 2 right now.

PAB40 wrote 862 days ago

Orma, Crystal Child manages to decsribe what would really happen if a family became aware that their young girl was clairvoyant. By portraying the human reaction - disbelief, frustration, gradual realisation, protectiveness, anger at those who cannot accept them - you manage to build a believable domestic situation.

The subject has of course been explored before, so where is the novelty? For me it lies in your unspectacular approach, the gradual pace of revelation and the everyday settings of school and home.

Things that bothered me:
1) Character names above each section - not necessary, the point of view is made clear by the writing. Perhaps an asterix between each section to signify a shift in emphasis is all that is needed.

2) Italicised internal reflections - often not required because the point made is usually obvious due to the context. to me they break up the flow. The reader can supply these because he or she already knows how the character thinks; for example -
Ch 8:(italics) Sarah may be suspended from school, but I'm going to make damn sure her education isn't affected - not necessary
Ch 8: (italics)I hope she hasn't involved Ben in this game of hers. I could swear I heard her say Alicia's name. Oh, I hope she hasn't lied to me, it's just not like her to lie. Maybe it's paranoia on my part. God, I don't know what to believe anymore.
Ch 8: She pleaded with her eyes. (italics) Please don't tell, Ben. - obvious
Ch 11: “You are such a clever girl, Sarah Greenwood, do you know that?” Sarah's sweet face shone with delight.  (italics) I'm so proud of her. If only there wasn't all this fuss at school.

3) Typos Ch 6: "I shouldn't‘t have talked to him.” - a few of these double t's

Others have liked the italics and named sections, so take my comments with a pinch of salt, I can only say what I would think if I picked up the book in a shop. Stephen King really likes italicised internal monologues and it always bothered me!

Great idea Orma.

Phil

Bethanie wrote 865 days ago

Ok, I can't do it. I can't finish reading this. This is a magnificent work of art, the isolation of the little girl when all she is telling is the truth is breaking my heart. The psychologist whose area this falls in just makes me want to rake her over the coals, although I really do like her. At least she is beginning to believe little Sarah. The stupidity of the teachers and others around her, makes me want to scream, but it is nothing more than truth when it comes to those with "extra senses". You've hooked me beyond the point others have. I absolutely love this book. I promise, six stars and as soon as a place opens up on my shelf I will be placing this there. You are a truly remarkable and gifted writer to bring out emotions in me that few books do. I love books that hook me that deeply. I wish you nothing but the greatest with this amazing work! When it becomes a published work, you can be sure that I will be one of the first in line to buy it. Thank you so much for telling me about this book! Alll the best!

~Bethanie

Jacoba wrote 867 days ago

Hi,
I just love the cover of your book and had to take a look.
I really enjoyed the four chapters I read. A great story so far. Little Sarah is just beautiful. I like the way you splash the thoughts through the narrative, adds real depth to the characters. I also like the multiple viewpoints, with all the background stories of the characters. I can see this little girl is going to be giving something to all these people, instead of them helping her I think it may end up the other way around.
A delight to read, you really capture your audience.
I only noted down a few nitpicks, but as always its just my opinion. And I'm not always right, so whatever you find useful I hope it helps.
Thanks for the read,
Cheers Jacoba

Chapter two
Repeated word,'room'. Suggested change: ....around the room finally settling on Sarah playing in the far corner.

Dialogue, perhaps add contractions to this line of speech, eg 'The school recommended some therapy, so that's why we're here today.'

Perhaps add to this scene, by adding some detail: The child had solved most of the puzzles. Currently she was entertaining Mr Bear at a tea party she'd set up on the floor, laughing and chatting to her new friend the entire time. ( I don't know if this is what you envisage her doing in play but details sometimes paint a more vivid picture)

...form filling isn't madatory??? ( I think you've left out is or isn't here)

Judith paused after hearing about Caroline's father's death. ( I think this sounds less wordy)

I'd crop here. A suggestion: ' ....Try not to worry. I'd suggest that when she begins to talk to her imaginary friends, distract her some how. But don't draw attention to this. Talk to her about anything to take her mind away from the fantasy. That should help for now. I'll see you both next week.'

Chapter 3

....confusion must have been evident, as she sighed and then spoke slower using more precise wording. ( to tighten)

to-day shoudl be today.

Carolines first reaction was fear, as she worried about the safety of her own child.

She stood up abruptly... ( left out up)

Chapter four

I'd probably tighten here, but its no biggie:
Caroline's eyes welled up as she fought to quell the tears.
Peter stormed out of the room. The front door slammed and she slumped down onto the sofa again.

Not sure if this is right, but I think the punctuation needs to be fixed here.
...The real problem here, Caroline, is you. Not Sarah.
'You are making a big mistake, Caroline.

J.L.McMahon wrote 870 days ago

Chapter 9:
Hello, I had planned to finish your manuscript before commenting but it seems if I attempt to finish every book I read for the Women Only Thread I will never finish the list :).
I really liked how your story began with Judith struggling to contact Caroline, praying for their safety. Immediately I was pulled in wondering what was happening and how did the characters get to that point. It was an excellent hook especially when the next chapter began through Judith’s perspective on such a calm note. The contrast in the scenes was brilliantly and it catches your reader’s attention putting questions into their minds they want to have answered as fast as possible.
As far as grammar and whatnot go I didn’t see any problems. Crystal Child is very well written.
The only problem I had was in chapter 7 after Judith got off the phone with Aaron. She went from confused about what happened with Sarah to being enthusiastic about a function in two paragraphs and in those paragraphs she made a connection between Sarah and Aaron’s Crystal Children but seems completely unaffected afterwards. It just seemed a little odd to me but aside from that I really enjoyed this book. Good Luck :)

Margaret Trevelyan wrote 871 days ago

Hi orma. I have read up to chapter 4 and I will definitely read more as I am being drawn into the story. You hook people in wanting to know what will happen next.

I love the cover and would definitely pick it up for a closer look,

I think you should divide your long pitch into short paragraphs/senetences rather than have it as a block.

I think that the multiple POV is very engaging as we know exactly who we are dealing with. I feel sorry for Caroline as her husband seems to be too busy to take an interest. I like the way Judith got Sarah to draw Tommy and Melanie's grandma, I feel for Sarah as obviously she is just being herself and not doing anything wrong yet is being victimised by her teachers. I don't normally relate much to child characters but I like Sarah.

audreyauden wrote 873 days ago

Hi Orma,

I like your pitch and your opening chapter. You have a good sense of how to set your scenes and switch between points of view, and your pacing seems good so far. You do a good job describing your characters and developing their unique attributes.

You could improve this manuscript dramatically with the help of a good line editor, as you're making a number of common grammatical mistakes. I'm enclosing a detailed list of some of the mistakes I noted in the first chapter to help you get started on the self-editing process.

Best,

Maudie

=== EDITORIAL NOTES ===

== PITCH ==

I would suggest editing your pitch for clarity. Something along the lines of:

Seven-year-old Sarah is clairvoyant. Her mother Caroline is a disturbed woman. Child psychologist Judith is agnostic. All three experience the power of the paranormal.

Caroline and Pete Greenwood believe their seven-year-old daughter Sarah just has a vivid imagination, until Sarah’s principal insists the girl must have a psychological evaluation. Sarah’s parents send her to child psychologist Judith Carlton, who believes she can dispel Sarah’s imaginary friends.

Judith finds herself drawn into Sarah’s world and enlists the help of her former colleague and lover, Dr. Aaron Marshall, to unravel the mystery of Sarah’s psychic abilities.

The paranormal phenomena surrounding Sarah adds fuel to her mother’s severe anxiety disorder, which is slowly destroying the Greenwoods’ family life. Judith vows to protect Sarah. To do this she must deal with Caroline’s delusions and Aaron’s need for paranormal evidence. Judith must also face her own demons as she experiences a psychic emergency.

== OPENING SENTENCES ==

Edit for clarity, perhaps:

Judith ran from the large white stone house, stumbling on the driveway as the strong winds swept over her. She struggled to open her car door in the gale. When at last she climbed inside, she slammed the door behind her with relief.

== GRAMMAR ISSUES ==

(You can Google most of these if you're unclear on proper usage.)

WHO versus WHOM:

"Caroline, who she’d met" should be "Caroline, whom she’d met"

WORD CHOICE:

"searing pain stabbing at her brain" would be better as "searing pain in her brain" OR "stabbing pain in her brain"

MISUSE OF COMMAS:

(You have a number of comma splices and other comma errors; this is not a complete list. I'd suggest reading up on proper usage. My "->" indicates that whatever follows the error is my suggested edit.)

"… refocusing her attention, as she ..." -> "… refocusing her attention as she ..."

“Judith had worked hard to ensure the large office was a cozy, child friendly, environment.” -> “Judith had worked hard to ensure the large office was a cozy, child-friendly environment.”

“Caroline Greenwood stole a glance at her precious daughter, before turning to Judith.” -> “Caroline Greenwood stole a glance at her precious daughter before turning to Judith.”

“She decided the only way she could, was to reveal …” -> “She decided the only way she could was to reveal …”

STICK TO COMMON USAGE:

“pale imitation” -> “pale shadow”

“adrenaline rushed blood through her veins” -> “adrenaline rushed through her veins”

“abdomen muscles” -> “abdominal muscles”

“… didn’t realize it had got as bed as this.” -> “… didn’t realize it had gotten as bed as this.”

COMPOUND ADJECTIVES

(I see compound adjective mistakes all over Authonomy. Here's a Wikipedia article on proper usage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_compound#Hyphenated_compound_adjectives)

“Ocean blue” -> “ocean-blue”

“neatly tied, chestnut brown, pony tail” -> “neatly-tied, chestnut-brown ponytail” (there is also a comma issue here)

“self inflicted” -> “self-inflicted”

“high pitched” -> “high-pitched”

EDIT FOR CLARITY:

“Judith noted her haunted look within mesmerizing eyes and their similarity in colour to Sarah’s.” -> “Judith noted Caroline’s haunted expression and the mesmerizing colour of the woman’s eyes, so similar to her daughter’s own.”

“A stiffness entered her posture” -> “Caroline replied, her posture stiffening somewhat.”

“Good morning, Mrs. Greenwood, sorry I’m late.” -> “Good morning, Mrs. Greenwood. Sorry I’m late.”

“Caroline stood immediately and followed behind the principal, whose toweing figure had an intimidating effect and her long strides left Caroline lagging behind.” -> “Caroline stood immediately and followed behind the principal, whose toweing figure had an intimidating effect. Her long strides left Caroline lagging behind.”

CORRECT PUNCTUATION

“Why am I always in a dither every time I meet that damn woman.” -> “Why am I always in a dither every time I meet that damn woman?”

“Well, it would be easier … exactly what the problem is.[“] (you are missing a close quote)

“I’ll speak frankly Mrs. Greenwood, this imaginary friend has got to be dispelled.” -> “I’ll speak frankly, Mrs. Greenwood. This imaginary friend has got to be dispelled.”

“Please calm yourself Mrs. Greenwood.” -> “Please calm yourself, Mrs. Greenwood.”

Elizabeth H wrote 879 days ago

Nicely done. I have no problem backing this book. Everything is there, from the setting, to the research on Chrysal Children, to the intense charactisation. The emotions felt real and were well portrayed.

There are four instances of missing quotes on dialog. Easily fixed. There is also one typo. To-days should be Today's. It is one word and the s is a possessive one needing the apostrophe. Very, very minor.

I wish you best of luck with this, as the work deserves. If you have a moment, I'd love your opionion on my fantasy, if it falls into the bracket of things you are willing to read. Thanks for sharing. Elizabeth.

Jue Shaw wrote 879 days ago

Hi Orma, after joining your women only thread I decided to start reading from the top of the list. I'm so pleased I came across this work. Ghost whisperer is one of my favourite programmes and your little crystal child reminds me so much of this. You write extremely well and your punctuation and grammar seem to be really polished, so nothing to crit really.

I will say that I intended to read about 3 chapters but ended up reading all 12. I was so engrossed and didn't want it to end. I love this story a lot and hope you intend to post more as I'm dying to know how it all pans out. Your characterisation is brilliant, I could picture everybody here, even the spirits! I think this book will do extremely well and I'm watchlisting it so that I remember to back it as soon as I have the shelf space, and I'm free from current commitments.

If I had to say anything at all as far as constructive crit goes, it would be this; I felt as though I was 'in place' at the school, and also in Judith's office. You gave enough description to give me a sense of scene. I didn't however feel this in Pete and Caroline's house. There was just vague mentions of different rooms where the action takes place. Personally, I would like a little more scene setting here, just so that I, as a reader, feel comfortable about where you are placing me.

Other than that, I really do love it and look forward to reading more. Julie xx

LittleDevil wrote 879 days ago

Orma,
I think this is a great idea for a story and possibly a film. Sarah is such a sweet little thing, I really warmed to her. Sarah Greenwood. Isn't that the name of the northern kid in the TV advert who talks a lot? I can't even remember what the bloody advert is about now, some bank or other, but it doesn't matter.
It's been a while since I found a book that was intriguing enough to want to read on, hence the reason I don't change my shelf too much nowadays.
I think there is room for further improvement. At times the writing seems rushed. It's going to be a full length novel, so there are obviously bits that could be cut, and more time given in other areas. I should have taken notes today whilst I read, but to be honest, I was too engrossed.
Why do you write to-day instead of today? Is English your second language? If it is, then I commend you, but your writing does seem a little old fashioned in places, as if you could have chosen a simpler and more modern word. (hence the questions)
There's a lot to like about Crystal Child, but a bit of editing wouldn't go amiss.
Good luck with it. I think it should do well.
Sue

Bethanie wrote 879 days ago

Poor little Sarah. I would love to give Ms. Helen a piece of my mind and you better believe it wouldn't be nice. I absolutely love this story. I have always been fascinated with the paranormal. I was able to get through chapter 2 and then for some reason it wouldn't load the next chapter. I will be back to read more however.

~Bethanie

Diwrite wrote 881 days ago

I really like the concept of this novel - and there's definitely a market for it.
I found it read easily and the characters seemed very believable - well done.

I'm starring it now and will pop it on my shelf as soon as there's space.

Good luck!
Diana
Pascual's Birthday

revteapot wrote 881 days ago

I've just read chapter 7 and found it very good.
I was particularly impressed by your dialogue, and the way you fit the narrative smoothly around it.

I'm afraid I don't have any critique to offer. Except that perhaps, perhaps, you might want to avoid cliches (old head on young shoulder) even if you're acknowledging that it is one.

Lindsay
A Priest's Tale

earthlover wrote 882 days ago

Read two chapters of this tonight. Expertly written! You have a knack for getting into the child's mind. I have a father with schizophrenia, and you are spot on with the fears of Caroline. My mom used to look for schizophrenia in all of us. Outstanding novel and I hope you will get it published. I will watchlist and star highly. Will probably find a place on my shelf soon. I found a couple of minor trouble spots in chapter 2:
Chapter 2:
"Look at her Caroline. See how happy she looks." Maybe there should be a comma between "her" and "Caroline."

"...Sarah found she was stood behind Melanie Foster." Should be "standing"

Good luck!
Georgia
the Woman From E.A.R.L.

ozhm wrote 882 days ago

BHCG review.

I've read all of this because I was hooked. I'm still hooked. I want to know what happens.

Short pitch - at the moments implies that the the clairvoyant girl has both a disturbed mother and an agnostic child psychologist. If you reverse the order - 'An agnostic child psychologist and a clairvoyant girl with a disturbed mother experience...' it solves the problem.

Long pitch seems fine to me.

Plot. Love the opening. It's an immediate hook, but short enough to make the switch to the backstory completely acceptable. From there, the plot develops naturally and quite clearly.

Pacing. On the whole, I think the pace is good, but there were a few places where it didn't quite seem to match the action. For example in Judith's confrontation with Aaron after the seminar, the fight seems to blow up out of nowhere and end just as quickly, without really showing us why he stalked out.

Characters. I love Sarah. She suits the concept of a 'crystal' child - or the Angel Pete calls her. She's also intelligent and perceptive on a human as well as paranormal level. Which makes me question her immaturity in other areas. 7 y/os of my acquaintance would pour their own milk, dry themselves and never - ever - follow words in a book with their fingers. Small point, though.

Caroline is equally believable. We know she's vulnerable because of her father, so it doesn't surprise me that in these circumstances, she's a nervous wreck. I don't particularly like Pete - not much empathy happening in that one - but he makes a good foil for Caroline.

Judith I find more shadowy. Can't quite put my finger on it, but to me she's not fully fleshed out. Aaron, on the other hand, is fully there from the beginning.

POV and style work fine for me. Swapping between POVs advances the plot and enhances the conflicts. We can see the problems from inside everyone's head.

The biggest problem I have with 'Crystal Child' comes at sentence level. This is entirely personal as always, but I found myself wanting say 'Relax!' The feeling I had was that you were consciously 'writing' instead of telling a story, if that makes sense. Some of the words and phrases you use seem self-conscious, and even a little outdated - 'upon' and 'deceased', for example, and 'She entered her bedroom', 'Judith entered the shower'. (Relax!) The same principle applies to the sentence structure. The general recommendation to overcome this seems to be 'read it aloud', and I suspect that if you did, you'd see what I was trying to say.

I've said I love the opening, and I do, but again I have reservations at sentence level. Judith is in a panic, rushing out of the house on an emergency mission. To say she was rushing out of the 'large white stone house' undermines this. The 'telling' needs to be stark, sharp and frenzied, and exra adverbs and adjectives slow it down. I'd also question Judith's thought that Caroline was a pale imitation of the woman she'd met...' etc. Caroline seems pretty jittery from the beginning.

I've certainly read some paranormal fiction, but nothing that introduces psychic children into adult fiction, so it the idea seems pretty original to me. I also think it has huge appeal in this day and age.

And I definitely want to read the rest!

hayely smith wrote 883 days ago

thanks for backing FAIRY RING FARM, you are on my W/L

Charlotte12 wrote 885 days ago

I like chapter 2 very much. The flow was much smoother here, and it was nice to finally get a view of the world through Sarah's eyes. Also, again I like how you hint at Caroline's troubled past without giving away all the details. Nicely done!

Dyane

Charlotte12 wrote 885 days ago

Hi there,
I have read chapter 1 so far and I am enjoying the story.
There are a few comments I would like to make which might help smooth out the read a little, such as limitting some of your adjectives: 'Large white stone house' could simply be 'large stone house'. Just a small thing, but if you read your work out loud and it feels like a mouthful to say, usually that suggests there are too many words in your sentence. There are other small things I would suggest, but unfortunately it is hard to do as the site doesn't allow me to cut and paste.
I really like how you describe the panic attack that Caroline is battling. And I also liked how you hint at Caroline's issues without naming them right away. That creates good suspense.
I did feel the pacing of the chapter a little slow, and towards the middle I was tempted to skim. Perhaps if you ramped up the mother's frustration or anxiety a touch it would help carry the reader through a little easier. Or perhaps include some details as to why Caroline dislikes the principal so much so we can identify a little more with her.
I'm just wondering: the first section is marked Prologue. Is the WHOLE chapter supposed to be a prologue or are the Judith and Caroline sections actually supposed to be their own chapters? I mention it because the prologue reads like it should: short, ambiguous and leaves us wanting to know more. So I was a little confused to see following sections that read as though they should be chapters in themselves.
So far so good! I look forward to moving on to the next chapter.

Thanks for posting an intriguing story. :)

Dyane

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