Book Jacket

 

rank 6
word count 46141
date submitted 01.12.2011
date updated 18.03.2014
genres: Non-fiction
classification: universal
incomplete

INSIDE DEAD

R D M

An existence of hell

 

This tale is about a man who was forced on a hellish path that ran beyond thirty years. Hope hadn't been too far away, but a life threatening obstacle had encumbered his escape.

Sadly, the story is real but some names were changed for legal reason.

The tongues of the text are a jumble language, Jamminglish, a poetic dialect, Neologism and a native lingo, Patois.

 
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tags

abuse, arrest, bankruptcy, custody, hell island, homelessness, neglect, police career

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806 comments

 

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MillieC wrote 22 days ago

Lost myself in this book, though the mother rages inside me.
On my shelf
Emily Cameron
Crown of Thorns

Gillian Cheseldine Moran wrote 49 days ago

Thank you for your message suggesting I support your book. I have already rated it appropriately. I see it has a star score of 3.53, which is rather low compared with others of similar ranking.

The long pitch felt awkwardly written and I'm afraid didn't inspire me to read on.

I have read the opening of your book, but, unfortunately, the phrase 'vile info' put me off. Why was it vile? What;s wrong with the word 'information'? Had your long pitch been more interesting, I might have been inspired to read on.

As I firmly believe quality will shine through, I am happy to decline your offer of reciprocal backscratching. My work, and yours, will stand on their own merits.

Poppygb1415 wrote 86 days ago

So, after a read through of your first chapter, I have to agree with another comment here, to say that for a first chapter, I did find it over long. And quite overwrought. So many of the specific references, to what your character is eating, or the traps that he sets, or his physical stance, and how his body feels, ground the text, and make it real for the reader, and then I feel that you loose me when you plunge into angst again, with a combination of mixed metaphors and emotional fanfare that just loses me altogether
For example, early on, you refer to a 'survival plan'. I wonder if you meant survival mechanism? A combination of heavily mixed metaphors and vagueness makes this paragraph quite confusing!
Slightly later, do you mean the effects of aerobic respiration? Rather than just aerobic respiration - which can't kick on its own!!
On a positive note, i did enjoy the different stories from the elders - which give a real sense of a child bemused by his elders. But on the whole, I felt that if you were able to edit some of the emotional angst (which can be a bit repetitive), the story would gain in momentum here, where you really need to be snaring your reader with an almighty big hook, and compelling them to read on! Which I realise may not be what you want to hear - especially if this is personal, I do know that OF COURSE you will feel a tremendous attachment to the subject matter. So by all means ignore me - there are clearly a lot of other readers who feel differently than I do, and well done to you for getting where you are!
If in any case, you feel you can lend me any comments, criticism or support for my own efforts, I will, of course, be grateful.
Poppygb

pixidoll wrote 86 days ago

I just read your story. You are very brave to tell it. I don't think I could reveal something that painful to the world for everyone to give their two cents on. You did a fabulous job of conveying the difficulties you suffered. It's such a shame when childhood ends at the hands of an abusive parent and the sick and deranged such as 'Cousin'. You are a survivor. No longer the walking wounded. I think this is a well told story. A little choppy in places where grammar is concerned. But I would guess translating fro m your native tongue to English was even more difficult. I think you should make it to your goal of the editors desk and maybe eventually into mass print. Good read.
Thanks for being brave enough to share your story.
Gloria L. Geiger( Author of Pan's Daughter and Zenith)

zon14 wrote 88 days ago

I've only read the first chapter once so far, but here's my immediate impressions.

I really liked the journey he took to his mother's(Blossom). The description of the places he travelled through I found quite gripping along with the sense of danger at each spot. That was probably the best part of the chapter.

I didn't quite understand the sheer amount of vitriol directed at Predator. Okay, I can understand the MC's disapproval of cousins living together like that. But other than the two of them being related by blood...what? Would he have felt different if she wasn't related? There was a standoff early on, and a mention of tainted meals which I couldn't quite figure out if that was true or him merely expressing an unfounded suspicion.

I did enjoy the tales from the elders but maybe there's just too many of them. I think it may work better with only three or four tellers instead of seven, and since he's the main storyteller start rather than end with Sappa.

Hope this helps.

A. Wies wrote 91 days ago

Hello,

This genre isn't really my thing, but I can see your book appealing to others, as proven by your ranking (congrats). I've noticed various grammar and wording issues, but nothing beyond hope. My advice would be for you to invest in a good editor, or to at least hand off your MS to a friend who is particularly good with that type of thing. My shelf is full at the moment, but if you need a push later in the month, I could bump someone temporarily (I tend to leave each book on my shelf for a at least few weeks or until they make the desk).

Best of Luck,

Alisha
Whisperer- I'd really appreciate it if you would consider giving my work a nudge with a comment, rating, backing, etc.

haimkadman wrote 102 days ago

It descrives very well the trials of a teenager and told through his point of view, which is mixed with his wishes, hopes, dreams and imagination.

PhilippaS wrote 105 days ago

Read Swap - Inside Dead

First, let me start by saying I love the 'feel' of this book. It's as though I'm sitting and listening to a storyteller instead of reading a book off a computer screen. That being said, I will also say that there are some 'issues' with word use / word choice, grammar and spelling, but none are monumental. My first suggestion is that you pass your MS to a stronger English speaker who can help you with these elements.

The title sounds more like a science fiction or horror story than a biography. That's not necessarily a negative, but it might be something to consider when it's time to market this book to a broader audience.

Pitches: The SP is too little. It's not a matter of 'less is more', it's simply too little and is confusing. What is 'an existence of hell'? Is this the presentation of Hell's existence? No. But that's what it sounds like instead of the story of an individual's hellish experiences.

The LP defines that the hellish experience was 'a man's' experiences and this is where I first realized that the author's first language is not either British English or American English - it's a variant, a dialect if you will. This provides the 'feel' that breathes life into the MC and his experiences and, to me, it's a plus. It does, however, feed the structural and elemental weaknesses within the MS. In the LP there are several misspellings: 'on to' should be one word; 'for legal reason' the word 'reason' should be plural 'reasons' as there is more than a single reason for the disclaimer.

There are also slightly 'off' sentence structures in the LP: 'a hellish path that ran beyond thirty years.' Exchanging 'more' for 'beyond' in this sentence would make it read more smoothly, as in 'a hellish path that ran for more than thirty years.' In the last sentence of the LP, 'the text are a jumble language, Jamminglish...' is awkwardly phrased. It would read more smoothly if it were modified to read 'the text is a jumble of languages: Jamminglish...'

I read Chapters 1 through 3.

Plusses:

Chapter 1 was quite long but interesting. The challenges of being a child within a dysfunctional family are coherently presented and, from the perspective of a young MC, are well described.

Chapter 2 is a bit more disjointed than the previous chapter but it's more because of word usage and sentence structure than because of any serious fundamental flaw. As I said earlier, it's much like sitting and listening to the verbal storytelling of a Jamaica resident.

Chapter 3 is where I get the sense that I've broken through the skin of the orange and have started to get into the meat. This is where the story really gets going for me - a bit late in the game for some readers, perhaps, but it's where I finally start getting answers to the many questions left by the pitches and first two chapters.

The descriptions of the settings and scenes is very well done throughout these early chapters. Neither I nor the characters are overwhelmed by them. They're well handled and remain as background to what's happening in the foreground. That makes it easier for me to focus on the story.

Minuses:

Chapter 1: By the time I finished this rather long chapter I had so many questions they were starting to get in the way of the story - they were a distraction rather than a draw, leading me on. Why did the MC's father kick his wife out of their house? How many siblings does the MC have and what are their ages relative to his? How did the sudden(??) disintegration of the family affect them? Didn't they question or discuss it among themselves? How did they feel about the women their father brought home? What did they think of the 'incestuous' relations between their father and his first cousin? Evidently, church was an integral part of the family life so how did the MC's siblings apply the teachings of church doctrine affect their relationship with their father? Did they think or feel the same way as the MC did about the situation?

Chapter 2 is a bit more disjointed than either Chapters 1 or 3 but I think it's more because of word usage and sentence structure than any fundamental flaw. In this chapter I'm losing some sympathy with the MC because it's all a 'poor me' attitude toward the punishments passed down and no obvious effort to either avoid them or do anything about them. I'll admit that I'm ignorant of such a life because I've never had the misfortune to experience it, but I can't imagine just, in a manner of speaking, laying there and taking it. If no one else would help or listen, why didn't the MC at least appeal to his mother or a favorite Aunt? If his home life was so miserable and dysfunctional to the point where he contemplated suicide, wouldn't he think of running away, at least as far as his mother's house? There's no hint of a child's voice mumbling in the dark, 'maybe it's my fault'.

Chapter 3 is much clearer and easier to follow than Chapter 2 where I think the author's memories and emotions took charge of his 'pen' to some degree, affecting the flow of the story. This is where I finally start to get some of the answers to the many questions I had at the end of Chapter 1. Dad met a new woman but there's no hint of why, except for his wife's illness, he was suddenly dissatisfied with her. There are 3 siblings, plus the MC, but no indication of their relative ages or their relationships - good, bad or indifferent - with the MC.

Suggestions:

As I stated earlier, I strongly recommend that you pass your MS to a stronger speaker of 'standard' English for a read-through with an eye to catching the structural errors and misspellings. I equally strongly advise you against allowing them to influence how you tell your story - just have them point out where things are on the weak side and offer you suggestions on how it could be smoothed and/or improved. Keep the story your own and don't let it become someone else's voice.

Address some of the questions earlier in the story, in Chapter 1, so the reader's mind isn't so cluttered with 'why this' or 'how did' or 'who did' that they miss what you're trying to say. You don't necessarily have to give it all away, but a hint: Dad met another woman and decided he liked her more than mom ... My brothers and sister didn't seem to see anything wrong ... or My brothers and sisters were as bothered by this as I ...

I do think you have a very worthy story to tell, RDM but I also think it needs a bit more work to smooth it out and polish it. In any case, I sincerely wish you good luck.

Best~
Philippa Stirling

Genevieve's Piano
Downlander
Elizabeth's Braid

Neville wrote 107 days ago

INSIDE DEAD
R D M


I read and backed this book way back. Having come across it by chance I decided to go through it again. It’s had some changes made to it and for the better I might say. The book is now much sharper and a really good read in my opinion. Good characters and dialogue keep this book moving with many twists and turns thrown in.
Will shelve again soon as I’m able but I’ve upped the star-rating to maximum for now.

Neville. ‘One Off, Sir!’

Natalie782 wrote 109 days ago

I don’t normally read non-fiction, however you have given my story a go, so I’m here to repay the favour. I know this story is true, but I’m going to look at it as if it were any other book, fiction/not. I may be a little harsh in the things I say, but just note that I thought your story was interesting and I’m want you to succeed, hence why I’m attempting to push for a new approach in your writing. Now onto the review…

Your first chapter is quite long. You begin to tell the story of a date, infamous in your life, one that was not so long ago. However, after the first paragraph, you jump to your childhood. I can see why you did it. You use your first paragraph as a hook, to keep the reader interested. It worked. However, after that, you go way back in time and decide to tell your story chronologically, continuing with your childhood for the rest of the chapter.

I don’t think this is the best way to tell your story. Consider telling it through flashback, focusing solely on important moments in your life. Ever read Sylvia Plath’s ‘Bell Jar’? That’s a good example of a non-linear story, jumping from past to present, slowing piecing together the main character’s life, so by the end, the reader understands the character’s predicament with clarity.

As it is, I feel like you are bombarding me with childhood woes, mixed with unnecessary detail, like naming Bible references in the middle of a paragraph, or describing your run through orchards, fields etc. or telling the reader about all the scary ghost stories that the elders told you. All of that is not necessary. If it is essential information, then keep it, but don’t tell it to the reader all at once. I won’t remember it later on if I need to. And one paragraph about how important religion is in your life is enough to establish your character, so there’s no need to continue to remind/show the reader about how pious you are.

For example, you go on and on about how terrible your father’s relationship is with his cousin, because it is incest and against your moral beliefs, but repeating it over and over with such venom seems a little obsessive and (to use a British phrase here) like flogging a dead horse. I get it, you don’t like incest, and most people don’t, so there’s no need to re-emphasize it over and over. The paragraph when you describe seeing your father and cousin kiss is a good example of what should be kept in your story. It’s told well, with great imagery and use of clever language. The rest of the references to their relationship as being ‘the sick situation at home,’ etc. just feels like ranting.

You have an interesting story here, and a unique voice, two essential attributes of a great book, however the way that you tell your story (chronologically that is), as well as the unnecessary details, ranting etc. should be looked at and reconsidered. I think that if you are able to get your story-telling technique under control, shave in down to the essentials, then you will have a sure-fire winner. :-)

All the best,
Nat

Dimanagul wrote 110 days ago

An extremely detailed account of the trials of a young boy. I'm sure it'll hit a bulls-eye in it's target audience.

ravenessa wrote 114 days ago

added to watchlist i found you through andrew allen (forsaken) it looks like a great tale i will rate it soon looks like a really good book

Realism wrote 114 days ago

I already read the first chapter, and you wrote it perfectly, but you didn't introduce your main character. You didn't mention his name, gender, and features( I wouldn't knew that he is a he if I didn't read the reviews.) But I backed it anyway, because you told a story, not just like some stories that consist of script-like paragraphs. There's no grammar error or anything. Everything is perfectly written.

I will rate this 6/6.

vee8 wrote 128 days ago

The first thing I feel is sympathy for this kid. He's been through the wringer and no mistake. I'm left puzzled though by the situation with Predator. He seemed to be squaring up to her, with the promise to the reader of a good fight, then it all fizzles out. Maybe he's too much of a gentleman to fight a woman?
There's lots of good, bright and colourful details here, though the term 'Needless beatings' gets a bit repetative, and starts to lose it's impact.
Some of the flashbacks get a bit confusing, leaving me unclear if we are in the present or the past.
The kids scare stories are amuzing! Kids will believe all kinds of nonsemse!
All in all this reminds me of one of those bright, multi-colured shirts that are popular with Jamacans. You have captured, in your narative, the essence of the county you are writing about, so well done!

KristinVan26 wrote 132 days ago

Review of Inside Dead by R D M

Hi Patio!
I don't really have many things to say on this. It's well written with just enough detail to keep reading on and that doesn't seem like info dumping. Live the nick names of Blossom and Predator. Near the end of chapter 1 there are a lot of proper names, too many to keep track of. I'd say that if their names (of the Elders) aren't really important then remove them. Then just watch for repeat words close together. I didn't notice too many except for the word 'therefore'. By end of chapter 1, I am wondering why Blossom couldn't take him with when the dad kicked her out. My only other comment for an overall is I'm having a hard time with timeline for his age. It seems to jump around a bit so I'd make it clear that the reader knows what age things are happening.

Chapter 2 in the Duppy para, the tense changes to present. Watch the number of repeat words (but).

Chapter 3 for the list of fruits and veggies-I'd shorten the list to 3-4 and then sneak in more later on in the story.

Kristin
The Guardian

Lily Ariane wrote 137 days ago

Hi Patio,

From what I've read (first Chapter), I feel very deeply sorry for the boy. Unbelievable to see that this is a non-fictional story. Nicely written as well.

On my bookshelf.

Kind regards,

Lilly Ariane
Vincent, Miles & Mozart

Dawn Wessel wrote 138 days ago

It's a difficult story to read all the more because it's true...you have been through hell: physical, sexual and psychological abuse not to mention cultural superstitions and abandonment...I'm no psychologist and I may be out in left field but your attraction to so many messed up women who used you as their boy-toy was probably the deep need for female attention...it was a relief to read the second last chapter where you had figured out some things and that will no doubt help you on your journey to self healing...a good therapist can help you to sort out a lot of things so that you are not 'unknowingly' attracted to situations that will only bring more pain.

To make it perfect, your book can use some editing as there are many 'small' grammatical errors...at the same time you are a very good writer...where did you learn to write so well and where did you find the time?... it takes a lot of discipline to write a book so I am very impressed at your tenacity considering the negativity you had to deal with at every corner....it also takes time to climb out of the pit of abuse but some day when you're ready I would like to see you write something else.

I forgot to mention that I noticed that you have a great sense of humor despite all you have been through, it showed itself at times unexpectedly and fleetingly...it was like getting a glimpse into another part of your psyche that could never shine through because of circumstances beyond your control; fully developed however, I think it may unlock other writing, and possibly speaking, potential because you have a story to tell.

RonParker wrote 149 days ago

Hi,

Although time prevents me from reading more than the first two chapters (which are rather long), I can see that this is one of the better books on this site.

It's a sad story, but well- written and in the sample that I read I spotted only one error, a missing apostrophe.

I'm sure this book will eventually be published and I look forward to reading it in full once it is in print. If it doesn't make it, then there's no hope for the rest of us.

Ron

Sarah Breske wrote 163 days ago

This story so far is really interesting. I can practically feel all of the boy's emotions through the screen and I felt driven to continue! I really hope this makes it all the way!


SB
The Rezempia Challenge

Sarah.Fay wrote 322 days ago

Hey Patio,

I read the first chapter and really like your style. This boy's life is sad but the way you write it makes me want to keep reading to see what is going to happen to him. Below are some comments.

Ch.1
-"..why he banished mom and started relationships with the terrible women who (mistreated) me."
-"..I then said with a clockwise and anti-clockwise head spin that sharpen(ed) my focus."
-I don't want your hello and move away from me should be in the same paragraph.
-Be careful with putting so many actions into one sentence. I personally try to avoid this because I feel it slows down the reader. Ex. "Then I marched out...my feet all the way around to the backyard."
-"Dad she's your cousin, that's incest, it('s) wrong."
-"I applied wisdom and maneuvered ** to avoid being.."
-Well that's not very pastor like..
-"I celebrated conquering the enormous hill with a heavy breath**, a smile and a statement.."

Sarah
Sapphire

Sebnem wrote 334 days ago

INSIDE DEAD-R D M

Dear Patio,

Here’s the promised read. I’m glad I’ve read a couple of chapters from your work. Sadly, I notice you haven’t had a comment for such a long time.

It’s indeed a well-written book from the voice of Richard or Ben, telling his compelling story, “in a dark time; on a backward island” called Jamaica. Your descriptions contribute greatly to create the atmosphere of Ben’s world. My, my, backward it is, in human terms, and it’s not too long ago. As Ben was born in 1976 and the story starts in his early teens, we are probably talking about mid-late 80’s. Yet, again sadly, this is what happens in all neglected societies around the world where human rights are not a matter of concern for the ruling governments. I am no stranger to this.

Ben’s world is full of abuse, starting from his Dad, at home, and amplifying in ripples within his environment; from his mean Pastor, school teachers and headmaster, to uncaring social workers, corrupt policemen, Dad’s constant introduction of new step-mothers, and old men who frighten him with stories of ghosts and monsters since his childhood. What an unfair world for a young mind and soul....I feel a great empathy for Ben...The only person he feels love for is his mother, he calls Blossom, (what a lovely name) who has been kicked out of his home by Dad long time ago. Blossom is the only person in his life, who is kind and affectionate towards him with motherly love, yet he sees her so rarely and he misses her. Dad is the typical backward figure only ruled by his sex urge to satisfy his basic instincts.

So, in this wonderful island of my dreams, despite the warm sunshine, the wonderful nature, the abundant fields and crops, life is difficult for young Ben who suffers greatly from the abuse he gets from all aspects of his life.

Well-done, high stars for the moment, will back you nearer the desk, Best wishes and good luck, Sebnem-The Child of Heaven

P.S.Some edit notes:
1.I recommend that you do a “but” and “and” search and insert the required commas before these conjunctions.
2.I also recommend that you break your first chapter in half, at an appropriate point, creating a page turner. It is a long chapter and would encourage the readers to continue with the story.
CH II
“I will not fight in school. If (a) student hurt(s) me, I will report them (him) to staff...”
My grand-uncle would visit Jamaica and I buy....” this sentence needs to be corrected
I hated what he had done (to) the children and me.

Grafton wrote 376 days ago

I think you should add more to your short pitch, needs more drama, intrigue. This has a good storyline, and well thought out plot, also well written. One small critique- you need to add a few lines of description- to the settings and characters. Give the reader an image to carry the story along. Overall very good- enjoyed reading your book- high stars- Mark Stone.

Tottie Limejuice wrote 376 days ago

Interesting to see a book with so very many comments (although I did notice there are quite a few duplicates) and quite hard to comment on it with that in mind. So I am going to comment purely on my gut instinct, which is that there is a good story in there somewhere, well told, but it needs a lot of work from a skilled editor to bring it out.

I have only read the first chapter and I did find I was tempted to skim read towards the end as it was not holding my attention fully. There was quite a lot of description which could have been cut considerably without losing anything of the narrative.

And I start out with some difficulty. It is clearly a book about abuse, a very personal piece with a lot of tragedy, but I'm not getting that from the start. I'm having some difficulty understanding why/how a physical relationship with a cousin was such an issue, especially as the half brothers seemed to accept it. A very quick bit of internet research suggests sex between cousins is not illegal in Jamaica, though clearly you know best, and that it's perhaps not even all that uncommon. So based purely on what I have read so far, I don't understand why it causes such evident anguish.

If the "Predator" is deliberately withholding food from a child, that is clearly abuse. If, however, a child has just taken a dislike to his father's latest partner, that is something else entirely and perhaps doesn't draw quite as much sympathy.

To be fair to this book, which clearly has promise, I shall come back at a future date and try a few more chapters.

I wish you the best of luck with it.

Tottie Limejuice
Sell the Pig

Kat T wrote 378 days ago

So, I finished reading the first chapter and I have to say that it is very well described and detailed. The sentences flow really well and I enjoyed reading the chapter. One thing is when the Dad says "Shut up your mouth" it should be "Shut your mouth", unless that is the way the language is suppose to be then disregard that lol. Another thing would be when you explain where you can find the story of David and Goliath, everyone knows of the story and I felt like adding the piece of information where it could be found was useless and didn't need to be in the story. But other than that it is really well written. Well done.

-Katherine

Jeason_1993 wrote 378 days ago

I have read the first chapter and it amazing, I will make sure I finish reading this book. I am glued to reading it, it;s that good. It is for sure a must read.

R.J.Gardham wrote 405 days ago

Just read Chapter Two, I find it a very interesting tale, and it is a very harrowing account which intensifies even more in the second chapter. The shockingness of the abusive history is put across by the mini-accounts of different events all stacked up one after the other, it's a barrage of anecdotal misery and remembering. Having Blossom as one good thing throughout is reassuring, and I particularly liked the description of names - real names are rarely used but for official ceremonies. This came across a bit into the description - 'It's alias was darkness.'

Interesting read and I'll be continuing :)

Lyn4ny wrote 421 days ago

I've only read the first chapter but it was a great one. I'm so sorry about this is this is what had happened to you. I think your writing is excellent and has a nice flow to it. I hope to get back to this one soon. High Stars from me and the best of luck to you. I'd love for you to take a look at one of my books, when you get a chance. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

-Lyn

Narcissus wrote 426 days ago

Inside Dead:
I've rarely seen a book with so many comments and thought I'd take a look.
Whenever I begin something written in first person, I cringe. Why? Because I wonder how many time I will be drenched in "I's". IMO, the best "first person" book is the one which uses "I" very infrequently. It's difficult to do but a good writer can pull it off. I've read and commented on a couple here, all well written but a couple with the "I" problem.
So, here I am beginning a read of the book that currently holds position 23.
Sorry but I'm immediately put off by all the "I's". Unfortunately, I just have a hard time reading I, I, I, I. As an editor, I would immediately send this author back to his computer to see how many "I"s he can remove. It would be the same if I read something that used the word, "than" on a regular basis.
Keep in mind this has nothing to do with story line, composition, style, flow, arch, etc. Whenever a word is overused, it can really hurt the rest of the writing, imo.
Some examples:

First paragraph: I'll never forget, I sat, I heard, I didn't have, I'd already had, I was close...

Second paragraph: I was just seven, I loved my mother, I was twelve, I even considered, I saved myself, I was too young...

Third paragraph: I used a survival plan, I struggled, I reflected, I wouldn't have suffered, I watched...

Fourth paragraph: I did protest, I was encouraged, I saw, I was sitting, I noticed, I immediately abandoned, I did not want, I sat in a corner, I rested my elbows,....

On to the paragraph beginning with, "I hope she doesn't come in here," I said, I didn't use, if I, I would've blasted, I used to refer, I stood up, I was ready, I frowned, I wasn't scared, I pierced her....

The list goes on and often becomes even more frequent. There are places where two or three sentences in a row begin with "I".

My intention is NOT to denigrate this book in any way, but as an editor, I can't ignore this common practice with unpublished first person novels. As I said, it's difficult to write first person without overusing "I" , but it can be done, and used sparingly, it will take this book up several notches.

~Joe
Isles End

HariPatience wrote 433 days ago

Hi Patio

Your story is very harrowing, and if this all happened to you I'm very sorry to hear it, it must have been very difficult at the time. I can see from your profile that you've chosen to write in a mixture of languages. Obviously you have strong command of these, but especially at the beginning of the first chapter I did feel a little overwhelmed by your descriptions. I can see that you wanted to use repetition to emphasise just how horrible things were, but it sometimes comes across, I hope you don't mind me saying this, as overly dramatic and unnecessary. The description of actions alone might be enough, I'm not sure you need all of the extra adjectives.

Hari

RAS1010 wrote 445 days ago

You mentioned you wanted people to view later chapters, so I went for C14

You have vocal anger, and then verbal anger. You could use other ways to mention shouting, arguments etc... it just felt a bit too soon to use a similar way of saying the same thing. you could even use 'unloaded her anger' it enough of a difference to not stand out at much as vocal and verbal.

I like your imagery, especially “rammed my head and intestine with the force of a tsunami”



The amount of description is sometimes unnecessary, and repetitive.

For example you explain how the bed had no covers, and you slept skin to skin... but then you say “sat down on the coverless bed”. You don’t necessarily need the adjective, as the reader already knows it is coverless.

I found this throughout the chapter, and it made sentences long and hindered the flow of them.

You mention the August 2011 mob attack on the house, but then you mention it again. I think you were trying to show the reasons why stress levels were rising. But it felt repetitive, the reader already knows about the attack, I would just join the attack together... so the bit about Ellie and the initial attack details, rather then come back to it to mention Ellie.

I like how you ended the chapter, it is a great way to make the reader want to turn the page, rather than stop at the end of the chapter and read on in a few days or so.

I found sentence structure a bit choppy and muddled. But I was wondering if it was colloquial language
“I moved on to spending time with my amusing son... trial was still being held against me” Is an example of this. I would have stopped the sentence at “Social Services” and then used a new sentence to explain why, because of the trial.

Another point on that sentence is, sometimes you use a lot of words to say something, which could be cut down easily and enhance the flow. “that objected to me seeing him while a trial was still being held against me”... it’s quite a long way of saying that they didn’t want contact because of the trial.

But as I said in my earlier comment, it is definitely a story worth telling, and from your rank on authonomy, it is clearly liked.

I wish you all the best

Ras1010
BattleDress
http://authonomy.com/books/47192/battledress/

Rosesprite wrote 446 days ago

This harrowing, brutal tale is told in a literary fashion. There is no doubt the writer has a great command of the English language. However it seems at times too literary for the memories of a young boy. Some of your work flows beautifully and in others I had to keep going back and re-reading sentences which is disruptive and can be annoying. The golden rule is to keep examples to three. You say the bullies at school called him names and then listed every single subject, every room and area in the school, simply saying they bullied him in the schoolyard and every classroom and even the library would suffice. Likewise the scary stories the elders told went on too long - again three would be enough. I agree with others that you need to read the story aloud or get someone else to so you can hear where the story gets bogged down and tongue-tied. The most important thing is the story and the main character's feelings, ditch any words or sentences which don't move the story forward. It is an incredible story and deserves to be published, just work on it a little more. It says a lot that the book is so high in the ratings. Well done and good luck!

Rosesprite wrote 446 days ago

This harrowing, brutal tale is told in a literary fashion. There is no doubt the writer has a great command of the English language. However it seems at times too literary for the memories of a young boy. Some of your work flows beautifully and in others I had to keep going back and re-reading sentences which is disruptive and can be annoying. The golden rule is to keep examples to three. You say the bullies at school called him names and then listed every single subject, every room and area in the school, simply saying they bullied him in the schoolyard and every classroom and even the library would suffice. Likewise the scary stories the elders told went on too long - again three would be enough. I agree with others that you need to read the story aloud or get someone else to so you can hear where the story gets bogged down and tongue-tied. The most important thing is the story and the main character's feelings, ditch any words or sentences which don't move the story forward. It is an incredible story and deserves to be published, just work on it a little more. It says a lot that the book is so high in the ratings. Well done and good luck!

Zombie Mom wrote 449 days ago

Regarding editing, try and remove some of the alliteration in the very beginning: vile, vileness; close, closure; horrendous happenings. Also, "dreadfulness" after "vileness" doesn't really give a break to the reader. Choose the one that must stay for effect and tweak the rest. Pay attention to your descriptions-sometimes it seems as though you're trying too hard and it comes across as forced or confusing. For instance, you specified which hand (I can't find the sentence) but it didn't add to the story and is distracting, hence,should be removed. Look for similar situations where descriptions do not help your story along. Start with the most obvious--other reviewers have also pointed to the same. The reference to bible location is not necessary and distracting from the actual story. You have a few layers of editing to go through but there is a good story to be told here. Try to reread it as though you are seeing it for the first time. That writing tips link by Darla F. is a good guideline to get you started. Good luck! ZM

FrancesK wrote 449 days ago

Richard, this document is harrowing in its detail and truthfulness. Your recall of your life [because it has to be true, this could not be made up] is excellent. I loved your descriptions of life in Jamaica and the culture there, where Duppies and superstitions coexisted with a lively interest in church and religion. Your spelling and punctuation is fine. You main character is sympathetic and likeable. One thing I would suggest is that you hold back from giving us judgmental statements, for example about the incestuous relationship of your father and his cousin. You don't need to tell us how horrible it was, her actions put that message over clearly. Let the events of this young man's life speak for themselves. Good luck with this book, it has an unusual subject matter and I hope HC will take an interest in it. Best wishes, Frances K

carol jefferies wrote 450 days ago

Hi RDM,

I read the first two chapters of your book, 'Inside Dead,' although I have read it before.

Your harrowing story is promising and you pay good attention to detail, especially the body language in your confrontation with the Predator. And your story gives a good sense of place.

However I think it would flow better if you tried to reduce the length of your sentences, and the amount of adjectives you use.
eg.'Psychological pain that generated from thoughts of what my friends might have said to me about the disgraceful situation interfered with my appetite, and so I didn't eat any of the fruit that littered the farms, food from the shops, or drink water from the many mini-lakes. '

Instead you could simply write, 'Worried about what my friends thoughts might be interfered with my appetite, so I couldn't eat or drink anything.'

You have already told the reader repeatedly about the 'disgraceful situation.'

I think you need to do a good edit. I liked chapter two with the story about your birth.

You have done so well.

Good luck with it,

Carol Jefferies
(A Prince Unboyed)
(Love for Lilian)
(A Kinsman's Chattel)

DB Stephens wrote 450 days ago

Overall, I like chapter 1. It grabbed my attention and held it the entire time. Good job! There are a couple of things that I thought I might point out, since that's what I assume you wanted when you solicited my review. I got a little confused in a couple of areas, which is not a good thing to do to your reader. First: I had to reread a couple of paragraphs to figure out that the "predator" was your father's cousin and the same woman you identified early on using the same designation. If you had first told me that she was his cousin, I wouldn't have been confused. The second spot was when you went into the story about the preacher who made you climb the tree; I wasn't sure who you were talking about and had to reread.

Also: you didn't need to tell us where to find the story of David and Goliath. Everyone knows the story, so it was useless info - better left out.

I was also a bit surprised at what "crimes" the predator is guilty of in this chapter. From your early description I would have thought that she had chained you up and molested you. Maybe she does later in the book - if not - then I feel your early description was a bit excessive and the story won't support your lead in. If it's how you felt as a little kid (the whole chained up and molested thing verses the incest of the cousin with your father), then maybe it could have been expressed with that in mind.

Hope some of that helps;
DB

M.C. Schmidt wrote 450 days ago

I've read the first chapter and liked it overall. Your sentences tend to be terse which, in my opinion, can either give energy to the text or make it choppy. I think this style is appropriate for a story that begins with such a chaotic series of events, although I did see some areas where I would suggest edits.

I'll continue reading and write again with a more constructive review. For now, though, congratulations!

Darla Ferrara wrote 451 days ago

The story promises chaos but turns out to be a little chaotic. The writing structure needs a lot of polish. Often the quickest way for a writer to get a thought across is to say it without all the hyperbole. For example:

“And I was close to closure, rationalizing horrendous happenings that started in infancy.”

I’m not exactly sure what that sentence even says. If you mean the troubles started when you were young, you should find a cleaner, less ambiguous way to get that thought across.

In the beginning paragraph, I would lose the month and year there. They don’t really add anything but clutter. “I’ll never forget the morning of the 15th.”

“It was the police with vile info and a warrant to place me in custody.”

A clearer way to say that might be:

It was the police with a warrant for my arrest. They had a vile story to tell of my misdeeds, although I no longer had the capacity to be vile. I had already lived a lifetime of doom.

Overall, I think you have a suspenseful story. It just needs some work. This is a website that I find helps focus my fiction stories. You might get some tips from it.

http://www.be-a-better-writer.com/creative-writing-tips.html

I hope that you will take a minute to read some of my current book.

Good luck,
Darla

Fragmented wrote 451 days ago

It was the police with vile info and a warrant to place me in custody. I didn’t have the capacity for vileness....whats a 'vile' info?? This leaves me feeling slightly confused

Dad brought her home when I was twelve and within a matter of weeks, she mauled me with perversion that messed up my head, so much so that for a while I even considered jumping off a cliff, eating pest poison or drowning myself in a pond....I would suggest that this is a REALLY long sentence. can you shorten it?

to power up his I-do-my-cousin thing and wine to loosen up her I-take-my-family sling...i like the rhyme here

I hope she doesn’t come in here, I said in a faint voice. ....ok, if he said this, it needs to be in speech. If he thought this, then keep it in italics

I stood up and looked out as fear gripped me....looked 'out'...where? Out the window? Out the door?

Then adrenaline, fight or flight, kicked in. ...suggest: Then fight or flight kicked in: a surge of adrenalin

“Get out or I’ll knock you out!” I warned her with a puffy face, pumped chest and raised fists. ..love this decription. Really gives a sense of how the MC is feeling inside by an external description.

I called her into the range of an uppercut with an extended hand and menaced fist. ...suggest changing this to: I said, calling her into the range of an uppercut.

“Let’s settle this,” I then said with a clockwise and anti-clockwise head spin that sharpen my focus....change to: "Let's settle this." I said, moving my head clockwise and back again to sharpen my focus

she tried to ...she said, trying to change...

story, David and Goliath, ...change comma to colon

The change of behaviour ...change 'the' to 'this

“Shut up your mouth!” ...shut up your mouth? consider shut your mouth

I walked until aerobic respiration kicked in and released glucose-morphine which eased my anger, frustration and feelings of disappointment...this is clever, and nicely done...but can you justify why he would be thinking like this later on in the book? If you can, great, maybe hes a med student or something. if Not scrap it, he wouldnt know this

Basically, he slammed me with the offensive F-word and B-word for walking on a piece of his vacant land when he spotted me from a distance. Then he stormed towards me with a machete in his hand. ....love it

a mile away Round-a-river. ...put a full stop after mile

But I fought to live not to die. ...put a comma after 'live'

imposed restriction on me.....'imposed such restrictions upon me'

“Climb up and pick me two coconuts,” he aggressively ordered.....change the comma to a full stop

“It’s extremely windy,” I begged pity....same. full stop

chop off your hands,” he ....same

to happened,....to 'happen'

k out of church. Dad’s needless beating... change the full stop to a comma

Not sure about you repetitively mentioning the grumbling in his stomach, perhaps narrow it down a little bit.

I didn’t go to school for weeks or walk the streets....put 'After this@ before the sentence, or after it. Out of placve, present tense but describing the past

Its water...It's

Im sorry I dont have any time to gop through the rest of it. Your story was pullling me in, but (see my profile) I just dont have the time to say anymore :-( I like what youve done and the story is great, you've just got quite a lot of typos that need sorting.
high stars, 5/6, and if you find the time my link is:

http://authonomy.com/books/49419/fragmented/

All the best on Authonomy!!!

Rachel

xxx





Joseph Sale wrote 451 days ago

R D M,

This is a very interesting read, although i must say that the style is not to my personal taste. These experiences have obviously been distressing and hard, and to write about them is an amazing thing. Congratulations.

I do think this could be improved with a few edits, however.

Excessive use of adjectives can be tiresome to read at times, and it also means you are explaining to the reader a little too much - most readers like to come to conclusions themselves. For example, 'I didn't have the capacity for vileness. I'd already had a lifetime of dreadfulness' - would possibly be better worded 'I didn't have the capacity for vileness. I'd already had a life-time of it.' Again this is personal opinion, and totally subjective.

Overall this is incredibly vivid, emotional and intriguing. I do want to find out what happens.

High stars.

Good luck with all your endeavours.

-Joseph Sale

Wolf Rising

Jon Schafer wrote 451 days ago

R D M,

This is one of the best written books I've read on authonmy if not the best. Your style and way with words made me feel like I was right there.
Rated, backed, and on my shelf.
You may say thank you for this, but I say thank you for bringing this book to my attention.
One critique, which I shouldn't even put in because I do it all the time myself, is; Don't overdo your descriptions. When you describe something, like the birds Ben caught, leave it at three.
I think you might enjoy Immigrant song. Check it out when you get a chance.

Jon Schafer
Dead Air
Immigrant Song

chevalier94 wrote 452 days ago

Wow! I'm hooked at the very first paragraph. Your pitch is so simple and really attracting. I love the way you describe the characters' emotions, really good and I can even feel them. But I think you should work a bit harder on environment descriptions. But overall, It think it's a good book.
Backed!

Have a look at my novel!
Faruq Chevalier
Flawless Ritual

Lori Lucero wrote 459 days ago

What a harrowing story! I've read the first four chapters and will read more as soon as I get a chance. I hope your story has a happy ending. You did a good job in your descriptions of Jamaica and the culture.

Lori
Parallel Lives

k_willman wrote 461 days ago

Your colourful words bring the backdrop to life; for a moment it felt like I was in Jamaica. The story however is harrowing and it must have taken tremendous strength and courage to write these words.
K. Willman

CoraMay wrote 463 days ago

This book is well writen and the MC Richard is someone to adore. I love his stremgth through out his many hardships. It kept me rooting for him and I even shead tears through it as I read. Richard is a character no a superhero I could look up two.

MiriamNConde wrote 463 days ago

This is definitely a distressing story. Somehow through such heavy burdens Richard stays true to himself and grows stronger through each grievous trial. I'm sure this work can be a source of strength to many.

MiriamNConde
The Immortality Experiment

Kristi Dawn Hurley wrote 466 days ago

I've only read the first two chapters. I hope your protagonist gets to reunite with Blossom soon. This is very good.

Kristi
Casting Shadows

shutterbugf wrote 468 days ago

Draws you in well! I wish there was more (don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hadn't read it), it is very well written and the detail is awesome, very well done.

Seringapatam wrote 469 days ago

You have put so much emotion into this opening chapter. The writing is deep and starting to flow with the story now. I think this will be a book that is going to serve you well the more you put into it. Stick with it as its a little cracker.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R)....Please consider me for a read wont you....Happy New year.

Cathy Hardy wrote 470 days ago

I am up to chapter eight and I must say this is very harrowing. You have written with such a unique style that every word seems essential. Your writing has incredible detail, but is never boring or padded out with waffle. I'm glad you gave us a feel of the good things that life provided in Jamaica. All the fresh produce and rural references are fabulous and even the mention of Bob Marley. Terribly sad and I do hope it has a happy ending.

Cathy xx