Book Jacket

 

rank 2342
word count 13499
date submitted 17.04.2012
date updated 02.10.2012
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Children's, Young...
classification: universal
incomplete

Awakening

Mark Bain

There are things about this world we're simply not meant to understand... like why do we dream? Sam Love learns to understand

 

There is a place where the creatures of nightmares exist. They have been spoken of and written about through time, myths and legends passed from generation to generation, their stories finding a nesting place in the minds of children. Sam is about to find them... and they are about to find him. That could spell trouble unless the creatures of fairy tales find him first....
Displaced and alone, Sam is searching for his place in the world, but isn't certain it's in the village where his new home is. Before long the nightmares start and Sam is swept into a world within our world where he might just be the balancing force - if he can survive.

 
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CJBowness wrote 407 days ago

I have read a tiny bit of this and like what I've seen so far very much. I've put it on my watchlist to read a bit more of soon.

CJ Bowness
The Accidental Adventurers

Wanttobeawriter wrote 587 days ago

AWAKENING
This is a story I think young adults and schoolagers will enjoy a lot. The day at the fair was a good way to begin the story. Ms. Nixon and Mrs. Potts certainly provided the entertainment for the afternoon. What is intriguing, tho, is the subtle way you introduce the ominous thread of the men in the graveyard; lets a reader know there’s going to be mysterious happenings to come. The chapters of Sam moving into his new house and the story telling of nursery rhymes shift back to a fun filled story again – except because Ms. Nixon feels apprehension and Sam awakes to strange happenings, you’re able to maintain the ominous tone of the story. I think you’ll find a waiting audience for this as it has just enough mystery to be intriguing; not so far out it’s hard to believe. I’m starring this and adding it to my shelf. Mark/Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Serina Hartwell wrote 591 days ago

Hi Mark,

As a reader, I look for a great opening scene. If it is descriptive and takes me straight into a scene I can picture in my mind, then that the book for me. I love your description in your prologue; you made me feel like I was there. You make great use of strong imagery throughout your book in your descriptive writing style, which thoroughly appeals to me as I am a visual writer myself.

What I have read so far flows so well that I have read through it like a hot knife through butter, and even though I haven’t read your whole book, I have decided to add ‘Awakening’ to my book shelf. You need to hurry up and get published so I can buy this book, because it is a book shop book waiting to happen.

Good luck with your writing; I will be looking out for more Mark Bain books!

Serina Hartwell
Author of ‘Hidden’ & ‘Trapped’ (coming soon)

Geddy25 wrote 612 days ago

CHIRG
Just read the first few chapters of this and was really enjoying it.
I like the way you have given Sam such a clear character - a typical boy (well, it was when I was a kid anyway).
You descriptions were all very clear and concise and I could imagine everything.
I loved the classroom scene - all the paint and commotion (me being a primary school teacher). The nursery rhyme telling was great. There's always little Johnny who comes out with the crackers. "Did he die, was there loads of blood?" - brilliant! It seems all nursery rhymes are violent and largely involve death or dismemberment!
I did find a couple of bits that stuck with me in an otherwise faultless text.
1. "...broken free from a gatepost at the churchyard on Church Lane..." I thought this was a bit clumsy - maybe "...broke free from the churchyard gatepost..."? Do you need to say Church Lane? Most Churches are on Church Lane.
2. "...balloon snagged on a twig, the tree refusing...." I think you should replace the comma with "and", then change refusing to refused.
3. "Day turned to evening and some men white waving hankies..." White waving should be waving white.
4. "Ambling through the crowds a man in red..." I think you need a comma after crowds. I think that sentence could be changed about a bit too as you seemed to get off the point to describe what he was wearing.
These are obviously my opinions so ignore them at will. I hope I've helped though! :)
All in all, I enjoyed what I read, so high stars from me!
Mike.
(Way Back To Devil's Mountain)

Sara Stinson wrote 627 days ago

CHIRG Review

Hi Mark,

I have read Chapter One. You have a great story idea going. Like most everyone on authonomy, including me, it needs some editing. Please look at my suggestions and know I really like what you have created. I will read more and comment soon.

* picking at the sagging red rubber with (A) razor sharp beak. -- (Change to with (ITS) razor sharp beak.
* some men (white waving hankies) -- (waving white hankies)
* a man in a (red checked) shirt --- (red-checked)

Chapter One
* He heard (noise) from downstairs -- (noises) --- Could say --(He heard noises downstairs)
* Excited noises drifting up through the bare floorboards. (This is a fragment -- Change drifting to DRIFTED)
* The Love family were moving house today. -- (Maybe say...... The whole Love family was moving today.)
* that it was far enough away (to make him go to) a new school. (maybe -- he had to attend)
* it was just outside a village near to the town where dad's new job would be. (I would start the sentence with
'It' --- Maybe say -- It was located outside a village near a town where Dad's new job would be.)
* I would delete (Sam?) It sounds like he is talking to another Sam.
* Sam was used to having -- (Since you are talking about the past, I would say something like.... Sam had
always slept in a house located in a neighborhood.)
* In the next sentence use (had always been)
* In the remainder of this paragraph, I feel you can make it read smoother. This is just my thought. Do know I
am giving my opinion. :)
(There had always been friends to hang out with on his block. Several of his friends and he spent the entire
summer riding bikes. Many times they got in trouble for wandering into areas where they were not
supposed to travel. They did not mind. The kids looked at trouble as a kind of challenge. On his twelfth
birthday, he invited his friends and they'd all went to the movies.)
* An hour later(,) the Love family (was) trundling down a country lane (after turning off the main road.)
* "Did you notice the name of the lane?" (Dad asked. Everyone was silent.) You can use his proper name in
the sentence, so you capitalize DAD.) (Also, always address who is talking first. Say---Dad asked instead of
asked Dad.)
* Mum smiled. (Address person first and capitalize Mum since you can use her proper name in the
sentence.)
* Sam said.
* It was built with old style red brick. (I would stop here.) Then say......
(A darker red cover the roof and the windows were adorned with criss-cross patterns.)
* A little roof covered the front porch, two white pillars propping it up. (The way this is written, it sounds as
though the pillars were propping up the porch and not the roof.) ( Maybe you can say.....Two white pillars
held up a tiny roof over the porch, which was located in the front of the house.) or (A tiny roof covered the
front porch. Two white pillars held the (roof or cover) in place.)
* Ivy was growing around and over the front door. (Need to make your verbs stringer.) maybe say (Coiling
and twisting vines grew around 'the cherry red' front door.)
* It looked fresh and clean. (The trimmed greenery helped the house feel inviting (or welcoming.)
* The bright re front door had one step leading up to it under the porch complete with a golden door knocker
in the shape of a lion's head. ( I understand what you are wanting to say, but this sentence is long and
confusing.) Maybe break up the sentences..... Also, I think this sentence can be part of the description of the
the house. Or this sentence could connect with the ivy sentence. (twisting vines grew around the cherry red
front door, which was completed with a golden door knocker in the shape of a lion's head.)
(Be careful, sometimes too many added adjectives can stop the flow of the sentence.)
* "Oh good, Protection." Sam heard his dad say to his mum. "You know, In the old days, people used these
(ON) doors to ward off evil spirits."
* I feel the next sentence could be divided. (Sam turned away from the house. Down the lane he spotted a
moving van clattering into view about the time a rabbit scurried into the road. It froze briefly in its tracks
before hopping off into some bushes nearby.)
* (For children......short strong sentences are better.)
* He walked quietly away from the car, trying not to attract unwanted attention. (The way this is written
THE CAR is trying not to attract unwanted attention.) Maybe say (Walking away from the car, he tried not to
attract unwanted attention.) or (He walked quietly away from the car and tried to not attract unwanted
attention.) Or make it two sentences. ( Look up danging sentence examples.)
* So there are neighbors here after all. ---- ( I would italicize this. It is a thought he is having)
* There was a strange tingling allover his body. --- This sentence is correct. You could use a stronger verb
and make it sound better. (A strange tingling sensation ran from his head to his toes. (all over his body, ran
through hi veins)
* Use action verbs when you can.
* (causing him to feel warm and comfortable.)
* The next sentence about the sofa is confusing. I would divide this sentence and use action verbs.
* Inside the house, Mum unpacked some of the suitcases which had been placed in the main bedroom
upstairs. (A more tight sentence.)
* (You have a lot of-- -there---words in the story. Look and see if some could be deleted or the sentence
changed.
* There was no bed there ..... the way the sentence reads, Mum placed the clothes in the rays..... maybe place them on the window sill for the rays of the sun....
* Outside the window of the small bedroom, Sam's mum noticed the magnificent tree. And in the tree, she saw the treehouse. Unknowingly to Mum, a boy lay peacefully in the treehouse on the floor. Gently wrinkling the corners of her eyes, a smile crept across her face. She turned away and returned to her chores while Sam snoozed. He lay snoring and sleeping until lunchtime.

I am no expert by no means. ( I worked and changed as I read through your first chapter.)
Please use what will help you and ignore the rest. Even I have areas to work on in my book. :)

Keep up the good work!
Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

We are all a work in progress!

klouholmes wrote 638 days ago

CHIRG review

Hi Mark, This is very colorful and it produces pictures in the mind, the balloon and the festivities. "The afternoon had been blessed with sunshine." Could use "was" for "had been." And then the "had beens" after that could be "was's." That would give more vitality. The rest of the writing has plenty of it. I also liked the descriptions of Sam's new house. The other comment is that, to bring kids into the book, you might want to introduce Sam before the midsummer part. Or do more with the "princess" before the adult characters appear.

I really liked the whirl of this and how the "princess" girl disappeared during it. There's much good writing. Shelved soon - Katherine

sticksandstones wrote 648 days ago

CHIRG Review:

Hi Mark, I've recently reviewed three of my favourite Children's stories on the CHIRG group (and Authonomy for that matter). Feel free to take whatever comments you find useful and ditch the rest. I really like the beginning. It has a far gentler (and therefore more subtle) start than some of the more wacky stories I've read.

The image of three balloons floating through the sky is handled very well. I particularly like your imagery of a tangle of rubber coming to rest in an ancient oak tree. Be careful with long sentences to include commas. Some of your wording seems a bit too descriptive, ie - silhouetted against the sinking summer solstice sun.

It's not always effective to have too many words in a sentence start with the same letter. Bear in mind that most kids today probably don't know how long a century is, and therefore won't understand - a quarter of a century. I don't think you need - the toast of the hosts. Just explain that Mrs. Potts won the rosette for largest carrot.

Will kids understand - selling was as brisk as the breeze. I really think you need to simplify your language. Instead of 'billowed' why not say puffed up? I'm also unsure of the relevance of the county fair?

When you write - was delighted to see Ms Nixon knitting behind her stall which wasn't attracting nearly as much attention . . . This is an awkward sentence. Why would someone knitting behind her stall attract attention? And why was Mrs. Potts delighted by it? You also write - white waving hankies . . . Instead of waving white hankies.

It reads as though the crowds buzzed around the skittle alley . . . Whilst bobbing for apples AND guessing the weight of the pig. You need better clarification here, or separate sentences. 'Ladies (plural) in their finest DRESS (not plural, otherwise it makes it sound as if ALL the ladies are wearing multiple dresses).'

'Pale grey trousers AND grey cloth cap,' you don't need to then tell the reader the cap is on his head. There's too much description and nothing really happening. Why are we at this fair? Who are the MCs? Kids today won't understand Cheshire cat grin (unless they've seen Tim Burton's film adaptation). Use a different analogy or scrap it.

You don't need to describe the tin-can-alley-man's reaction with his tongue. It's wordy, needless, slows down the pace and doesn't add anything. Remember this is your opening Chapter, if Children can't engage after a few lines, they won't bother.Lose - beige, tartan and tweed - needless again.

The ensuing fight between Ms Nixon and Mrs Potts is a lot better . . . But then the daughter's disappearance is very sudden. As I've said above, take whatever comments you find useful. People have made similar observations of my own work, and as difficult as it can be, I'd suggest sleeping on it.

Ben - Franky Frog's Worldwide Travelogue

J C Michael wrote 663 days ago

Hi Mark,
I didn't know exactly what to expect from this but I was pleasantly surprised. The prologue works well with slight comedic elements and a steady pace and the ends with a really mysterious section, the missing girl and the fat man, that leaves the reader wanting to know just what had happened. Something we no doubt won't discover until much later.
Chapters 1 and 2 were also well written. I have a slight issue with situations that seem to be formulaic, such as the kid moving home (at least he has both parents) and a classroom scene but both chapters were well handled with some nice touches. I particularly like the image of his mother looking into the treehouse and the nursery rhyme activity. I might just suggest the wife uses that one at work!
Overall this got my attention and if I was looking at this with a view to reading on rather than criting the opening then I can safely say that I would.
Well done and keep at it as this deserves to do well. I do think you have some run on sentances and missing comma's but let someone with a better grasp of them help you with that and also a couple of small typos (find white waived in ch1 as that looked wrong and in ch 2 you have address rather than addressed.)
Good look with this, high stars and I will be recommending this to some readers I know on the site.

Regards,

James

Kirstie wrote 675 days ago

CHIRG Review
This is beautifully written and there is a sense of mystery and menace right from the start. The prologue has some great descriptions and I could really imagine the scene. The disappearance of the girl and the introduction of the man far away heighten the tension.
I loved the descriptions of the characters and their behaviour, for example, Sam poking around with his stick in a muddy puddle - very realistic. Also 'trying to find ways of getting into trouble then finding ways to get out of it' - brilliant.
I thought that some of the earlier chapters were a little lacking in drama and tension. While I like the slow build up of menace, I wonder if younger readers would need more to keep them reading - but I might be underestimating them.
The chapter with the stories is very menacing, but again I wonder if this section is a little long to hold the attention of younger readers.
I love the big black bird that keeps appearing - very sinister.
Overall I loved this. It is beautifully written and has real atmosphere. Six stars from me and I'll read more soon


Lucy Middlemass wrote 681 days ago

This is a CHIRG review

I’ve been looking forward to reviewing this since seeing some of the comments on our thread and I haven’t been disappointed. Following the “There was something in the air.” with the three balloons is just lovely, as is their progress through the sky.

I love some of the phrases in this, “won favour for its flavour.” is fabulous. The detail that the older boys should have known better is great, too. The ending of the first chapter is strange. The little girl disappears mysteriously- and then if that weren’t enough, we’re introduced to a man with the patience of a saint who is very far away.

Close crit, in case it’s the sort of thing you’re looking for. If not, just ignore it. There’s hardly a thing I’d change, anyway.

Ch 1
“some men white waving hankies..” The words seem to be out of order.
When you use “daddy” in place of the man’s name, it’s usual to use a capital D. Not when he’s refered to otherwise, though. Likewise mum and dad in the second chapter.

Ch 2 (your Ch 1)
“to throw the clothes onto.” Very minor, but I think this ought to be “on to”, in this case.

Ch 3
I love the way you tell us Hanna is nearly six.
“might have bore a passing resemblance” ought to be “might have borne..”
I like “crying over spilt paint”, too.
Johnny is a nice character. The nursery rhyme telling session is very sweet. “I’m sure there was blood and everything.” Lovely!

Ch 4
Who is looking after little Sam while his mum is getting groceries?
The end of the chapter with the reminder of Good Friday is neat.

Ch 5
Nothing wrong here, I’m just enjoying the story now. I’ve got to the point where I’m seeing a connection between what happened to the little girl 35 years ago and the current story. Did Sam have a lucky escape?

Ch 7
The sentence about people watching other people is almost too hard to understand but not quite. I’d say it’s so good that it’s worth reading twice.
I did read Ch 6 too, but nothing wrong there either.

It’s unusual to find such a mysterious, well-plotted and likeable children’s book. It’s pleasingly English, too and gentle. I’m going to star it highly and will hopefully be able to get it onto my shelf at some point.

Lucy

benedict wrote 683 days ago

CHIRG Review

Hi there Mark,

I thought your prologue was pitch perfect. I loved the careful description of the fair with all its various elements and characters. I find it unusual in children's writing to encounter such well written and sustained description, well mixed in with the action.

The opening chapter was equally enticing and I felt the prologue worked as a nice buffer before the start of the more conventional narrative. In terms of overall structure and style I don't have much to criticise but I do have quite a few close observations which I list beneath.

As she played with her new black kitten in a field between an old stone farmhouse and the edge of Hollow Wood
-it's a bit technical this sentence and, I felt, probably included more information than the reader needed to know.

summer-solstice sun.
I'd hyphenate this as it functions as an adjective and avoids the reader reading the phrase as if summer is sinking.

Mrs Potts, the greengrocer’s wife, had been the toast of the hosts
-the rhyme and comical name felt rather too light and childish for the darker elements of the book

posed for a photograph for the local newspaper and was delighted to see Ms Nixon knitting behind her stall which wasn’t attracting nearly as much attention.
-clunky sentence, revise

some men waving WHITE hankies
typo - word order

dance the night away,
-bit of a cliche and I also felt it rather unlikely that these middle aged small town folk would actually be doing this all night

And Mrs Potts regularly wet herself
bit excessive. perhaps more typical could be something like she stole fruit from tescos or was in love with the milkman

WENT at it toe to toe,

‘taste a piece of that!
-not natural, HAVE A TASTE OF THAT would be better

Potts’ bloomers which were now introducing themselves to the world. A
-do people still wear bloomers?
-shouldn't it be WERE BEING INTRODUCED to the world, as it's not the bloomers who are revealing themselves

They’d all been to the cinema on his twelfth birthday THE YEAR BEFORE.
-also, is this sentence really relevant to the story, why do you tell us?

stopped, THEN rushed off as a red
-clearer like this

He decided that tomorrow he would go and investigate the house THROUGH the trees.
- otherwise it sounds like he's talking about the tree house (which he is sitting in, right?)

comfort washed all over him and HE felt his eyes sliding closed.

Really good work, well done.

Highly starred and check your messages.

best of luck

Benedict

Cariad wrote 687 days ago

CHIRG - Assuming they let me in!

I like this. The thing I tend to look for is a smooth read, as that's what I think young readers like. They don't like to be confused, and they like things to happen. Here they get both. I found the writing very smooth and happily glided through the first 4 chapters. Good, likeable characters, believable dialogue and sentence level just right.

It was by turns very funny, creepy and tense. It has all the elements I'd have liked when younger especially the old house and those eyes that blinked behind the glass - the crow and the mystery. Negative comments I don't really have. I think you had a missing word at the start - but (at?) other stalls... when the jam fight was starting (really funny, btw - great mental pictures.) and I'd have left out 'Church Lane' in a couple of places - when the men enter the graveyard and at the start. I didn't really need to know, and I thought in both cases it was stronger without it. The only other thing was that I wondered who the man was at the end of the beginning (if you see what I mean,) with the ink spill - I wasn't sure where he fitted in, but that's probably just me.

I'm going to carry on reading this, because I really like it, and might comment again. In the meantime, have some good stars and a place on my watchlist.
Cariad.

Tod Schneider wrote 693 days ago

A good story that should appeal to young folks. Your character development and atmosphere are strong and the story is compelling. If i were to tinker, I'd suggest heightening the amount of action in the first few chapters and sacrifice some of the description, to kick it into gear.
I caught one errata in chapter 1 you can easily fix:
"Day turned to evening and some men white waving hankies and ringing bells..." I believe this has the word "white" in the wrong place. I'd add commas after men, and again after bells too.
But no big deal. A good story! Best of luck with this!
Tod
http://authonomy.com/books/40646/the-lost-wink/

Famlavan wrote 695 days ago

CHIRG
I loved how the story developed and that sense of the story-line becoming more and more ominous, it made it an intriguing read.
I dont know if it was deliberate, but you open with very little descriptive background sound in the narrative. To me it lost a bit of atmosphere and would have added to the wonderful visual narrative.
That aside what a great story, one I very much enjoyed.
Highly rated and well worth a spin on the shelf - Good luck - Ian

Sharda D wrote 699 days ago

CHIRG & read swap
Hi Mark,
I really enjoyed Chp1, but I felt Chp2 and 3 were a little disappointing in comparison. I loved the feel of Chp1 it really reminded me of the film 'Babe' based on the Dick King-Smith book 'The Sheep-Pig'. There were some great larger-than-life characters and the fighting scene between the two ladies was genius and had me laughing out loud.
By contrast, Chp2 seemed to lack atmosphere, after all the hurly burly of the stalls and the fight there was a bit of a comedown. Then Chp3 seemed to have more atmosphere but was very dialogue heavy. Dialogue can be difficult to digest all in one lump, need to flesh it out with some action and description.
Hope that's not being too harsh, but it's your own fault for having such a good first chapter!!
All the best with this,
5 stars from me,
Sharda.
(Mr Unusually's Circus of Dreams)

JMF wrote 700 days ago

Just read Autho chapters 8 and 9. Well, now the pace has increased significantly from the earlier chapters and 9 is positively scary. Good descriptive build up there. You might want to look at your repetition of the sentence "Did you know." It doesn't work having it three times. The last sentence of Autho 9 also sounds strange. You suddenly jump to a different POV. Anyway, will be back soon for more. All the best.
Julia
Shadow Jumper

Debbie R wrote 701 days ago

CHIRG review

Some lovely writing. Really liked the scene with Ms Nixon and Mrs Potts fighting. Your characterization is very good.

When you write with a menacing air - like the nursery rhymes - it gets quite scary.

I like the end of the prologue - 'A world and a half away ...'

The end of chap 1 has a strong fairy tale feel to it. Indeed the book has an unusual mix of old and new in it.

You write very well. The story flows at a good pace.

Have read to chap 5 but will definitely be back to find out more about those dark, shadowy figures and that bird!

Highly starred.

Debbie
Speedy McCready

Jack of Hearts wrote 703 days ago

Excellent children's fantasy - love the idea and am thoroughly enjoying the read.
6 stars!

rikasworld wrote 706 days ago

This is beautifully written and I find parts of it absolutely terrifying. Brilliant. The nursery rhyme chapter is deeply menacing and frightening, as are the scenes with Sam dreaming and at the old farmhouse.
The tone makes it clear that this is intended as a children's book. My feeling is that the prologue and chapter one are too descriptive and slow moving to get the attention of young readers. The writing and descriptions are great but I'd say you need to hook the little darlings straight away, with something short and scary. Go straight for the throat so to speak. As an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the atmosphere created will really linger in my mind.

Cara Gold wrote 709 days ago

{Awakening} – Mark Bain
I’ve finally got around to reading more, and I’m truly delighted by your work!

The story is flowing along nicely; well-written and perfect tone for your audience. Some lovely refreshing descriptions – my favourites include the warm and fuzzy feeling in Ms Nixon’s stomach ‘like someone had heated up a hot water bottle and stuffed it under her flowing black robes’… and chapter 6 where the lady looks ‘like a vulture ready to feast on him.’

The pace is excellent, with intensity picking up especially in chapter 4. I also thought the ending of this chapter was cute, with the black cat stretching its paws, and the line ‘It was a hard life, being a cat.’

I really have high hopes for this book, it should do well! 6 stars and I’ll continue!!
Thanks so much for your ongoing support of ‘Dawn of Destruction’, it means so much to me!
Cara

Dianna Lanser wrote 719 days ago

Mark,

I just read the first three chapters of the Awakening and was really impressed by your talent. I am one who likes detail and you do it so well, especially in the fair scene. It serves to add a lot of tension and at the same time plays on the hilarity of the society ladies row. I found myself fearing for the little girl (I knew something was going to happen to her) and then chuckling at the ruckus.

A couple my favorite quips:

“…and Mrs. Potts regularly wet herself…“ too funny!

“two respected ladies in society circles were going at it toe to toe - cucumber to cauliflower.“ Good stuff.

You have a great gift for developing a scene. You introduce three different scenes in three chapters and I had no problem making the shift - they are so well drawn. Each of your characters are given a unique personality that also makes them memorable and you have a knack for letting the reader see things through their eyes. This really serves to keep the reader committed.

I am really curious as to where this is going, and I’m sure in time it will be evident how the three scenes are related. Considering them all together, certainly creates large amounts of intrigue. Honestly, your writing is up to par with anything I have ever read in the library. Six stars!

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

I only had one suggestion:

Chapter one -

“… and some men white waving hankies…” I think it might read better with a comma after men and then “waving white hankies…“

tennishorts wrote 721 days ago

Nice descriptions in the first chapter... You've got the right writing, so to speak, but your style could use a little abbreviation. Example- if you find yourself using "as" more than once in any given sentence, it's probably time to integrate a few periods. I call this Hemingway-izing. I have to do it to my own writing A LOT. It's kind of fun to go back and hack everything up into shorter sentences... you'll find it makes your story flow a lot more easily. Very interesting opening chapter. Please don't take offense; I think your writing is good. You just need to break it up into more manageable sentences, at least from what I see from this first chapter.
- Becky

patio wrote 725 days ago

The first part of your prologue ignited wide smile

The refusal to give up its new decoration. Speaking about the balloon that landed on it. From this day, when I see foreign objects on trees, its decoration.

JMF wrote 726 days ago

Now read up to ch 7 (Authonomy). You are adept at descriptive writing, painting a vivid picture of the scene, This strikes me, so far, as a gentle, well-written tale with plenty of good points, I don't know if you are looking for particular feedback, some people are and some aren't, so if you aren't please ignore the following comment. I have enjoyed what I've read so far, but now that I'm into ch 7 I would like to see a little more of where the story is heading in terms of the plot. I'd like to have a hook/reason to read on. I'm not sure that I have that yet.
Still reading though and still liking it and still willing to continue.
Highly starred and on my WL Still!
Julia
Shadow Jumper

R.Moore wrote 727 days ago

Hi dis is good.

JMarkB wrote 727 days ago

Just to let you know, in case you haven't read any more, the prologue is set 35 years before the story in chapter 1 begins... hence the slightly different feel to it - but the prologue becomes important later on, obviously...
Ta, M

I'm here for our reading swap. I really, really enjoyed this. Incredibly well-written,I couldn't spot any obvious errors, except perhaps a few commas missing (although I'm no expert on this count!). I like the characters you have introduced in the opening chapters and your vocabulary is rich and varied.
Your prologue is interesting and obviously sets the scene for things to come. To me it did seem as if it was part of a different story (still well-written but it had a different tone and style to it). This might be intentional on your part and I only mention it because it was something I noticed and it did make me think about the age group you are aiming your book at. The prologue seems almost YA in style and voice, the next two chapters seem written for a slightly younger age group.
The only other thing I noticed is I'm not sure who the mc is as yet. Is it Sam? This will probably become clearer in the next chapters and may not be important to a YA reader to know straight away but I think children may like to be certain. I will come back and read more and will add this to my WL.
Obviously my comments are just my own. Please feel free to ignore what you don't find helpful.
Despite the above, I did enjoy what I read!
All the best. Many stars and on my WL to return to.
Julia
Shadow Jumper

JMarkB wrote 727 days ago

The prologue is set 35 years before the main story - hence the different feel...
Thanks for your comments - hope you continue to enjoy x

I've read the first four chapters and the prologue, and I think this is a great opening to a children's book. I agree with the comment that the prologue and the following chapters are slightly different in tone, but I'm assuming this was intentional? Regardless, I enjoyed the prologue, as you create a really distinct setting through the wealth of detail you include. The opening chapters are great, too- readers will identify with Sam's feelings about moving house. I love the description of the mist-creatures- it's really atmospheric and spooky, and the mysterious face at the window (and cryptic end to the chapter) will have young readers turning the pages. This is really well-written, and I couldn't find any stylistic errors. I'll be keeping this one on my watchlist and rating it highly!
Emma

ELAdams wrote 727 days ago

I've read the first four chapters and the prologue, and I think this is a great opening to a children's book. I agree with the comment that the prologue and the following chapters are slightly different in tone, but I'm assuming this was intentional? Regardless, I enjoyed the prologue, as you create a really distinct setting through the wealth of detail you include. The opening chapters are great, too- readers will identify with Sam's feelings about moving house. I love the description of the mist-creatures- it's really atmospheric and spooky, and the mysterious face at the window (and cryptic end to the chapter) will have young readers turning the pages. This is really well-written, and I couldn't find any stylistic errors. I'll be keeping this one on my watchlist and rating it highly!
Emma

JMarkB wrote 731 days ago

All comments are helpful - good or bad (never know what to do with the indifferent ones though...).
I shall chew and digest... yummy...
Thanks :)

I'm here for our reading swap. I really, really enjoyed this. Incredibly well-written,I couldn't spot any obvious errors, except perhaps a few commas missing (although I'm no expert on this count!). I like the characters you have introduced in the opening chapters and your vocabulary is rich and varied.
Your prologue is interesting and obviously sets the scene for things to come. To me it did seem as if it was part of a different story (still well-written but it had a different tone and style to it). This might be intentional on your part and I only mention it because it was something I noticed and it did make me think about the age group you are aiming your book at. The prologue seems almost YA in style and voice, the next two chapters seem written for a slightly younger age group.
The only other thing I noticed is I'm not sure who the mc is as yet. Is it Sam? This will probably become clearer in the next chapters and may not be important to a YA reader to know straight away but I think children may like to be certain. I will come back and read more and will add this to my WL.
Obviously my comments are just my own. Please feel free to ignore what you don't find helpful.
Despite the above, I did enjoy what I read!
All the best. Many stars and on my WL to return to.
Julia
Shadow Jumper

Cara Gold wrote 731 days ago

Only time for the prologue so far, but it has been delightful to read!

I really loved your descriptions, especially with the midsummer fair! It excited me so much because the second chapter of my book, is called 'Midsummer Festivities' and it is all lively and such too :P

Love the little mystery that starts to develop, and the way the prologue ends -- 'It was turning out to be a very successful day...' -- there is something ominous about this, and going back to your pitch, I can't help but wonder where this will all lead!

Best of luck and high stars
Cara

JMF wrote 731 days ago

I'm here for our reading swap. I really, really enjoyed this. Incredibly well-written,I couldn't spot any obvious errors, except perhaps a few commas missing (although I'm no expert on this count!). I like the characters you have introduced in the opening chapters and your vocabulary is rich and varied.
Your prologue is interesting and obviously sets the scene for things to come. To me it did seem as if it was part of a different story (still well-written but it had a different tone and style to it). This might be intentional on your part and I only mention it because it was something I noticed and it did make me think about the age group you are aiming your book at. The prologue seems almost YA in style and voice, the next two chapters seem written for a slightly younger age group.
The only other thing I noticed is I'm not sure who the mc is as yet. Is it Sam? This will probably become clearer in the next chapters and may not be important to a YA reader to know straight away but I think children may like to be certain. I will come back and read more and will add this to my WL.
Obviously my comments are just my own. Please feel free to ignore what you don't find helpful.
Despite the above, I did enjoy what I read!
All the best. Many stars and on my WL to return to.
Julia
Shadow Jumper

JMarkB wrote 731 days ago

Mark, children's books aren't my usual genre. However, I am really enjoying Awakening. I'm about half-way through now and can't wait to finish it. It is so refreshing to read a children's book as original and beautifully written as yours. Nicely done.
A pleasure to back.
High stars,
Linda



It is finished - I'll try to add some more chapters later today... thanks.

LM Fowler wrote 731 days ago

Mark, children's books aren't my usual genre. However, I am really enjoying Awakening. I'm about half-way through now and can't wait to finish it. It is so refreshing to read a children's book as original and beautifully written as yours. Nicely done.
A pleasure to back.
High stars,
Linda

JMarkB wrote 732 days ago

Thank you so much - I'll get a look at your work as soon as I can... M

Charming and beautifully-written. There are so many clever descriptive passages and hilarious juxtapositions of words ("favour for flower", "cucumber to cauliflower.") There isn't much to criticize in the prologue. I noticed that the phrase "summer breeze" popped up twice, only a couple of paragraphs apart, so to avoid repetition you might want to change one of them. And perhaps some of your larger paras (there are a couple over 500 words) might be broken up. "White-space" on a page is an attractive sight, it helps draw the reader in and gives the impression the story is moving more quickly. But these are minor criticisms. Rated six stars, I would back but I'm committed to my other books. Will bear you in mind when I next get a free space. I wish you best of luck with this!

Hope you'll take the time to look at my offering, which is also a fantasy.

James
"Tamria"

JMarkB wrote 733 days ago

Just read the prologue and the first chapter. I agree with some of the comments below, you can fix all that when you go through your book again. Really good description, but the prologue was kind of long and maybe I missed something but it didn't grab my attention that much. I think because there were just big blocks of text. The story sounds interesting and I am looking forward to reading more. I am putting it on my watchlist and I rated it with five stars. Good luck :)

Khaula Mazhar



Thanks - have been concerned about the prologue, but the characters are important with what happens later on - perhaps I can look at shortening it - we''ll see. Cheers

JMarkB wrote 733 days ago

This is great, the tension builds from the start I figured this was a page-turner from the first paragraph. You paint some bright pictures - I could smell the popcorn and hot dogs. Not altogether certain we had 'Ms's' 35 years ago but I accept that I could be wrong (minor niggle). just read the first chapter in my coffee break but will return this is good stuff!

regards
Cyrus - Hellion 2



Thank-you. Been a little concerned about the start, but the prologue necessary due to what happens later on - the characters and the incident are important. Perhaps it needs to be a bit shorter though... we'll see.

Cyrus Hood wrote 733 days ago

This is great, the tension builds from the start I figured this was a page-turner from the first paragraph. You paint some bright pictures - I could smell the popcorn and hot dogs. Not altogether certain we had 'Ms's' 35 years ago but I accept that I could be wrong (minor niggle). just read the first chapter in my coffee break but will return this is good stuff!

regards
Cyrus - Hellion 2

khaula mazhar wrote 733 days ago

Just read the prologue and the first chapter. I agree with some of the comments below, you can fix all that when you go through your book again. Really good description, but the prologue was kind of long and maybe I missed something but it didn't grab my attention that much. I think because there were just big blocks of text. The story sounds interesting and I am looking forward to reading more. I am putting it on my watchlist and I rated it with five stars. Good luck :)

Khaula Mazhar

JMarkB wrote 734 days ago

Mark,

I skipped the prologue to go straight to chapter one.
Some lovely descriptions, especially the sticky, squelchy sound made by rubbing Sam's eyes.

The story, the pace, the flow are all really good. However, you need to do a thorough re-read to eliminate some simple errors. I made a few notes of the first chapter:

“Did you notice the name of the lane?” asked Dad to silence. I feel that this would read better as "Dad asked, to silence."
Similarly the next line of dialogue would be better as "Mum smiled." rather than "Smiled Mum."

You dropped "the" from "...up the walls around and over THE front door."

Similarly you need "that" in "...his attention was drawn to a trail of smoke THAT was slowly drifting upwards..."

I think you need some punctuation in the following sentence, and you missed a full-stop off the end. This is what I suggest: "...mum was in the main bedroom, upstairs, unpacking the first of the suitcases."

More missing words: "She picked them up and TOOK THEM along the hall and into a small bedroom..."

Despite these small errors, I think this should go a long way.

Best wishes
Warrick



Cheers - I write too quickly! I could get a job for you in the newspaper business!
I'll keep an eye out for your work... :)

Warrick Mayes wrote 734 days ago

Mark,

I skipped the prologue to go straight to chapter one.
Some lovely descriptions, especially the sticky, squelchy sound made by rubbing Sam's eyes.

The story, the pace, the flow are all really good. However, you need to do a thorough re-read to eliminate some simple errors. I made a few notes of the first chapter:

“Did you notice the name of the lane?” asked Dad to silence. I feel that this would read better as "Dad asked, to silence."
Similarly the next line of dialogue would be better as "Mum smiled." rather than "Smiled Mum."

You dropped "the" from "...up the walls around and over THE front door."

Similarly you need "that" in "...his attention was drawn to a trail of smoke THAT was slowly drifting upwards..."

I think you need some punctuation in the following sentence, and you missed a full-stop off the end. This is what I suggest: "...mum was in the main bedroom, upstairs, unpacking the first of the suitcases."

More missing words: "She picked them up and TOOK THEM along the hall and into a small bedroom..."

Despite these small errors, I think this should go a long way.

Best wishes
Warrick

JMarkB wrote 734 days ago

This book is completed and under consideration by a few agents at the minute - I'll try to upload more later... thanks for the comments - all appreciated. :)

upforgrabs wrote 734 days ago

Charming and beautifully-written. There are so many clever descriptive passages and hilarious juxtapositions of words ("favour for flower", "cucumber to cauliflower.") There isn't much to criticize in the prologue. I noticed that the phrase "summer breeze" popped up twice, only a couple of paragraphs apart, so to avoid repetition you might want to change one of them. And perhaps some of your larger paras (there are a couple over 500 words) might be broken up. "White-space" on a page is an attractive sight, it helps draw the reader in and gives the impression the story is moving more quickly. But these are minor criticisms. Rated six stars, I would back but I'm committed to my other books. Will bear you in mind when I next get a free space. I wish you best of luck with this!

Hope you'll take the time to look at my offering, which is also a fantasy.

James
"Tamria"

Dean Lombardo wrote 735 days ago


Yee-ah. I like your long pitch. I have added your book to my watch list for a later read.
Dean Lombardo
"Space Games"

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