Book Jacket


rank 5673
word count 10878
date submitted 07.07.2012
date updated 16.08.2013
genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy
classification: moderate


Colin Frankel

He had no idea when he opened up his shop that morning, that he would end up mixed up in a revolution


Clive Burchell, full time mercenary and part time pawn shop owner went through a horrific event ten years ago in which he lost his entire family and his face was horrifically scared. Since then he has been working as a mercenary and trying to find out who was responsible for the event with the help of Naomi a communications expert and Zoe his young headstrong apprentice. One day two terrified strangers run into his shop escaping from the royal guards. Clive decides to help them, not knowing that he would end up getting involved in a rebellion against a tyrannical king in which he would go head to head with a sociopathic royal officer and finally learn the truth about the event ten years ago

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A G Chaudhuri wrote 298 days ago

The title BURCHELL reminded me so much of the action films that I grew up with, like Rambo and Braddock or even the older western, Django (Franco Nero). As far as the story is concerned, BURCHELL is an action packed revenge drama more firmly entrenched in Akira or Metropolis territory, classic dystopian, with a tormented Dark Man like hero thrown in, whom I found rather endearing. The action exploded on the very first page and carried me along despite me having so many questions. At the end of chapter 1, I could actually visualise our eponymous hero walking away, unruffled by the gigantic fiery explosion behind him... very cinematic and very well done. (A few pointers before I move on – a. Go for shorter and snappier dialogue, and b. An operation like this requires stealth. Hence, a muzzle-suppressor on the sniper rifle may come in handy.) Moving on, chapter 2 introduced me to this fantastic new world – oppressive regime, rebellious underground elements and a complex politics involving the royalist government, the diplomatic city council, the terrorist factions and corporate mercenaries. I particularly liked the description of the city of Bilith, how each section could be locked down and isolated. I found the idea very disturbing, that is, in a good way. If I were to offer some constructive tips at this stage, I’d say that less is better. Avoid overwriting (starting right from the pitch where you’ve used ‘horrific’ twice in the opening sentence) and avoid explanatory sentences (show it through action and let the reader figure out the rest). I can tell from personal experience that this is usually characteristic of first attempts. The first draft of my debut novel, Shining Dawn was 120K words long and readers would always decline politely after the first page. In my zeal to tell a good story, I’d end up loading the text with so many adjectives and adverbs that they made the reading very cumbersome. But, the extent is far less in your case. Scott Pack has already pointed out a few examples, so I won’t repeat them. As a useful practical aid, I’d suggest that you read it aloud to yourself at a decent pace and you’ll catch the culprits easily enough. It’ll take some time, maybe a total overhaul in some places, but your story is well worth the effort. I'll be happy to come back to it once you've made the revisions.

Best regards,

Jim Waurzyniak wrote 339 days ago

A fun read; watchlist and awaiting more.

This is a wild romp of popcorn in a comic book style.

I read through the other comments and sure I have to agree with there being redundancies. With actions you might want to delete the phrase that was already said, however be very careful with descriptions of the environment (people and objects). This is a very colourful world taking on a character of its own. It is easy to see and makes for a very relaxing read. That's what I mean by a "popcorn". Eating popcorn is an enjoyable diversion which demands little effort.

The characters are developing and they are a little over the top. They feel like the natural inhabitants of this world. I find an appealing escapism. A comic book style without subtleties yet with plenty of room for deception, discovery and surprises.

applauding your efforts!


Cathy Hardy wrote 360 days ago

Sorry this has taken so long.
Your story is full of action and very imaginative. I want to know what happened to the M C ten years previously, so the description of his injuries and scars, plus your pitch draw the reader in rather quickly. You could do with one or two commas in your pitch, particularly after the time clauses.

I have some suggestions below. Please don't be offended and ignore them if you wish, but it's only the exact advice I was given to trim my story when I first joined.

You could get rid of 'of it' after clumps.

And was splattered you could lose the 'it'

back through the ear piece. drop 'in his ear'
After that sentence, leave a space.

You don't kneed 'in his hand' after clutch his fire axe even tighter.

You could lose the 'off the floor after stood up.

You could drop 'in his head' after images.

Typos in 'my mind wandered for a second.'

Line space after 'Naomi lectured him into his ear.'

I like 'the rainstorm had littered the alley floor with puddle of water,' but you could say the alley cobbles or pavement.

Love the bit about his hair :)

lower half of his face (which) was disfigured.' Which missing, but good descriptions.
You don't really need the 'cut into it' after 'mesh covered mouth-piece.

Zoe has placed herself on the roof of the building might look better, otherwise you used positioned twice.

I laughed at Zoe making obscene gestures.

He waited for the guards to face the other way instead of' be facing' might sound better.

You don't really need the 'in it' after agile

dialogue - 'yes, just give the word. Should be a line space before 'killing someone should be hard.'

Lost count of the amount of people - don't really need (amount)

Clive's advance and he shot them where he stood? Should that read Clive advanced?

The others (ran) for cover flows a little better.

Clive quickly hurried to the truck. Don't really need back because we know that when he jumps into the back of it afterwards.
Rear of the truck should be armour plated prevents the repetition.

We know your M C is in the back of the truck, so why don't you say, '
By the time it had burnt out the arms shipments at the back. (without the truck) and perhaps the whole truck itself would be nothing more than a twisted mass of scrap metal.

wrist(,) (where) the concealed blade strapped to it, sprang out and plunged into the man's jugular.

Bit of misplaced dialogue in the last chapter.

Wonderful end to chapter.

Just a bit of trimming and this could flow a bit easier and become a great read. The story and action are fab, Good luck.

bigmouth wrote 496 days ago


This is a classic case of over-writing. There may well be a good story in here but it will struggle to get noticed, buried as it is beneath so much description and redundant text.

Here's an example:

'A reassuring female voice replied through the ear piece in his ear.'

1. We already know it is reassuring because of the words spoken, you don't need to tell us.
2. Where else would the earpiece be apart from in his ear?

Once these sort of examples accumulate they can really get in the way of the story. I reckon you could lose a quarter of the text you have here without losing any of the meaning and what you would end up with is a leaner, more pacy narrative.

Do not be dismayed, this is the sort of thing I see all the time on authonomy and is easy to fix. Get your red pen out and edit this down, your story will be all the better for it.

Hope that helps.


LCF Quartet wrote 688 days ago

Hi Colin,
I read the second chapter of BURCHELL today, and I'm glad that your story keeps me hooked in with your creativity. It's very well written in a sophisticated style and your sense of dialogue development is good. It seems like Clive is going to face a lot of challenges in the coming chapters and I liked the Zoe character, as well.

I wish you a pleasant weekend and look forward to reading more chapters next week,
Lucette- Ten Deep Footprints

LCF Quartet wrote 702 days ago

Hi Colin,
First of all, I liked the title of your book...Second, I care about your characters and they sound real. Clive could be anyone next door. You are unpretentious, and you care about your reader. Why did I say that? Unlike many others, I need a lot of description to visualize the plots and the overall ambiance. You also did a good job in prompting in a back story with the pawn shop so that we can understand how things evolve until today. I also liked Clive's boldness, he's cool. I will keep on reading your book when you add more chapters, and I look forward to staying in touch. We can comment on each other's books in time. It seems like we have a long way to go...
I wish you all the best,
LCF QUARTET, Lucette Cohen Fins
Ten Deep Footprints

Alley Brock wrote 703 days ago

I just wanted to point out one things that several of my good friends were kind enough to put out there in regards to my own work:
"You're using too many words and you're describing too much. Let the reader work for it."
I would definately apply it to your work, as well. You're my ally in over-description. We're both addicted. Then again I've been obsessively editing the Prologue for the last eight years and I was still over descriptive! :)
Anyways, the most glaring place is the opening paragraph because it is the first thing we see when we come in to your world. Make it a little more punchy. Raw. Make his hair clumping together like bloody chicken feathers, make it its own sentance. same with the other descriptions. Its more important what he's doing in that first moment then what he looks like. Clobber the reader with a haymaker and they'll have to read the rest.
Hope you like that!
On the whole, it is a great premise and I look forward to seeing it develop. If you want any help please let me know :) I'm totally NOT a bitch. I look very forward to your critique, please be honest :) I am not vendictive or nasty. Just want to help one another out. Thanks Again!!! :)