DM: As your request, I took a look at a chapter of your book Inside Dead. Two, actually - since I wanted a better feel for the story. First I read chapter thirteen, then went to chapter five (due to reading many of the comments already here).A large part of the success of this book may hinge on how people should approach it. In your description of the novel, it would be good to explain if this story is about yourself; about what you know from culture; or based on something you have witnessed. People can approach your story more favorably if they know what motivated you to write it - especially due to the drama within. Honestly, a publisher may even be more willing to work with you through some of the shortcomings if they know it's either written as a mirror of a certain culture - or personal experience. When I read chapter thirteen it seemed to have a more clinical feel...or even more like reading a police report rather than a novel: things such as time; duration; or a blow-by-blow account which seemed removed from emotion. It put me off a bit since I think it needed a more human element such as what feelings were going on. Even being more vague about the times could go a long way. If you are telling your own story, it may not be necessary to say a precise time.Because of all your favorable reviews, I decided to give another attempt; choosing chapter five. The writing seemed a vast improvement there. I do like the way of names being traits or opinion rather than the real thing. A lot of compelling things happened - just as life almost being lost or traits of characters changing aspects of these people. [I am staying vague as to not spoil it for anyone likely to read the book.]Another suggestion about the book description: it would be helpful to be vague about the aftermath of the story. An example being if it is about yourself...think about explaining how much better you are now, or how you have triumphed through all of the horror or terror. Even if you have not, even saying you are still struggling to overcome it can be helpful (such as you are writing it all as a testament and to help get your old life behind you). When people see there is a ray of hope, they are often more drawn to the human struggle - or don't mind weathering the storms of a character if they know even a slight rainbow will eventually appear from it. Since your story seems very stark and bleak, such a thing may help a more squeamish person read your tale. Even if this is a fictionalized story, you can still hint the character has overcame or needed to fight from succumbing to his circumstances. Something similar can also work if this is a reflection of what you have witnessed in your country, or if an amalgamation of situations you observed or were told of; though a different approach. In that situation, perhaps explain why you were compelled to write such a story...such as exposing covered-up aspects of society or revealing the aspects which mere tourists don't see going on behind-the-scenes.The most apparent issue from a technical standpoint is the grammar. I think you realize it can be a detracting factor, due to all of the mentions. if you do get a publisher - or garner enough interest with the story - there are people to do that for you. If you are writing a story about others, then you may be able to tackle much of the prose, but still get a little outside help to double-check your work. If this is a personal story, I might even suggest you find a co-writer to help you draw out more of the human element which may be tough to do since you are writing such a personal story. This other person could interview you about certain aspects of your story and try to help show you what may be more (or less) important to tell in order to get the story across. In addition, you could also write a personal forward to the book - explaining your motivations or feelings about making this book, but without anyone (including you) correcting any word usage. It could give a very unvarnished, and human, element to the book which people can take with them as a compass to who you are while going on the journey of your life.Sorry if this was a very long response to just a couple chapters, but I think there is a good chance at something big bubbling beneath the words I have read in your book so far. The right cultivation can help everyone see what you want them to see, despite what the angle of the book actually is.
Crazy Mama,After having Tryin To Figure It Out on my shelf over a year, I figured now was the time to finally give it a deeper peek.Honestly, I didn't read the last chapter to find out if anything was figured out on your end, but I did read enough to get a general idea of the tone. It's sad to hear about so much of the stuff you went through, but hopefully you are a much better person now. Someone did say they hoped you blogged if you always have so much to say. I agree to it and would love that blog addy if so. As somebody else also said, it's great you have your own voice for a book like this rather than trying to make a thinly-veiled novel which might get convoluted or have to sum up with a neat bow before it ended.There is a cross section who I'm sure are a built-in audience for this novel; especially females who had similar experiences as yours, or maybe even some who can read this book and get the courage to make their not-so-great husband an EX as you did.Good luck with climbing the charts - just a little bit more to reach the top.
Paul Alan Gunneman,After finally getting a chance to give it a longer peek, I found the CJ the Angel collection to be great. Coincidentally I read the Christmas story. It was nice to see a simple concept and what consequences happened. It was also nice to reiterate the fact even though what CJ did was a mistake, he was still able to turn it [inadvertently] into something good due the people he touched/affected in the process or righting a wrong.Keep up the good work.
This is a very brilliant concept and has a lot of potential. It's very easy to see all the forethought and effort which has gone into this book (even with no pictures).The writing is very polished and seems to be just easy enough for a kid to follow; but not have the stigma of reading a "baby book" as those who feel they may have outgrown an age range of books. Great job on the character names as well as the mythology of the Paper Bats. It looks like something a librarian can recommend as well as a book suitable for reading to a class and holding the attention of all the students. Good job and much success with it.
On a personal note, this book has more than I can ask for. From the small bit I read there was a reference to my home state, family name, and even a reference to Star Wars. From my POV, it has it all.On a less biased note... The progression and the writing style seems put together well. It doesn't look rough and seems to have a good pace. I did not know if you had a second book written or if each was a complete story in itself since I didn't have time to read the whole thing (forgive the backlog) but it adds intrigue to know there are hopes of another.
I agree with you wholly. Things didn't start taking shape until chapter three, but the previous chapters serve their purpose and lead to a payoff further down the road by revealing the writers' personalities. When I wrote this, quantity was stressed over quality (NaNoWriMo '09) so I know much can be cut down. The critique is very much appreciated, and I think you.
contains some grimly interesting comments on recent conflicts; but rather a slow start and too many obiter dictaLynne EllisonThe Green Bronze Mirror
Is there a diplomatic way to say you are both right? :)Actually, I knew I needed to fix it a little bit. I got slammed a little hard on another site, so maybe I worked too hard nailing the point home it's more a Charlie Kaufman-type exercise than a great work of literature. Either way, I'm sure you'll like the pitch much better now. Thanks for the generous praise, and I hope this book gets better the further one reads into it.
Hi Miller. With all due respect to the previous comment, I enjoyed your synopsis. It's very real, unpretentious. I know I'm going to get your heart and soul, not just someone who is trying to dazzle and impress. You string your sentences together effortlessly, and take a journey path which tells a story (or stories) which makes the reader (me, anyway,) enjoy, take in, and not even see any errors there might be. My advice? Make the genre your own. Just be you. It's going to work. And, yeah, make for a terrific flic! :-) Backed.blessings,jimjack & charmian london
Thanks *most* kindly for taking the time to rework my pitch. I did remove a lot since my first try...but I did an edit based off what you gave me. Thanks! Obviously I'll try to squeeze in a tactful way to say you helped my pitch. This also means I have to give you a more thorough read of your story. :) Congrats on how far it has recently climbed also.
Hi Miller, I'm enjoying the story and will comment properly on it later.I thought I'd start with your pitch, which was a bit repetitive and awkward. I've tried to tighten it up.I hope it helps or at least gives you some ideas. the book is great.Best wishes,BarryLITTLE KRISNA AND THE BIHAR BOYS
They say it's all about timing...so I am glad I timed things so well for you. Around chapter ten or so are actual parts of their tour. I didn't intend it to take so long, but I wanted to flesh the characters out. It's nice to hear such positivity about the book from you.
I'm teaching a class on war so this was a timely find. The point of view is interesting. I thought of old things in new ways as I read this. I'd like to come back and give it more time in the near future. As for now, it's backed. I left a message in your news feed as well.
[Thanks for letting me know about your other book. At first I thought it was a duplicate or alternate title.]It's great getting such high praise from a highly-ranked talent spotter. I thought you would have skipped right past mine. :) Best of luck on both books.
Dear Miller, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed my memoir book, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not." I really appreciate it. :) Could you please back my other memoir book, "Tell Me True Love Stories?" I would be ever so grateful. :) Thank you. :) Love, Susie :) p.s. I'll be #5 to put your book on my wachlist. :)
Thanks for highlighting what you liked in the structure. I'm anxious to read your story as well, but having trouble staying on top of all the enthusiasm people had so far. It's on my watchlist and I hope to have time for it soon.
Miller.Fascinating set of 'stories'. Yes each soldier has a different story. But that's the interesting thing about your book. Whether a chaplain or marine.I think you have the beginnings of something. Please continue. I will BACK it to encourage.Jerry [paperbat]Obviously love it if you could glance at my short childrens' story called Paperbat Adventures - kids should love them.
All of your comments have really helped out. Part of the cool thing is I tried writing the novel so people can skip around until maybe the last five chapters of it (which I still need to write).
HOLDING ALPHAI was never in the Armed Forces so I like to read war stories; this one is unique in that it’s really a series of short stories. It’s the kind of book I would buy to take on vacation when I knew I’d have hours of uninterrupted time to read because it’s obviously written from a veteran’s standpoint so is rich in detail I wouldn’t want to miss. I’m happy to add it to my shelf. If you have a moment, would you look at mine (Grain of Salt)? I’m in 3rd place but only holding on by my teeth. Burgio
Thanks for thinking my story is so important. I know it CERTAINLY needs a rewrite because I changed the whole aim of it even...practically negating the whole first chapter. I intend to finish the remaining six chapters then worry about a rewrite - hoping this is the place to get the best feedback.
As you mention in your profile, a loving edit would tighten the narrative and sharpen your already strong voice. This strikes me as an important book and worth the effort of a rewrite. MemphisgirlAshes By Now
Thanks for the endorsement. I picked The Cheech Room for my watchlist.
Original and talented writing! Easy to back.LizThe Cheech RoomA Fine Pickle
Thanks for all the compliments and support. I appreciate it.
Dear MillerI would like to commend you on the skill you have and the imagination and the talent in writing this work of art of yours. I wish I had half of your talent. Where does one get such original work like this, such a gift. I feel sure you feel like me that it is your baby and you so want to see it succeed. I do wish you all the best in rising and also getting this book of your published. ( I wish I had half the talent some of you have on this site) BACKED BY ME FOR SURE.Please take a moment to look, COMMENT which is important to me, and BACK my book. if not that is OK alsoThe VERY best of luck to youDeniseThe Letter
I got through the first seven chapters in what felt like a breeze. The writing style wasn't complicated; which kept things from bogging down. Instead of a "looking back" voice or dictated as many use with memoirs, it seemed freshly developing with each chapter. All the little descriptions help flesh out the story to make a truly memorable read, rather than fully developing each character from the start or boring a reader with setup. All in all, it is truly captivating read. I wish you success in getting this memoir into the hands of someone who can make your tale available for the audience it deserves.
Thanks so much for your gracious comments. You were the first person to comment on my novel Holding Alpha (and positively also), which I am grateful for. Your "He Loves Me" memoir happened to be the first novel I backed; based on merit rather than kindness on my part. :)Good luck with the memoir, and I hope to get time later to read your other.
Dear Miller, I love how you put me right there with each of your heroes as they told their stories. :) May the Lord bless all of those who provide our peace & freedom. :) Thank you for sharing all of these things that I was not even aware of. :) One more thing to be thankful that I have never seen action, being in California my whole 70 years. :) Great write. :) I have backed your book :) - hope you'll take a moment to back my 2 memoir books. :) Thanks so very much. :) Love, Susie :)