Who Am I

August 5, 2014
By Moonchild97 BRONZE, Erie, Pennsylvania
Moonchild97 BRONZE, Erie, Pennsylvania
3 articles 8 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Stop saying "What if..." and just go with what is


Summary:

Alex Black, a young man, married and living a comfortable life, has to save his life, as well as all the lives of those in America, from the corruption that has formed. Though he doesn't know who he is exactly, he must trust someone he doesn't know in order to do what he, and only he, can do.


Allison A.

Who Am I


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This book has 7 comments.


on Aug. 18 2014 at 3:26 pm
kingofwriters BRONZE, DeWitt, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 196 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Books are a uniquely portable magic." - Stephen King

I love books, and I love technology, but I don't want to see the latter overwhelm the former. I just think books are meant to be pages you turn, not screens you scroll through.

(Next half again)   3: You brought up the fact that Alex is a computer genius in both Chapters 1 and 3, but he never actually uses that strength at all. I guess my main problem with this is you shouldn't take the time to mention something seemingly important early on if you're not going to use it later. Same thing with the flashback of his brother dying. Important event in his life that is never mentioned again. I mean, you could argue that his memories were stolen from him, but he still had the vision of Jess in that field of flowers! He could just as easily have had a vision of his brother englufed in fire, turning to ash...   4: This is more a suggestion than a flaw I'm calling out, but I feel like while there is certainly less straightforward narration in the later chapters, there's still too much of it, and you could definitely use less hand-holding to get your point across. ‚Äč    There is one part in this story where there was no hand-holding whatsoever, and it was, in my opinion, the best writing in the story, and very impressive writing in general: the section where you described the unnamed woman sitting on the bed, moving robotically, never blinking. That section was brilliant. There was no straightforward narration; you threw us into a situation, and we had to figure out what was going on on our own. I mean, of course it wasn't particularly difficult to figure it out; due to the placement of this section right after Ali told Alex she was his wife, we know exactly who the woman on the bed is. But it was still great that you didn't just come right out and tell us who it was. You could've easily just said, "Jess sat on the bed, and it was so tragic that she didn't remember Alex." But you didn't, and I'm glad you didn't, because this thing that you wrote is a fantastic example of the power of showing, and not telling. Definitely use that kind of writing in future stories!    I really do like this story and all the good ideas it has; I guess the reason I ranted so much about the issues with the first chapter is because that first chapter is gonna be the reader's first impression of your story, and a bad first impression ensures that the reader will most likely not touch the story again.    In my opinion, the first chapter of this story is by far the worst part of the story; everything else that came afterward was very good in comparison. But you never want your first chapter to be the worst part of your story, because if it is, the reader will assume the rest of the book is like that, and they'll put down the book and walk away. You always wanna make a good first impression, and yes, you do that by showing, not telling. I know, I said it again. :P   Overall, good job with this! Of course it's not perfect, but it's not bad either! I know you wrote it two years ago, and you've probably abandoned most of the bad habits displayed in this story by now, but you could definitely learn from this story to help your writing now, ESPECIALLY that short section in Chapter 3 that I mentioned earlier! That section is without a doubt the best writing in this story; it has vivid imagery, it's wonderfully written, and it doesn't spoonfeed the reader. That one section is excellent. Do your best to emulate that in future stories. :)

on Aug. 18 2014 at 3:25 pm
kingofwriters BRONZE, DeWitt, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 196 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Books are a uniquely portable magic." - Stephen King

I love books, and I love technology, but I don't want to see the latter overwhelm the former. I just think books are meant to be pages you turn, not screens you scroll through.

Okay, I read the rest of your story, and there were actually a lot of things I liked! I liked how you made an effort to address the misery found in this world head-on instead of shying away from it; I liked the President's character arc and the messages associated with it; I liked the way you developed Ali's character, even if the revelation at the end was a little unsatisfying; and I thought that the whole concept of the world being destroyed by mind control was really interesting! Implausible? Yes, it is to an extent, but interesting nonetheless! Now for the flaws I found in the later chapters, some really small and others quite noticeable. I'll number them off so that they'll be easier to find in this giant blob of text:   1. Your physical descriptions of Ali and Jess were kind of all over the place; really it's the hair. In Chapter 1, you say Jess has blonde hair, but then in Chapter 3, when she's briefly mentioned after Ali tells Alex she's his wife, she has red hair. Same thing with Ali, but backwards; you say she has red hair in Chapter 2, but then in Chapter 3 when she's running away from the dog, she has blonde hair. I understand you probably just confused the two characters' features, but it still distracted me, and I felt it was worth mentioning. Still, it is a minor flaw, and it's not like it lessened the quality of the work or anything.    2: This is also a minor flaw, but I still couldn't help but notice: at the end of Chapter 3, how in the world does Alex forget he's holding a macheteI definitely wouldn't forget that when a bloodthirsty dog is chasing me, but it's a very minor flaw all the same. Still, be sure to look out for stuff like that; easy to miss when you're writing, not when you're reading. 

on Aug. 18 2014 at 10:41 am
kingofwriters BRONZE, DeWitt, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 196 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Books are a uniquely portable magic." - Stephen King

I love books, and I love technology, but I don't want to see the latter overwhelm the former. I just think books are meant to be pages you turn, not screens you scroll through.

Yeah, you're welcome! I didn't know you wrote it two years ago though; that explains a lot, because the way this story was written actually reminds me of the stuff I used to write when I was younger. Anyway, I'm sure you've gotten a lot better since then; half the stuff I said in my comment you probably already knew! :P 

on Aug. 18 2014 at 8:31 am
Moonchild97 BRONZE, Erie, Pennsylvania
3 articles 8 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Stop saying "What if..." and just go with what is

Thank you for your honesty.  This was really my first real work other than a few really short stories.  Also, I wrote this almost two years ago and have gotten a lot better since then.  I actually agree with what you said and have taken note of it.  Criticism and other peoples opinions help people learn and grow in what they love to do.  I really appreciate your help :)  

on Aug. 17 2014 at 10:28 pm
kingofwriters BRONZE, DeWitt, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 196 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Books are a uniquely portable magic." - Stephen King

I love books, and I love technology, but I don't want to see the latter overwhelm the former. I just think books are meant to be pages you turn, not screens you scroll through.

(I really do apologize for this giant comment, I just had a lot I wanted to say. I really hope you get something out of it, because you are a very capable writer; the issues I rant about are holding you back.)

on Aug. 17 2014 at 10:24 pm
kingofwriters BRONZE, DeWitt, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 196 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Books are a uniquely portable magic." - Stephen King

I love books, and I love technology, but I don't want to see the latter overwhelm the former. I just think books are meant to be pages you turn, not screens you scroll through.

(Here's the second half of the comment. Yep, it was that long. :P)   There's also the flashback, and again I might come off as harsh when I say this, but I just have to: How was that flashback relavent to the story in any way, shape, or form? It was VERY sudden, it did not relate to anything that came before, and PLEASE DON'T HATE ME FOR THIS, but it felt exactly like this:   "The world is in chaos, and the President is plotting something big to take control of everybody, and Alex is suspicious of him. Oh, and Alex's brother died in a fire thirteen years ago. I don't know, I just thought you should know that, 'cause...yeah."   I'm serious. It felt exactly like that, right up to the awkawrd 'yeah' at the end. The best way to avoid this kind of awkward storytelling is by showing us his continual despair over his dead brother. You don't even have to use a flashback. You could use dialogue between Alex and Jess; Alex mentions it, becomes sad, Jess comforts him and tells him he's got to move on. No flashback needed.    From what I could tell, the story would benefit so much from you trusting the reader to come to their own conclusions, which I know from experience is a very difficult thing to do, because you have no idea what the reader's gonna think! Believe me, I've been there, and in more ways than one, I'm still there! But under no circumstances are you to distrust the reader! You have to be confident that they will understand what is going on, and because of that, there is little to no direct narration allowed. Tell them nothing. Show them everything.    I am definitely reading more of this, because I want to help you out, and I can tell you are a good writer! Unfortunately, I can also tell that you're afraid to trust the audience to make their own conclusions, and I think that's partly because you don't know a whole lot about what you're writing about.    Here's my advice: ditch the political point of view completely. Focus only on Alex and how he puts up with corruption's effect on the rest of the world. However, make sure that you make this political corruption realistic; most world leaders don't just wake up one day and say 'I feel like taking over the world. How about you, Queen of England?'. I mean, some want only to take over the world, but they are very much a minority and for very good reason! Most of the time political corruption is associated with a goal much more elaborate than what you have portrayed here; it is never just a couple of bad guys with a devious scheme.    I think I'll end my comment here; it's long. I really do hope this helps, and I hope you weren't too exasperated while reading this. If you disagree with anything I said, feel free to fire back at me, because for all I know, I might deserve it. Either way, I'm reading more of this, and I'm gonna give more merciless feedback. Not right now, but definitely as soon as I can. You can be sure of that. :)

on Aug. 17 2014 at 10:23 pm
kingofwriters BRONZE, DeWitt, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 196 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Books are a uniquely portable magic." - Stephen King

I love books, and I love technology, but I don't want to see the latter overwhelm the former. I just think books are meant to be pages you turn, not screens you scroll through.

(WARNING: BRUTAL HONESTY/EXTREMELY LONG COMMENT AHEAD)   I've only read up through the first chapter so far, but I will give you feedback on what I have read up to this point, and right now, there are two main flaws that really stick out in a very bad way here: telling instead of showing and a noticeable lack of realism.    Throughout the first chapter, you're telling me everything; you're not really showing me anything. It's not fun to read about this dystopian world if you're just spoonfeeding your audience; you need to teach us the backstory of this broken planet through actual experiences, dialogue, characters interacting with one another, imagery...something other than direct narration. I mean, the direct narration is probably okay in the very, very beginning, but later on it becomes a hindrance. We have a very limited view of the world and how chaotic it is because we haven't been shown how chaotic it is. We've only been told, and telling isn't enough to bring the full image into our mind. I cannot stress this enough: you've got to show us.   It's the same thing with Alex's wife, Jessica. You directly, rather bluntly said that she was fiesty yet sweet, loving and kind, and then you gave us an example by telling us that she sometimes helped out homeless people. This works, yes, but it doesn't work very well. I will be honest; I did not care in the slightest when I learned that Alex and Jess would not be together in the wake of the President's psychotic plan. I didn't care that she was probably going to die, because I don't know her well enough, and the only way I could possibly know her well enough is if you show me her relationship with Alex and other people. Just saying she's sweet and loving and kind doesn't cut it; I want to know what else sets her apart. I want to know what else makes her worth caring for, and that is something you're going to have to show me.    The other major flaw, as I said before, is that there is a distinct lack of realism. You obviously don't know too much about inventing computer systems (Alex's occupation), and you don't know every detail of the inner workings of politics, and because of this you're resorting to very generalized descriptions of those topics in the story. I'm not saying I know about these, because I really don't at all; I'm just saying that your lack of knowledge shows, as much as you're trying to hide it, and it's making the story more difficult to really take seriously. You're obviously trying to avoid going into detail, and therefore we can't help but hesitate to embrace this as a world that could actually exist realistically. Consequentially, we're not invested in it.    I'm also puzzled as to how Alex is coincidentally married to a model; I'm puzzled as to how there's still even a modeling business in this dystopia. If prices for pretty much everything are absurdly high, and the majorty of the worldwide population is in poverty, and only a select few people still have enough money to afford anything...what's the point of still having a modeling business? Why does Jess have to be a model? I'm sorry if I'm coming off as harsh, but I really can't take this story seriously so far. 




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