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August 1st, 2002, 07:59 PM
I had some time to read chapter 1 of "The Uprising" on the stories.com website.

Here are my thoughts:

Overall I think you have a story that has the potential to capture the imaginations of young readers. Children rebelling against the all powerful adult government is a rather empowering theme. It reminds me somewhat of Jacob Twotwo and the Hooded Fang (The Harry Potter of my generation).

As far as your descriptions go, it would be nice to see not as much mechanical detail. For example I am sure I knew the hair colour of every character - but do I need to? (Some would answer that with a 'yes!' but I would argue the point.) What is medium build?

What were Andy and Tom originally arrested for? And what was the actual penatly. You did a good job generating some suspence with the initial scene of the boy ahead of them in line being dragged "away," but to where? What are the conditions like in prison? And if all the other children are there, then is it really so bad?

"Their ages ranged from younger than Tom to two years older than him." {quoting from memory). Is this really a range? Younger than Tom could include everything from an infant up to Tom's age. I'm guessing that if the children are organised they are at least old enough to talk, fend for themselves, etc.

Maybe this is a nitpick, but I might suggest a little research on military rank structure. While it is true that in your world, you can pretty much assign a rank whatever title you want ( I do this quite often in my own writing) there are some things that just sound odd. Sergeant's generally aren't officers, so you may have some explaining to do for this to make sense to a reader.

I have a few other nitpicks - like having Tom fall asleep so quickly after running away, and Tom and Andy being so quick to swear away any ties to their parents.

You end with an interesting hook. Bryant Smith is now charged with crushing this emerging rebellion. What might he do? Play with this - get the reader to turn the page and start the next chapter.

Keep writing!

August 2nd, 2002, 02:21 AM
Thanks Choppy. I'll be thinking carefully about your points, some of which were on my 'think about'. You've confirmed a few things for me. Hope you read more of my novel.

My short story, Torment, is now updated.

The link to my portfolio for those who missed the Members Stories topic is: www.stories.com/authors/milamber/