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Posted in Working Mothers on 5th February 2012

Rate the First Three Pages in my Book?
I’m entering a school competition called Young authors, I would like experts to evaluate my work so far.

Maddeline Ashou is a 16 year old girl in the United Kingdom, she has long, burnt sienna hair, and fluent, crimson eyes. She is average in school, and is very popular. But, she is bipolar, which means you change moods quickly without explanation.
She can be exuberant one moment, but depressed the next. She is taking medicine to help her keep her emotions under control, but they only work one third of the time. This disorder can cause a lot of problems for her, often getting her in trouble at school for back mouthing a teacher.
Okay, enough background information, time to pursue the real plot!
Maddeline was packing up her suitcase for a visit to Belgium for a family reunion, after missing several, they had to come, they even got a letter they might start not including them from any family activities. “Are you ready, Maddeline?” her mother asked.
“Nearly there….” said Maddeline.
“And do you have your medications? We can’t have you going in a rampage, randomly turn suicidal, or turn into a lunatic during the reunion.”
“Yes mother….”
“Good” said her mother, striding off to her car and putting her suitcase neatly in the trunk.
She thinks I’ll go crazy at any given moment. Thought Maddeline. Just because I’m bipolar. She put her luggage in the car along with her mothers and got in the front seat, feeling a sudden surge of angst throughout her body, so she just stared outside the window, but then, a few seconds later she felt hyper. “Are we almost there yet? Huh huh huh huh huh?!?!?”
“Maddeline! Calm down! Did you take your medicine this morning?!” her mother asked sternly.
“….No.” said Maddeline quietly.
“Maddeline! You have that medicine for a reason! You can’t just put off taking your medicine when you have it for a reason!” her mother ranted.
Ugh, here we go again. Thought Maddeline again. She treats me like a psychopath who is in a straight jacket!
They finally arrived at the airport in about ten minutes (After enduring Maddeline’s many emotional changes, sad to happy, depressed to ticked). As they walked in Maddeline’s mother failed to notice that her daughter had wandered off, and she went ahead and got in line.
“Ma’am, excuse me, but is this your daughter?” said an extremley annoyed officer, holding a jittering girl.
“Yes, what did she do….” sighed her mother.
“We found her running around screaming I AM A LION! FEAR ME!!! in everybodies faces.
“Ugh…” she sighed. “Is there a fine?”
“No, consider this a strict warning.” he said firmly.
“See Maddeline! This is why you should have taken your medication! You almost got us fined!” her mother snapped.
“Sorry….I was just feeling hyper and lions are pretty darned awesome if you ask me.” Maddeline replied.
“Try to resist any sudden impulses, I already put our luggage on the conveyer belt, so you have to wait until after the plane ride to take your medicine.” she said.

After the plane ride, they got off, and to her mother’s surprise, Maddeline stayed calm the entire ride! “Wow, I’m surprised at you!” said her mother. “You deserve a treat, here, I’ll buy you a souvenir.” she said, walking to a gift shop.
“Ooh! I want that stuffed lion!” said Maddeline, pointing to a stuffed animal. “Like I said, lions are pretty darned neat.”
“Okay, how much for the lion?” she asked the merchant.
“7 bucks.” grunted the man behind the desk.
“Okay.” her mom said, handing him ten dollars.
After receiving the change, they started towards the park where the reunion is being held. “Mother, I took my medicine, are you happy now?” Maddeline said. And will you finally stop nagging me?! she added in her head.
“Good, ’cause we’re nearly there, just take this right and….We’re here!”
“Look! They showed up!” said Maddeline’s Aunt Lauren. “We made a bet that you wouldn’t of shown up, and I put my faith–and my money– on you two! And speaking of which, Leonard, you owe me 12 bucks.”
“Fine, fine.” said Uncle Leonard.
“Anyway, we’re glad you could make it!” Lauren said. “Maddeline, how are you doing?”
“Fine fine–I HATE YOU ALL!”” she shouted.
“W-w-w-what?!” Lauren said.
“Sorry! Sorry! She doesn’t mean it, remember, she’s bipolar, she has random emotion changes, apparently she’s angry. Speaking of which, I ought to sue the doctor for giving Maddeline faulty medicine that only works one thir of the time! But yeah, excuse her sudden hatefulness, she doesn’t mean it.” explained her mother to Lauren.
“Oh……” said Lauren with a sigh of relief.
“Oh does she?” said Maddeline’s cousin Brent, sneering.
“Hush it Brent, you try and live with it! It isn’t as easy as you think!” snapped Maddeline at Brent.
“Oh, sorry Maddy.
“You know I hate being called Maddy!”
“Oh really? Shouldn’t you suddenly love it then?”
“Stop fighting! We are here for a peaceful gathering! Not to watch a Cousin vs. Cous
No! All my hard work tabbing, italicizing and bold-facing!
And I’ll post the rest here:

Not to watch a Cousin vs. Cousin fight!” interrupted Lauren.
I wouldn’t mind strangling him….Maddeline thought, smiling evilly at the mental picture of her choking Brent.
“What are you smiling about?” asked Leonard, knowing it is a malicious thought from her toothy smile.
“Nothing!” said Maddeline hurriedly.

Best answer(s):

Answer by Dancer
It seems a little choppy at some parts.
I think you should also make it more realistic, i’m pretty sure that the mood changes last longer then a couple minutes. For example when she is angry or depressed it would normally last for 7-2 weeks.
You should definitely read up on bipolar and learn a little more about it.

answer mine? http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=Aqzul_my.8Rs8HnqrSx8meTAFQx.;_ylv=3?qid=20100317172828AA23ruY

Answer by Jaz
Hey, im no expert but i think that so far you have some good ideas and the story is pretty intersting. I think you might have rushed into the story a bit at the beginning, it seemed to move really fast in the first paragraph, so maybe setting the scene and taking a little more time there. Overall I think you are doing great,

hope this helps

Answer by RunningBear
You don’t need that first paragraph – we don’t need any background information. Almost everything you say in that paragraph is told to us through the story anyway (the way it should be), so it’s just repetition.

Your portrayal of bipolar disorder is not very accurate. If you want it to be accurate you need to do some more research and find out what sufferers say about it, how they deal with it and how they feel about it. If you’re not bothered about accuracy and this is just a writing exercise, fair enough, as long as your readers feel the same.

I have two tips for you to try to improve the writing itself:
1) Look out for repetition and try to avoid it. We could get bored pretty quickly of Maddeline’s mother saying the same old things about her being bipolar.
2) Read all the dialogue out loud as if you were actually having those conversations and make it as realistic as possible. Try not to overdramatise or be melodramatic.

Hope this helps.

Answer by Fashion Adict <3
You shouldn’t start off describing what Madeline looks like. Try to let people see her through other people’s eyes or when she’s looking in the mirror, just to give you some examples. The fact that she is bipolar shouldn’t be laid right off the bat either. Maybe she should actually get in trouble at school and her mom is explaining to the teacher or principle that she can’t control that, you know. I got bored because of that so I didn’t keep reading…But now I feel bad so I’ll read it. DO NOT SAY: ‘Okay, enough background information, time to pursue the real plot!’ This is really bad. Take it out! I’m not sure that any ones mom would be that mean telling their daughter that she can’t have her turning suicidal or anything…a mom would probably be more sensitive. Everything else is kind of choppy-not really flowing correctly.

Answer by Andrea
Your portrayal of Bipolar Disorder is so far from reality it does nothing more then perpetuate erroneous myths. Do a little research on actual Bipolar Disorder… then really you have no story because it seems that your story revolves around her poor behavior…… Of course you could always have her have Borderline Personality Disorder, then you could have the unstable emotions and you could have her be a cutter and have eating disorders too……. oh and with Borderline you could have her trying to commit suicide all the time. But seriously your description of Bipolar is about as accurate as describing an elephant as being pink and purple striped and two feet high with little pointy ears.

Answer by Gh
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