The autobiography I'm working on. Please critique me.

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Joined: March 14th, 2020, 4:35 pm

The autobiography I'm working on. Please critique me.

Post by BCdeb » March 14th, 2020, 4:50 pm

The title is: Tears of Blood
Chapter 1
Lies and Dreams
Lies, lies and more lies. Our parents repeat them in the name of tradition. Santa Claus ruled until you found out the truth. I was 7 years old when I snooped around the upper shelf of the spare room closet and discovered a decorated parcel with a colorful bow on it. I was shocked. A little card read, ‘to Debbie from Santa.’ This was early November. How revolting to be lied to! I revealed my findings after Christmas, but my parents laughed it off. Hogwash. For years I put up with older kids making fun of me because I believed in Santa Claus. And yes, we teeny boppers backed up our parents’ lies by saying ‘they would never, ever lie to us!’
In turn, I confronted them about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter bunny. Why do loving parents tell us heaps of lies because it’s the popular thing to do? I vowed I would never tell my children the aforesaid lies and spare them any future heartache, humiliation and bullying.
Looking back, it’s ironic how we get punished for telling falsehoods. What do parents’ expect from us? They lie to us from birth, throughout our formative years and say it was traditional fun. Are you kidding me? Lies affect and infect an entire family.
In consequence, I told countless fibs. My parents and teachers found it quite difficult to believe anything that came out of my mouth, even when I told the truth. I was in utter confusion as to what was right and wrong. To cope with mental anguish I stole things: pencils, bubble gum, and chocolate bars.
I laid on the grass in our front yard, chewed my stolen Double Bubble and looked up at the sky. I smiled because mom told me God was looking down on me; happy if I was a good yet not happy if I was bad. I mused ‘what is bad?’ One thing I learned from toddler hood was ‘never tell lies.’ Here we go again. However, some people tell little white ones. Are they good or bad?
Regardless of the numerous questions plaguing my fertile mind, I continued telling tales. However, there were consequences: a leather strap across my open palms three times for lying at school. At home my parents took away my dessert privileges. It was the perfect punishment for me. Mom’s desserts were delectable: chocolate chip cookies, special colored Jell-O cups, animal shaped cakes loaded with icing and last but not least, freshly baked bread. Her baking was to die for. Oh how I wished I could stop lying! Even though I knew God was looking down on me every day, I couldn’t stop. I was confused as Donald Duck who was trying to make a decision; the devil on his right argued with the angel on his left. Which one would he favor? This internal war left me exhausted.
In addition to my dilemma, mom was studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. During holidays when movies such as Ben Hur or The Ten Commandments were shown on TV, she compared the Hollywood versions against the Bible. My dad teased her, yet was supportive of her newfound beliefs. However, I wasn’t sure how to react. She seemed obsessed with the Bible and attending the meetings of JWs every Sunday.
However, my goal was to be an actress or a singer like Barbara Streisand. Becoming a JW had never crossed my mind. Children have goals and dreams and visions of their future. I wish that someone could have warned mom of the dangers of joining Jehovah’s witnesses because the organization squashed happiness, discouraged higher education which in turn, spelled poverty for many of their members.

Posts: 9
Joined: May 22nd, 2020, 12:11 am

Re: The autobiography I'm working on. Please critique me.

Post by NicoleS » May 22nd, 2020, 12:42 am

Your point of view is interesting because we all have thoughts like this, so we're able to connect with what you're saying. It reads a little rushed though. I think if you walked us through these thoughts more slowly, more smoothly, we would be able to follow along better.

Posts: 3
Joined: July 14th, 2020, 2:32 pm

Re: The autobiography I'm working on. Please critique me.

Post by JJL » July 21st, 2020, 9:51 am

I agree with Nicholas that it comes across as a little rushed and crowded. One way of dealing with that might be to start with the layout of your prose - ie, creating spaces between the paragraphs to allow the words to "breathe" more.

This in turn might prompt you to edit the paragraphs themselves into further paragraphs in some cases or even rewriting them slightly, so they are more succinct.

Your general prose and content though is good and content is good.

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