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Thread: I'm trying to write a fiction book in English. Just for fun :)

  1. #1
    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    I'm trying to write a fiction book in English. Just for fun :)

    I decided to go ahead and write something in English just to practice the language and entertain myself and the others. So I decided to write a book in spare time.

    The book is located here: http://eugene1000.blog.com/book/

    Please, feel free to comment on everything you want, including plot, grammar, word choice, readability, etc.
    Sometimes I feel like my writing is terribly sloppy, I'll be happy to correct it with your help.
    Eternally yours, Medved
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

  2. #2
    Paul G.
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    Journeys in time? Again?


  3. #3
    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Yup
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

  4. #4
    Hanna
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    If you are that good at writing in English, your writing in Russian must be outstanding! Do you write for a living?

    I am not going to attempt to critique it; although my English qualifies as native standard, it's not technically my mother tongue. Litererary critique is outside of my comfort zone. Together with poetry it's the final barrier in language acquisition, isn't it?

    There were a few adjectives and nouns where I think you did not pick quite the right one - a few of the words felt a bit "off". Likewise some verb tenses, particularly in the past tense which I think can be tricky from a Russian perspective. But native speakers are extremely sloppy when writing, so the fact that it's not perfect almost makes it feel more authentic. Other than lawyers, English people treat language in a very cavalier fashion.

    However I can't put my finger on any of this, and I'll leave to born and bred native speakers to comment... . I'm going to check back to see their feedback!

    You really are EXTREMELY good at English. If you never lived in an English speaking country, then it's an amazing accomplishment. Translationsnmru is the other Russian person who writes perfect English that appears native, in fact better than how most native speakers write.

  5. #5
    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Thanks, Hanna.
    No, I don't write for a living and in fact I do think that I do not write well. Because sometimes the structure of sentences, words chosen, etc., are being taken from my native Russian language. I don't know if it's right or wrong but someone already told me that a few sentences must be reworded from scratch instead of correcting parts of them. As to the plot, from the comments I received on another forum I've gathered that I should use more detailed, "colorful" writing. So I'll be trying to work on it. Everyone is still welcome to comment. You don't have to fix every single thing that sounds awkward. One or two at a time would be great.
    Btw: does it read interesting at all, or do you skip whole sentences and paragraphs because they are boring, too artifical, etc., etc,. etc.?
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    OK. YOU wanted it Style comments are just my personal (not very humble) opinion, so don't take them very seriously.

    they looked totally alien to his native California... particularly the ones with white bark stained with horizontal strokes
    I don't think this sounds quite allright. Perhaps, 'they looked totally alien to the trees he was accustomed with back in California'... not the best variant, but here trees are supposed to look like an US state
    Anyway, native California is simply wrong (or so I think). I know of course what you were trying to say, but I'm sure the word 'native' cannot be used this way. Try 'home in California' or smth.
    Horizontal strokes?

    The weather was surprisingly fresh, even cold. It felt like it was early summer
    surprisingly? Or it felt otherwise?

    It didn’t feel like amnesia
    Memory loss?
    Here and further. In Russian fiction I noticet much is said from a neutral point view (it felt like, it appeared, etc), but in English fiction things are more personalized. You find more 'He/she felt like, he/she saw smth appeared, etc).
    So, I suggest you write this 'He didn't feel like he'd lost some part of his memory'.

    Peter had been spending time entertaining himself with parties, safari tours and women
    Suggestion: spending time for amusements like ...

    always craving for attention measured in dollars and euro
    Quite unlikely that the Californian girls even know what Euro is. Perhaps just 'money' will do.

    She truly believed that her best friends were diamonds, not people.
    Буээээ. Bad, bad, bad cliché.

    a huge house with all those green terraces
    But all of it altogether didn’t make him feel happy, topped up by his constantly deteriorating health, which would go worse and worse from year to year.
    But nothing of it made him feel happy not to mention the slowly deteriorating health that didn't promise to be any better in the years to come.

    Looking back at his life he realized that there arewere a few things money can’t could not buy. Without them life becomes pointless
    Without what? Things money could not buy or the money itself?

    He tried almost everything – gambling, hunting, fishing, sailing, diving…but nothing brought him the relief he was longing for so much.
    Almost everything you say? (if you know what I mean, surely you can invent some more 'exotic' distractions for an old rich fart.
    Relief? Satisfaction perhaps?

    That's all for now. I'll continue later.
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  7. #7
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    He didn’t have anything to build fire with, didn’t have anything to cover his body, so he was just walking as hardfast as he could to keep warm
    The last thing he remembered was that birthday party in his house, a sudden pain in the heart his chest, a choked groan and…darkness.
    When he came into senses
    All his body seemed to bewas covered with goose bumps.
    get rid of this terrible feeling of numbness
    So many times he cried for help, but with no luck
    At one of the stops, he thoroughly examined his body. The reason why he did that was because he suddenly felt like there was something wrong with it. First of all, the skin did not look like skin of an old man, without all these cracks and wrinkles. It was really smooth and young-looking. Then, Peter noticed that he had went quite a distance without getting tired, which was simply impossible for an old man like him. Finally, when he had to jump over a creek on his way, he did it with suspicious ease.
    At one of the stops - were there several? Why did he stop? And really the cause and the consequence are begging to be swapped:
    Peter noticed that in spite of the fact he'd covered quite a large distance by then there was no fatigue which seemed impossible for an old man like him. Once he had to jump over a creek happenned in his way and he did is with suspicious ease. Something was very wrong. Finally he stopped and examined his body. His skin wasn't a wrinked skin of an old man but was very smooth and young, his muscles had the now-forgotten strength in them, his old scars were gone, and blahbhah...

    resumed his ramblingwandering
    where he could slakequiet his immediate thirst
    ThatIt was an old little road
    all covered with grass
    ... with grass grown through the numerous cracks.

    Peter couldn’t see either tracks, or footprints on it
    Peter saw neither tracks nor footprints.

    Strange, but he didn’t spot any cars or other vehicles and the whole hamlet looked very poor and ancient, just like it would have been looking in the first half of the 20th century.
    You're jumping to conclusions. Any other century will look the same or otherwise you should explain why the first half of the 20th century.

    When it became darker
    Speaking of which. What time of day it was in the beginning? I got the full impression from 'cold dark forest' that is was night. Now it was day. I can imagine nights in early summer can be cold, but certainly you won't be freezing to death in the daytime, even if you are naked.

    saw the old man gazing at him with an astonished gaze.
    Don't you just love being a proofreader? LOL
    The old mad gave him an astonished gaze.

    he himself wouldn’t have been looking any betterdifferent
    'Better' sounds as if there was something bad in gazing with astonished gaze

    All these candles, a kerosene lamp, rough wooden furniture, even clothes, everything shed the spirit of antiquity.
    I don't quite understand what you were trying to say with 'shed the spirit'.
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  8. #8
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Seemingly, he was understood and the man’s answer sounded pretty much like ‘Nikolai’.
    Avoid using passive voice. Switch to English
    Apparently, the man understood him. His answer sounded pretty much like 'Nikolai'.

    Meanwhile the man laid an old plate all covered in scratches
    old scratched plate.

    Hmm, I don't want to sound overly critical, but a bit of more detailed description of what's been in the house might be in order, don't you think?

    Peter took his seat and started quickly gobbling the food up as he hadn’t had any meal since morning.
    Details, man! They distinguish a good fiction from trash. He was at the evening party in his house, remember? Or it was in the morning? Did he wander in the forest for a whole day? He must be very tired and sleepy by now, young body or not.

    The soup didn’t look, neither smell or taste familiar, which was weird, because Peter in his old life had tried almost every single dish that had ever existed in the world
    The soup looked, smelled and tasted unfamiliar. And you CAN'T eat dish! A dish is not food, it's a big plate

    where the arrangers hosts were constantly trying to surprise their guests
    so Peter started continued to eat without hesitation.
    He already started since he knew how it tasted.

    Just when Peter finished the meal, the door opened and the old woman came in, followed by another woman.
    Perfect timing, heh? Did they wait by the door

    they both froze as their eyes met
    Yawn... how predictable.

    she looked gorgeous
    I don't think 'gorgeous' is a right word for a simple rural beauty. It's more fit for an urban hi-class prostitute.

    - Where am I? – he held his breath, deep inside ready for an answer that he’s in heaven…or in hell.
    - You are in Belarus, about 70 miles due North from Minsk – she said with a slight accent.
    The correct answer should have been 'Soviet Union'. And even if otherwise, it was Belorussia, not Belarus.
    1) There was no US embassies in Belarus. A consulate maybe. The embassy is (and was) in Moscow.
    2) The first thing the old man should do seeing a naked unfamiliar foreigner is to bring an NKVD officer, not a pretty girl who just happen to speak English in that village. Not many people new foreign languages, certainly very few in Belarussian villages and the most popular language was German, not English.
    3) Even if these people were all crazy natural curiosity would have made them to ask questions first, not providing answers to a potential spy.

    - It’s late now, you better get some sleep and tomorrow we will try to help you get to the USA embassy in Minsk, I think Mr.Roosevelt will help you out. – Ann smiled.
    Why did she decide that he was American? Back in that time an English speaking person would sooner be associated with UK, not USA.

    There, almost unseen in the darkness of the sky which was only beginning to lighten had only started lightening in the rays of the raising Sun, were flowing they saw numerous silhouettes of airplanes, sometimes invisible, sometimes showing in the gaps between disappearing and appearing again in the clouds.
    He half-filled the glasses with the liquid from the bottle and said something that could be interpreted like ‘here, drink, you may need it’, given his own and his wife’s appearance.
    I don't quite understand the bold part. Do you mean 'judging by his own and his wife's appearances'?

    When Peter finally fought subdued the liquid and opened his running eyes he saw the old man handing him a piece of bread.
    The man and the woman couldn’t sleep either, so the whole morning they all were just trying to keep their hands busy doing something. However everything they were doing didn’t seem either necessary or important, apparently they were just trying to distract themselves from what was actually happening.
    What did Peter do? You said 'they all were'.

    It hasn’t been calm at the border for a month or so and everyone was expecting something to happen
    A general knowledge says that it's BEEN quiet and very few actually expected anything.

    Peter felt like he wanted to give her a hug and try to calm her down but he refrained restrained himself (no comma) because it might look awkward unappropriate.
    He briefly ran through the headlines and suddenly something caught his eye. That It was the date of the issue. June 12 , 1941.
    (issue's too official here)

    - What day is it today? – he asked Ann hoping that he wasn’t dreaming.
    Was? or Wasn't?
    ... hoping it was a dream.

    P.S. A realistic finale for a foreigner with no documents at war-time is - arrest, interrogation, and execution - everything within a week. Still, I'm very curious what will happen next.
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  9. #9
    Hanna
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    I think it's best not to translate the sentences from how you would have written them in Russian. You are good enough at English to "think" in English. Just "switch off" your mother tongue while you are writing, and pretend you don't know it. Trying to do a direct translation will complicate things. My biggest mistakes in English have invariably been when I tried to translate a sentence that was "perfect" in Swedish. Expressions, certain professional terms etc. Knowing them in another language actually just confuses things. The other option would be to write out the whole story in Russian and translate it like a professional translator once you think it's perfect.

    Ramil knows the finer details of English grammar like commatization better than me, and on a good day his English is excellent. You can definitely trust his feedback.

    The story is interesting, it's just that I don't like the second world war
    I only make an exception with some Russian films, since some of them are artistically good. Otherwise I HATE this whole period. Btw, there is definitely a film involving time travel, naked guys and world war 2. Russian, quite new - mid 2000s maybe. I forgot the name, but it's 3-4 guys digging for war memorabilia in an old battlefield. One of them reckons he's a nazi, even though he's Russian. They go for a swim and when they emerge from the lake, it's WW2!

    Definitely check the situation with the consulate. I am almost certain there would NOT have been a US consulate in Minsk. The USSR kept extremely good track of what foreigners got up to and helped them long before any "normal" consular emergency would occur. Almost none of the normal situations that would cause a traveller or business person to visit a consulate could actually occur in the USSR - it was a rather special situation if you compare with today.

    Also I think in order to make the story realistic, the people he meets in Belarus must not be able to speak English! Language difficulties would automatically be part of the plot, if the story is going to be realistic.
    Why don't you make it so that Peter can speak simple Russian instead? I think that's actually more credible than the other way around. Make up some reason.... Hardly anyone in continental Europe could speak English back in those day. If they spoke a foreign language it was usually German or French.

    And I agree with Ramil that a stranger turning up in the USSR without any documentation in those days would probably be regarded with extreme suspicion unless he had an extremely convincing reason. Maybe check with your grandparents what they would have thought, back in those days, if a random English speaking person turned up on their doorstep? Would they have taken the person in and let him stay the night, or called the authorities? I think in Stalin's days, they probably would have called! Or their neighbour might have!

    Seemingly should be "it appeared" or "it seemed". There is more, but I can't right now.
    However, let me compliment you on your impressive English vocabulary.

  10. #10
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    on a good day his English is excellent.
    Yeah, on a good day. Some point in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    I only make an exception with some Russian films, since some of them are artistically good. Otherwise I HATE this whole period. B[I]tw, there is definitely a film involving time travel, naked guys and world war 2. Russian, quite new - mid 2000s maybe. I forgot the name, but it's 3-4 guys digging for war memorabilia in an old battlefield. One of them reckons he's a nazi, even though he's Russian. They go for a swim and when they emerge from the lake, it's WW2!
    Мы из будущего (We are from the future) on IMDb
    There is a sequel too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Definitely check the situation with the consulate. I am almost certain there would NOT have been a US consulate in Minsk.
    There could have been a consulate, but certainly not an embassy - embassy is always in the capital.
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    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Ramil, Hanna, thanks for your excellent feedabck. I'm currently working through the points Ramil made, I'm about in the middle of the second post. Definitely a lot of changes are to come.

    About consulate...I don't think Peter as a true American would know whether there is a consulate or an embassy or must or must not there be one in Minsk at all. He's never gotten involved in such stuff and he just doesn't know so he acts naturally, trying to do what he can do even though there was no American representative in the city. Minsk is the capital of Belarus, btw. Sort of a large city.

    About suspiciosness and stuff -- yeah I agree, but there was no way to call authorities in a godforsaken hamlet at that time. Only a local policeman, and definitely not in the middle of the night. So the old man would definitely call him in the morning if not for the war. Maybe later I'll run the local policeman and Peter into each other. But then, they had to let him in, I think. And only then try to call a policeman. I guess I should make this point in the story somehow but I simply don't know how. Peter doesn't speak Russian so he can't be aware of what the Russians say. Maybe the argument of the old man and the old woman could have sounded like this indeed:
    - You old fart, who do you think you are? What is this scarecrow you let in?
    - Umm, darling, relax. The dude doesn't speak Russian and he showed up at the doorstep completely naked. I guess he is a german spy, but Pasha, our local policeman, must have been dead drunk now, so it's late and I'll let the stranger in now, and tomorrow morning I'll call Pasha before he gets tipsy again. I hope we'll get some kind of reward.
    - Oh, sweety, you're so smart. Go ahead. But what will wi tell Pasha? Maybe we'll try to learn something now? What if I'll call this new school teacher, she told someday that she knows German and English. Maybe she can learn something about him? Frankly, the language he spoke doesn't resemble German, I've heard them a lot and the language he spoke was definitely not German. So it might be English. Maybe I'll call Ann?
    The old woman's face visibly relaxed and he said "I'll go ahead and call her myself, you give the man some stuff from that pot we use to feed pigs....", she stood up and headed for the door..
    Huh?
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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    About consulate - it was Ann who spoke of it. She had to know.

    About the other stuff - НКВД - народный комиссариат внутренних дел. It WAS police. And usually, a police stations were even in remote villages. So, a naked man who speaks foreign language appears just on the brink of a war and nobody cares... Hardly believable. Well, if Pasha's been drunk - that's all right, I guess Still, an interrogation scene at the local NKVD office would have been quite interesting.
    Go on. I can hardly wait to read about Peter's being a partisan sneaking into occupied Minsk to blow up some warehouse
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    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Go on. I can hardly wait to read about Peter's being a partisan sneaking into occupied Minsk to blow up some warehouse
    Well, yup, something like that
    Im now at the stage of implementing some (actually most) of your corrections.
    Except for, maybe, cracked road (what in the world cracks can be on a road in the forest, -- rotten leaves, grass and bush, at the most) and a few others.
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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    About roads - I doubt rural roads were paved at this time. Certainly there was no asphalt.
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    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Updated (see link). I've tried to fix really everything.
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    What day is it today? – He asked Ann in a hope that it was just a dream.- Today is the 22nd of June, 1941. Sunday.
    My suggestion for this dialogue (keeping in mind that from Ann's point of view, everything seems "normal"):

    "What day is it today?" he asked Ann, hoping that it was just a dream.
    "It's Sunday," she answered.
    "No, um... I meant to ask, what's the DATE today?"
    "Oh, it's the 22nd of June."
    "But what YEAR is it?" he persisted.
    She gave him a strange look. "1941, of course."


    I think our police will contact the USA embassy in Minsk, I think Mr. Roosevelt will help you out. – Ann smiled.

    - Okay, – Peter replied and automatically corrected her, – Mr. Obama. Barack Obama is the current President of the United States.
    Note that the abbreviation "USA" is rarely or never used as an adjective; we'd say "the US embassy consulate" or "the American embassy consulate" instead. However, I think it's a good idea to introduce some small errors in Ann's English (for example, occasionally forgetting to use "a" or "the") so she doesn't sound exactly the same as Peter, who's a native speaker. Also, there are "Roosevelts" in America with no relation to the two presidents of that name, so Peter wouldn't immediately think that "Mister Roosevelt" refers to FDR:

    "I think our police will contact USA consulate in Minsk, and Mr. Roosevelt will help you out," Ann smiled.

    "Okay, I'd like to contact the American consulate," said Peter, gently correcting her. "And Mr. Roosevelt, I assume, is the US consul there?"

    "What? Oh, no," she laughed, "I have no idea at all what the man who works at USA... at the American consulate is called. I was talking about your President in Washington, Franklin Roosevelt!"

    Peter hesitated -- was she making some kind of joke? Aha, he thought he'd guessed it: she was talking about Franklin Roosevelt's face on the ten-cent coin. To show that he understood the joke, he chuckled, "Ha-ha... I'm not sure that a Roosevelt dime would cover the cost of a trans-Atlantic telephone call to Barack Obama!"

    She gave him a completely blank look. "I'm sorry..." she began, "I don't know what is -- a Roosevelt 'da-yeem'? -- but 'Barockobama' is the name of your home city, I guess?"

    Now he gave her an equally blank look.

    Still slightly embarrassed at not understanding the word 'dime', she offered quickly: "I suppose that 'Barockobama' comes from an old Indian name, like 'Massachusetts' and 'Mississippi'?"

    "Mr... Barack... Obama," he said in a slow daze, "is the current President of the United States."

    "I don’t think so," she said smiling, "as far as I know it’s Franklin D. Roosevelt..."
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    I know that seems like a lot of extra dialogue compared to the original, but I think it's important to "sell" the idea that Peter hasn't yet figured out that he traveled through time. (If the dialogue is too short, it makes at seem as though he's a friend of Dr. Who, and considers time-travel to be completely normal...)
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

  18. #18
    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Thank you very much Throbert. Now that you're the 5th or 6th person who insisted that she was making small occasional errors in English I'm really convinced that it's worth doing, especially in regard with differentiating Peter's and Ann's speech styles. Correcting. Thank you for all of the ready made dialogue stuff, I'll add it "as is"
    Looking forward for further suggestions and corrections.
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

  19. #19
    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Updated.
    Added a new piece of story at the end as the beginning of a new chapter.
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

  20. #20
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    He was rambling through the forest
    to ramble:
    : to walk or go from one place to another place without a specific goal, purpose, or direction
    : to go from one subject to another without any clear purpose or direction

    Russian: прогуливаться, шляться, бродить

    I'm not sure that 'rambling' fits here. He had a goal, after all - to find shelter, clothes, food, etc. I'm not sure, but just 'walking' suits better.

    Peter could not identify some of the trees; they looked totally alien to his native California
    I pointed this out earlier - this sounds weird. Grammatically you compare trees with California.
    "they looked totally different from the ones he grew accustomed with back home in California"
    Also, I should probably mention that birch is not 'totally alien' to North America. They appear more frequently in Canada, but certainly Peter should know it, if not by name, but by sight anyway.
    Here's the birch tree areal:


    with white bark stained with tiny horizontal strokes and black grainy marks.
    Stroke - generally it's an action, not a crack in tree's bark.

    Always use native MONOLINGUAL dictionaries - don't ever trust bilingual ones.

    The weather air was rather fresh, even cold
    a few young flowers
    few is a noun here.

    That was the last thing Peter had ever expected, to find himself all alone in the forest, without shoes, clothes, phone and other things that normally surround us and make us feel safe and protected.
    English punctuation is a very tough topic, but a general rule states - if you're not sure then don't use a comma
    Finding himself alone in a forest without shoes, clothes, his phone and other things that normally surround us and make us feel safe and protected was the last thing Peter had ever expected.

    Plot:
    He avoided thinking about his former wife who appeared not to be interested in his business or his worries or his happiness.
    Did HE left her or did SHE left him? He was rich, after all and could afford such a wife. You can leave a hint or two about the history of their separation. Perhaps his inability to have children woked its part as well here.

    He loved children
    Loved is a bit strong word here. Try 'He was fond of children'.

    The doctors had managed to recover his body
    It's a simple narration, why past perfect?

    He had tried to cure it but the doctors told him there was no chance.
    Same.

    The more successful grew his business his business grew the less happy he was
    The word order is kinda important in English.

    Plot:
    to live a new life where he could avoid those stupid mistakes
    Which mistakes? He didn't make any from what you told us. The only bad part about his life was that he never found the real purpose, but that can hardly be called a mistake.

    a sudden strike of pain in the chest, a scream, a choked groan, his gasping for air and … darkness.
    So many times he cried for help, but with no luck.
    Too poetic. Leave it as "He cried for help many times, but with no luck."

    His skin wasn’t the wrinkled skin of an old man
    his muscles regained the now-forgotten strength, the old scars (no comma) which had always reminded him of the road accident (no comma) were gone
    and a lock of his previously gray hair was again dark brown, as if he was young again
    How can you see a lock on your hair without a mirror? If you insist then add that he found some water and looked at his reflection (in the morning twilight, yeah ) But then, if there was enough light he should have examined his face and find out that he's indeed a young person again.

    He decided not to wrack his brain mind around this new state of his body because there were a few more immediate things to do, so he jumped to his feet and resumed his rambling walk.
    a small hamlet village, surrounded with woods, and another road twisting and turning that twisted and turned through the whole settlement and ultimately disappearing behind in the trees on its other side
    Hamlet is too specific. Village would be better.

    Plot:
    Strange, but he didn’t spot any cars or other vehicles and the whole hamlet looked very poor and ancient, just like it would have been looking at the first half of the 20th century.
    He must have spotted cattle (cows, goats, chicken, etc). And also people - village people are early risers. He watched all day and didn't see anyone. Village lives either by cultivating the land or by its cattle.

    holding something like a shirt in his hands
    But pants? What about pants? And footwear?
    He returned something like ten minutes later and wordlessly handed Peter a rough linen shirt and wide pants . The cloth was undyed, seemingly handmade but it would get him dressed at least.
    The man also provided him with a pair of old boots, but Peter decided first to tend to his foots so he didn't put them on.

    Plot:
    He laid a big wooden spoon next to the plate and jerked his head at the food.
    We're speaking about a Soviet village in 1941 (mid 20th century). You describe it as if it was from 18th century. I'm practically sure that there were metal spoons. Many villages had electricity by this time (not in the houses, perhaps, but on the streets at least). Also Peter was bound to see at least one car (truck) or a tractor.

    Peter took his seat and started quickly gobbling the food up as he hadn’t had any meal since the morning.
    The soup didn’t look, neither smell nor taste familiar
    I'm pretty sure, you can't use neither...nor here. Rephrase:
    The soup looked, tasted and smelled unfamiliar.

    Peter was sitting there investigating the new dish kind of meal. Anyway, it was food, a fuel for the body, by this sole fact worth being eaten up, so Peter was eating ate without hesitation.
    A dish is a big plate on which the food is served (посуда) not the food itself. Stick to MONOLINGUAL dictionaries.

    ‘You are in the Soviet Union, Belarussia
    Nobody used the word Belarus till 1991.
    Plot: I think the most natual answer will be the name of the village first. (Look at the map of Belarus and bind his location to real geography of the region. This way you won't need to invent geographic impossibilities further ). (деревня Букашкино, Первомайского района, Колхоз "Светлый путь" ). Then, after Peter would have naturally asked 'Where is that?' Ann should be somewhat surprised and tell him.
    Also Ann would never say '70 miles', she would say 'about 100 kilometers'.

    Plot:
    It's June, 21st, right?
    at least he was the President three months ago when I last saw your newspapers
    later:
    That was the date of the issue. June 12 , 1941.
    It should be March, not June.

    Plot:
    He was woken up in what felt like the middle of the night, although it was starting to brighten outside the window
    I'm being a tiresome old bore, am I?
    It's june solstice. Here's the calculation for Minsk (June, 22nd, 1941): Full sunrise at 4:38. The sky was quite bright when he woke up.

    They all went out of the house and all at once couldn’t help but to raise their heads up to the sky.
    These planes couldn’t be anything but bombers.
    These planes had no jets, but had propellers on their wings and looked very old, as if they had been built back in the WW2 era.

    Nikolai took out of the old frayed cupboard a huge bottle a huge bottle out of the old frayed cupboard
    (word order)

    handing him a piece lump of bread
    He gratefully took it and made a few bits feeling that the fire inside dies dying away.
    The man and the woman Nikolai and his wife couldn’t sleep either
    When Peter opened it he saw Ann standing at the door with a seal of sorrow on her face.
    Не верю! (c) Станиславский. These people had not yet fully realized what happenned. They had not known yet how long this war would last and how many would die. So there should be no sorrow. They're afraid and worried. So - 'with a worried and slightly frightened look on her face'.

    we saw planes and heard shooting
    They could only hear distant explosions, not gunfire.

    Peter felt like he wanted to give her a hug and try to soothe her pain
    To comfort her, to calm her down, but certainly there was no pain.

    Phew... now I'm ready for chapter 2
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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