The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
10/27/07
A preacher friend of mine always loses me in the first half of his sermons. I have to pay very close attention to every word and I often wonder part way through whether he can make the story come about full circle into something meaningful. He always does. Reading your article was the same way - I was confused for the first half of the story as to how you could bring it around to baptism, but you did just that. It made me think of Luke 7:47 "Therefore I say to you, her sins, [which are] many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loves little." The main character in your story has been forgiven of much - you can see that he also loves much.

Suggestion: try not to duplicate words in a sentence...like the one about your face and tears on your face...good picture but would be better if you could eliminate the 2nd face.

I liked it!
10/27/07
"Shiloh said it will take you higher than any drug or alcohol,"
Wonderful way of saying it! I really liked how you used a youthful scenery of the baptism for your readers. Where I come from, many youth do not talk about baptism; as a matter of fact they seem to run from the words of it and communion. Your article demonstrated a reality of youth making mature choices and being able to talk about their past in spite of.
You may need to work on some different choices of words to keep your readers focus, especially since you really developed what you were talking about at the very end.
10/30/07
Creative. I like it.

One suggestion is to work on your wording a bit to make them a bit clearer and crisper. Here's an example. You say "Even when the police kicked down the hotel door and started arresting everyone, you know I still got high that evening?"

Change the order a bit, and make it into a statement. "You know, I even got high the night the police raided our room. I took some pills right before they got to me."

This makes thinks a bit clearer and less cumbersome for the reader.

Over all, though, great job! Keep writing!
The one thing I would add here, is to maybe give your characters some definition - a little bit of description to give the reader a better sense of who they are.
But overall, the story was well written - easy to follow, and handled the topic nicely.
Keep writing!!
10/31/07
I confess to being a little confused at the beginning as well, but the ending was nicely done. Another thing I had trouble with was having two main characters with such similar names: Jeremy & Jeremiah. Changing one of them might help readability. Overall, though you did a nice job.
Congrats on the Highly Commended. Good writing.