The Official Writing Challenge
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04/10/08
Ooh, it started off sad, but had a lovely ending! I was with the grandparents, Wally and Erma, hoping that James would open up a bit and let them love him. I especially loved the use of your italics between his thoughts and the actual 'story'. Very nice! ^_^
04/10/08
Very well written, capturing a teen's anguish perfectly.

The ending seemed a bit too "pat" for me; in my experience turn-arounds rarely happen so quickly.

The letter was a nice touch, as were the italicized thoughts contrasting with the dialogue and the action.
04/10/08
This is very good. I agree the ending was a bit rushed, but is to be expected in 750 words. Great writing! You've got the teen attitude and voice down pat:)
Laury
Lovely story! What wonderful grandparents. I'm so glad James realised and accepted their love. The confusion and anger of the teen was well captured. Well done! Well done indeed.
Heart-breaking. Gut-wrenching. This brought tears to my eyes.
I can relate to this for I have seen it happen. Bible salvations were all sudden turnarounds and so are many today,

The few words you have in a challenge also limit what you ca say. I Love it. Keep it up,
04/12/08
HOnestly? I think you nailed the topic in a very authentic and touching way.

I think if you had just separated the memories with a line or an extra space or something, showing them more as slices of life as the time passed, your ending would not have seemed rushed at all.

Maybe it's just the way my brain works, but I did read these as separate instances all connected together to make one big wonderful happy ending. And I absolutely LOVE a happy ending. Well done.
04/12/08
OK - first of all, this does NOT stink ;)

Your MC was very realistic, and I liked how well you characterized him, and what a good job you did staying in his POV (I know I would have been tempted to "jump around" to give another side).

I also agree that the ending was a bit pat - but I love that last line nonetheless. This felt real.
04/12/08
I agree, Josh, that this is a very good story. I like the inner thoughts that sandwich your story and the letter at the end, too. Maybe stopping just short of your current ending would still let your reader know that the MC is having a change of heart, but not rush the character too much toward a sudden change. I like the way he expresses his feelings through-out the story. This is definitely NOT a stinker!
Very nice entry. It's challenging to write a story that covers so many years in just 750 words, but you did and it was clear and easy to follow. That's not an easy task. I thought the feelings seemed realistic. These entries need a satisfying conlusion, but everything doesn't need to be resloved. I know you were unhappy with your ending, but I thought this one was satisfying. Great job! (NOT a stinker!)
04/12/08
Great work, Josh! I liked the dialogue and characters...nicely done.
04/12/08
I love the rhythm of the back-and-forth thoughts vs. dialogue. I'd love to read your alternate ending, because this is good, but a great ending would make it even better!
04/12/08
Josh, this is a great story. You did a really good job not just expressing your MC's feelings but why he felt that way. I wasn't expecting the ending with him being saved, I was just hoping he realized how blessed he had been with his grandparents. I liked it a lot.
Good feel of the emotions of your MC. Realistic thoughts and actions. Esp. clear display of the Grandmother's faith. Good job.
Josh, I enjoyed this. You are too hard on yourself. I think you did a good job developing your young MC. Thumbs up.
Well written and I enjoyed the fact the MC didn't have such a hard-heart after all.
I liked this one! I thought you did a great job showing how "great" grandparents can be! :-) Though I'm sure it isn't easy for someone in realy life to be raised by grandparents, they can be a real blessing, too...
04/14/08
Josh, this was beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes and I loved it. You really captured the attitude of a teen and the love of grandparents. Good job!
Loved your format, the teen angst and the grandparents who knew when to step back. Keep writing, your talent shines in this submission.
04/15/08
Josh, this was not your worst entry ever! This was excellent writing. It is hard to wrap up everything in so few words.

Wonderful take on the topic and clever title.
04/16/08
I love this entry! It's really good. Great job and keep writing!

~Becky
04/16/08
You did a great job expressing the anguished teenager. And, unfortunately, this story is all too realistic.

I don't think the ending was too pat or rushed. Often, with conversions, something will finally just "click." I think your ending works, given the word limit.

Nice job with the topic.
04/16/08
You perfectly captured the thought-life and feelings of a TWICE adopted child. (Once by the Grandparents, and once by Jesus.) God bless you for having the courage to write and submit this story.