The Official Writing Challenge
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This is a sweet story. I enjoyed going on the picnic with the MC and the family. You spoke a lot of truths that many of us can forget in the busy world. You did a nice job of expanding on the topic too.

You had some tiny editing things that a good proofreader would catch for you. I noticed a few incomplete sentences (they are okay in dialog but should be avoided in the narrative section.) One example is as I wiped the perspiration from my forehead.
You can fix it by having a period instead of a comma at the end of the prior quote and then get rid of the word as.

The most important thing is you shared with many strangers the message God placed on your heart. It isn't always easy to be obedient to God, but you never know how your words might touch someone and not only change their life but their after-life as well. Keep writing as only you can tell your stories and the world does need to hear them.
07/12/12
I could identify with this one. It is really hot where I live and we almost never think of picnicking. Beautiful thought expressed here. Thank you.
07/13/12
I loved the meaning of your entry and it came across so loud and clear. A perfectly well received message and I enjoyed the entire piece. Thank you for this.

God bless you~
07/13/12
Oh, it sounds like you had such a lovely time together! Thank you for sharing your picnic adventure and your positive attitude with us! :)

I especially liked the last 4 or 5 sentences. Good ending!
07/16/12
This is a sweet little story with a nice message.

Your story could be improved with more showing and less telling. For instance, when you have such a short word count, long lists of foods and miscellaneous items bog down the story. (Kind of bogs down the story even if you had a larger word count.) Better to stick with the heart of the story, the parts that make the story come alive and hold the reader's interest. Details like what was brought to the picnic add good description, but consider mentioning just a few items, possibly mixed with some showing.

While some editors, publishers, etc. have no problem with phrases like "he said, asked, remarked, etc.", Faith Writer judges prefer leaving those out and instead, focusing on the action of the individual speaking. Example: "Are you guys okay?" asked my husband . . . This could be changed to "Are you guys okay?" My husband eyed the kids.

Also be careful about the use of too many adverbs. You can often create stronger sentences that show, not tell, by rephrasing with verbs. Instead of saying the daughter said something excitedly and briskly walked, SHOW that she is excited by her actions. Consider a stronger verb than "walk". Perhaps "prance".

You could also show that she walked briskly with a stronger verb, like "bounded" . . . "she bounded ahead of her brother". Or simply "She stepped up her pace". Maybe she full on "raced" her brother. There are many options. Thesaurus.com is a wonderful tool.

Finally, regarding this sentence: “I guess other people had the same idea, too,” my husband nodded, in agreement. . . . If the wife/narrator is the one speaking, the following words should about HER actions, not the husband's. It could be easily fixed by saying after the quote, "I glanced at my husband, who nodded in agreement." You would also end the quote with a period in this case and start a new sentence.

I love the last sentence of your story. Very clever!

I know I picked at a lot here, but critiques like these are what helped me grow quickly as a writer, as I tried to implement everything I gleaned and learned. You have a gift that just needs to be refined and polished. Keep writing!!!

Congratulations for ranking 6th in level one!