The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
02/22/13
Wow - good story, nicely done. God bless~
The title captured my attention and I really enjoyed the suspense you built throughout the story. The ending worked well enough, but I think I would have enjoyed it even more if you had left me guessing what was discovered. Well done.
I think you did a nice job on this little mini-mystery. You introduced the conflict right away which intrigues the reader to keep reading.

I did notice you started out in first person and then switched to third person. You also have some tiny errors like missing end quotes that a good proofreader could help you catch.

The ending felt too abrupt. I wanted to know what happened next. That's always a good sign if the reader wants to keep reading. Because of the word limit, it can be hard to get that satisfying ending. I'd encourage you to write the story and don't pay attention to the count. When you feel satisfied with it, then you can go back and cut out the parts not vital to the story. I've cut as many as a thousand words before. Things like searching the house for tools, calling the real at or, and even having the house up for sale are all things that can be clipped to allow you to do more with the ending--like have the family disagree over what to do next, have the box have a secret hidden inside the bills and so on.

I do think you have a great start on an interesting novel perhaps. You may want to consider expanding this into a kids book. I also really liked how the family prayed together. I think you covered the topic. The underlying message of without a key, a box is just a hunk of metal and without a lock the key is just a hunk of metal. It's vital to have both to avoid damaging the box (which represents our heart or soul) That is a powerful message for sure and it's one that kids need to learn and adults might need reminding. I think you have some powerful things in this story and I'm eager to read more of your work.
02/25/13
Very suspenseful! It left me wondering who and why the previous owners would leave something so valuable behind.

I agree with the other comments about leaving some of the other sentences out and strengthing the ending, but with a little editing it could be made into a great children's book.