The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
10/29/15
Thank you for sharing this story. This is a very interesting point; about "being in the world yet not of it." Keep writing!
Your story is meant to teach a lesson as shown in your Bible references. What I am concerned about was whether the teacher had gone against any principles about talking to parents about other kids in their child's class.

Other than that you used a good story to illustrate your point.
10/30/15
Great lesson here, but you had run on sentences. Also need to check your punctuation. Some commas would have made it easier to read. The conversation seemed stilted to me.
10/30/15
Clears shows the importance of mixing with mixing with the righteous crown but still praying for there souls. I believe that hanging out with the wrong crowd can corrupt your morals
11/02/15
This reads more like an allegory than a typical short story, as your characters don't seem quite realistic. Their dialogue is very stilted, and even the situations seem more metaphorical than real. It's impossible to assign an age to the boys, for example; they could be anywhere from 8 to 18.

Develop an ear for realistic dialogue by listening to people speak who are the same ages as your characters. Real people, for example, use contractions, fragments, and incomplete sentences. They sometimes interrupt each other, and they don't use perfectly composed sentences.

I'm not clear on how Philip is supposed to win Julien to Christ without forming a relationship with him. If no Christians are ever supposed to associate with non-Christians, I suspect the number of new believers would go down drastically! I understand a parents' concern for his child, but I'm not sure that the allegory holds true in all circumstances.

This might be stronger as a devotional, with the object lesson of the gold as the centerpiece of the devo. I was intrigued by that illustration, and would like to see it developed.
11/04/15
Thank you for your submission! Your story idea is great and could be worked from several different angles.

Try cutting down on your sentence length by eliminating unnecessary words and correcting punctuation.

For example: instead of "Philip nodded his head nonchalantly. However, his mind reasoned and questioned"...say: Philip nodded but questioned his Papa's reasoning...

Or...instead of "Philip shot a question arrow..." say, Immediately, Philip asked...

Great work! Keep it up!
I really liked your idea behind this story. As a mother, I've seen my kids change their personalities depending on who they are spending time with.

I'd urge you to try to make the dialog flow a bit smoother and add body language. You also could put thoughts in italics to make it stand out. For example you could do something like this: Philip entered the kitchen and felt his knees buckle when he spotted his father clenching a letter from his school.
His dad shoved the paper in Philip's face. "You and that no good Julien have been causing trouble. I told you to stay away from him!"
Philip bit his lower lip. Dad doesn't get it. How am I supposed to help Julien if I don't hang out with him?

That's just an example to show you what I mean. In today's world where confidentiality is all around us, a teacher would be in trouble for breaking confidentiality but by changing it a bit, it makes it more realistic.

You have the workings of a great story here. I think one way Philip could witness to Julien is to protect himself with prayer and invite him to church or youth group. That way, he is able to witness, but doesn't go to places he shouldn't. It's a lot of story to put into only 750 words. I think you've made people stop and think. That's always a good thing to do. Even if people don't totally agree with you, it makes one examine her own beliefs. Keep writing, don't get discouraged. I'd also urge you to check out the Critique Circle and read and comment on other stories. You have a good foundation to build on and I'm eager to read what you write next.