The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
06/02/06
Interesting article. I would suggest that you don't need to say "Joe, your son....and your husband, Peter" since you've indicated these are good friends. How about just their names? Nice (in a sad way) that the father wants his son to work, yet is so interested in the stock market. Nice telling and message.
Nice concept, comparing the attitudes of three family members! I like the way you use dialogues to reveal the attitudes, such as Joe's description of his daily routine.

One thing that we all deal with sooner or later is those pesky adverbs! It's so natural to stick in an adverb that TELLs readers how to interpret what's going on. Truth is, readers really want you to SHOW a picture and allow them to interpret for themselves.

Examples from your piece: "said smoothly," "Pondering deeply," "said disinterestedly," "said vehemently." Adverbs actually detract from the strength of your piece.

In most dialogues, a simple "said" will do. For instance, instead of "said vehemently," you want something like, 'Joe's tone rose three or four notches. "No, I am not!" '

See how the reader can 'hear' the vehemence for himself? You don't even need the "said."

Have fun with this! Good job!

06/05/06
A very nice lesson. A little proofreading for typos, grammar and punctuation problems would help. Start a new paragraph for each new speaker. I really liked the comparsion between the three distinct personalities in the family.