The Official Writing Challenge
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05/29/08
Oh, NO!! I was so enjoying these children! Stupid rat! I see what is coming.. you set it up beautifully.

Nitpicking here... you had shinny when you meant shiny.

Very creative!!
05/29/08
Ohhh! And which of the children will the plague take? Is there a sequel here? I missed the shinny, but did I see a "will-appointed" instead of a "well-appointed" Another nit to be picked. Inventive story.
The little boys sounded so earnest with their philosophical spoutings till that awful rat! Good job.
05/31/08
Excellent dialogue (have you been taking Jan's class?) and incredible sense of place. I also know where this is going - and you took me there absolutely masterfully. This one is my favorite so far.
06/01/08
God's ways are not our ways. We can't always make sense of him, like Job's friends wanted to do. I would have to add these children to my big list of "show me why's" I will take to Heaven, but even as I say this I know I will tear up the list as soon as I arrive! Well told, inventive tale with a great historical slant!
Excellent portrayal of this historical period. The thoughts were pretty serious and deep for young boys, but they worked well in this context. Love how you presented the age-old questions of sovereignty, mercy and justice.
06/02/08
Quite thought provoking! Unique take on this topic. Nice work. The rat gave me goosebumps. Blessings, Cheri
06/02/08
Ooooh, great ending! And very chilling.

Here's a personal preference: giving children's ages is really "telling, not showing", and not the most engaging reading. If it's important for us to know their ages, work it into the piece somehow. Usually, just relative or approximate ages will do, and those can be determined by speech patterns, interactions, etc.

Such a minor nit-pick--you're the Challenge Master this term and hardly need advice from me! This is a superb story!
Oh no, I know what trouble that rat is going to bring.

You captured the English voice very well. I could hear the children in my mind speaking, and it sounded authentic.

I also loved the philosophy embedded in this. There is a whole lot of depth to this story and its characters.

Superb job! One of the best I have read this week!
06/04/08
As usual, phenomenal descriptions, characterization and dialogue. Incredible!
What a great voice. I could clearly hear the accents...Cockney, BTW. :-)
This was a really good read, and so very well written. Kudos.
06/04/08
Oh I did like it, but that rat! Oh dear! Oh well, I loved the dialouge, the accents and these two as they talked. It was so fun-the philosopical twist and all! Wonderful writing! ^_^
06/04/08
Oh-that ratty twist at the end is chilling! Great way to make history come alive, Loren. Just think: they were all minding their own business; living and enjoying life...when..boom...the Plague. I'm glad I live in modern times.
I felt like I was hiding out in that tree with your cousins. I loved being sneaky as a kid, too.

I didn't get Cockney, I felt the boys were more schooled than that and this day was a holiday because of the party.

You set the stage and the tone so well, and I loved the perception about the crabby Grandfather.

GREAT WORK HERE!