The Official Writing Challenge
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Date
12/29/11
Well written! I loved the quote from Russell Moore and the bit of insight into his ministry with orphans. I'd never heard of him before, but now I'm intrigued to do some research on him.

Love how you showed that the virus of apathy and selfishness in our world is far worse than any computer virus.

The whole misunderstanding between Amy and the main character concerning Jenna made me want to hear a little more about their relationship. Sounds like a deeper story lies there ...
12/29/11
Wow - this was packed with intrique and held my attention throughout. I truly enjoyed it, and the message it conveyed. Nicely done. God Bless~
12/29/11
Very nice. I love the comparison of apathy to a virus. Well written, thought provoking. Good job.
12/29/11
Definitely an award winner. Loved the transition from gaming to orphans. Not only did you express the idea of a computer virus, but you joined it with a real life issue. Great contrast.

The story captured my attention and held it to the end.

However, the critiquer in me won't let me stop with a simple 'well done'.

My first impression was an overuse of the idea of the creepiest sound at the beginning.

I'm of the persuasion that you don't repeat the title in the first sentence of the story. The title introduces the thought, so I want the first sentence to say something new.

Since you start with a quote, I'd opt for a stronger title that incorporates gaming with the orphans.

You drew the story to a successful conclusion with a quick summary of all that transpired.

Endings need to be strong. One thing I noticed was your use of passive sentences in the last paragraph.

You say the games 'were filled'. A stronger method says, "The computer games filled my life with empty noise and action." Then again, you can replace a common word - filled - with something stronger. Maybe something like - Computer games crammed empty noise and action into every corner of my life.

Oh well, you get the idea.

Thanks for sharing this gem.
12/30/11
This story kept my attention start to finish! Well written! At first I was amused by the image of innocently sending a computer virus to some friends, but by the ending, I felt anguish for those babies who cease to cry because no one responded or cared. Thanks for sharing. God bless!
12/30/11
Oh wow. I love the connection you made here between the beginning and the end of the story. Silence can indeed be a "creepy" sound.
12/30/11
Very creative story idea. I love the flow from gaming to orphans. There were a few things that confused me a little, however.

When you mention Amy, I guess I assumed at first that she was mad at the MC because her computer must have gotten a virus from him, yet that wasn't the case. Therefore, I wasn't sure why Amy was mentioned, as she wasn't relevant to the rest of the "very short" story.

When you mention that the MC "shared the program with dozens of friends", it would have been good to specify that it was "sent" via email. I think I initially assumed that he told them verbally, which would not have even resulted in a spread of a virus.

The following sentence was very confusing to me:

"It took a hacker and a virus to bring me the silence to turn my attention toward the cry of silence of life that did matter."

Lots of prepositions are jumbled in there. I think the idea expressed in this sentence, which is the summation of your entire story, could have been better written.

I pointed out several negatives, but again, I liked the story overall. It was a very innovative story idea with the contrast between gaming and orphans and what is important in life. I, too, am curious to know more about Russell Moore. Nice job!
01/03/12
A very sad message within a well written piece. Excellent work.
01/04/12
The opening line was a great hook! I think you did a great job writing about the topic in a fresh way.

I did have a tad difficulty following some of it. I wasn't sure who all the characters were. I think the word limit hurt your transitions.

The ending was fantastic. I've learned the lesson that what I think is a huge problem is really nothing compared to what others endure. This is a wonderful message!
01/05/12
Congrats - God Bless~
01/05/12
Congratulations on getting Highly Commended!