The Official Writing Challenge
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Member
Date
10/08/15
I enjoyed your story. Keep writing.

There are punctuation errors. I encourage you to check out Jan's Writing Basics on the Forums, especially the one on commas. I keep learning with each lesson I take and bet you will as well. Good job.
10/08/15
Excellent lesson. Probably should not have continued to use the word "zest". It felt contrived, and for me detracted from the story.
10/09/15
I liked how you made your MC have real struggles, as the reader can identify with her more that way. It is a misconception that we have to be 'perfect' in church. I am glad you showed differently.

All the best. :)
10/10/15
On topic and delivered the content and message in a way that I totally enjoyed.
Well done.

God bless~
I really enjoyed this delightful lesson. I also can totally relate to the MC. It never ceases to amaze me how God points me to the right stories at the right time. I've been weepy today, but didn't really have a good reason. It feels like The Holy Spirit directed you to write this tale just for me. Thank you for your obedience.

I noticed a few minor things you could tweak to make this even more powerful. For example this line:
Rebecca stood to her feet. She was clearly a little anxious,
You don't need to have the phrase, to her feet. It's redundant. Just: Rebecca stood would work, or if you wanted to show more action, you could do: Rebecca sprang to her feet, or even better, this shows her anxiety so you don't have to tell the reader she's anxious: Trembling, Rebecca stood; she clutched the corners of her desk and steadied her trembling legs.

You also had a teensy POV shift here: They were much tougher to handle, but Lisa loved it.
Since the story is told from Monica's POV, you can only tell the reader what Monica, sees, feels, does, or says. I know it seems tiny, but you are getting inside of Lisa's brain, which causes the shift. You could fix it a few ways. The easiest would be to add the word, seemed. Ex: They were much tougher to handle, but Lisa seemed to love, it. Another would be to introduce Monica's thoughts:
Monica spun around to see Lisa, who taught fifth and sixth grades. I struggle with my kids, but Lisa's are more difficult, yet she never complains.
In each case, I took liberties with my examples, but I think it can be easier to understand if someone gives me examples.

I think you did a great job of writing on topic. I could sense it throughout the entire story. I don't think you even needed to use the topic word (it doesn't sound quite as natural). Often the best stories are those that ooze the topic, yet never use the topic word. Read some of the stories in level four and see what you think. I often will challenge a gifted writer to try to write on topic without using the word. You are definitely gifted, so considered yourself challenged for next time. ;)

Like I said before, I think your message was clear and wonderful. I'm sure pretty much everyone can relate on some levels, and it's important to have those reminders. I also liked your ending. Often, that's the part that many authors struggle with. It can be tempting to close quickly and neatly. Yours felt real to me. The MC has hope, yet realizes she'll still struggle and has a goal in mind. You balanced it quite nicely. I look forward to reading more of your work (whether you take me up on my challenge or not ;).