The Official Writing Challenge
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Your opening line grabbed me. Great introduction.

It seems like you actually have three separate stories here, each of them wonderful in description and character. I wonder if it might have been better to just choose one of those stories and focus on it?

Again, beautiful writing!
I like the snake story. Funny stuff, especially the man leaving informing the women snake travel in pairs.

I thought the different story lines worked. It was different but I got confused at your last line. You suddenly put the author into the story. Maybe I missed something?
I've got to agree with both comments. It would have been better to stick with one storyline. As it was, I had to refocus twice.
Apart from that though, well done. You put me in a country town and introduced me to some of the attitudes as if I took a seat among them.
I loved "both" stories. You tied them together well with the library. You did an outstanding job of painting atmosphere, and your line about two snakes was priceless.--a very enjoyable read.