The Official Writing Challenge
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Member Comments
Member
Date
11/20/15
Evocative picture of God's grace triggering neighbourly concern that we once eexpected as a normal part of life.
Wow, what a powerful story. I thought for sure it would be nonfiction because it felt so real. You did a wonderful job of focusing on a couple of different conflicts. The first was right in the opener and drew me in.

I noticed some tiny things that may have been why this delightful story didn't rank higher (Of course, I could be totally off base too.)

The opening line is a bit clich, at least in my opinion. Instead, I'd love to picture what tossing and turning looked like for your character. For example, if I were writing it, I might do it like this:
Scrunching my eyes, I groaned as I flopped to my right side. The light from the window still managed to creep past my eyelids so I grabbed my pillow and tunneled under it and the blankets.
I went a bit overboard to show you what I mean. Tossing and turning just makes me think of someone restless, but adding details paints a picture of someone who is restless too, but it also shows the lengths she's willing to go to in order to avoid being uncomfortable, which is important later on when she has that exquisite argument with the Spirit. (I loved that conversation, and wondered if somehow you'd been eavesdropping on God and me. ;))
The other thing is super tiny, but one of my pet peeves so it stood out to me way more than I suspect it would to others (including the judges).
This line: Violet had been like a grandmother to my brothers and I during our childhood.
It should be to my brothers and me (not I). A good way to test it is to take out the extra persons. You wouldn't say, Violet had been a grandmother to I, but to me.
This is another line that you could make a bit more exciting by making it active instead of passive: During my childhood, Violet had baked cookies, read stories, and sheltered my brothers and me.
(That's not the best example, but hopefully it vaguely shows you what I mean.)

Again, I want to stress how much I enjoyed this story. I love the message. I believe we've all experienced something like that, although we may not all be aware of who is doing the nudging. My minister did his thesis on dreams and the time when we are trying to sleep. He believed, and showed in his thesis, that God tends to use those moments to speak to us. It tends to be a time when we let our guard down and can be more willing to accept the nudgings are real. Your message is strong, and one I need to remember more often. You definitely spoke to my heart on this one. The timing of it is quite perfect too, but I would expect nothing less from someone who allows the Holy Spirit to work through her words as you do.
Congratulations on ranking 16th overall. Happy Dance!