The Official Writing Challenge
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Member
Date
07/14/17
Your story was awesome, from beginning to end! I've made that mistake with not closing the italics code -- no worries.

My only red ink is to show the decade instead of telling us, maybe by instead of saying it was the 1960's, you mention who was leading the desegregation movement.

I loved this description of Jessica's mother: "her gapped teeth accentuate her wide grin and her round portly cheeks". She was brought to life in my minds eye. Nice job!!
Wow what a powerful rendition. My heart ached for the little girl. I wanted to scoop her up and just hold her. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to Black in America today, let alone in the 1960s, but your story certainly puts me farther down the road of understanding.

My red ink is more a pale pink. I think my biggest thing would be the subtle clichés. You're too good of a writer to rely on them. At times they work if they fit the character's personality, but here ones like ripe as a plump peach, lovingly stroked, indignities of prejudice were more of a narrative.

Actually that first paragraph had much more telling and clichés than showing. I might edit it like this: Jessica smeared tears and snot across her puffy face. While Mama attempted to console her by disentangling Jessica's hair that clung to her sticky cheeks, sobs wracked the little girl's body causing her to hiccup.
Mama balled her hands and clenched her teeth as the situation tormented her thoughts. <i>It's not fair that prejudice can reach out and choke the beauty out of this precious ten-year-old sweetheart. </i>
(Here I had a POV shift because it's told in Jessica's POV not Mama's, but I didn't realize that until later. If telling through Jessica's eyes, she wouldn't know her mother's thoughts; but I liked the example so I left it just to show an example of what I meant by showing more than telling.)
I may have gone a bit overboard to make my point, but I hope I showed the situation by using body language and thoughts. You do have some fine descriptions, I just would like to see it even more. Be careful of little things like no apostrophe in 1960s (here it's plural, not a possessive number like 1965's fashion statement, so no apostrophe.) You also missed tiny things like not capping Negro or Bible. Lastly, go through and count how many times you repeated variations the words, work and crowd. I understand with kids'stories, you do want to use some repetition, especially with unfamiliar words, but since the MC is 10, the audience is about that same age and doesn't need it the way a 4 or 5 yo might.

With all that said, I totally enjoyed your delightful storyline, strong characters, and powerful message. Jesus became human just for this reason. There isn't another god ever invented who gets us humans like the one true God does. How cool is that? I also think you did a great job of presenting conflict right away and allowing the child to figure out how to resolve it with just a tiny bit of guidance. That's great and the way to go with this genre. Often writers make the mistake of having an adult swoop in and resolve it, but you didn't fall into that trap. I enjoyed it thoroughly and love seeing you bloom more and more!


07/15/17
Beautifully written and well told. So happy the MC found Jesus and His loving comfort which is offered to all, especially in such turbulent times...Amen!

Blessings~
07/15/17
I loved how you woved the topic "Crowd" throughout the story. You choose to write about a time that is oft neglected. Good for you. Sometimes as I read the story, the dialogue and storyline seemed stilted and predictable or contrived as in "When God uses someone to work his work, there is always a crowd." I'm thinking of times in Scripture when that was not always the way it "worked."

Nevertheless, you had some really shining moments of dialogue and descriptive characterizations. I would also have liked to know more about the "Crippling Dance."
Congratulations on ranking 11th overall. Happy Dance!