The Official Writing Challenge
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I can't say I entirely understand where this grandson is coming from, nor do I understand why his question is so hard for his grandmother but maybe it's because I live in a country where people aren't obliged to go to war. I'd like to get more inside the heads of your characters. Write well.
I was a little angry with the grandson. He seemed so harsh. I think I would've slapped him if he talked to me like that. Your dialogue was great and the build up was wonderful as well. I did think the ending was a little weak, but all in all you had a strong message and you communicated your intent very clearly in this story.
I think this explored the area of prolonged bitterness very well. However, I felt the grandson had two separate roles. In the first half, it seemed that he had his own aganda - his questions were his own rather than to help her. In the second half, though, he became more of a therapist/ counsellor, it seems to me. Just my opinion, though. Enjoyed the read.
I like the characters here--they are three-dimensional, flawed, realistic. A deft touch with the dialog makes this a very readable story.
Sometimes it takes someone asking direct questions and even being a little sharp or abrupt to cut through the walls we build around our emotions. I liked the way this grandson was able to get to the heart of the matter. After all, he shared something in common with his grandfather and was probably the only one who could ask the probing questions at this point.
I was thinking that the grandson was too harsh, but when his own situation came to light, that added a new dimension to his own perspective on the situation. Very well written!
A moving story and well deserved win! Double congratulations! I may be dense, but I truly value dear ones who will be this open with me. I have no trouble giving it back, either! "Iron sharpens iron!"
It's a pity you only had 750 words here to convey everything you wanted to, and as a result you had to end it a little abruptly, but I would encourage you to make this longer so as to add in the emotions as Grandma grapples with her chat with God at the grave, and I'd also add in description of what both people do with their hands and bodies as they dialogue. She could twist her skirt with her fingers, he could lean against the wall or push back his hair etc. Stuff like that gives us more of a picture of what they look like.