I read your A New Journey as part of my participation with "House Targaryen" in the "Game of Thrones" event this month.
This is a lovely and poignant story. You captured the love and devotion between Sally and Jen through their actions and interaction with each other. It was easy for me to identify with Sally, because I have a friend who would do that for me (and I for her) if it was ever needed.
There are several wonderful elements in this story that captured my attention and imagination and drew me into your story. The first one is the cat that is friendlier that its owner, and then later that Jen called Sally even when everything else in her mind was a blur. These are wonderful touches that added personality and insight to your story.
Your opening sentence is crisp and instantly reeled me in. People are just exactly like that. I see it happen in my part of town on a regular basis.
Something to Think About
As I read your story I was very much drawn in and made to care about your characters and what happened to them, but I was also unsettled and felt like something was off with this story. It took me a little bit to figure out why.
First of all, you change the story's point of view (POV) three different times. Your first paragraph is from the all-knowing point of view of an outside narrator. Even though this paragraph sets the stage for the tale, it doesn't bring the reader in close to your two main characters. Then the next three paragraphs are told from Sally's point of view, and at the end you slide to Jen's POV for the last two paragraphs.
This constant change is distracting to the reader, because you don't have any transitions to clue the reader to the change in POV. It interrupts the flow of the plot.
Ideally a story this short should be written in only one point of view.
The other thing that made this story feel not quite right to me is that you packed so much intensity and emotion into such a short space without following up or giving the reader time to get into the scene with your characters. Again this was distraction to me as your reader.
A Few Things You Might Want to Work On
One main thing really slowed this tale down. This story is written primarily in passive voice. Passive voice distances the reader from the action and minimizes the emotions in your scenes. Any time you write with any form of the verb, to be, you are writing passive voice. Note the explanation below.
Passive voice is created when the subject receives an action rather than performs the action.
Consider these two sentences:
John was opening the door.
John opened the door.
Do you see a difference between these two sentences? There are a couple of things that make one passive and the other active.
In the first sentence, John existed in a state of opening the door; he was not actually performing the action of opening the door. This is a passive verb usage.
The use of any form of the verb to be indicates that the subject exists in a state of being. This means the subject of the sentence is not actively performing an action. When you see a being verb in a sentence it is a passive voice sentence and is Telling.
The verb to be has many forms. These are the most common: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.
In the second second sentence, John actively performed the action of opening the door. This is active verb usage. When the subject of a sentence is performing an action, the sentence is written in active voice.
Do you see the differences?
For some great tips on reducing passive voice, check out the article below.
I also suggest you work more on Showing this story to your readers rather than Telling them what you want them to know.
Reading stories that Tell is like standing outside a warm, cozy house on a cold, blustery night and watching the people inside eating a delicious dinner by a blazing fire, laughing and enjoying the meal and the company. What you see is wonderful, and you want to be a part of it, but the windows and doors are all locked, and the people inside don't hear you knocking and pounding and longing to come in and join them. You are stuck on the outside looking in.
Show flings all of those doors and windows wide open and not only invites you inside, but also encourages you to dive in, savor the feast, and bask in the warmth and the wonderful feelings happening inside.
I know what I'd want. Which one would you prefer?
One good way to Show instead of Tell is to write out the dialogue between your characters. include their actions and use their words to show what your characters are experiencing and feeling.
I gave your tale a rating, because the verb usage needs to be strong action verbs instead of passive, to be, verbs and the tale needs to be expanded to give the reader a clearer picture of what happened to Jen and results of her attack.
A Few Closing Comments
That story is packed with so much it's almost overwhelming in its brevity. It has a huge amount of potential. I would love to see you develop it and expand on what happened. It's a wonderful tribute to true, long-lasting friendship, and I think it deserves to be expanded and highlighted. When I finished reading it, I sent a message to my best friend just to let her know how special she is to me. Thanks for reminding me of the treasure I have in her.
These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.
Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.