I am reviewing your story as a judge for the What a Character Contest (Aug. 2020)
Thanks for entering!
Good job! You just happened to pick one of my favorite themes. I love horses!
What I liked most about this piece, besides being about a horse, was that Jess was able to eventually stay with the well-loved horse.
I'll have you know, this brought tears to my eyes. I could really picture Jess with her arms around that horse, the one who'd been waiting for her, looking up each time someone came into the barn! Very vivid scene and well set up.
Corrections & comments:
I'm not sure the picture of brother and sister was needed. That scene didn't really add to the story (for me.) You could have simply said, she turned to her brother . . . etc.
The bit about the parents' viewpoint didn't add a lot to the story either, although you could have given Malcolm a line mentioning Jess' determination to work with horses in spite of their parents' disapproval. I understand that you wanted to give us a peek into Jess' character, and I did like that backstory, but it took up a lot of room.
My suggestion is that you could have used the space to build us a picture of the ranch -- the smell of alfalfa, the sound of the wind in the trees, the texture of the fence Jess leaned against, the way the horse's warm coat felt to her fingers. In other words, a bit more sensory would have raised the tension and let us SEE.
The ending felt rushed a bit. Fattening that would have slowed it down and made it feel more satisfying (For instance, why did Glynn offer the job? What was the relationship there? Were they friends? Why was the horse in the pasture? Had the fall kept him from becoming a winner? Was he hurt? etc)
low paid job -- I've always heard it to be "a low paying job."
But I did like your story. You gave me an emotion in this piece. You made me feel. Now, if I can only stop sniveling . . .
Just kidding. Nice writing.
I am so glad I got to read this. I hope you keep on writing and sharing your work!
This is an official review from one of the contest judges for
What a Character Contest.
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