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The FaithWriters Writing Challenge and contest for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge
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Member Comments
I liked Mikel and the way he conveyed the message--it is not our place to judge others, but rather to help the less fortunate. You used Mikel's injury to depict the topic, while the last line put the punch in this story.
The characters are certainly interesting and there's definitely more of a story to tell.

I personally found some of the dialog difficult for me, but I think that's because it was authentic to its setting. That time has never been a favorite of mine to read. But those who like this genre would definitely like the authentic feeling you gave the story.

A tiny editing note that I'm sure you've noticed. you're missing the end quote in the last sentence. With all of that said, I say go for the YA novel, I think it'll be well received.
Personally I like the genre and I liked the clash both physical and philosophical between father and son. All the same I didn't properly connect with the story - possibly as it's envisaged as part of something bigger. I wasn't clear for example if the dragon encounter was a flashback or purely imaginary. There were for me a few too many issues left hanging. Your ending was nicely done, further enhancing the contrast between father and son and tying in with the MC's own health issues.
I thought it was a very good story and while I see the potential for a novel here, it was easy to follow as a short story. I didn't need to know the previous events to understand the conflict between the father and son. I especially enjoyed their sword practice to add a physical element to the conflict. Very vivid and detailed description of the era. Loved it!
I thought your story was good, too, but the problem with fantasy is all the details that need to be explained. It's almost too much for 750 words. I think just the conversation between Mikel and Pasqual would have been enough, and maybe then you could have explained why a powerful talented-with-a-sword Duke is afraid of letting a peasant into his castle.
On the plus side, I love the weaknesses you gave to Mikel. That's the type of stuff that works good in fantasy, where too often every character is perfect. I think you did a great job. :)
Hmmm. Not too bad at all! I'll red ink a bit, since that's what you noted on your brick.

I like Mikel for his character flaw and I like the fact that even though he's struggling with "Breathe" he was able to feel compassion for a peasant, while standing up to his father. That was pretty realistic and good conflict for a fantasy piece. ^_^ The beginning was a bit too rushed (but that's because fantasy is SO hard to cram into 750 words!) and while it explained the MC's issues with breathing, it took up space where the father/son interaction could've been further explored.

Otherwise, pretty good!
I know nothing about fantasy, but your suberb writing skills shone through as always!
I was reading this just before they posted the winning entries and I'd say your Editor's Choice was well-deserved!

I don't usually read or write fantasy so this was a nice change for me. ;) It was poignant and suspenseful. Truly a winner!
Congratulations for placing in the top 15 of your level and in the top 40 overall and for the EC.
Congratulations, Rachel. Not a favorite genre for me, either. But in a short story I enjoyed it very much. One thing I love about your "work" is the broad span of historical fiction you manage to pull of with such expertise. Very gifted young lady!