Reply To: Student: HiDee Ekstrom Homework Thread

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Vicki Briner

Hi HiDee,

This is a great beginning. Mysterious stranger, unconscious in the dark outside the MC’s window. My only two thoughts were: (1) What made her get her flashlight and go investigate? If she ignored the car and the dog barking, what exactly is it that draws her outside to investigate? (2) I felt like the following info interrupted the flow of the story.

She blinked and took a deep breath. Maybe her mother was right. Maybe she was too independent for her own good. But she refused to depend on a man who wouldn’t be there, whether she needed him or not. The fact was, he wouldn’t stay. Her dad was a prime example. Bill Taylor had divorced her mother when Dana was ten, hooked up with another woman, and had another child. For sixteen years, he’d doted on his second daughter while Dana got the leftovers of his time, even though they’d been living in the same town. And now he expected her to take care of her half-sister while he was off gallivanting around the country. Resentment flowed hotly through her. How could she when Christy was a constant reminder that her dad deserted his first wife and daughter? Just as quickly, the resentment cooled. How could she not? Christy was a sweet girl and didn’t deserve to be cheated out of a sister, just because her father had been a jerk. For that matter, she herself didn’t deserve to be cheated out of a sister, either. She squared her shoulders. She didn’t need a man. In spite of what her mother thought, there was nothing wrong with taking care of herself. She intended to prove it once and for all.

She finds a stranger on the ground outside her house. Is she really going to stop and think about her parents’ relationship? I like the first three sentences of the excerpt and think they work based on the fact she’s gone out on her own to investigate, but I think I might save the rest for later.

Otherwise the writing is engaging. It seems like a great start to me.



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