|Reviews for Bree's Challenge|
| Exmoorpony 12/23/10 . chapter 2
Awesome story! Keep it coming!
My only suggestion would be to shorten up the chapters a bit. I don't always have that much time on the computer, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Maybe, like, 700-800 words. Another thing. Something to check up on. Is the last name Griffen, or Griffith? I think it could be Griffith, but I could be wrong. It's been a while since I last reread a Thoroughbred from the library.
It is great! I'll be checking back.
| Maxy's Momma 9/13/10 . chapter 2
YAY! I looovvee iitt! haha ive never read this before and i love it you better update it again!
| cattiedanty 9/5/10 . chapter 2
love it an i love that movie it is so so sad :( but at the same time a wonderful movie
| halo62 9/4/10 . chapter 2
this was great.
i really loved the bree/brad moments.
write more soon :D
| halo62 7/1/10 . chapter 1
this is an awesome story,
you should update soon
| Hannah221 6/20/10 . chapter 1
I can't say I've read any of the Thoroughbred series so "Bree's Challenge" is my first introduction to the characters! In this short amount of space, you did a good job of making each character stand out as individuals - I particularly liked Len for some reason, he's a very "comfortable" character. Ashleigh's personality didn't shine out here but understandably so since she doesn't feature at great length. You've left plenty of potential to delve into her character deeper in later chapters.
The title "Bree's Challenge" is a good one. It's a hook. Your readers will wonder what exactly is going to challenge her - is it her injury or something more? I hope it's something more as it seems her injury as that of a physical challenge, whereas emotional challenges (like overcoming a fear) always seem so much more...well, challenging, and your reader will gain much more satisfaction when Bree succeeds.
As well as the theme, I enjoyed your use of dialogue. On the most part, it was well written and sounded natural. Read your dialogue aloud (or even better, have someone else read it back to you) and you'll see if things don't sound quite right.
Please don't be put off by the following criticisms. On the most part, they are just one person's opinion and may differ from another reader's. However, they are meant to be constructive so that you can improve your work as well. You have an imagination which you should definitely continue to exploit!
Don’t tell us so soon what has caused Bree’s knee injury. Keep the reader guessing. A perfect opportunity arises when Bree meets Len to finally explain that it was a soccer accident.
I didn’t like the semi-headers of time lapse, eg. 20 minutes later…, 15 minutes later… Work it into the prose. Eg: "I sucked in my breath as we pulled up the lane of Whitebrook Farm twenty minutes later..."
Try not to repeat yourself too much, it slows the pace of the story down. You describe how Bree is landing at Lexington Airport. Then you mention Bree is going to stay at her uncle’s farm in Lexington. The reader can put two and two together and figure out that the farm is probably in Lexington without having to be told its location.
I’ve noticed you have a tendency to put commas in, where a new sentence would probably be more suitable. Eg: “Just one duffle bag,” I said pointing it out, Gene grabbed it for me… Instead, consider revising to “Just one duffle bag,” I said[,] pointing it out. Gene grabbed it for me…" It’s punchier and flows better.
Again, “So how was your flight?” Mike asked, I rolled my eyes… Instead, consider “How was your flight?” Mike asked. I rolled my eyes…"
These are just a couple of instances, there were more which I think you’d be able to spot if you read it aloud to yourself.
“I could see the two barns they had, their old farmhouse, Len’s - who I knew was their faithful groom and basically part of the family - cottage, the training track they had put in after moving here…” - this sentence is rather clumsy. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to describe everything at once. Since we meet Len just a few lines down, you could maybe save the bit about him being a groom and part of the family till then. Like I mentioned before, keep the reader guessing. It wouldn’t hurt for the reader to wonder “who’s Len?” when you mention his cottage. Consider revising this particular sentence to something like “Beyond Whitebrook’s two barns, I could see the farmhouse and Len’s cottage. In contrast to the aged façade of the buildings, the relatively new addition of a training track cut through the grassy landscape.”
Scrap the bit of dialogue with Ashleigh about how Bree got the knee injury. The reader already knows - they don’t need to be told again. They want to get on and see the rest of Townsend Acres!
Typo: Travers Stake[s]
“Bree is way too smart to fall for him,” I argued back… Remove “back”. “I argued” will suffice.
“I watched in awe as I watched Townsend Prince’s workout…” - Revise, repetition of “watched”.
“Yeah, I was petting Wonder then I went to pet Prince and Brad showed up. We started talking then he said he was going to work Prince and asked if I wanted to watch so I decided not to pass up the chance…” - way too long-winded. Remember you are telling a story for the benefit of your readers, not your characters. We know how Bree came to be by the track so be as economical with your explanation when explaining this to your characters. For a start, Mike and Ashleigh already know Bree was petting the horses since that is where they left her. Consider “Yeah, Brad showed up after you guys left and asked if I wanted to watch him work Prince. I couldn’t pass up the chance.”
When referring to time or numbers, write them out in full. It’s lazy writing to shorten it. Eg: “Brad, it’s 20 minutes to 8...” should be “Brad, it’s twenty minutes to eight…”
Bree is obviously attracted to Brad, so does she not feel anything when the girl arrives on the scene and whisks him away. Jealousy? Curiosity? Regret that he’s going?
Avoid using brackets (very frowned upon in writing circles!). Either work it into a sentence or leave it out.
I hope you find my comments useful and I look forward to reading the next chapter of Bree's Challenge!