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I thought this was a well-written piece. It was quickly read and digested, the right length. Characterization was good for a short. My only problem with was the story, itself. The secret was painfully obvious; I guessed it before I opened the file.
Seemed like Jarrod wanted to talk to Denny. Then it all changed and he asked him to leave. Didn't see why. I know he's got a dirty secret so I'm surprised he let him in period. You should change it to seem like he's already hip to the ashes. He corners him and Jarrod makes him leave. IMO.
The confrontation was a bit long. I think the audience got what was going on. No need to explain it all. I would trim it some. Also, find it hard to believe this reporter would sneak into his yard at night just to find the reasons he wins the the rose competition each year. Lest he was already onto him per me suggestion.
I didn't get it as fast as Phil did, but bye page 2 I was keen.
All in all, This read very well. Good visuals and dialogue. I liked it.
@dogglebe It wasn't my intention for the story to hinge on the secret. It was more about the lengths Jarrod was willing to go to both keep it a secret and to keep up the garden as his only remembrance of his wife.
@jwent6688 As someone who takes pride in his wife's (now his) garden Jarrod likes the attention - as long as it's on his terms. Things go south when Denny takes interest in his workshop and brings up his wife's passing.
I agree it seems a bit abrupt. Perhaps I can have Denny make a joke about using ashes without realizing that really is the case thus cutting the conversation short.
As for the reporter coming back at night... the way I see it is that it's a small town college paper. He was on assignment and needs to get his story one way or another. I doubt he'd think he'd run into too much trouble from the old man. Maybe it seems clearer in my head since I am familiar with the characters and their motivations etc.
Thanks for the advice, I'll keep it in mind for future writings.
I agree that the clarity of the writing style was very good, but maybe the ideas, and how they became manifest needed a little more.
Maybe the point at which the reporter notices the workshop needs a little emphasis - at present when Denny points out the workshop, they are interupted by Sarah, which takes attention away from that moment and removes any dramatic impact it must have.
Maybe it's possible that when the reporter sneaks into the workshop that he is on his way home - I thought it was a little odd that he came back - but if your motivation is (perceived as being) weak, but the opportunity is available, then your justification is better.