Complete Draft–Professor Feedback

Dear Ashton,

Congratulations on finishing your rough draft! This is a huge accomplishment in itself. And getting it done on time allows you to spend the rest of the semester revising. So, great job!

Notes:

Typo?: “I can’t feel my toes, but I can still fell my–”

It seems much clearer to me this time around that Dawson and Cadence are married. I like all the details around their relationship – the ice cream, their day-to-day interactions, etc.

This transition seemed confusing to me. Why is he just now realizing he doesn’t have the money? Is it b/c he’s thinking about having kids?: Cadence would make a great mom one day. Dawson froze, his smile rigid when directed at the patient who stepped up with them. He could barely afford to get Cadence a pick-me-up ice cream, let alone feed a whole other person. And with this economy… Dawson felt sick to his stomach just thinking about it.

Okay it becomes a bit clearer in the next paragraph. But the flow of logic in this section is a bit confusing.

The section that begins this way feels confusing to me just in terms of logistically what’s happening: Charlie tried not to look at the mess he’d made down the side of the bed and in the floor. The nurse lady and the guy who brought him to this floor were holding him up on either side, trying to keep their own shirts clean. The pretty little thing that had nearly killed him with her cleaning cart was working the mop and reaching for disinfecting wipes. Oh, that was a bad idea to look…

And I’m a little confused by the POV. I thought the previous scene with Charlie was filtered through either Cadence’s POV or Dawson’s? I know Mrs. Smith was through Cadence’s POV. So, I’m wondering why we need Charlie’s POV… maybe one of the two main characters can be the POV through which this section is told?

After reading the entire piece, I’m still a bit unsure what your intentions are with the POV. Why at some points are we getting scenes with Charlie from Cadence’s POV and other times from Charlie’s POV? These decisions need to be intentional. Perhaps we get Cadence’s POV the whole time, until the end/the last scene with Charlie could be in his POV. I’m not sure, but you need to be able to articulate how you’re making these decisions and why the decisions you’ve made must happen this way…

I like this scene, but it seems to hint at something wrong with Cadence… but I wanted to know more about their conflict. In other words, I feel the dialogue about the ice cream needs to reveal more subtext: Dawson swaggered down the hallway towards Cadence. The condensation from the Blizzard soaked his hand. The ice cream at the lip of the cup was melting. It pooled together into a drop. It was about to drip…

Shouldn’t this be present tense because they’re her thoughts in that moment, right?: Just remember, God loved her and God loved Charles Williams II and God loved Dawson and Dawson loved her, and Dawson was the sweetest husband on the planet, which just proved–

This seems like a redundant image: Her eyes looked like the blue glass of the hospital exterior.

The flow and beats in the scene with Darlene need fleshing out. The changes in Cadence through the scene seem sudden and unmotivated. She runs out the door at the end of the scene for instance, why because Charles cries? And I think his tears here seem too easy.

I don’t buy Charlie’s backstory – that he left his wife and job because he was tired of fighting, in favor of being homeless… doesn’t make sense. I believe that this may be the lie he tells, but I want to know at some point what the truth is.

I’m confused by what happens in the last scene…

Why does she offer to get the chaplain? Why does Charlie tell her to go to seminary?

The relationship and bitterness between Darlene and Charley magically goes away?

My biggest issue is that I don’t understand the conflict for most of the characters, which makes the story a bit anecdotal, rather than a story with a clear arc, in which characters change in a meaningful way.

I get the financial difficulties for Dawson and Cadence. But it seems like something more is going on for Cadence. But this is very vague. Does she want or not want children? What does she want? What does Dawson want? How do they change as the story develops?

I recommend that you outline exactly what you have written so far. How does each scene/section advance the plot and the characters’ arc? What key pieces of backstory exist in each? I get the feeling that some of the sections do not function as clearly or as importantly as they need to be. This will help you see what you have written so far and what sections need more development.

Good luck as you begin the revision process! I can’t wait to see how it shapes up by the end of the semester.

Stacey

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