Opening Paragraph #15

“What do you mean you’re going to California?” asked Mary Ann. Jack didn’t know what to do. He knew his family would starve during the winter if he didn’t do something. He searched for a solution but the only thing that he could think of was selling out. He knew he had failed, and he didn’t feel worthy of his wife. He began to believe all the things that his father in law had said about him. Finally, Jack settled on a plan. (plan for what? to leave his wife? to prove his father-in-law wrong? to rob a bank?)

Critique: I can’t tell what this story is–a romance? a mystery? a life-as-it-is literary piece? There’s not enough here to differentiate it from all the other stories of discontented families. Also, it’s all telling. You need to show us something.

Would I ask for more? No.

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