The Official Writing Challenge
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I love stories set on the plains--you really brought to life the desolation and fascination of that terrain, and of that chapter in our history--especially highlighted by the callousness of the wagonmaster toward death.

With a little polishing, I think your ending could preserve the sense of immediacy and take it straight to the heart. (That word limit can yank us all up short sometimes...!)

Even so, you effectively captured the struggle of the early pioneers--and of the 'weaker sex' in particular. Could it be your last 2 paragraphs are a synopsis of the rest of the novel that you oughtta write? I'd love to read it!
I agree — more please!
Your descriptions put me right on the trail with your mc. My favorite line was "cast-off of lives that were to be lived." This is wonderful writing. I, too, was sorry it had to end so abruptly.
I love stories from this time period. Excellent writing.
This is a wonderful story. It would make a great series. We all need more. Good work.
I love it! But then again, I write about this topic often because it seems that something unusually strong and courageous was demonstrated by the people who were trying to make a life for themselves in such am unforgiving place. I'd really enjoy reading more about these characters and how they fared in their new life!
Excellent sense of place especially, and amazing job at capturing the emotions throughout. I also want more.
This is great--it doesn't romanticize the hardships of that time and place, and your always flawless word choices help us to feel as if we really know these characters. Just the right tone...
Wonderful, heartfelt story. You pictured it well.
Confession: I'm not a fan of historical (gasp!) but I found myself really into this. Wonderful writing and even with a word limit of 750, I got a real feel for your characters and the setting. Nicely done!
Your piece moves with such a sense of calm. I, too, felt the burden of the word limit and would love to be able to read more. Such a beautiful story; excellent job.