Why I do believe it is.
In fact, I think the actual plots were the best of the series so far, and we were both just caught up in LIFE, which hurt the the actual writing a bit. I know for me, May was my crazy month, and I was surprised I was able to put in as good an effort as I did. Aaron had some unexpected things come up, so for his to be what it was was also impressive.
About Aaron’s story: I can’t really tell exactly why I liked it without giving things away. So I’ll put it this way, and I said it to him directly. For about the first 80% of the story, I was just kinda reading it, getting a bit involved but thinking the story was mediocre – not his worst, but it had its problems. Then, with the final page of the story, he made it not only much better, but hands down my favorite story of his. He made a bold choice (that I was unknowingly yearning for as I read) and ran with it. I admire that. In fact, I can admire anyone going to such great lengths for one killer finish: either a punchline, a payoff, or a reveal. I haven’t read his 2nd draft taking my notes into account, but I think the story could only be strengthened from where it was.
As for mine, I was reading Carol’s notes, and she asked “And aren’t there actually religious/ethnic groups that DO revere virgins, and shun the nons?” And to that, I write: yes. In fact, that’s sorta the target I’m lampooning. While the religion isn’t exactly a parody of any one religion, it certainly takes its jabs at Christianity, or at least parts of it that I have recently found more and more absurd. However, Christianity is not the only religion to go to extremes in terms of its views on certain things (especially in today’s climate), so I’m not simply saying “Christianity is dumb”. There are elements of most religions that I find preposterous, and that’s what I was trying to showcase in my story.
I have not done my revisions yet (hopefully tonight), which I think will be important to further cementing the fake religion I’ve created, and making it its own while still pointing out the absurdity of real life. It might be a bit ambitious, and I think this is one of those ideas that I might revisit later when I have more time. I’ll have to see how I feel about this in a few months.
Oh, and I’m REALLY looking forward to June’s stories.
For those that don’t know or forgot, to request copies of this story (or all of them so far), simply shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to send them out, and hopefully receive some input.