Write It Sideways

Excerpt Critique: “My Johnny,” General Fiction

Please welcome today’s aspiring author, Yve Camino, ready for a peer critique. Take a moment to read the excerpt, then please leave some thoughtful feedback in the comment section below.

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My Johnny

General Fiction

Small puffs of dust rose as her bare feet pounded the sun-baked track, She ran like a soul possessed. Would she be too late? In the distance she saw a recognisable shape through the heat shimmer, she called out ‘Johnny, Johnny’ but hardly a croak rasped out of her dust dry mouth. He hesitated, glanced back over his shoulder and stopped, a smile transforming his pale features as he began to walk back towards her.

‘I thought you weren’t coming, what happened?’

She pointed to the backs of her legs where angry red welts criss-crossed.

‘I could have stayed in my room all day or get the razor strap.’

‘That must have really hurt, you should have stayed in your room.’

‘I wanted to be with you.’

Her shining green eyes gazed up into his. He squeezed her hand and said: ‘Hungry?’


‘Let’s go to my place first, the frogs aren’t going anywhere and Wilma can put something on your legs.’

Skipping beside him to keep up with his long strides, she marvelled at how he always knew just what to do – it must be good to be 7. She wasn’t even 4 yet..

‘What did you do this time?’

She shrugged her thin shoulders ‘I think I forgot to feed the chooks.’

The old wooden gate protested wearily as Johnny pushed it open and held it for her to squeeze through. ‘Beat you to the house’. She scampered ahead and touched the verandah post first. Of course it wasn’t really fair, because Johnny couldn’t run. Her Mum said it was because his heart didn’t work properly and that’s why he hardly ever went to school.

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