Monday, April 6, 2009

A Face in the Crowd

by Terry Van Meter from the April 6, 2009 issue

Tagline: Anna was drawn to Eli--even before they spoke a word.

In a Nutshell: Anna is a portrait artist working the local art fair. To attract customers, she usually chooses a face in the crowd, snaps a picture, then draws that portrait during the fair. Today she chooses a handsome man and later, after conversing with someone standing behind her, observing, she discovers it's that handsome man she is drawing. He offers dinner in exchange for the portrait, and she accepts.

Observations: This story had a leisurely pace. Despite only being around 800 words, we get time to know Anna and see why she's attracted to this stranger. They even have a fairly long conversation, during which you can see the relationship start to develop.

This story also had a secret, but it was only a secret kept from Anna. Of course, the reader knows immediately that the man she's talking to is the man she's drawing, so that makes the story all the more fun to read. Readers LOVE being let in on secrets before the characters in the story. And isn't that true in real life? Isn't it fun to know in advance that Greg's going to propose to Lisa?

Finally, I thought I'd point out that this story is written in first person. The advantage to first person with these short stories is that it makes the reader feel as if the heroine is a friend, telling her story over coffee, perhaps. It's subtle, but it's there.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,

Just wanted to say I really appreciate this blog about Woman's World romances. I'm trying to crack Woman's World but because I live overseas I can't get copies of the magazine. Your blog really helps me understand what type of stories WW publishes.

Kate Willoughby said...

Hi, Anonymous! I'm so glad you're getting something out of this blog. It often feels like I'm casting info out there into outer space. :) Please do vote on the stories every week. It's the only way I know someone's been here other than comments. :)

Kate Willoughby said...

Oh, well, doh. You can't read the stories, so it would be hard for you to vote. Nevermind. LOL

Kate Willoughby said...

Woot! FOUR people voted this week! I think that's a record! :D

Anonymous said...

LOL, yes that's right, I can't vote if I can't read the stories, but your analysis of them certainly paints a lovely summary of them. And I'm sure there's a lot of lurkers visiting this site that are also benefiting from your generosity. Thanks again, Anonymous.

Kate Willoughby said...

You know, on second thought, I think you could vote. You could vote on the concept. It's not like the ending tally is used for anything. :) I just delete the polls each week.