Friday, September 24, 2010

"Strangers on a Train"

by Terri Osburn from the September 20, 2010 issue

Tagline: Trisha didn't know she'd swapped phones with Joe--but when she found out, she didn't mind one bit...

In a Nutshell: Trisha discovers she has a stranger's phone when she gets a call from the person who has her phone. While arranging a place to trade phones, they find out they're on the same commuter train.

Observations: This is a cute first meet story. In the first act of the story, we discover along with Trisha that she has the wrong phone.

The second act begins when the phone rings. The two main characters exchange some cute banter about what it's been like with a phone belonging to someone of the opposite sex and arrange to exchange the phones. As often happens in a Woman's World story, the reader is asked to believe in a coincidence--that they happen to be on the same train. When you're writing your own story, don't push this coincidence thing too far. There's only so much a reader is willing to believe.

Act three is when they meet face to face. She feels an immediate attraction to him. There is a brief (as always) and minor climactic moment when he doesn't immediately give her her phone. He wants her to have lunch with him before he'll relinquish it. Of course, she agrees and we end the story on a hopeful note.

My Favorite Part: "Hi, is this Trisha Delisha?"


TerriOsburn said...

Well, I just left a comment and Blogger ate it. Dang it.

In short, thanks for covering my story. I was hoping you would. Funny enough, I never thought of this as having three acts, but I can see it now when you break it down.

You're so right about the coincidence thing, but with so few words, I couldn't think of any other way to make the meet quick. :)

Kate Willoughby said...

Hi, Terri! Oh, I wasn't knocking the coincidence device. I only wanted to point out that this is a tool you can use to help you fit a whole romance into 800 words!

Yeah, the word count is probably the biggest challenge we WW writers face.