Sunday, October 3, 2010

"A Change in the Weather"

by Sheila Llanas from the October 4, 2010 issue

Tagline: The thunderstorm took Sandy and Tom by surprise--and so did the romance that followed...

In a Nutshell: Sandy and Tom go out on a first date. Tom is shy and nervous through dinner. The rest of the date is not ideal, and yet they end up getting married one year later.

Observations: The majority of Woman's World stories tell what happens leading up to that first date. This one took up after that first meet and described the date itself instead. What a refreshing change.

Another difference is that the "black moment," when you worry that things aren't going to work out, occurs in the first third of the story, instead of near the end.

She wondered if this would be a typical first date: Tom would drop her off, tell her he'd call. She'd crawl into bed with a good book and never hear from him again.

I thought the bib wedding favor idea was cute, and I always love a wedding epilogue.

However, this story didn't really grab me. I think it's because Tom didn't appeal to me. I think his bumbling was supposed to be endearing, but he came across as a little too unassuming and awkward. Sandy is a better woman than I am, clearly!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,

Let my WW subscription expire, so I'm having withdrawals. Got to get it renewed soon!

Really enjoyed your last class, but forgot to ask you about including "black moments" in WW stories. From your experience with WW, do they prefer that you include a black moment in stories or does it just depend on the story? Also, since they seem to prefer more optimistic storylines, what types of black moments might be acceptable? Sorry to ask so many questions, but I knew you would know the answer! :) Thanks, have a great week! Tressa

Kate Willoughby said...

Hi, Tressa! Good to hear from you.

Black moments...personally, I like to include them. I think they add to the reading experience. They're usually not very melodramatic, though. It can be something like Joe picks up the phone to call Jane, and he hesitates, fearful she'll say no to dinner. In one story I wrote, the heroine was babysitting the hero's niece, and when the parents came to pick up the little girl earlier than expected, she thought she'd never see him again. Of course, she was wrong. That is about as dramatic as I get with WW stories.

However, I see stories all the time in which there is no black moment. So, it does, like you said, depend on the story. :)

And ask all the questions you like. :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks Kate! I agree that adding black moments do add to the reading experience. Thank you for the wonderful examples! These stories may be short, but they sure can be challenging (but fun) to write!
Best wishes,