Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Winter Fun"

by Colette Shannon from the January 10, 2011 issue

Tagline: Holly quickly discovered that she was no skier. But maybe that wasn't such a bad thing after all...

In a Nutshell: Holly is so new to skiing that she hits a tree and gets a separated shoulder. Later, back at the lodge, the ski patrol guy buys her a hot chocolate. They live in the same town, an hour away where his full time job is at the high school teaching math. (He does ski patrol in on weekend mornings in exchange for free skiing in the afternoon.) They have dinner together and then he invites her on a moonlight sleigh ride.

Observations: The story starts in medias res. We don't get the backstory on Holly until after she's returned from the hospital with her shoulder sling. The hero shows up and they talk a little then there's another summarizing paragraph before he asks her out. More summarizing as we hurry on toward the end of dinner. There's a brief "black moment" when he says he's in a hurry and she assumes he wants to take advantage of the full moon and ski, but he actually wants to take her on that moonlight sleigh ride.

One thing I noticed was the story was packed with narrative--much more narrative than dialogue. I didn't notice this until I started analyzing it. (The two friends that Holly rooms with don't even speak a word!) Perhaps that's why, as I read it, it felt as though the story covered a lot more ground. I felt like I'd really spent the day with Holly.

The other thing that I noticed was that, although I wasn't bowled over by the title "Winter Fun," the author did use it to good advantage. In the "woe is me" paragraph, Holly thinks to herself...

So much for winter fun.

Then, at the end, in the "this really turned out to be a great weekend" paragraph, she thinks...

Even with a separated shoulder--I couldn't imagine having more winter fun than this.

As I've mentioned before, this is a simple way to give your story a little circularity and cohesiveness.

No comments: