Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Open House, Open Heart"

by Elizabeth Palmer from the January 31, 2011 issue

Tagline: Victoria had happy memories of the old house—and of the blue-eyed boy who once lived there…

In a Nutshell: Victoria is at the open house of a Painted Lady mansion. She lived nearby when she was a child. Now she works at the local museum, an expert on period architecture. A man, also attending the open house, comments that the family who lived there had a skating rink in the winter, which Victoria remembers well. Turns out the man was the young boy who invited her to skate on that pond many years ago.

Observations: You know that famous poster “All I Need To Know About Life, I Learned in Kindergarten”? Well, here’s one of the things I’ve learned from reading Woman’s World stories.

If there’s a special someone of the opposite sex in your past, you’re bound to run into them. And that someone will be single, even if it appears at first that they are not. LOL

To write one of these old flame/second chance stories, try this:

First, create the past for the man and woman. What happened between them? Did they go to high school together? Did they work a summer job together? Attend summer camp? Babysit for the other’s sibling? In this story, they were neighbors. The boy invited her to skate with them on their pond, but then she moved away.

Next, create a situation where they are reunited. Often the man or woman returns to their home town for one reason or another—an aging relative that needs their help or, as in this story, the woman has a new job. (She attends that open house and the man/boy she skated with just happens to be there too.) Sometimes, no one moved away; they just meet serendipitously at a street fair or grocery store.

Finally, during the meeting, show the spark of attraction. Show the two characters re-connecting and transferring that feeling they once had into hope for a future. End with a sense of happy expectation.


epalmer1 said...

Kate, I once engineered my own reunion with an old flame (25 years after I'd seen him) by showing up at the funeral parlor during his father's calling hours. (The flame wasn't "reignited," but it was good to see him again.) It eliminated the "coincidence factor" -- after all, I KNEW he'd be there -- but I don't think WW would go for the it!

Kate Willoughby said...

LOL. A funeral parlor? No, I don't think so. But that's a funny thought. Maybe one day I'll write a story for the blog that does everything WW hates.