Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Can I Help You?"

by Tamara Shaffer from the February 28, 2011 issue

Tagline: Todd and Nancy had never met before that day in the shop, but it turned out they had a lot in common...

In A Nutshell: Todd's girlfriend wants to break up with him. He's shopping for a "parting gift" and hits it off with the shopkeeper.

Observations: This was a moving-on/first meet story that doesn't follow the usual three act structure. In this one, there are only two acts. They meet at the store, talk about his situation and her similar sort of break-up, then there's a quick transition and we move right to the "third" act. There is no black moment either, unless you count this:

I walk away with a strangely lighter heart, but I'm confused. And suddenly, I'm not sure if I want things to go well.

So, I guess it just goes to show you that you can write stories that are out of the norm and contrary to my advice and still get published.

5 comments:

Kartweeler said...

Thanks, Kate, for featuring my story. Wasn't too happy with some of the editing this time.

Kate Willoughby said...

Seems like they're stepping up on the editing these days. Sometimes I'm happy with what they did, other times, not so much. Sorry you weren't happy. Maybe the fat check can help console you. :)

shaffer40 said...

I think the increased editing has to do with space. She more than doubled the reduced word count between my last two stories, which were a year apart. She must be pressured to fit more into less space, which unfortunately creates some diminished quality of writing. The check does provide comfort, thought. :)

Kate Willoughby said...

Interesting theory. The last story she had of mine didn't include a lot of adding that I recall, but there were tweaks that I didn't understand. Again, I try not to dwell on it. As professionals, that's part of the job--accepting the edits, no questions asked (even if we have a bunch!)

shaffer40 said...

Speaking of editing, make that last word "though". :)