Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Must Love Cats

by Jan Romes from the May 23, 2011 issue

Tagline: Vanessa had just about given up on ever finding her one true love--until the day she met Luke

In a Nutshell: Vanessa waits tables and finds out the handsome guy in the booth needs a cat-sitter a couple of times a week while he's out of town on business. Over the course of a few weeks, they get to know each other and eventually he asks her out for dinner.

Observations: This was a tightly written story, one in which you could really believe they had a future together. One reason is that the story occurred over a month, and after Romes really showed you that they hit it off, she continued to build on that initial connection until at the end they were ready to get even more serious. She also had that circularity thing going with the pot-lid theme, which was cute.

Also, notice the casual tone and you got the feeling you were really in Vanessa's head. The first paragraph is a good example:

Vanessa Oliver smiled as she remembered the conversation with her friend. "Vanessa," Ginnie had said, "remember: for every pot there's a lid." Doubtful. Every lid she'd met lately didn't fit. Self-absorbed lids. Lids that wanted to get to first base on the first date. But mostly, nothing-in-common lids. She was a square pot. They were round lids.

The short, incomplete sentences give the impression that these are her thoughts. (They also help emphasize each undesirable quality and convey her annoyance/resignation at the same time.) Also, as a bonus, if you do it well, it cuts down on your word count! LOL

There was no black moment, but I didn't miss it. Well, actually I guess I did miss it because I noticed it's absence, but it didn't bother me. LOL

Great story from an author I don't recall reading before.


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying your blog - it's a brilliant idea, especially for those of us who write short stories. I'm in Scotland so I don't get to read Woman's World.

Diane Fordham said...

Thanks again Kate for a wonderful post. I haven't got any good news from Woman's World yet, but I will keep on trying. I am finding your blog very inspiring and helpful. Thanks again.

Jan said...

Thanks for reviewing my story, Kate! :-)

Kate Willoughby said...

Rosemary, I'm so glad you like the blog. I'm not sure if any of my advice can be applied across the board for any short fiction. I don't really intend for it to be. My blog is really super-focused for just this publication, but if you find it helpful, I'm really glad!

Kate Willoughby said...

Diane, great attitude. Definitely keep trying. Even if you hear back and it's a rejection, don't give up hope. I do know of a few people who sold to them with a first submission, but it's very rare. :)

Kate Willoughby said...

Hey, Jan, my pleasure. I hope to see many more stories from you!