Friday, June 17, 2011

Something Just Clicked

by Maureen McDonald from the June 6, 2011 issue

Tagline: Brent didn't look like the man of Deb's dreams, but appearances can be deceiving...

In A Nutshell: After being "bribed" with a fancy coffee drink, Deb agrees to go on a blind date. The guy turns out to be charming.

Observations: I found the characterization in this story to be outstanding. It starts with the matchmaking friend, Helen. I loved how insidiously clever it was to remove the lid from the coffee to let the aroma do its dirty work. I loved the banter between the friends. You could see how comfortable they were with each other.

Brent seemed real and down to earth. He seems like a great father and a fun guy.

Then, Deb, the heroine, had several admirable qualities. She was understanding of Brent's phone problem until the third time. We didn't see her irritation, but I sure felt it. I've been in that situation with my own husband and found it annoying! She was accepting that Brent wasn't the handsomest guy on the planet, but instead was more impressed by his sense of humor and intelligence. At the end of the story, you also see she takes the opportunity to thank her friend and gratitude is always a plus to me, in real life and in fiction.

I especially liked the circularity motif of the coffee drink. Since I work at Starbucks, I enjoyed McDonald's creative drink names..."vanilla mocha latte something-or-other--with lots of cinnamon" and "cinnamon-cappa-frappa-whatever." LMAO!

Teaching Point: Notice the slick transition between the first scene between Deb and Helen and the date:

Halfway through the entree, Deb had to agree with Helen's assessment of Brent.

Boom. We segue very smartly to the next scene and move the plot forward at the same time. Two birds with one stone, something to strive for when you have such a short word count. We never see the two main characters actually meet, shake hands, etc. We just zip forward in time to the part of the date that matters.

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