Monday, January 30, 2012

Beginner's Luck

by Jan Drexler from the February 6, 2012 issue

Tagline: Neither Mary nor Bryan could ski...but the both ended up being very glad they'd hit the slopes!

Well, my WW didn't come AGAIN, so while I was at the store I bought a copy, which makes me angry because I have a subscription. At least you all will get a new analysis out of it.

In A Nutshell: Mary's friend talked her into going on a ski trip. She meets a guy in a similar situation. Because they both suck at skiing, they decide to take lessons together. After the vacation is over, they make a date because they (of course) both live in the same city.

Observations: This is a fine example of a first meet story. The hero and heroine meet in a cute way. (He skis out of control into a rack of skis. Trying to help him up, she falls down too.)

Drexler establishes a connection between them. (They decide to take a break from falling and crashing. Over cocoa in the lodge, they discover they live and work in the same city. Their friends, both expert skiers, talked them into the ski trip.)

There is a transition where Drexler summarizes in one paragraph their week together, and then on the last night of the trip, Bryan asks Mary out.

What makes this a bit unusual is there's a kiss at the end! It's very matter-of-fact, but it's there just the same. Viva la romance!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's an Honor to be Nominated...

I'm excited to announce that this blog has been nominated as a Top Writing Blog! If you think this is a valuable writing blog, please go vote. You can vote as many times as you like.

Click on the button below or on the sidebar. They're alphabetical, so scroll down to the bottom of the list.

Voting ends February 3, 2012.

Thank you!!

Also, my magazine is late again. I'll post the analysis as soon as I get my issue!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Kiss the Cook

by June Kolligian and Twyla Smith from the January 23, 2012 issue

Tagline: Cindy knocked at the door of a cozy cabin--and found what she hadn't even realized she was looking for...

In a Nutshell: Cindy is on her way to meet friends at their mountain cabin. The GPS tells her she's there, but it's not the right cabin. The resident turns out to be a guy Cindy's friends have wanted to set her up with. They hit it off and find out that those sneaky friends planned the whole thing by giving Cindy the wrong address on purpose.

Observations: I'm going to change things up and do a "stream of consciousness" critique today and jot down my thoughts as I read the story.

Using a GPS makes the story seem current.

I sympathize with Cindy because I am not comfortable driving in snow and now I'm worried about her getting into an accident.

The fact that Cindy's friend has been trying to set her up with Alex takes away the danger of trusting some strange man you've never met. Nicely done.

Ah, it's also a man to the rescue story. Love those.

When she hesitates to go inside Alex's house, I think about Christopher Vogler's book The Writer's Journey when he talks about the hero Resisting the Call to Adventure. It's always interesting to see "rules" that apply to longer fiction also apply to super short stuff.

Hmm. Cooking is my hobby too. I immediately wondered why he wasn't making something more adventurous than stew, roast chicken or wild rice.

Oh ho! A matchmaker story as well. And here I was thinking her GPS was messed up.

The ending was clever, tying in the apron saying and story title.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I can't see which votes belong to whom, by the way. It's completely anonymous. I can't even go back and see how I voted. LOL

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's Raining Men!

by Jan Romes from the January 2, 2012 issue

Tagline: When Sarah met Jake, the forecast was suddenly sunny and bright--despite the clouds!

In A Nutshell: Sarah is on her way to an interview to be the local weather girl, but an inconsiderate driver splashes muddy water all over her. A stranger who happens to work at the TV station convinces her to go through with the interview anyway. She gets the job and finds that stranger who ends up asking her to lunch.

Observations: I really liked this story, which was a bit different than normal in that it focused mostly on the protagonist, Sarah, and how she finds the courage to interview for that job even though she looks horrible. The romance was kind of like a subplot here. But it worked, mainly, I think, because of this one moment. Sarah has just gotten splashed...

    "Hey," she heard a male voice call out.
    Sarah tucked her damp hair behind her ears and replied with a disheartened, "Hey."
    A blonde (sic) man with concerned blue eyes approached. "I saw what happened," he said. "It was like he did it..." His voice trailed off when they linked gazes. "...on purpose."
    Sarah felt a flutter in her stomach.

There. See what I mean? Couldn't you just picture that pivotal moment when they make that connection? That's romance! Little moment = big impact.

On a side note, that first sentence in the excerpt has a mistake in it. Anyone else notice it?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Missing Issue

So, it's happened again. I didn't receive an issue of WW. If there is someone out there who'd like to email me a copy of the romance story so I can analyze it, I'd be very appreciative. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until I get the next issue.

Edited to add:

It came! It was just very late.

In the words of Emily Litella, "Never mind."