Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beginner's Luck

by Diane Crawford from the October 8, 2012 issue

Tagline: Laurel had been attracted to Jared from the start. Turns out Jared felt the same way about her...

In a Nutshell: Laurel is attending the company picnic and spots a guy she's had her eye on for a while. He's by the horseshoe pit. A rival for his attention declines the invitation to play, so Laurel gets him all to herself. They strike up a conversation and make a date for dinner.


Observations: What I found interesting about this story is that it had a villain. There are almost never villains in Woman's World stories. First of all, there usually isn't room. Eight hundred words doesn't allow for a lot of extra characters. Plus, villains are inherently negative. Negativity is something Woman's World likes to avoid. However, Crawford managed to insert a female villain in "Beginner's Luck."

Laurel's friend says:

"Celia the Piranha sashayed over there as soon as she caught sight of those guys from Tech."

This is pretty catty, but it's the friend saying it, so we readers can understand. Friends can get away with stuff the heroine can't. And yet, Laurel herself thinks Celia is overdressed. Again, this is acceptable. We've all seen people who overdress for this or that occasion.

Celia has perfectly manicured nails. Laurel doesn't. Crawford turns this difference into an opportunity to show Laurel as a more three dimensional character with worries about her appearance, just like all of us. We identify with her because of this. We all have things we wish we could change about our appearances. We know how Laurel feels.

To perhaps balance some of this, Crawford has Celia behave in a civilized way. Sure, the two women are basically competing for the guy, but they don't play games. (Actually, I guess Laurel does because it's horseshoes! LOL) Celia makes it clear she's not the horseshoes type and let's Jared know where she'll be should things not work out with Laurel.

Of course, things do work out with Laurel. Jared makes it clear he's not interested in the well-manicured, well-dressed Celia, and the way is clear for our heroine. Yay!

Photo by tehbieber (cc)


9 comments:

majbooks said...

I, too, was surprised that WW let a villain into a story! Way to go, Diane! This might be a first for WW. I thought this story had the perfect setting: the company picnic, and Diane made her characters and the way they got together very believable and cute. I loved it.

Betsi said...

I think you're right, Kate, that the friend can be catty but the heroine can't. I recently re-read my last submission (14 wks) and despaired, because I now think my heroine is too catty in her thoughts about the hero's ex. Nothing extreme, but maybe too much for WW. At least that's what I'll tell myself when the rejection comes!

But Diane handled the "villainess" well and wrote a great story. As always!

Kate Willoughby said...

Diane regularly produces sold stories. Just like you, actually, Betsi. :)

Betsi said...

I'm lagging behind in this company, Kate, and haven't done any writing in 6 months due to health problems. But I'm following the blog and hoping 2013 will be better!

Kate Willoughby said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. I hope that changes right quick. :)

Pat said...

Another great story from Diane. Thanks for pointing out the villain and the catty best friend, Kate. Wow, I really learn so much from your blog. I loved the story but didn’t think about anything other than the heroine getting her man. I think the great setting took my attention, as I’d don’t ever remember seeing a story at a company picnic before.

Kate Willoughby said...

I kind of remember a story about a fortune teller that took place at a company picnic... Not sure, though.

Pat said...

You know what, you are right. I remember the fortune teller and I think it was at a company picnic. I think the hero worked in accounting or something.

Kate Willoughby said...

That was a cute story. I remember it being clever and different.