by Anna Jo Christopher from the March 11, 2013 issue
Tagline: After their chance meeting, Tara doubted she would see Jon again. Fortunately, she was mistaken...
In a Nutshell: Tara and Jon meet on the bus and talk about a favorite author. Coincidentally, Tara has coffee with her neighbor, Louise, every Saturday and Jon always shovels her walk when it snows.
Observations: I haven't talked about a three act structure in a while. This story is a great example of that. In the first act, we see the boy meet the girl. They make a connection, discussing books and movies. This is important, because we readers want to believe that this couple has a chance of living happily ever after. They part, neither expecting to see the other again.
In the second act, we meet Tara's neighbor and friend, Louise. This is an extremely brief scene in which Tara tells Louise about the nice guy she met on the bus.
Third act we cut to the next Wednesday. Louise has asked Tara to lunch. The surprise guest is...Jon! Lo and behold, Jon helps Louise shovel her sidewalk when it snows. Louise got both sides of the story from each of them and literally, put two and two together. Christopher ties it back to their conversation on the bus when Jon suggests they go to a reading by their mutual favorite author.
This story structure is classic because it works. Notice that the "black moment" occurs after the first act. That's a bit different from novels in which the climax occurs near the end. Sometimes, in WW stories, there isn't a black moment at all.
Photo by jubike9