Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Meant To Be

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


Pat said...

Great review, Kate. Thanks. Now that you pointed out, I really see the 3-act structure in Anna Jo's story. Since she sells quiet a few, I think I'll go back and look at her other stories and your reviews of them. Gotta study a writer who sells in the market.

Jody E. Lebel said...

I don't get my WW until Friday. Looking forward to studying this author's winning style.

Mary Jo said...

This is vintage WW romance. No passion, but a nice comfortable little story, always with a third person to help it along.

This is not a criticism, just an observation.

Jody E. Lebel said...

I think this story is adorable. I love the fact that he tried to find her again by riding the bus. I noticed that WW likes it when there's an older lady in the story, or a mention of a grandma. It's funny that this came out right around (roughly)the time a couple of snowstorms left a foot or more across the nation. I also like that he asked her out for a mystery writer's reading. Something different than an invite to dinner. If you remember two weeks ago in my story Johnene liked the mystery element in it..even going so far as to add a Sherlock/Watson reference. hmmm....things to keep in mind.