by Susan Province from the March 25, 2013 issue
Tagline: As she browsed the tables set up in the town square, Holly found some things and someone she really liked...
In a Nutshell: New in town, Holly is on her lunch break when she's surprised by the annual spring sidewalk sale. She finds some books that bring her right back to childhood and buys them from the man who owns the local bookshop. He invites her to come back after work and see if there is anything else she'd like. She returns and he gives her a book he thought she'd like and asks her out.
Observations: This is a story that is right out of the Woman's World romance playbook. It is set at a tag sale, a popular place for WW women to find love.
Real world: the Internet and bars.
WW: tag sale, animal shelter, vet office, florist, grocery store.
In this story, it's a tag sale for the entire small town, an annual event. That is the (very slight) twist to the cliche setting. The rest of the plot pretty much follows, according to the norm. Boy/girl finds item with sentimental value. Boy/girl doesn't obtain the item. The seller makes sure the boy/girl gets the item after all. In other versions of the same type of story, the seller regrets the sale and the buyer either can't go through with buying it, or after hearing why the seller might not want to part with it, they return the item later.
When I say cliche, that's not a slight. Obviously there is nothing wrong with following the formula. If you do it well, like Province did, you can earn $800.
Photo by jackieleigh (cc)