Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Tagline: Karli was a hard worker, but she was also a dreamer--and when she met Tony, her flights of fancy took a romantic turn!
In a Nutshell: Karli owns a diner. Her oven breaks. The repairman is cute. He comes back later to sample her biscuits.
Observations: This is going to be a rough one. I didn't sleep well last night, but I've put off my analysis for too long already.
Let me start with what I liked. In the last third of the story was a part I really enjoyed. It's the moment when Karli realizes how attracted to Tony she is.
The diner was busy that night. As promised, Tony had repaired the oven by noon. When she paid him, their hands had touched. Remembering, she felt her face warm.
That was perfectly done. We want to see that the characters are attracted to one another.
I also liked the last line and how it ties in the title and Carli's Walter-Mitty-like daydreams.
On the other hand, many things pulled me out of the story.
1. I've watched way too many shows about restaurants so there were a few things that seemed off to me. For one, June the cook goes to the store for cinnamon. Restaurants do not get stuff from grocery stores. They have them delivered by suppliers. But let's say that they legitimately ran out unexpectedly before their order comes. Then I wonder what kind of business owner she is. If you see you're running low on something, you get more before you run out. I suspect this was all because the author didn't want June there when the repairman came, but I don't think it was necessary. She was making pies. She could have just stayed on task and let Karli deal with the repairman.
2. One of my pet peeves is using a word incorrectly.
As June whisked away, Karli poked her head inside the oven...
"Whisk" is a word that needs an object. It's like "planted." You wouldn't say, "As June planted." You need to mention what she's planting. At the very least, it should have said, "As June whisked herself away."
3. The next thing that confused me was how Karli knew his name was Tony. I'm assuming he was wearing a name tag, but that isn't mentioned in the story. The humor about his name is kind of cute, but if you're going to crack that type of joke, you need to work it. There should have been a little more about it than him saying his parents met in San Francisco. It should become an inside joke between them. Them and the readers, by the way.
Wow. Epiphany there about humor for me. I never realized that before. After all these years analyzing these stories, I love learning stuff!
So, to summarize: if you crack a little joke, don't miss out on the opportunity to make it an inside joke, between the hero and heroine and the reader, too. This will add humor--always a good thing in a Woman's World story--and create a connection between the reader and the characters.
4. Karli asks him to check the light on the stove hood. I'm pretty sure commercial stove tops aren't like those we have at home. I would bet money they don't have lights, only huge exhaust fans to suck up all the grease and smoke. So once again, I'm pulled out of the story by doubt. BUT, your average reader probably isn't as nitpicky as I am and they probably got more sleep.
5. Last thing that bothered me was a question I had near the end. Karli tells June she'll take out a basket of biscuits. First of all, June's the cook. She wouldn't be taking them out. But my real question was, did Karli know they were for Tony? It's not made clear and it's really important that we know.
If she did know he was there, then we learn something about her--that she's not afraid to go after what she wants. We may admire her for this. :) It helps us understand who Karli is as a person.
If she didn't know he was there, then it's a complete surprise and we want to see that surprise unfold into happiness when she sees him and realizes he came back, perhaps because he's interested.
So, see what I mean? Because we don't know the situation, we are cheated of feeling either. I'll be interested to find out what you all thought.
Image from Wikimedia Commons