Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Small-town Charm

by Rachel Carrera from the May 19, 2014 issue

Tagline: Cindy thought she would never adjust to small-town life--then she met someone special and changed her mind...

In a Nutshell: Cindy is offered a promotion in a small town. She visits the town to check it out. During her trip, she meets a guy who shows her how wonderful small-town life can be. Plus, he's cute!

Observations: This was a delightful story. We got a realistic situation/problem. The heroine can score a promotion, but she has to relocate to a small town.

We got a biased but open-minded heroine. She doesn't think she'll like the town, but is willing to check it out and see.

There's that small-town setting that Woman's World loves, even if only a small part of the story actually occurred in the town.

There's humor. I loved Evan's line--"Uh-oh. I'm not working fast enough for you?"

I especially liked the solution to the hotel problem. It was perfect and, for me, unexpected. OF COURSE, his sister and her husband own the hotel. It's a small town!!!

Usually, I like to see more interaction between the hero and heroine, but in this case, it was unnecessary.


Chris said...

This story goes back several weeks and I had to look up the scan and read it again before I felt able to say anything. I'm wondering whether that's why there have been fewer people leaving comments recently, Kate - it's hard to say much when you can't remember the story, and I imagine most people bin the mag once they've read it. It's a shame because it's obvious you put a lot of thought into your critiques, trying to be fair and say what works for you and what doesn't. If you've got time next week could you maybe do a couple together, the same as you did a while back, and bring things a bit more up to date?

Anyway, I read the story again and enjoyed it just as much. I like the relocation theme and the honesty of the waitress, keeping hold of the wallet. I would have liked a bit more conversation between Cindy and Evan while he was changing the wheel, but what we got moved the story on and revealed their characters well. Evan came across as a nice guy and we can be pretty sure things will work out for them. I can definitely see why it made it all the way to the magazine.

Betsi said...

Umm, I honestly don't think I read this story! But I just Googled the author and found her blog (she writes novels) and she had this to say about this story:

The editors left exactly THREE of my original sentences and changed everything else! The whole story sounds different than what I submitted, but, hey, it helps pay the bills.

So that's the only insight I have to share, LOL.

Chris said...

I'll send it, Betsi. What a shame that so much of Rachel's story was changed, though. That would really spoil the pleasure of getting an acceptance for me, if so little of what made it into print was mine. I feel a bit better about getting another no in the post this morning now.

Pat said...

Wow! I really liked this story. Amazed that so much of it was changed. Feel bad for the author. On the upside, it shows that Johnene knows what she's doing.

Betsi, thanks for that input. And, Chris, I save the page with the story and file it with a copy of Kate's review to study. I've been doing that since Kate started the blog. I have three notebooks full. Hasn't helped me sell but it has helped me in editing and critiquing for my writing partners who have sold. I save the mini mysteries also.

Chris said...

Good idea, Pat.I'm basing my comment on what others have said about not remembering stories several weeks on.

Wouldn't you love to be able to do a comparison of the before and after versions of this story, just to see what changes were made and why. If a story of mine was 'reworked' to that extent I think I'd read it through going ouch, ouch, ouch, all the way!

Tamara said...

I have one coming up that will have a major change that Johnene already told me about. I'm not happy about it, but she had to make the change, at the EIC's behest -- or reject.

Pat said...

Chris, I have compared the before and after since my critique partners have sold to WW. Mostly I've compared mysteries as they've sold about 20 between them, but I did get to compare one romance. Doing this showed how many words are cut from your story compared to the original word count.

Tamara, I just finished your romance in the June 23rd issue called Shakespeare and Love. Can't wait to hear about the major change when Kate reviews it.