Sunday, July 6, 2014


by Pamela Hart from the June 30, 2014 issue

With her ex out of the picture and her dog on vacation, Lindy would be alone on the Fourth. Or so it seemed...

In a Nutshell
Lindy brings her dog to the kennel every year because fireworks scare him. There she meets the son of the kennel owners. They agree to meet the next day to watch the fireworks together.

I'm going to try a different set-up with topics and see if that works. Bear with me. I'm always looking to improve things.

Story Ideas: This is one of those stories that makes me think, why didn't *I* think of this? It reminds me of a great tip for finding story ideas.

Think of a minor problem that you or someone you know has, like a dog that freaks out on the Fourth of July. Build a story around it. I have a cupboard with a  broken latch. I think to myself, what if a woman didn't know how to fix that and knew her new neighbor was handy that way? What if she offered to bake him cookies or a pie in exchange for fixing her cupboard? OR, I think, what if I put a twist on it and make it a man who doesn't have a drill, but has noticed his neighbor working on projects in her garage? Maybe he offers the baked goods in exchange so we break free of the gender norms... See what I mean. Let your brain go places.

Characterization: Notice how Lindy has just broken up with her boyfriend. She has some "woe is me" feelings. That's natural, but in a Woman's World story, you don't want to belabor that. In fact, you should show the character overcoming that and moving forward. That's the type of optimism and mindset that Woman's World likes.

Driving to the kennel, Lindy thought about tomorrow--she was looking forward to the parade and the fireworks, but the picnic? No. After her break-up with Josh six months earlier, Lindy would be flying solo in her group of married or seriously dating friends. She sighed. She was not going to let Josh ruin the holiday.

Very succinct and to the point. You can feel Lindy's determination and admire her for it. Keep this in mind when dealing with a character with a "tragic" past.

Photo credit Ltshears via Wikimedia Commons


Chris said...

This was a 'cracker' of a story. Even though it was published a few issues ago I don't need to re-read it to remember it. That can either be a good thing or a bad thing. Here's it's good. Loved it.

Pat said...

I loved this story probably because it hit home with me. I have four cats who go crazy and hide when our neighbors shoot off illegal fireworks and the police don't seem to want to do anything about it.

I loved that she was able to take her dog away for the holiday, meeting a new guy just topped it off.

I agree, Kate, wish I'd have thought to write it. Liked the format you did on this story.

FiveSibesMom said...

Yes, I remembered this one right away also. Probably being a pet parent myself. And I, too, thought, "why didn't I think of this?!" It's always good when someone can remember your story and think "great idea!"