Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Shakespeare and Love

by Tamara Shaffer from the June 23, 2014 issue

Tagline: Jessica had never realized just how romantic Romeo and Juliet really was!

In a Nutshell: Jessica and her little boy meet a man and a little girl at a statue of Shakespeare that they visit often. One day it rains and the four of them have cocoa together. Oh, and the little girl is his niece and he's single. Score!

Observations: There was a lot about this story that made me think, "This was written by a pro," and it was. Shaffer has several stories published by Woman's World.

Realism--young children do crave repetition, so I thought the fact that Billy wanted to keep visiting the statue was perfect. And if you've had kids, you know they like to do things "all by myself." So, another realistic touch there that will ring true for a good portion of Woman's World readers.

Misdirection--when magicians direct your attention one way while they're doing something sneaky somewhere else, it's called misdirection. Shaffer did this when she had the hero say, "...your mom'll have dinner on the table." Of course, as seasoned Woman's World story readers, we know he's available. Personally, I suspected he was divorced, like she was.

Transition: Even the three rainy days that kept us inside didn't completely erase him from my mind. That part was terrific. With 800 words, you don't have a lot of wiggle room and this sentence both establishes a passage of time and shows us her frame of mind.

Foreshadowing: I hope you noticed the author foreshadowing the rainstorm. This ups the tension a tiny bit for the reader. We feel a light sense of impending doom or romance, depending upon your outlook. LOL

Humor: 'But soft!'" He struck a dramatic pose. "'What light through yonder window breaks?'" He winked at me. "I hope it's the sun coming out." Loved that. I also loved this line: "See you tomorrow at the park--same time, same statue?"

Characterization: We want to read about heroines with whom we could be friends and I appreciate humility and the ability to make fun of yourself as Jessica did at the very end of the story where she pokes fun at her unfamiliarity with Shakespeare's work.

"As Romeo--or no, I think it was Juliet--said, 'Parting is such sweet sorrow.'"

I giggled. "Hey even I remember that line!" I said, thinking, I couldn't agree more.


Tamara said...

Kate, thanks for your kind words. My grandson used to sit on that statue. Although the first part of the story was all mine, my version centered around The Twelfth Night. Editor-in-chief wanted a more well-known play, so Johnene changed it to Romeo and Juliet and therefore used a different quote from the man of interest, and, I thought, did a good creative job (except for the sudden shift from firt person ("he bowed to Jessica")--cringe, cringe.

Tamara said...

Make that "first" person.

Pat said...

Great story, Tamara. I loved it.

Tamara said...

Thanks, Pat.

Jody E. Lebel said...

I just caught up with my romance reading. Fun story, Tamara. I like the touches of humor. I can see why WW might change it to Romeo and Juliet. Besides being more known in general, it's known for being romantic also. (Although Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy.)

Melody Murray said...

I remember reading this one. I loved the Shakespeare theme.

Chris said...

Me, too, another enjoyable read. Nice to see the Bard getting a mention too.

Tamara said...

The quote I used from Twelfth Night included the word "raineth", and at the end, when they agreed to see a play together, Nick offered to bring an umbrella "in case it raineth." I thought that, if readers didn't know about the Twelfth Night before they read my story, they would know about it afterward, and I wanted to wrap it up with the rain theme of the story. Johnene warned me it would be differnt, and I was worried and then relieved when I saw how she handled it (and grateful that she bothered to do so).

Jody E. Lebel said...

@ Tamara. I'd like to see your original story. Can you/will you send it to me at You've got me looking up Twelfth Night now... :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very interesting story. Does anyone have a copy of it so that I can read it?

Thanks in advance!

Tamara said...

Which story are you referring to, Tressa? The original of my published, "Shakespeare and Love" or the published version? I can certainly email you my original version and scan the published one, if my scanner decides to work that day.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tamara,

Sorry I've been out of pocket the past couple of weeks. Yes, I would love to read your story "Shakespeare and Love." Thank you for offering. It would be wonderful to see the differences between the original and published version. Thank you so much!


Anonymous said...

P.S. I love the title!