Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Work Buddies

by Melody Murray from the July 7, 2014 issue

Tagline
Grace knew that things don't always work out as you hope they will. But, she discovered, sometimes they do!

In a Nutshell
Grace flips houses. She hires the handsome Randy to help her with the heavy tasks. She thinks he's not interested in her until the job is finished and she finds out that he was only waiting until she wasn't his boss anymore.

Observations
Description: In general, because of the very small word count allowed by Woman's World, I usually counsel writers to minimize descriptions of characters. However, this story had a quite hefty description of Randy.

The friend was right. Randy was worth any two helpers she had hired before. He was strong and precise in his work. He was also very handsome.

The "I would love for him to be attracted to me" kind of handsome. The "why do I have to always be such a mess when he's around" kind of handsome.

His dark hair fell across his forehead[,] calling attention to his blue eyes. As if that weren't enough, the T-shirts he wore stretched most attractively across his broad shoulders.

Three whole paragraphs! This is quite unusual, however, please notice that the author did not just describe Randy, she also established the fact that Grace is attracted to him.

Characterization and Gender Roles: Woman's World loves traditional values, however, has slowly but surely included "new-fashioned" ideas like gender-norm reversing. Here, you see Grace restoring a house. If there ever was a male-dominated job, construction worker is it, right? So when writing your stories, or looking for ideas, take those gender norms and turn them on their ears.

Photo credit: BaytownBert via Wikimedia Commons

6 comments:

Tamara said...

Cute idea and well-written, I thought (except for that comma and the misplaced "only"). I've noticed the norm-gender reversal, too--progressive for WW--as is the hot guy in the illustration. I'm happy for Murray.

Pat said...

Great story. I loved the roll reversal. I did notice the hot guy descriptions.

Mary Jo said...

When I read this story I just about flipped. Several years ago I submitted a story to WW that was so much like this one I could have written this one myself. It was rejected without ceremony. Was I ahead of the curve?

Tamara said...

Mary Jo, I wrote one about a female mechanic (think I've mentioned this before) that made it to EIC, who rejected it. But, perhaps the switched gender roles might not have been the only similarity in your story. Was it rejected by first editor?

Mary Jo said...

I honestly don't remember, Tamara, and I do not have a record of that story in my computer. I would have to look in my old files to see if I kept the rejection letter.

Melody Murray said...

Thanks everyone for the nice comments.