Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sew Much Happiness!

by Marti Attoun from the August 18, 2014 issue

Julia was an expert seamstress, but it seemed John Garwood might be the man to stitch up her broken heart!

In a Nutshell
Julia is surprised when a man with an emergency alteration bursts into the store. When he comes back to pick up the pants, he brings muffins and asks her to lunch.

Characterization -- This story had two likable characters. Julia is happy and isn't one to dwell on her problems. She is successful. She loves what she does. Her life is terrific, but she wouldn't mind a little romance.

Enter John. He's funny. (Duct tape!) He's thoughtful (the muffin) and resourceful (gets the lowdown from Sarah at the bakery.)

However, the only thing that sort of made this story stand out for me was that she was a seamstress. That was a profession I don't see a lot within the pages of Woman's World. Other than that, it was, in my opinion, average.

Photo credit: KoS via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Marry Me

by Shoshana Brown from the August 11, 2014 issue

Katy loved Jack, but she didn't think they were ready for marriage. Jack didn't agree. Who was right?

In a Nutshell
Jack proposes before going overseas for a tour of duty. Katy isn't sure he's the one. She realizes shortly after he leaves that he is  The One.

Story Structure - You know the formula: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. Well, this story created its own formula: Boy proposes to girl, girl loses her mind, boy gets girl.

I can't recall seeing a story begin with a proposal before--maybe you long-time readers can help me out here. I think that might be the first time I've ever seen this. And I loved it. Not only that, but the black moment occurred at the beginning too. Amazing. Right off the bat, we feel that tension when she puts him off. We worry right at the beginning whether she'll come to her senses, or worse, that Jack will be unable to return to her. Which brings me to my next observation.

Risk Management -  This was a risky story to submit. We all felt the fear Katy felt because Jack was in dangerous territory and might never come back, and usually Woman's World shies away from nasty stuff like that. I'm kind of surprised they went with it. On the other hand, it's clearly a wonderful story. It even made me tear up. So, maybe they said, "Screw it. We're going with it," because it had such a heartwarming overall feel.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Falling for You

by Suzanne Jackson from the August 4, 2014 issue

Kathy's sprained ankle was a real pain--but it turned out to have an upside!

In a Nutshell
Kathy meets a man while waiting to get her ankle x-rayed. They connect. He invites her to coffee afterward.

Cliche Done Well: At first I thought this story was going to be the same old sprained ankle story and was prepared to be...well, bored. But I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the humor. I liked the good start these characters got off to. The dialogue was very realistic. I really loved the ending. So even though I've seen probably fifty sprained ankle stories over the years, I still enjoyed this one.

Photo Credit: Keith Parker via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, August 4, 2014

Running into Mr. Right

by Patty Murray from the July 28, 2014 issue

Patricia never expected to fall so hard for a man she'd just met...

In a Nutshell
Patricia is texting while walking and gets knocked over by a cute jogger. Her phone breaks, but she won't let him replace it. He asks her to dinner instead and months later, they end up a couple.

Characterization: We got a lot about the heroine this time. Murray showed us how strong and independent she is, professionally and personally. We see that she's ready to meet the man of her dreams. Murray also showed us the hero's good qualities: he takes care of himself (exercises), he has a strong sense of right and wrong (offers to pay for a new phone), and he's thoughtful (lets her use his phone to call her mom).

I've said this many times before and I'll say it again, when you do a good job with characterization, readers are more apt to believe the two characters have a bright future together, which is what we want.

Pacing: Did you notice the revved up pace at the end where we fast forward to months after their first date? If you're a regular reader of Woman's World, you know how unusual this is. I liked it here. It only took one sentence, and it made it easier for us to believe the last line--that he really was Mr. Right--because they'd been dating for months.

I loved the last line, too. Very cute!

Photo credit: This is actually a decal to put on your phone so it only looks like it's broken! You can get them at DecalTop.com.