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


Mary Jo said...

This story was a total surprise. Even a shock. I did not know WW would even acknowledge that so many young people today face this kind of situation. Are you sure they have the same editors there now?

Chris said...

Agree with you completely, Kate. Loved this for all the reasons you've highlighted. It's honest and real and totally contemporary. It's funny but I've been sharing some of my stories with WW writers via email over the past couple of years before sending them off and the one thing I've been advised against doing is sending anything too gritty as WW won't go for it. This one breaks the mould completely and I was so pleased to see it. I really do think they have changed their tune on how much reality they are prepared to go for recently. There's revolution in the air!

Pat said...

I loved this story for all the same reasons as above. Kate, thanks for pointing out the structure parts. Thanks WW for publishing a 'gritty' story that was contemporary and wonderful at the same time.

Mary Jo said...

It might be a good idea to write letters of appreciation to WW. A little more realism can certainly make their stories more interesting.

Tamara said...

I wondered how this story ever got published in WW, too; I would not have submitted it. I once wrote one about a memorial for a policeman who saved my life (I had the protagonist fall for the man's son, whom she met at the ceremony). Johnene said it didn't work for her, but I wondered whether the subject matter was the reason (crime, death, etc.). Anyway, good for you, Shoshana. As for letters to WW, has anyone ever heard whether they get feedback on specific stories?

Sandy Smith said...

I also thought this story was different than the type they usually publish. Maybe they are changing their thoughts a bit on that.

Kate Willoughby said...

You know, you should just always submit the story, even if you have doubts. The worst that can happen is they send it back. And by now, one rejection shouldn't crush your dreams. It's like betting in Vegas, except all you're betting is postage and some sheets of paper, but you could win $800!

Tamara said...

I agree, Kate, and every once in a while, you will get a pleasant susrprise.

Edeltraud said...

I love your blog and have learned much here. So please forgive my observation that as writers we are offering our talents and time in addition to postage and paper. Thankfully, WW is an outlet that recognizes that. As a professional writer (married to a professional musician) we really don't like to give our services away or have them undervalued. (I now return the soapbox!)

Kate Willoughby said...

Oh, absolutely, we're putting out our talent and time. No argument from me on that front.

Betsi said...

Edeltraud, I agree with what you said, but I'm not sure how it relates to this blog post or its comments.

Chris said...

Agree with you, Edeltraud, once we've got past the 'getting our work out there at any price' stage, no one should be giving their stuff away for free. My other half's a muso too, and he'd go along with that (charity gigs excepted). But, like Betsi, I'm not sure that I see how that sentiment fits with what was said above..?

Forgive my curiosity, but your name is so unusual. Where did it originate?

Edeltraud said...

Chris and Betsi,
I guess I'm not as great a communicator as I thought, haha.
My comment was in response to a reply Kate made to a poster on this thread re submitting to WW.
Kate: It's like betting in Vegas, except all you're betting is postage and some sheets of paper, but you could win $800!

I was being terribly picky but it's not the way I see my work and the marketplace so I had to defend, as I do support myself as a writer.
Of course, Kate is so lovely and gracious she didn't whack me up the side of the head. She was making a point.

Edeltraud is German and a family name.

Betsi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edeltraud said...

Hmmm, don't know why it says I deleted that comment. Ah, technology.
I was responding to a comment Kate made to a reader on this site in regards to submitting to WW. See her Aug. 22, post.
Edeltraud is German and a family name.

Betsi said...

Edeltraud, your post wasn't deleted--I posted something and then deleted it, because I was afraid I was misunderstanding what you were saying. I still don't get it. Who is giving their work away? I think Kate's point was that when we submit a story, there's a good chance it will be rejected. That's just the reality. We're not working on assignment for WW.

Edeltraud said...

Ha, well I've got to stop speed reading and pay attention!
Yes, I do understand Kate's point and she is completely correct and was using a bit of humor and hyperbole to make that point.
My reply (as lame as it apparently was!) meant to say that a writer's work is comprised of more than the price of paper and stamps. It's work like any other work that has value. Blood, sweat and tears, here!
Oh, I hope I haven't muddied the waters further : )

Kate Willoughby said...

I think we're all on the same page. :) None of us think our work is not worth anything but paper and postage. What we do is valid and valuable!