TaglineElsa was unsettled by her recent move to a new home...until she met her kind (and handsome) new neighbor
In a NutshellElsa is new to the neighborhood. On her walks to and from work she notices some free tomatoes on a neighbor's stoop. After taking a few, she leaves a tin of cookies in thanks. One day, the tomato grower makes contact and a date.
ObservationsThis story reminded me a lot of my very first Woman's World sale back in 2005. I think I include it in my basics class packet. It was called "Her Lucky Stars." In that story there were also notes between strangers. So it was fun to be taken back.
Today I'm going to go through the story paragraph by paragraph and point out the function of the paragraph. I hope this will be helpful.
1, 2: Freeman starts out with Elsa's backstory--something in longer fiction we tend to frown upon--and we immediately get a feel for what type of woman she is. It's a great two paragraph look at Elsa.
3: We see her current situation--why she moved, that she will now be walking to work, what her job is.
4: Here's where we see "the problem." She doesn't quite feel at home yet.
5, 6: The story finally starts. Elsa comes upon a situation. We "meet" the hero via his note and his harvest.
7: Elsa makes a decision.
8: This is a transitional paragraph that "tells" us some time has passed and what went on. I often talk about how telling--as opposed to showing--is often necessary in a Woman's World story.
9-15: New scene. We've entered the second act of the story. With the help and prodding of her friend, Elsa makes another decision. She's going to make contact with the tomato man.
16: Transition in which we watch Elsa put her plan in action. She's being assertive and taking control of her own life, not waiting for things to happen to her.
17: New scene and the beginning of act three. It opens with the "black moment" when the reader thinks all is lost.
18-27: Contact! They officially meet. They talk.
28: Elsa makes a move. We're moving the plot forward.
29-33: More of a connection is made between them as they talk and make a date to cook together.
34: We end with the optimistic "Happily Ever After, Eventually Maybe" ending that is so prevalent in Woman's World stories. We also see that the problem we saw in paragraph 4 is solved.
I hope this look at the skeleton of this story helps you construct your own.
Photo credit: Ramashng via Wikimedia Commons