by Shannon Fay from the October 13, 2014 issue
If Marina could rename the puppy her daughter had found, she might call him Cupid!
In a Nutshell
Marina and her daughter find a lost puppy under the porch of their new house. While putting up "found" posters, they run into a man and his son putting up "lost" posters.
This week we have a "Brady Bunch" story. A man and his son and a woman and her daughter. Not as many kids, same premise.
I liked Becky and how, even though she was disappointed that her mom said no to adopting the dog, she immediately brightened at the thought of trying to help the people who had lost him.
I LOVED how the two families met putting up their signs. What a great idea! Wish I'd thought of it.
The scene where the kids take off toward Becky's house to get the puppy was so funny and plausible. Any parent would identify with the line, "Ever feel like you're not in charge?" Hilarious.
I also liked the moment when, after she talks about her recent divorce, Matt says, "Believe me, it gets better." That was a real tender moment and an important one. I've mentioned before that it's challenging to get the reader to truly believe that a happily-ever-after could come true when you only have 800 words to set it up. But if you include a moment like this one, where the hero and heroine truly connect and where some real emotion happens, you're that much closer to pulling it off.
I wish the ending where she invites them to stay for pizza was a little less--dare I say it?--cheesy. If it had been my story, I'd have worked that line over until it hit the nail on the head. You could leave the set-up the way it is:
"Would you and Ryan like to stay for dinner?" Marina said. "We were just going to order pizza. Nothing special."
An average ending would be more like, "Pizza's our favorite. How about we bring a two-liter of soda to go with it?" Something along those lines.
Or I might try to tie in something from earlier in the story, like...there's a lost and found theme. Maybe Matt could turn to Ryan and say, "Well, son, we lost our puppy, but it looks like we found some new friends." But then, that's a little corny too. Hmm. Anyway, my point is, it needed some work, in my opinion.
Photo credit: Adrian Flint (Sony Digital Camera) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons