Friday, May 22, 2015

Free as a Bird

by Nell Musolf from the April 13, 2015 issue

Tagline: When Karen and Tom worked together, they'd been just good friends. Could they be something more now?

Observations: I wanted to talk about characterization with this story, because I really thought the heroine was well done. One of the things about Woman's World stories--and really all romances, if you think about it--is how we can live vicariously through the heroines. We love reading these stories because it makes us feel as if we are in love too, or about to fall in love.

A good way to help that along is to make the heroine likable. Give her qualities that we can identify with, that make us say, "Hey, I'm like that too!" So with this story, I"m going to look at ways that Musolf did that.

1. Karen has a crush on her old boss. Who among us hasn't had a crush on someone we either weren't free to pursue and/or thought was out of our league? Anyone? Bueller? We automatically feel for her because we've been in her shoes.

2. "I took a moment to smooth my hair and make sure no blueberry muffin crumbs decorated the front of my sweater." Again, this is something we've all lived through, right? Where we're thinking, "Oh, please, let there not be something in my teeth" etc. This little moment also adds some tension for us.

3. Likability is increased when we respect the character and admire decisions he/she makes, like both of them staying professional for ten years, when they apparently both had feelings for each other.

4. And when Karen took action...that was great too.  Tom says:

"My problem is I don't like eating out alone." 

Our eyes met over the tops of our coffee cups and my heart did the thumping thing again. "You aren't seeing anyone?" 

That was Karen, taking a step forward. And here again is another step. Tom says he should try taking out someone like her and Karen says:

""Someone like me? How about me?"

That is ballsy! Again, I admire her bravery. I think Karen was a terrific character.

Photo credit: Jazzbobrown, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


Pat said...

Thanks, Kate.

I loved this story. A gutsy heroine a reader can really relate too.

Sandy Smith said...

I really liked this story, too. It was a bit different from the usual.