Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Scent of Lilacs

by Karen M. Leet from the May 18, 2015 issue

Tagline: Rona had noticed the handsome new tenant in her apartment building. One spring day, something made him notice Rona too!

Observations: If you'll pardon the horrible pun, this story was blooming with romance!

When I talk about romance in Woman's World stories, I am usually referring to how you show the romance developing between the hero and heroine. We all want to believe that the couple will ride into the sunset at the end of the story (or sometime farther in the future) and it's hard to believe that if the author hasn't done a good job of building that foundation. In my first Beyond the Basics class this is one of the first essential story elements I show you how to create.

But in this case, I'm talking about the romantic gesture at the end of the story that made me inhale with surprise and delight. Giving a woman flowers is not particularly inspired, even if it is inherently romantic. However, Leet injected thoughtfulness into the gesture. The hero didn't give her any old bunch of random flowers. He gave her lilacs, her favorite scent, the flower mentioned in the poem they share-quoted.

There's a lesson to be learned here. You can have a romantic gesture in your story, like a candlelit dinner. That's perfectly fine. But if you want to catapult it into "OMG, that's so romantic!" territory, see if you can bring in an element that you mentioned earlier in the story, like Leet did. Or think about some other way that gesture can be personalized to fit your characters and their situation.

Photo credit: Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon via Flickr Creative Commons


Sandy Smith said...

I enjoyed the story. The ending did really make the story.

Melanie D said...

One detail that I really liked: the salesgirl tried to talk her out of the lilac scent, implying that it was an "old lady" perfume. And that was the very thing that got the cute guy to notice her.

Well done little story. I love lilacs, too. :)

Pat said...

I love this story. Loved the frame with the lilacs which are one of my favorite flowers.

Kate Willoughby said...

I don't think I even know what lilacs smell like. LOL