Monday, August 17, 2015

On Blueberry Hill

by Kady Winter from the July 27, 2015 issue

Tagline: As teens, Kelly and Ryan had been too young for happily ever after. Now, all grown up, would they get another chance at love?

Observations: I wanted to point out the tension building in this story. I thought Winter did an excellent job of ramping up the drama. And yet, it's interesting in Woman's World stories, how sometimes the climax of the story occurs in the middle and not near the end, as in this story.

The story begins with quite a bit of backstory. I've said this before and I'll say it again, where in a romance novel you're cautioned about dumping too much backstory in the front of the story, here in Woman's World Land, it's okay.

By the time we arrive at the blueberry farm, we are invested in Kelly as a character and we are as anxious as she is to see if her old flame, Ryan, is there.

We get excited and then disappointed when we see his son. There's a short break in the action as we wait for the son to fetch his dad and during that break, we're getting more and more anxious. Then, the big moment arrives:


She turned.

Right there. You see the two very short sentences? See how her turning is its own sentence? That is a very subtle touch there that draws that moment out until we're holding our breath, waiting to see if it's Ryan.

That's the climax of the story and it's near the middle. After that, the tension wanes. We get confirmation that Ryan is also single and that he never forgot her either. We also slide into a sweet, sentimental moment with them as they reminisce.

I don't know about you, but I got chills when I read the end.

Photo credit: Caleb Slemmons, via Creative Commons License


Mary Jo said...

An interesting analysis, Kate. I correspond with Chris and this is what I wrote to her when I first read this story:
"I thought the Romance packed a lot of emotion. It bothered me that both the lead characters were divorced. It made it seem as if neither could have a successful marriage because they couldn't forget each other. Sort of cheating the people they married. I probably would have the guy be widowed."

I think the story is well written. I did not have chills over the last paragraph, but I am sure that is because I never liked the song.

That brings up a question...can the writer use song lyrics in a story without obtaining permission from the holder of copyright?

Betsi said...

Diane Crawford and I discussed the same issue--using song lyrics in a story--when this story came out. If the song was published before 1923, it's fair game--but this one was not. You're supposed to get permission, and usually you have to pay someone. "Fair use" allows you to quote passages of other people's work, but when the work in question is a song, I would think that even a line would be too much.

I thought this story was okay, but I confess that nothing about it gave me chills.

Bettye Griffin said...

I'm sorry I missed this one!

Kate Willoughby said...

That song might be old enough that it's in the public domain.

Betsi said...

Kate, I looked it up and it's not.

Kate Willoughby said...

Huh. Well, it's Woman's World who would have to defend itself against a copyright thingy, so...

Anonymous said...

Kate, it's the author who would be liable I believe, as when you sign their contract you are stating your story does not infringe on the copyright of others. Sure hope this author did get permission.