Sunday, September 27, 2015

He Captured Her Heart

by Colette Shannon from the September 14, 2015 issue

Tagline: Dr. Alexis Anderson never dreamed she could fall for a man with a beard and a ponytail. But, sometimes, that's just how love works!

Observations: I liked this story and found it stood out because of the very unusual story structure. Here's a breakdown:

1. Conversation with Alexis and her friend - sets up Alexis' personal history as 40 and never married, establishes the timeline (summer is over and school just started), and that Alexis met someone over the summer but is questioning it.

2. Summary of her summer - we find out she rented a cabin, we see her meet Ranger Max, we are told about how Max pursues her.

3. Turning point - Still within the flashback, we go even deeper in, for a more detailed description where they first kiss. Here, we see that they have a lot in common, are sexually attracted to each other.

4. Black moment #1 - We're still back in time. They part ways. The summer is over.

5. Fast forward, black moment #2 - Back in the present day, sometime after that initial convo with the friend. A man is there to see her. Beard and ponytail? No.

6. Happy reunion - Ha! Of course it's Max. He just looks different. He cleaned up for her. (How sweet.) They decide to make a go of it, even though they live in different worlds.

So, see what I mean? There's a lot of back and forthing (not an official writing term). There are two black moments. There's also a lot of telling, because frankly, there was a lot of telling to do. But it worked. Shannon really had to pack so much info in there and really convince you that their summer was eventful and, as you know, she only had 800 words to do it with.

Photo credit: Robb Hannawacker via Creative Commons License


Pat said...

Thanks for all the points, Kate.

I also liked this story. I did notice it was all telling and backstory, but it really worked for me. Of course, I knew there had to be a HEA. It is WW after all.

Mary Jo said...

Am I the only one who gets lost in the dust with all the acronyms and initialed phrases? What the HEA do we have here?

This is the thought that I had about this WW Romance when I first read it: The story has a nice setup, but it is another one where they tell the bulk of the story in the last paragraph. I don't know if it is fair to start a story for the reader and then put the rest of it in what is actually a synopsis.

That does appear to be the current style popular with the WW editors.

I am having a bad day. A roof rat got into my house.

Betsi said...

Well, I don't know what a roof rat is--and think I'd prefer not to--but I do know that in the romance writing world, HEA stands for "happily ever after."

Sandy Smith said...

Sorry for your roof rat, Mary Jo. Sounds horrible.

I did also like this story and thought the author told a lot in 800 words. But I agree it is more of a synopsis.

Betsi said...

And I forgot to add that I've also noticed that the stories are skewing more heavily toward narrative and summary than dialog and action lately. So . . . do I change my writing style, or stick with the way I've always done it?

Anonymous said...

Betsi, they still take both styles as I've recently sold both ways. Keep writing your stories in the way that tells the story the best way for the story itself.

bettye griffin said...

I'm sorry I missed this one!

bettye griffin said...

I'm sorry I missed this one!

Kate Willoughby said...

I'm wondering who anonymous is! :)