Monday, January 4, 2016

A Good Neighbor

by April Knight from the January 4, 2016 issue

Tagline: Lindsay liked helping people, so when her neighbor asked for a favor, how could she say no?

Observations: I liked this story. I identified with the heroine, Lindsay, because I used to say yes to all sorts of things and over-commit. Now, I say no and I'm much less stressed. But back to Lindsay.

Writing a character like Lindsay, who is a helpful person, can be tricky. You don't want a doormat character that people roll their eyes at and turns readers off, rather than entice them, but I think Knight did a good job. I felt that Lindsay might have a slight problem, but she hadn't ventured into doormat territory yet.

Giving a character quirks or slight problems to overcome helps the characters seem more real and three-dimensional. In a super short story like the ones in Woman's World, I wouldn't say it's mandatory if only because you have so few words to work with, but in general, rounded characters help the story feel richer.

I laughed a lot reading this story. For instance here:

"You don't have a big, yellow tiger cat?"

"I don't have a cat of any color."

I think it would have been a teensy bit funnier if there had been a beat after the word 'cat.'

"You don't have a big, yellow tiger cat?

"I don't have a cat," Cooper said. "Of any color."

I liked their banter a lot, especially the part where Cooper explains what he's been thinking...

"...the fact is, I've been wanting to ask you out, but I was afraid it might be awkward. If you said no, then I'd be embarrassed. If you said yes and we didn't hit it off, we might start avoiding each other and things would get all weird and uncomfortable. I'd start climbing in and out of my bedroom window to avoid meeting you in the hallway, and you'd start wearing crazy disguises. And then I might have to move, and I haven't even finished unpacking yet."

I always love humor in a Woman's World story.

Photo credit: torbakhopper via the Flickr Creative Commons license


Tracie Rae said...

I liked this story because both of the characters had a sense of humor and kind hearts. April always does such a fine job.

By the way, Kate, you missed reviewing my romance from December called Wish Upon A Star. I'm dying to hear what you think of it.

Thanks for all the hard work you put into your blog!

Pat said...

Kate, I loved, loved, loved this story. I laughed when the hero made the statement you quoted. He was adorable.

Tracie Rae, I loved your story also.

Tracie Rae said...

Thank you, Pat! It was one of my very favorites that I have written.

Sandy Smith said...

I thought I had read this issue but I don't seem to remember the story. Sounds funny. I think I read Tracie's story. I noticed you hadn't reviewed the Dec. 21 story. Would love to see the review, too.

Tamara said...

This was a cute, clever story. I agree, Kate, that dividing that sentence as you indicated, or even with a dash, putting an emphasis on "of any color" would have been better. Congratulations, Tracie, on your Christmas story. It was a nice one, as are all your stories.

Tracie Rae said...


Thanks so much for the kind words!

Mary Ann said...

Very cute story! I thought the banter between the characters was great!

Kate Willoughby said...

Tracie Rae, my magazine deliveries have not been regular lately. I think that was one issue that didn't arrive. I'd be happy to review it if you can send me a copy. kate willow 727 at geemail dot com. No spaces.

Kate Willoughby said...

I LIED! I found the story. I'll get to it today or tomorrow.