Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Meant To Be by Rosemary Hayes

April 25, 2016 issue

Tagline: Becky believed there was someone out there for her...but she never imagined where she'd meet him!

Observations: I liked this story. That it was centered around Little League is a bit of Americana that is something often welcomed in a Woman's World story. Sometimes reading a Woman's World story is like strolling down Main Street at Disneyland.

This week, I wanted you to notice the transitions--those places where you're fast-forwarding in time to move the story along to the next important part or move from one scene to another. In a Woman's World story, there are no chapter or scene breaks. I learned this the "hard way," when I submitted a story with a double return to indicate a scene break only to find when the published the story, the scene break wasn't there.

To compensate, you have to work a little harder to get the reader from scene to scene.

Hayes transitions three times.

1. We start with two sisters talking. Becky is going to take her nephew to baseball tryouts. Here's that transition:

The weekend dawned with clear skies and a happy ripple of anticipation.

She mentions that it's the weekend right off the bat, establishing that we've jumped forward in time.

2. Becky is in line to register her nephew and notices the hero for a couple of paragraphs. Then we hit transition number two:

It was only when I was sitting in the stands later, watching all the kids being put through tryouts that I heard a voice next to me.

3. Becky and Andrew introduce themselves and talk in the stands and then...

We spent the next three hours watching the boys, getting hot dogs from the food truck, and enjoying a great conversation.

Notice the time words in each transition - "weekend," "later," and "three hours." Also notice in the first two instances, the transition is settling us into the next scene. It's just to get our brains to jump forward. In the third transition, it's different. Instead of instantaneous time travel, we get a summarizing paragraph in which we're told, not shown, what happens. It's still a fast-forward in time, but with information about what happened. Sort of like the difference between being "beamed" from LA to NY in an instant and taking a supersonic jet and being able to see the scenery pass below you really fast.

Transitions are an essential tool if you want to write these super short stories.

Photo credit: Eastlake Times via Flickr Creative Commons License


Sandy Smith said...

I liked this story. I agree it used transitions well. I also liked the baseball theme. Very all-American.

Pat said...

Thanks for pointing this out, Kate. These are the kinds of notes I make to help improve my WW story submissions.

I loved this story. It had a nice spring touch to it.