Thursday, October 13, 2016

Perfectly Imperfect by Kate Hewitt

From the September 26, 2016 issue

Tagline: The bride-to-be had cold feet...until a little reminder warmed her heart!

Woman's World Tropes: Troubled couple

Observations: I admit when I saw this was the first of the Harlequin stories, my expectations rose. I didn't know what to expect. Would the story conform to the types of stories we've become used to? Would they have the same sweet tone? I have to say yes and no.

We met a bride who was having second thoughts. Couples in trouble aren't unheard of in Woman's World, so that was fine. But the story just didn't grab me. When I got to the end, I didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling. I was glad for the heroine, but it felt a little like politeness--as if a co-worker had told me "My sister's getting married" and I said, "Oh, I'm glad."  It took me a while to figure out why.

Firstly, introspection dominated this story. We are in the bride's head so much of the time. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and because of the type of story this is, I don't know that that could have been avoided.

Secondly, we never did learn her name. Again, this is not a big deal. Maybe Hewitt did this on purpose, so that every reader could put herself in the heroine's shoes and really experience the story on a more intimate level. If so, I'm not sure this is the type of story to do that with. In my opinion, better to do it with a story that is much more upbeat.

I think the main reason I wasn't crazy about this story is because I didn't have a chance to like the bride first. She starts out discontented. Yes, she was stressed out from her wedding preparations. That's understandable. Yes, I talk about minor character arcs--even in these short 800 words stories--and how it's good if a character grows and changes within the story. And there were paragraphs where she thought about positive things. But for some reason none of that quite won me over to her side. I found myself caring more about Sam than I did about her.

Your mileage may vary. I'd love to hear about it if your experience was different.

Photo credit: Cara Fealy Chote via Flickr Creative Commons License


Melanie D said...

Just curious: are you skipping the Sept 19 story "Bread and Jam?" Because it's mine and I was so looking forward to your analysis! :)


Kate Willoughby said...

Melanie, my apologies! I had gotten ahead of myself and forgot I'd saved that one. LOL. It'll be up momentarily. I'm pretty behind.

Melanie D said...

LOL. I've been stalking your blog because I love reading your insights,but it's extra interesting when your story's up! It's how I first discovered the yahoo group when I had my very first story published back in 2012. This is a labor of love for the benefit of all of your fellow writers, and I truly appreciate it.


Pat said...

Kate, when I read this story, like you I had high expectations. Honestly, I was disappointed. I didn't feel it had the WW vibe the stories usually have. Other than feeling something was off, I had no idea what was wrong with the story.

After reading you comments, I agree that I didn't have feelings for the heroine either. I just couldn't relate and the story seems too negative for WW. Just my two cents worth.

Shyra said...

I know I'm a little late on this. Just catching up on the blog. When I saw this was the first Harlequin story I got nervous. I was afraid it was going to be so much better than the stories I've submitted that I might as well give up. But I didn't enjoy it. I didn't care a thing about the main character and, in fact, was a little sorry for poor Sam that she didn't back out. Can't wait to get back to our non-Harlequin stories. Keep up the good work writers.