Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Purr-fect Romance! by Nell Mulsolf

from the May 1, 2017 issue

Tagline: Fluffy liked her old home...and her owner liked Kate!

Observations: Nell Musolf is one of the most prolific Woman's World authors, with 11 stories under her belt, at my count. I don't think this was her best work. I liked "Free as a Bird" better. I wish I had more to say about this one, but I just don't. Sorry. I feel like I let you guys down when I can't find any teaching points. Maybe next week. :)

Photo credit: Jans Canon via the Flickr Creative Commons License

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Love in Bloom! by Charlotte More

From the April 10, 2017 issue

Tagline: Thad had moved to a new town and was lonely...until he met Jennifer

Observations: This story is a perfect example of the type of nice guy hero Woman's World likes. Let's look at a list of Thad's attributes.

As an accountant starting his own firm, he's a hard worker. He's smart too. He's done his research to make sure this new town can support another CPA.

He blushes. And he gets tongue-tied. How cute is that??? LOL

When he sees his chance, he does go ahead and ask if she might help him with his yard. It's okay for our heroes to be shy, but it's also nice to see them have some initiative.

So, when you're creating a hero, it's a safe bet to show us he's a genuinely nice guy. Don't just assume we know it.

I absolutely loved the ending. I'm not sure why. The fact that he is babbling about Jen to his friend is just adorable.

Photo credit: Laura LaRose via Flickr Creative Commons License

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Emma and the Prince by Jenny Welsh

From the April 17, 2017 issue

Tagline: Emma didn't have time for romance...until she met Byron!

Observations: Loved this story! I was entranced from beginning to end. Did anyone else predict the grocery cart crash before it happened? I thought it was amusing that he was a lawyer. I did worry about Emma, though. She really shouldn't be driving a car. LOL I don't really have much else to say about this one. I'm sorry. :(

Photo credit: Eddie Welker via Flickr Creative Commons License

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Change of Heart

I've decided not to continue critiquing the Harlequin stories. The purpose of this blog is to help people write and submit romances to Woman's World and analyzing stories that aren't held to the same guidelines as the "normal" stories serves no purpose. Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Matchmaking Dad by Tina Radcliffe

From the April 3, 2017 issue

Tagline: Chrissy's matchmaking father just wouldn't quit...then he introduced her to Rick!

Observations: I thought this story was adorable. The matchmaker trope is alive and well on the pages of Woman's World magazine.

While I wondered if a true landscape designer would need help planting, especially for an apparently elderly client, but I just accepted it for the sake of the story and moved on.

Note the transitional paragraph of telling, not showing, during which a long-ish period of time passes while Rick and Chrissy garden together. I want to caution you about including this type of thing. On the one hand, it's great for making the story seem as if it's a little meatier. The passage of time helps us believe that they're really making a connection. However, if you do this type of transition, be sure you've either already established that they've made the beginnings of a connection, or you plan to show more of a connection in the last act of the story.

In this story, we see Rick and Chrissy together for a while before the transitional summary. They both see the dad on the ladder and, concerned, both take action together. They talk about her container gardening and the hero is encouraging. We spend some actual "real time" with them, together.

You can't have a story in which the hero and heroine don't interact in a significant way. If when you've finished your story, you look back and the couple haven't spent enough meaningful screentime together, you'd better go back and do some revising.

Photo credit: Flesh for Blood via Flickr Creative Commons License