Thursday, August 31, 2017

The French Connection by Rochelle Banks

from the August 28, 2017 issue

Tagline: Ty never dreamed of going to Paris until he met Angie...then she gave him the surprise of his life!

Observations: This was such a great story! I was genuinely surprised at the plot twist and it's hard to surprise me. I think this week is a good week to talk about showing not telling. This is a phrase writers hear often, and it is true most of the time. But if you look at this story, you'll see it's probably half showing and half telling. This is because of the word count. You only have 800 words to use. You have to forward the plot along using transitions. Let's see how this panned out with this story.

Scene 1 - Ty and Angie meet in the library.
Scene 2 - We transition to Tuesday at the French for Travelers class.
Scene 3 - We transition again to that weekend when they see a French film and kiss.
Scene 4 - After yet another transition to the next day at work when he asks his travel agent about flights to Paris in the spring, we skip forward to their second date. Then, we fast-forward a year to their honeymoon in Paris.

So, six time transitions! That's a lot, but a lot happens in this story. We go from boy meets girl to boy marries girl in 800 words. That's how it's done, ladies and gentlemen. Make transitions your friend, and you'll move your plot along.

Photo credit: Chris Drumm (Flickr cc)

Friday, August 25, 2017

You won't believe it...

I'm actually working on two stories. I think it's been 2+ years since I wrote a Woman's World story. Wish me luck! LOL

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mellie's Tiny House by Mary Jo Young

from August 7, 2017 issue

Tagline: Mellie loved her tiny house...and Sam made it feel like a home!

Observations: I love tiny houses! I love those TV shows about tiny houses.  If I lived alone, I might very well try out a tiny house to see what it was like. I'd certainly have to cut down on the amount of stuff I own, that's for sure.

While I'm a fan of Young's stories, this one didn't hit any particularly high notes for me. I would like to have seen some more witty conversation that centered around something relevant, like how she was liking her house or maybe a bit about dogs--whether he has one or had one as a boy or whatever. The chicken thing seemed to come out of left field and was
touched on for too short a time for the bring-it-full-circle device of Sam offering to build a coop for her to really work. If it had been my story, I might have cut out the hike date stuff so I had more room to develop the chicken coop stuff, or vice versa. Their topics of conversation were never meaty enough for me.

Photo credit: Nicolas Boullosa (Flickr cc)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mustang Sally by Elizabeth Palmer

from the July 31, 2017 issue

Tagline: Miranda wasn't looking for romance...but her Mustang, Sally, changed all that!

Observations: I loved this story. I loved the heroine being so familiar with her car that she could change the oil -- not something I would ever attempt to do myself since it's not that expensive to have it done. I loved that Palmer showed Miranda knew herself well enough to not settle for a man who didn't share her interests.

Those of you who are fairly new to analyzing Woman's World stories with me should take note of the big coincidence that Sally happens to break down in front of "Bud's." Woman's World stories often contain a coincidence that the reader needs to accept for the story to work. This is fairly common.

There really are too many details to list that make this story nice and tight. It was so smartly written. I especially loved the ending in which they talk about Sally having HPS.

Photo credit: Ann Baekken (Flickr cc)