Saturday, September 30, 2017

No Place Like Home by Nell Musolf

From the September 25, 2017 issue

Tagline: Melanie was tired of cutting grass and ready to move into an apartment...then she met Jeff!

Observations: Woman's World changed fonts on the story! I like it! I wonder, though, if it was because this story was longer or something.

Anyway, I noticed a plot device that appears in many stories, but that I haven't talked about in a while. It's when a main character believes x, y, z and that belief shifts by the end of the story. This also appears as a main character expressing some sort of dissatisfaction and by the end of the story, they end up satisfied one way or another.

If you're an experienced Woman's World romance story reader, then you might have read the passage quoted below and realized, "Aha! She's going to change her mind."

...I thought about how much easier life would be if I rented an apartment instead of a house. Someone else mows the lawn or shovels the snow when you have an apartment.

And sure enough, the story ends with...

Maybe moving into an apartment wasn't the best solution for me. Especially now that my house was beginning to feel more like home!

In my basic Writing for Woman's World class, I talk about ways to get ideas for stories, and one way is to take a character, figure out what they believe and change their minds. Or come up with something a character might be dissatisfied with and, again, change their minds. They could realize that dissatisfaction is actually trivial. They could realize that they should be grateful for what they have. (That would be a great idea for a Thanksgiving story.) These can be great jumping-off points when your mind is blank and you're trying to get started.

Also, I liked the repeated motif of sparks and wondered if Musolf intentionally planned for the "spark" of the lawn mower engine starting to echo that. If so, wow! Very impressive.


Tamara said...

This was a great WW story. There were two nice analogies: his smile moving to his eyes and staying there and a spark that flew up between them like a firefly. I noticed that the relationship that had ended for Melanie was a live-in one, rather than a marriage. Is this a new presentation for WW?

Pat said...

Great post, Kate. Love what you pointed out here about mofits. I also loved this story line and the characters. Nell Musolf has been writing for WW for a long time and she writes a wonderful story.

Sandy Smith said...

I also noticed what Tamara said about the live-in relationship. I had never seen that before in a WW story. It was a cute story.