Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday Mini-Review: From the May 16th issue of Woman's World: "Maggie's Garden" by JoAnn Bennett, where love blooms.

This was your quintessential Woman's World story, nicely done. Ms. Bennett's got the three act structure going and moves the pace along briskly. She has a daughter involved and a helpful hero, Ethan.

Best Part: She did a great job inserting backstory and developing the relationship in one short paragraph--which told, and didn't show--their conversation. In stories as short as these must be, sometimes you can't show everything real-time.

Worst Part: I had no complaints about this story at all.

Sweetness Rating: 4/5

Originality: 4/5

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4 Comments:

Blogger Amanda Brice said...

I love this idea of reviewing WW stories. :) Thanks!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

I so glad! Did you read this one? I didn't LOVE it, but it was solid writing.

8:20 AM  
Blogger aries75 said...

Is it just me, or does WW expressedly forbid conflict between the Hero and Heroine?

I agree that the story was well-written, but...the lack of any real action and conflict in WW stories always gets to me. I can certainly understand the "no sex" rule, but all their other limitations seem to run counter to the most basic writing advice (i.e. "no conflict = no story"). At least your piece "Hot Stuff" had the h/h competing against one another...I'm almost surprised you were allowed to get away with that ;)

Anyway, I guess my point is that the biggest obstacle I face in trying to write something "WW-worthy" is toning it down to such a drastic extent (when my natural style is edgy, humorous, conflict-driven work...)

6:12 PM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

No, I don't think they forbid conflict in the guidelines, but it's hard to shove it in there and develop a romance in 1100 words. They frown on "life and death situations."

Hey, I hadn't realized that the competition between the H and h was conflict, but you're right. It was! LOL Just goes to show you my muse knows what she's doing and I'm completely oblivious!

Yes, TONING IT DOWN is both my mantra and challenge when it comes to WW stories. It was really hard at first to keep the length to 1100. It was also hard to check my tendency to go spicy. But I still think stories need a climax, something that's lacking in many of the stories WW publishes.

Just put on your WW hat and remember who your audience is. I picture middle America women in flowered dresses who go to church every Sunday carrying pans of tuna casserole. ;)

3:43 PM  

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