Monday, February 12, 2007

Story: "Telltale Hearts" by Veda Boyd Jones

Tagline: Barbara had forgotten how just the sight of Paul made her heart beat faster...

With my online class in mind (Hi, class!), this review will be more like an analysis of the story with a mind toward what works for me as a writer and observations I've made for others who might want to submit to Woman's World.

I notice that Jones keeps the setting vague, mentioning only a "Midwestern city," perhaps in an effort to include as many readers as she could. Readers in the Midwest might say to themselves, as a result, "Oh! This could be me. I live in a Midwestern city!"

This is a classic "old flame" type story. You'll notice Jones set up their history together, especially referring to his intent to "earn his fortune," which comes up later again in conversation. In this type of story, also, you can make the conversation revolve around catching up on old times, a handy way to insert the death of the spouse, divorce, or whatever.

About 2/3 into the story there is a brief "black moment," where you worry for Barbara and whether she'll see Paul again. This is an unusual place for the climax. In classic story structure, the high point occurs much closer to the end, but Jones had no choice, given what else had to happen: Barbara had to find out she had high blood pressure, AND she had to have a reason to wait for Paul. If he hadn't suggested they meet after giving blood, Barbara would probably have left, assuming Paul was going to be busy for a while.

Best Part: "This Paul-induced blood pressure might be something she'd just have to live with." Cute ending! I thought this romantic "illness" was a clever premise.

In My Humble Opinion: "She felt his glance go to her left hand..." I'm not sure about someone feeling a glance. I'd rather her see his eyes dart that way, but that's a picky thing. I suppose you can feel someone looking at you, so...

Grade: B+



Blogger JENNA said...

I'm so glad that new blogger does labels! I can grab all of these at once now!

2:23 PM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

Isn't the new Blogger great?? I love it, too.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kate -- Ayleen from your class here to check out the story analysis. Of course, I had to comment on the artwork and enter the contest first. Thanks for the insight.

1:09 PM  

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