Sunday, February 25, 2007

Story: "True Romance" by Carole Bellacera from the February 27, 2007 issue.

Tagline: Twenty-four years afer marrying Marty, Karen realized she'd made the right choice...

I am currently teaching an online class for romantic fiction writers who seek publication with Woman's World magazine. What follows is an analysis of the story with a mind toward what works and doesn't work for me as a writer, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

I think it's standard to write out numbers as words, but notice the number 27 in the first paragraph. :) Another sign that space is at a premium in these stories.

In these two lines, I thought Bellacera flirted with a racy factor that I don't often see in a WW story:

"Careful with the red ones. They'll make you crave my body."

"It was an innocent touch, but it reminded me of more intimate caresses we'd shared."

I found myself worrying about Karen when I read that she hadn't told Marty about the email or meeting. That's good. You want your reader to care about the characters.

Throughout the story Bellacera set up several things that she ties up neatly at the end of the story: the spare tire, lack of hair, the fact that Marty loves her lasagna, his cockney accent. That really helped it feel nice and tight at the end. I also liked the fact that Karen decided to tell Marty later about her clandestine meeting. I admired her for that honesty. All in all, this story was a fine example of showing Karen's character arc - how she grows as a person and learns a lesson about life and herself.

Best Part: "Karen, don't waste your time reading that junk!" That was when I'd had my first doubts about a future with him. Yeah! Romance novels are not junk! Jerk!

In My Humble Opinion: I found myself puzzled about the espresso machine. It felt like it was supposed to be significant somehow but that the important part had gotten edited out. Perhaps that was another complaint Karen had about Marty...that he was always buying new "toys." Or, it could just be me being weird. Maybe the espresso machine was just a reason for him to be in the kitchen thinking about dinner. :)

Grade: A-



Blogger Anna J. Evans said...

Excellent deconstruction Kate. I have to get back to the WW quest...someday soon...when I have um...more time!


7:54 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

Anna, I'm sure you could crank out a 1000 word story in a spare five minutes! You're very prolific! It's a great investment on your time. $1000 bucks for certain, not depending on how many copies sell...

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your analysis of True Romance, I had the same impression about the espreso machine but totally missed the racy factor. Guess I read too many racy romances. Loved that everything was tied up at the end. And, yes, I did notice the fear factor in this story.

Sure wish I had your ability to analyize these stories. I'm getting better thanks to your wonderful WW class.

Pat M

10:19 PM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

I'm so glad, Pat! I plan to continue reviewing WW stories on my blog. Come visit anytime!

2:34 PM  

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