Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Story: "Silver Lining" by Tima Smith from the March 20, 2007 issue.

Tagline: Sometimes even the flu has an upside—just ask Kim and Glen!

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with a mind toward what works and doesn't work for me as a writer, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

Smith provided me with a nice change of pace. The majority of stories in WW are “getting together” stories, so when I started reading “Silver Lining,” I looked forward to reading about an already established couple. But then, she surprised me by going into a flashback to show how Glen and Kim met, but by then I already liked the characters and was willing to go along for the ride.

I was laughing at the poor clown. Beta Hero, all the way, here. He was so inept, but since I knew it was Glen, I forgave him for being so lousy at his job.

Ah, I noticed something here that I realize I never mentioned in my online class or at the workshop I presented to my RWA chapter last Sunday. It is a story tool called the Misunderstanding which appears often in WW stories. Usually the misunderstanding is that one of the characters thinks that the other is married, because of the child in the story (which is usually a niece or nephew.) So, keep this device in mind when writing your stories. Showing your hero or heroine interacting with children demonstrates how likable they are and provides a way for readers to identify with them, especially if the situation is one that we’ve all been in or witnessed.

The big climax here had to do with the party (they had an hour left and nothing to do) instead of with the couple themselves, but it worked out wonderfully because the solution showed Glen and Kim working together, advancing their relationship and handily solving the story problem.

Best Part: “Minus the red nose, blue hair and polka dot suit, Glen was a great-looking guy.” Because I write erotic romance and the characters always have to have that instant attraction thing going on, it was really nice to see two more realistic people hook up even though one of them was completely “disguised.”

In My Humble Opinion: I was a little confused as to the settting. The party was at The Muffin Man, and I had no idea what type of place was, except that it had pizza (or allowed it to be delivered) and you could bring in an outside entertainer. Ifound myself out of the story and wondering why it was called the Muffin Man when no one had muffins. Also, the ending was a little anti-climactic. I realize she needed to bring the flu theme back in, but it just didn’t click for me and I was a little confused as to which flu victims she needed to thank, the ones in her office, or her sister and husband and Glen’s brother. I eventually figured it out, but by then… Bottom line, I think it needed a stronger ending.

Grade: B-


Blogger Tempest Knight said...

It's hard to write short pieces and cover everything, get all the details out. It's even harder in erotic romance. You have to make every word count.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

I totally agree. In ero-rom, the sex takes up so much room, and when you have a word count maximum to keep to, it makes it really hard to get everything else in. I'm struggling with that now. Thankfully my editor gave the okay to take it from a Quickie to a novella, so I now have two times as much room.

In the WW stories, you have an even tougher job because you only have 1000 words!

6:28 PM  
Blogger Anna J. Evans said...

Writing short is SO MUCH harder for me than writing long. I tend to get wordy anyway, so Quickies have been a good exercise for me.

And WW...well you know about my histroy with them. Every time I thought I was writing the sweetest story in the world, the editor thought I was a sicko, lol. I'm thinking I'd better stick to genres where my wickedness can show a little, lol.


6:10 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

If you're a sicko, then I am, too! You just have to turn on a very heavy filter when you write for WW, that's all.

9:42 AM  

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