Monday, October 29, 2007

Story: The Apology

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with suggestions/observations for people who want to sell stories to WW, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

Story: "The Apology" by Collette Shannon from the October 23, 2007 issue.

Tagline: Lori would never forget how mean Brian had been as a boy. Never...

In A Nutshell: Lori is dismayed to discover the new intern at the hospital is none other than Brian, the boy who teased her in junior high. When he apologizes for his behavior back then, she discovers he's a nice guy now.

Teaching Points: This story has the classic three-act structure. In the first act we get the backstory. Lori and her friends see Brian. Her friends like how he looks. Lori can only remember how nasty he once was.

The second act occurs a week later. We see Lori being cool to him as they encounter each other in the elevator. This part is fairly short. In fact, acts one and two take up about half the story.

Then in the final act, Brian is finally able to talk to her alone and he apologizes for his behavior back then, explaining that he was only trying to get her attention because he liked her. The story ends with the two of them agreeing to go out on Saturday.

It's tough to fit three acts into a 1000 word story, but Shannon demonstrates it can be done.

Best Part: This part shows Lori growing as a character: When he smiled warmly, my urge to tell him how much I'd hated him totally vanished.



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