Monday, October 22, 2007

Story: I Love My Wife

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: "I Love My Wife" by Christina Dymock from the October 16, 2007 issue.

Tagline: With all the demands of a busy family life, something had been lost--and Steve wanted it back...

In a nutshell: Steve realizes that parenting three kids under six makes nurturing his relationship with his wife a challenge, a challenge neither of them had been meeting lately. At work, we see him tempted by a co-worker, but he resists, prompted to plan a surprise date night for his wife.

Teaching Points:
1. This is a nice already-married story, easy to imagine as really happening. Any reader with kids understands how taxing they can be on a marriage and will identify with Steve and Sarah. So, keep in mind when coming up with story ideas that not every story has to be about two people just starting to get together.

2. I have explained before about how sweet in tone Woman's World stories must be. And yet, they don't completely ignore that fact that adults have sex. In this story, Dymock does a wonderful job alluding to Steve's manly urges in a very WW way.

He used to crave her nearness when she was away from him. But that physical closeness had waned, and now they barely managed a little pillow talk before they dropped off to sleep.

3. Go for the commonplace when naming characters. Dymock chose Steve, Sarah, and Karen, not Stone, Trinity, and Carreyn.

Best Part: "Okay. Call me later." Steve got a face full of hot air as Sarah leaned over to peck him on the cheek.

I laughed at this part because I've totally done this and had this done to me!

In My Humble Opinion: The POV switch after Steve calls his mom on the phone was a little rocky, however, it may just be that I'm so trained to read 3rd person limited that I automatically go into that mode as a reader and forget that omniscient POV hasn't died completely. :)

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4 Comments:

Blogger Anna J. Evans said...

Good analysis Kate.

I've almost given up on WW, but...there's a part of me that wants to see if I can nail that sweetness :)

Anna J. Evans

9:37 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

You could definitely nail the sweetness. I KNOW you can.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

Still trying.

I'm tuned in to the sweetness and positive parts. Now all I have to do is work on the setup part. I seem to be starting my stories at the end and having no where to go. I guess I'm worried about too much back story up front.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

Oh, WW stories can have a good amount backstory and still be okay. Don't worry about that. The stories are so short to begin with that if they're a third backstory up front, it's not that big a deal. You could never ask that of a reader with a novel, but you can get away with it with WW.

12:31 PM  

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