Monday, November 26, 2007

Story: Their First Thanksgiving

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. :) If you truly want to learn, it's best to have a copy of the story in front of you. (And no, I don't get a kickback for pimping the magazine here!)

Story: "Their First Thanksgiving" by Laurel Freeman from the November 20, 2007 issue.

Tagline: Bill had a feeling this might be the first of many Thanksgiving dinners with Kate...

In A Nutshell: A divorced man tries to cook Thanksgiving himself. When he gets help from a woman in the grocery store and finds out she's going to be alone for the holiday, he impulsively invites her to come to his house. Of course, she does.

Teaching Point
: One of the plot devices that can help your story feel nice and tight is to mention a wish at the beginning of a story and have it come true at the end. Then the reader can have that, "Oh, YEAH! I forgot about that!"/warm fuzzy moment. Ms. Freeman does a good job of this when Bill mentions that he loves homemade and at the end of the story, he gets his wish. This is also called "tying up loose ends." There are usually quite a few in novels, but in shorts like these, you're doing good if you have one at all! :)

Woman's World Standbys: This was a great Thanksgiving story. WW always publishes holiday themed stories, but it's tough to know how much competition you have in their to-be-read piles or if they've already filled those holiday slots.

The grocery store is always a good place for interaction. It's mundane and might give those single WW readers the hope that they might find their special someone there!

In My Humble Opinion: I always cringe when I see characters "smiling" their dialogue.

"I remember my first Thanksgiving," she smiled.

Best Part: I liked the guy, Bill. He's a go-getter, unafraid to take on a cooking challenge, despite the lack of support. I can relate, having two teenagers myself.

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