Monday, December 03, 2007

Story: From the Heart

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: "From the Heart" by Laura Reeves from the November 27, 2007 issue.

Tagline: It looked like maybe all of Jenny's dreams were about to come true...

In A Nutshell: A woman has just bought a ranch and always dreamed of owning a horse. She attends a horse auction and one horse in particular catches her eye. Despite the flaws a little boy and his widower dad point out, she has her heart set on this horse. It ends up that they're neighbors.

Teaching Points:
1. This story begins and ends with quotations from Thoreau and Victor Hugo, something I've never seen before in a WW story. The lesson is don't be afraid to try something different.

2. Typically, WW stories end with soft Happily Ever Afters in which there are no weddings or proposals. Usually we get as far as making a date. But this one didn't even have that. We leave Jenny and Brice not even an hour into their relationship as they're going into the horse auction. It's our hope as a reader that these two will find romance together, what with their common interest in horses, the proximity of their houses, and the fact that the little boy gets along well with her. This is perfectly fine. I see this more and more often these days.

Woman's World Standbys: Animal story and a widower.

Best Part: "Those were some hard words I just heard." Oh, this one piece of dialogue is so cowboy to me and went a long way in making this character real for me.

In My Humble Opinion: Kids are pretty resilient, but I found it a little odd that he was ready to cry at the mention of his late mother, but five seconds later had perked up. If it had been me, I'd have had the wife's death be longer than a year ago and sacrifice the assumption on Jenny's part that he was married.

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