Monday, March 24, 2008

Story: One Step at a Time

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: "One Step at a Time" by Beverly Giroux from the March 31, 2008 issue.

Tagline: Paul knew in his heart that it was time to move on...

In A Nutshell: A widower meets up again with his late wife's friend. They become each other's walking buddies, and eventually more.

Teaching Points: This story is told in an omniscient point of view, as if by a narrator outside of the story but able to see inside the characters' minds. This is rarely seen in longer romance fiction, but perfectly acceptable in a WW story.

Also, "One Step at a Time" follows a classic three act structure.

ACT ONE: You get the backstory in the first three paragraphs: Paul is a widower who has let himself go to pot. He runs into Julie, a friend of his late wife's. They agree to be walking buddies.

ACT TWO: They spend several months this way. We see their relationship grow and change.

ACT THREE: Paul goes out on a limb. There's a moment of tension where we worry about the characters, and then, of course, everything works out. They make a date for dinner.

Woman's World Standbys: A widower and a divorcee, plain names (Margaret, Paul, Julie, Karen)

In My Humble Opinion: The transition in the second column from the shopping expedition to the high school track was very abrupt. However, with the recent drastic reduction in word counts (from 1000 to 800), maybe this isn't Giroux's fault. Also, I feel meh about the ending. If it had been my story, I'd have made this be the last line, "He would always love Margaret, but he had room in his heart to love again." Much more poignant.



Anonymous Pat said...

Thanks, Kate, I really missed these.

7:12 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

I got tired of doing them because they take so much time, but then I felt kinda guilty. I know that at least YOU value them, so enjoy!! :D And may you sell them a story, soon!!!

2:14 PM  
Blogger 11 said...


11:39 PM  

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