Monday, April 14, 2008

Story: A Kind Stranger

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 get the most from this, 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: "A Kind Stranger" by JoAnn Bennett from the April 14, 2008 issue.

Tagline: Dr. Laura's handsome new patient had a story with an unexpected--and happy--ending!

In A Nutshell: A man injures his hand while helping a stray dog. While getting stitched up, he relates the story to the (female) doctor and they hit it off. It ends up that the dog he was helping belongs to the doctor!

Teaching Points: In my class, I caution you about giving your characters lofty professions because Woman's World stories aren't about jet-setters, millionaires, etc. They're about your average Joe and Jane. However, this story had a doctor and a lawyer. Go figure. But I can easily see why they didn't reject it. It was a great story.

Woman's World Standbys: Dogs (especially one from the pound), a small town.

Best Part: This story took me by surprise with the plot twist about the dog. I didn't see that coming at all. Loved it. And the anecdote about the dog's name was very cute as well.

In My Humble Opinion: "I met those deep brown eyes, now flashing a teasing twinkle at me" Hmm. It seems odd that someone can meet someone's eyes. I would have written something like, "My eyes met his deep brown ones, now flashing a teasing twinkle at me." Or, "Our eyes met, his flashing a teasing twinkle at me."

Discussion Question: What is strange about the placement of the story's climax?



Anonymous Pat said...


I think the climax is in the middle at the end of the second column when Laura realizes John saved HER dog.

Also, they are professionals BUT in a very small town. Laura is the only doctor who knows everyone.

As far as the eye thing, I would have change eyes to gaze and left the sentence as is.

Did you notice the actions I smiled. And John laughed. punctuated correctly and not used as dialogue tags?

8:27 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

I agree on the climax, Pat. Good job! True, she IS a small town doctor. Different from a doctor with a glitzy practice in the big city.

WW doesn't seem to mind people smiling their dialogue. I think it's wrong, but if that's what they want to do, as long as they pay me my fee, I don't mind that much.

7:57 AM  

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