Monday, May 12, 2008

Story: The Purrfect Job

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with suggestions and 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 weekly blog feature, it's best to have your own copy of the story to refer to. (And no, I don't get a kickback for pimping the magazine here!)

Story: The Purrfect Job by Tamara Shaffer from the April 28, 2008 issue

Tagline: Mary was not what you'd call the retiring type. As it turned out, neither was Roger...

In A Nutshell: An "energetic" grandma (widow) works as a cat-sitter. At the house of one of her clients, she meets a widower who works as a landscaper. When she is ready to leave, she finds her car battery is dead, and the guy has jumper cables. They make a date for Saturday night.

Teaching Points: This story had an unusual structure that, I have to admit, confused me a little. Mary is telling the story of how she meets Roger in past tense, but at the end, we switch to first person present and find out that Mary is currently playing Scrabble with her friend and was relating the story to her.

There was also, a climactic moment when Bertha, the friend, was on the edge of her seat. I think even in these short 800 words stories it's a good idea to insert a moment of tension for the reader.

Woman's World Standbys: A widow and a widower. Cats. Car trouble.

In My Humble Opinion: Mary can't be that good a Scrabble player if she has to concentrate on making the word "quiz." That's like the first word that comes to mind when you've got Q and Z. Also, at the end "They cheered," and I thought Mary was only playing Scrabble with Bertha.



Anonymous Pat said...

Wow, Kate, I didn't even get this story in the mail yet. Hope it arrives today.


9:19 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

One of these days I'm going to try and write one of these!

7:17 PM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

It's an old one, Pat. You probably should have gotten it already.

Robin, you definitely should! It's a thousand bucks!!!

12:54 PM  

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