Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mom's Online Dating Adventure: Writing for Woman's World #1

So as many of you know, before I finally got published I spent months breaking novels down into plot points on my blog. I learned so much from the experience my next manuscript was strong enough to sell Harlequin Escape, and I started teaching an online workshop on using plot structure to write queries!

One of my goals this year is to be published in Woman's World  magazine, so I'm breaking down woman's world fiction into the 3 act structure. For those of you who have taken my class on 3 act structure or remember the posts, these stories are only 800 words. The structure won't be as tight and rather than trying to hit plot points, I'll be using only BME (Beginning, Middle, End), although I will point out other things I noticed about the story. If you're interested in writing for Woman's World here is another great blog to check out.

This week's story is Mom's Online Dating Adventure.

B: Daughter calls her mom and mom reminds her that she suggested trying online dating. There is a little back and forth between mother and daughter until mom admits she didn't think she had computer skills to set up an online dating profile but "Uncle Dan," offered to help. The daughter says they no longer have to refer to him as uncle. This section takes up about a 1/6 of the story(or about 133 words). I've broken down two off the blog and that seems to be normal. I found a good use of foreshadowing there because as soon as the daughter said "we no longer have to call him uncle" my mind went to Dan as a possible hero.
M: We learn that Dan is a dentist, so he wouldn't have specific computer expertise. (More foreshadowing). But a couple of people in his office have used online dating, so he's familiar with it. Mom talks about him coming over to set up her profiles, and says she asked him to stay and help sort through the options. There are no good options online. She considers looking outside of her county but Dan says there is another option. She could date him. This takes about 3/6 of the story. Again normal.
E: Mom says she accepted Dan's offer and mother and daughter express joy and amazement over her dating Dan. (1/6 of story).

I thought the author made good use of foreshadowing and while I expected Dan to be the hero for a second or two I wondered, so she did a good job with tension to. Something I sometimes find these stories lacking in.
Did you read this story? Do you read Woman's World? Have you ever written for Woman's World? And what advice do you have if so?


  1. No, I don't read Women's World. It's funny, but by the statement "We don't have to refer to him as uncle anymore," I assumed he was the smarmy ex-boyfriend of some family member, and I was waiting for something bad to happen. Guess that's what I get for being a thriller/horror reader!

  2. I did not know this existed! Never heard of the magazine. Do we get in in Canada?
    It sounds familiar... I'll have to prowl the stands on my next grocery trip.

    This is really helpful, Beth. I have a problem with pacing, which is fine I guess, I draft and then go through with a fine comb.

    I'm really intrigued by this. Do WW still accept submissions and where can we find more info? I browsed their site and couldn't see anything definitive.

    1. Good question. I'll answer it on the blog Wednesday.