Tagline: After years of loneliness, Eddie was certain he'd never love again. Then he met Olivia!
Observations: I am SO EXCITED to critique this story, because Kady came to me wanting an edit on her second Woman's World story and so I'm really proud that it sold. To tell the truth, it was already a good story, but with some tweaks it became a story I would have bet a thousand dollars would sell. And it did!
I just read this revised version and Kady did an excellent job with the revamp. I can tell because I got teary at the end of the story. It really tugged at my heartstrings. I really was rooting for Eddie to be happy.
There are many things I loved about this story. There is an Americana feel to it, like we're reading a Norman Rockwell painting, come to life. This giant toboggan sled is something a Southern California born and bred girl like me has no experience with, so I found that terrific. There was that little "old-fashioned" touch of Eddie helping her out of the sled. Loved that.
But mainly, this story is another study in character development. If Kady comes here and sees this, maybe she can help me out here, because I seem to remember suggesting that she make the story be from Eddie's point of view and this really, deservedly, made him the star of the story. I can't find the original story she sent me. My computer ate it, apparently.
I'll give you a run down on how we come to care about Eddie. When we first meet him, he's working hard as a volunteer. Admirable. We immediately find out he's alone now and as we wonder why, we feel for him. Poor guy, right? Then in Act 2, we see he's not all doom and gloom. He is interested in the woman at the post office, but we also witness him struggle to work up the courage to talk to her. We find out why he's alone right now. We see him conquer his fear and his loneliness and make a decision to act and we think, "You go, Eddie!!" And then that "mean" author, makes him fail. Did you feel as disappointed as I did?
So, we move into Act 3. Eddie gets another chance. We're all rooting for him again. "You can do it, Eddie," we're all thinking. We meet Olivia and she's so nice and Eddie is trying so hard. The author creates a little tension as we hope Olivia conquers her own fear and says yes to the sled. We spend a nice amount of time here as they make an emotional connection.
After that, we are in the denouement of the story. It's funny how our experience as readers mirrors that of the characters who are also "coming down" from the thrill of the ride. The last paragraph really tugs the heartstrings. Eddie has come full circle. At the beginning of the story, he's not sure he has the heart to move on with his life, even after three years of mourning. At the end of the story, we see he has a lot of love left inside him.
Photo credit: Erik Hansen via Flickr Creative Commons License