This is a story about a high school girl, Michelle Dowdy, who auditioned for "Hairspray" on a whim and got a part as the understudy to the lead. When DeGregory’s colleague Kelley Benham emailed us the series, she wrote, "It’s notable because it’s so easy to read; each day is just 20 inches or so. You can gobble it up like popcorn and every day leaves you just a little hungry." It’s true. We stay hungry in part because each day DeGregory leaves us wondering whether Michelle will get a chance on stage. She also keeps us rooting for Michelle and engaged in Michelle’s relationship with her mother.

This is a story worth studying for its structure, its building of complication, developments or plot points and resolution—from the neat opening chapter, to the triumphant climax, to a sort of denouement.

Read “Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now,” by Lane DeGregory

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