Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Dogged by insecurities

Another month (and season) gone already? It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the group. I've not been a member since the beginning, but I've been reading some of the posts and benefitting from support since the early days. If you want to join, then just click the link.

So, my current insecurity? Well, I've been working on a novel (shhh, don't tell my husband). That could be cause for concern on its own of course, but my particular issue was that I couldn't see some of the characters. There's a horse and three dogs who will be fairly important to the story. The horse at least has a name, but the dogs were just 'dog'. It might not seem a big thing, but picture this scene ...

Greg (my main character) drives into a farmyard. He's feeling nervous because he's hoping the farmer (whom he's not yet met) can help him with something important. Greg gets out his car, calls 'hello' and immediately three West Highland terriers rush up to him. They wag their tails and seem eager to slobber on his hands.

Now, rewind to Greg standing by his car and calling. Before his voice has died away, three Rotttweilers have him pinned against the vehicle. Their hackles are raised and they look set to sink their teeth into any body parts they can reach.

It's a different story, isn't it?

I've decided to go with daschunds - and there will be a scene where they have him surrounded and unwilling to move away from his car, but not because he thinks he might get hurt. Phew, glad that's sorted. Now I just need to sort out the horse, oh and all the people. And the plot. And write it.

My novel, provisionally called Poppyfield Farm, will include a crime so it might just be eligible for this competition. Unfortunately I'm not, which is a shame because it looks a good one.


49 comments:

  1. This is funny! Yes, it's certainly a very different scene if it's WHWs or Rottweilers. Poppyfield Farm sounds fun. Good luck with it! :-)

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    1. Makes quite a difference, doesn't it, Lexa.

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  2. Whippets!!! Awwww they're hilarious doggies! I always want to feed them up whenever I see one! LOL!!

    Take care
    x

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  3. Yes, very different. Good luck with the people and the plot, and the writing! :-)

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  4. 'Dog' works for me. But then again, I am a cat person.

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    1. Makes sense, Deborah as all cats are exactly the same. *runs away*

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  5. I can't get that song 'Riding through the desert on a horse with no name' out of my head now, Patsy. Of course, your horse does have a name... it's just those dogs. All together now 'Driving through a farm yard with three dogs with no name.' Good luck!

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    1. Now I've got that song stuck in my head, Wendy!

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  6. Ah, now I can see that 'Westies' wouldn't fit into this story. They are not farmyard dogs at all. I'm sure their names will come to you as the story unfolds. Good luck.

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    1. I think I've got the names now, Maggie. They're daft names, but I think they might suit daft names.

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  7. I'm trying to picture daschunds on a farm although I know they were originally bred to hunt rabbits and badgers! I always think of farm dogs as border collies or similar - like those we had when I lived on a farm!

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    1. Collies are a good choice, for a farmer Lindsay just not for this particular farmer.

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  8. Ooh, love the title. :) This sounds like a lot of fun!

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    1. I plan to have lots of fun scenes in it, Rachel.

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  9. Lovely! You can't go wrong with a horse and three dogs, as far as I'm concerned.

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    1. Actually there will be quite a few other horses - and the dogs have gone up to four. I'm hoping that makes things better, not worse. I'm tempted to add a llama and of course I'll need some sheep and chickens.

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  10. Like the title of your book. Poppyfield Farm sounds like a fun book.

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  11. Shouldn't a they be....collies, for example? Not sure dachshunds would be a farmer's first choice. Bellies too near the mud!

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    1. You'd think so, Frances but I really can't have collies (the reason makes perfect sense inside my head). These aren't going to be working dogs though and it won't be muddy around the stables so they'll be OK.

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  12. Hey, daschunds can still chew your ankles off!

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    1. They could, Alex. I don't think these ones will unless seriously provoked though.

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  13. I enjoyed this post! And I love the two examples you gave for how a simple change of a dog breed can drastically alter a story. I think you chose right with the daschunds because you can combine both versions to create a completely new scene. Good luck to you with creating the characters for your novel!

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    1. Thanks, Chris. I'm getting there with the other characters (I say 'other' because animals can have as much character as people)

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  14. Very different stories! Now what sort of horse will it be, a beautiful honey coloured palomino, a dashing dabbled grey or perhaps a bay cob with gentle eyes. Look forward to hearing more.

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    1. Decisions, decisions, Suzanne. I think he'll have to be beautiful, dashing and gentle. Oh, seems I've picked the sex at least.

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  15. Hi, Patsy,

    Hope you get the details worked out and that it all comes together.

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  16. Much as I said to Annalisa - how do you find the time to do it all? Your blog, a zillion short stories, troll the internet for competitions AND write a novel? Servants? Is that the answer?

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    1. You forgot the gardening a photography, Lizy! No servants, but I have got a very tidy husband.

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  17. This was an amazing post! I enjoyed reading this very much.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  18. Change one thing and you can change the entire story. You illustrated it beautifully:)

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    1. I love that about writing, Robin. Sometimes a small adjustment can have a big impact.

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  19. I definitely need to join the insecure writers group! Thank you for the link! And glad you've sorted out you doggie dilemma!

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    1. It's a very supportive group, Amanda. Do join.

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  20. Have fun with the horse's character. They're funny animals.

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    1. They can be, Keith. I'm hoping this one will add a little humour.

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  21. An excellent example of showing the difference details can make!

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    1. I was quite pleased with it, Rosemary. *smug smile*

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  22. Good example with the 3 dogs, though in my experience dachshunds can be pretty snappy... I hope you choose a palomino horse. I always dreamed of owning a palomino pony with golden mane and tail ...sigh...
    Good luck!

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    1. These dachunds will be well behaved - unless riled!

      A palomino would look good, I agree. I think I can fit one in somewhere - or perhaps a matching pair pulling a dainty cream carriage carrying a bride to church?

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  23. I think 3 Jack Russells would be more likely to be found on a farm. Some of them can be snappy little beggars and some can be lovely. If you sit a JR on your wellies and tell it to guard them, it will, with its life. Also, JR's hate being shut in a room on their own and are known for destroying cushions, curtains etc., if left for too long. Comic potential there. Just an idea, Patsy. xx

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    1. You've reminded me of an incident involving a Jack Russell guarding a hat, Jacula. I really can't have JRs in this story, but maybe I could use that scene?

      I rather suspect that dachshunds won't be the only unexpected thing about Poppyfield Farm.

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    2. Sounds like fun, this new farm of yours. :) Yes, you can use the guarding scene. I look forward to reading the finished book.

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  24. Gutted you haven't gone for Pugs ;)

    xx

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    1. I'll put one in another story, Vikki - or you could!

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Thanks so much for commenting!