Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Update/Note: I wasn’t expecting this post to turn into a birthday party, but everyone is making me smile. Thank you all for your good wishes. Hugs on the wing!
Welcome to my sanctuary. This post has gone to the… cats. It seems the felines have gotten inside. If you’re a cat hater, then you might as well leave right now.
It’s really hard for me to not share about my novel in progress — particularly since that is what encourages me most. Maybe that’s why I’m so far behind on it. It’s summer, and I hoped to be finished with the writing by now. Instead I’m barely half finished. So, I’m compromising with myself, by talking about adding animals to stories.
Why Use Animals?
I really can’t say why, but I’ve almost always included animals in my stories. I didn’t even think about it. Then one day I was reading something and it occurred to me that the world of that story seemed “sterile.” There were plenty of scenes set outside, but nothing of nature was mentioned. Adding an animal, even if it’s just part of the scenery, helps make a story more alive. Animals can also help with a number of things in the storytelling process.
A Device for the Narrator. It could be any animal. When I started my novel in progress, I gave an important character a cat. That cat didn’t have much of a part. She served the purpose of letting that character express her thoughts by talking to the cat. That kitty is the Egyptian Mau in the image above. (Sorry, but it was made clear to me that I can’t even share their names.)
Add Comic Relief. I didn’t plan any other animal for the story, certainly not another cat… “Maybe a goat or a squirrel,” I thought. “Or someone walking their dog.” However, along the way, a secondary character became a lot more important to the plot. That character is an odd guy. He needed a mysterious sidekick who was equally off-kilter. In came the second cat.
Segue with Mystery. Long about that time, an image came into my mind that gave me the right prologue/opening for the novel, but the scene needed a very agile animal. A goat is agile, but the picture in my head needed something that was also graceful. (If you get the impression that I tried hard to add a goat to this story, you’re right.) I used the second cat for that, and suddenly he became more important.
I wasted my morning making a special image for that kitty… Then I realized I’d be sharing way too much. The second feline is represented by the image of the two tabbies above. Sorry, you two — you are not part of this novel.
Tie Threads Together. You’ve probably guessed where I’m going. It became clear that the cats were part of one plot thread (there are a few threads). As you’ll recall, I had to “name the kitten” because a kitten unexpectedly wandered in for my heroine. I know… you’d think I would have been expecting it by then, but I wasn’t. The kitten fit with that feline-related thread. (Cats do like to play with strings.) He’ll also help reveal a mystery.
The way this story keeps morphing, who knows what other critters might sneak into it.
Wishing you an easy coast down the other side of this midweek hump. Be well, be happy my friends. Hugs on the wing!
This post is made possible in spite of (not because of) the deplorable lack of Internet service from TDS Telecom. They are even worse than the government about claiming no problem exists in the face of failure. Every I make a complaint or request a service call, TDS Telecom tells me they find no problem. Their technicians come to my home and refuse to do any work or replace equipment, even when their offsite managers have instructed them to do so. They brought equipment that they openly state does not work properly. My letters, emails, and tweets go unanswered. Dear readers, please do not comment here in response to this paragraph. Just be aware of my awful experience with this so called provider.
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2019— and 2020 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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