Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Daily Puppy

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - The White Queen of Charles Lutwidge Dodson

Have you scrolled down to the bottom of my blog?  Way, way down, that is.  All the way to the bottom.  Down past the text, and the Post a Comment area, and the whole "share this on whatever social network you wish" collection of buttons and links and what-not.

All the way down at the bottom you'll find The Daily Puppy.  Today, as I write this, I'm looking at Ikelos the Bernese Mountain Dog.  Yesterday I'd never heard of a Bernese mountain dog, but today, thanks to my friends Google, Wikipedia, and my own blog, I know quite a lot about them.  Like, for instance--they're cute.

Not, of course, that it matters one bit to my day job or my writing.  But hey, I like it.

Why would there be a "Daily Puppy" at the bottom of a blog on writing?  Dogs don't write--at least, I don't think they do.  There's nothing about having a picture of a dog that improves my readership, necessarily, or helps me write better books or sell more of them.  It's just--well, it's just cute.  I like it.

It started early on, when I first bent my head to the task of building this blog.  Creating a blog site, at least on, is a wonderfully simple process of picking and choosing what type of stuff you want on the site, and then dragging them to the block on the page where you want them to appear.  I've reshuffled and added stuff as I've gone, but the Daily Puppy went down at the bottom the first day and hasn't moved since.

What does this have to do with writing?  Well, I don't think anybody will argue against the claim that the daily puppy is a little bit whimsical.  So is some of my plotting.  I've already discussed plotting methods a bit, in fact, and if you recall I'm not one of those writers who can sit still long enough to write a complete outline of a novel.  In fact, my attempt at using yWrite failed for just that reason--it's too damn structured.  First you have to tell it how many chapters you'll have (and, potentially, give them names).  Then you have to tell the software how many scenes you'll have, and break those out by chapter (because a chapter contains one or more scenes, but a scene is never spread across chapters).  Then--and only then, once you get all the scenes laid out properly--can you begin to actually write.

Nope, not doing that.  I tried, honestly I tried.  I even started blocking in the scenes and characters a little bit for the elf books I'm starting.  Didn't work; after a while my fingies started itching and I just had to flip on over to Word and start writing.  Dammit, I know where the book is going, and I just don't want to see the path it takes to get there till it's time.

So, I admit, some of my writing is--whimsical.

Remember the scene in CATACLYSM where Aphrodite led the kids into danger?  (Yes, I'm assuming you've all read my book by now.  If not, please don't wreck my bubble.)  I remember launching into the writing of that scene.  That was a Daily Puppy moment.  I had planned on sending the couple to Atlantis anyway, and suddenly I had a whimsical inspiration.  After talking it over with Debra (my editor) I refined the scene a bit, but it still had its origins in my "well, this feels good, so why the heck not" place of happiness.

Hey, I ended up liking that scene a lot.

So now, gentle reader, I ask you: are you a whimsical person when you create, or are you more methodical?  Would you add a Daily Puppy to your site just for the heck of it?



  1. I love the Daily Puppy, and Bernese Mt. Dogs are amazing!
    I'm also a Pantser, like you, but it's been fun to put my 70k words into Scrivener and see how they fall into scenes, chapters, and parts.

    1. Hadn't thought of that option. It would be nice to be able to break it out by scene once it's written; otherwise I find myself cursing the scroll wheel's slowness.

  2. Okay, I admit. I haven't scrolled down past where I could post a comment. At least I hadn't before today. From now on I will.

    Unfortunately I am not creative. But I would think more structured. It's my nature.

    1. Now, Chris--you run a pretty decent, if new, blog. You can no longer say things like "I am not creative," at least not with a straight face. Nobody expects you to all of a sudden start pushing paintings out of the right side of your head, of course, but you can't write a blog without displaying at least a little creativity. :-)

  3. I love Bernese Mountain Dogs also. A friend of mine in PA has one, and he is the cutest of dogs. Big, a ham, beautiful, and well...bowl-you-over. Like a Rottweiler, only fluffy. -ck

  4. I like a daily puppy... 4 U.
    Not a dog fan. I do post lots of kitty pics... As a dog lovr, you may njoy a blog I recently discovered...
    My Dog on Things

  5. Hi Stephen, Thanks for telling me to scroll to the bottom, I've missed this content in the past. But that's classic me...not always seeing everything that's around me...