Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sucking Face Killed the Stilted Puppies

Been working on a Secret Squirrel Contemporary YA novel for some time now, and today, I am puppy killer.

The main character in the novel is recovering from [redacted]. I researched recovery and the support one receives when Something Bad Happens.

One thing that helps people not feel so helpless is taking care of a pet. So, my main character got a puppy. Two, actually. Boston Terrier puppies. Who can resist the cute face of a Boston? I sure can’t. I get all gooey when my adult Boston looks at me, imagine TWO puppies and a teen girl.

This morning while I was working out trying to tame my writer’s butt (if you don’t know what writer’s butt is, start working out now!), I realized the puppies were not doing it for me because they weren’t doing it for the main character. Her puppy interaction, as she is coming to grips with her new life, was, God forbid, stilted.

How can I have stilted puppies? They are PUPPIES.

What was my main character trying to tell me? What did I miss?

She is pretty. She is vain. She isn’t exactly smart… anymore. She’s punchy, literally. She’s somewhat obsessed with boys. Her boyfriend in particular.

That’s when it hit me. Her boyfriend. He’s part of the experience of how she got to where she is. He’s more than just your run-of-the-mill boyfriend--he’s the personification of strength. Granted, he’s strength with a large side order of hormone, but still. A young man. She loves him.

She loves him… and he’s a fox. Somewhat of a studmuffin, actually.

Um, so what would a girl do with puppies when she has Mr. Charming Fox at her disposal?

Not a damn thing.

This morning, I selected all of the puppy text and deleted it.

I killed the puppies.

I am a puppy killer.

But I did add a great make-out session, so there is that.


  1. I don't know how you can live with yourself. lol

  2. I see the puppies interfering with the make-out session. Begging for a treat, a walk, pissing on the dude's new leather jacker - the one she loves...

  3. Keeping your character true to themselves is important. So congrats on killing the puppies! Eww...did I say that?

    If you want to keep the puppies in, consider giving the puppies to another character. For instance if the puppies belonged to the boyfriend they could still interfere with the make-out session, as Charlie suggested. And based on what you said about your character, might create some problems in the relationship. Or give the puppies to your protagonists parents and let her compete with them for her parents' love, time and attention.

    The CRITTER Project and Naked Without A Pen

  4. Thanks for chiming in!

    The novel pacing doesn't lend itself to moving the puppies around. There is conflict in the book aplenty, and when it comes down to brass tacks, the voice of the novel is relentless in helping me spot things that just don't matter to the story.

    I am sorry puppies.

  5. ...but you know, when writing starts sucking noodles and you are on the verge of throwing your ereading device, - sweet little puppies or kitties or horseys can save the day just by putting their fluffy heads on the character's lap or start purring from the page or nudging some loser's shoulder.
    If the writing is strong then it just adds some extra cute points though, yeah? Especially for YA genre. =)


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