~ Maureen L . Bonatch~
“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ~William Somerset Maugham
When I pick up a new book, or visit an author’s webpage, there's one thing I always look for. It’s not the title of the book, or the blurb...it’s the back flap. I’m looking for the information about the author...and the picture.
Why? Perhaps it’s the facts the author shares about their life enabling me to try and dissect their formula of how to write a great story. Or to ensure myself that these are real people, because authors have always been the ‘rock stars’ in my mind.
Over the years I’ve scrutinized many back flaps, scoured every ‘about the author’ bio on their websites, eagerly seeking the secrets of writing a novel.
As we settle into the dog days of summer and I ponder over what I’ve learned, I've realized writers take many varying paths on their way to becoming authors, but a few basic things appear to be keys to success.
You have to have a pen, an imagination and usually…a pet. (Look here for yourself, this is just a few examples, if you look, I'll bet you’ll find even more)
Why is this? I suppose because a pet is usually content to park themselves for hours at a time or look at you intently as you declare a paragraph a masterpiece and wag their tail to agree with you. Or because writing is a solitary activity and often consists of long stretches of staring into space or talking aloud to oneself as a scene is dissected...animals don’t seem to find this behavior strange as humans do.
“Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”~ Margaret Chittenden
Luckily I have always had a pen, an imagination and a pet to help me write.
|My First Writing Partner, Bummy|
I know my pet helps keep my "butt in the chair" by doing his part of blocking the back of my chair and my potential escape.
|Scruff doing his part to keep me from escaping the chair|
He also helps prevent the dreaded author spread of "book butt" by insisting I leave the chair now and then for what my dog feels is his necessary entertainment time once he becomes jealous of my undivided attention with my characters.
In many of the stories I love, a pet plays a key role or is almost a secondary character.
A few examples include, Einstein, in Dean Koontz, Watchers
Or Angie Fox’s, Pirate, from her Demon Slayer series.
Do you think having a pet in the story makes a character more human? Or the story more enjoyable?
In my upcoming release from The Wild Rose Press: DESTINY CALLING, my heroine inherits a pet. A kitten, aptly named Tercet, which means three. Because the kitten is one of three, and so is my heroine, Hope.
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