Let me tell you a story about how Noodle came about.
The next several blogs will be about my creative process on a new novel and my journey for this special dog.
A good friend and critique partner strongly recommended a course taught by Laura Baker at the Writer’s University site (https://writeruniv.wordpress.com/). The title of the class is: MASTER CLASS: Turning Points. It’s a two-week long course and Carrie said it really helped her plan her novel. It’s been my experience that although I have had published four novellas and a full-length novel, I can never learn enough. I think it comes from my days in a corporate job where continuous education is required. In many jobs, it is and in others, it’s strongly recommended. Because I am by own boss, I have declared it a requirement. The reason is that no matter how many workshops, on-line courses, books and discussions I’ve been in, I always either learn something new, or am reminded of something I’ve forgotten.
It never hurts to improve your handle on the craft anytime, anywhere possible. That’s my own opinion. So, Carrie suggested that I come up with a new idea for a novel to use in this class. Since she knows I’m one of those <gasp> plotters, she didn’t think it would be as rich of an experience if I used a novel I have already plotted. “It’s a turning point class, you see?” I saw. But, I’m currently working on a novella series, as well as a four book novel series. And yes, most of them are already plotted out.
Ergo, my dilemma. Come up with a new idea for this class. I have one month. Since I write paranormal, there must be a ghost. I love my ghosts. Okay, one character done: Ghost. Hero and Heroine make the other two. But, then, who are they? Where do they come from? What is the basic story idea? I need to tell you that I have four-legged family members. Both cats and dogs are included in my household. There we go, a dog. I’ll have a dog in the book.
I’m watching television one night and the show includes a scene where a cadaver dog is called in to help locate a body. The FBI agent snickers about the dog being too heavyweight and slow to do a good job. Well, lo and behold, the dog finds the body and the FBI agent must apologize. I cheered. It was all about perception, which is another term that my old day job impressed upon me. This got me thinking that I’d like my novel’s cadaver dog to be the same way, or very similar. I researched what training was involved for canines to be cadaver dogs and which breed worked best. I came up with the breed mix. I don’t care for perfect people or animals. Ha! Now, I have my imperfect, perceptually lazy, overweight half breed cadaver dog for my book. That part is done. By the way, the picture is of a bloodhound. Which is 1/2 of Noodle's bloodline.