The next party of this creation is: The heroine.
Hello everyone! This is my journey continuation regarding my creative process on a new book. If you read my last blog post, you know I have one character sort of fleshed out. The dog. He’s a perceptually lazy, overweight, half-breed, cadaver dog. Next, my heroine. The dog’s human. They say to write what you know, or at least do some research. I need to get out more since I quit my regular day job. I also wanted to find something I could be passionate about that wouldn’t require me to leave my writing for really long periods of time. I chose volunteer work. I wanted something local. Since my book’s dog needed a human, I decided my heroine would be that human. I haven’t decided if I’ll do this from first person POV or third. That’s a decision for later.
Once again, I’m back to the internet. I find a local Search and Rescue group that is close enough to me to allow little time to get to the training classes. I chose the Hall County EMA Services. I made contact via their website to find out how to become a volunteer member. There is a lot of information on this site of theirs and I read voraciously, knowing I won’t be able to memorize it all. But, I can get a good idea on what will be expected and how to begin. I receive a very quick response (same day) letting me know when the next training class will be, what form I need to bring with me and how the process works.
There is a once a month in-class training day and once a month field training day. Sounds reasonable. I commit myself to doing this. I notify my family members. My daughter is thrilled that her “hermit author” mother will be going out and making new friends. Right. Here is their site: http://www.hallcountysar.org/. Check out the pictures on what is carried in those backpacks they carry. Wow. Now my heroine’s name is going to be Jamison. I love that it’s a twist on a masculine name for a woman. I’m driving to a friend’s house and thinking about this story. Jamison will be new to the local Search and Rescue group. But, she and her dog have gone through training in a very small town four states away. She feels more training is needed. Plus, she has a gift. She can see “ghosts”. When she goes out, her dog is not thrilled that she finds the general area of the body before he does. Therefore, he will usually wait until she gets them in the general area before he does his thing. Not too bad, so far. I’m liking this! Let me know what you think so far.
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.