Thursday, March 16, 2006

Eureka!

Well, I finally figured out my problem with the writer's block. Essentially, chapters 9 and 10 built up to an opening scene in chapter 11 that... wasn't cooperating. It was all causing me to foam at the mouth, because it's just frustrating when you're trying to write and everything you produce just sucks.

So I went back to, oh, about chapter 5 or 6 and read everything through, and finally decided that what I needed to do was scrap 9, 10, and 11 and change my approach entirely. My characters were doing unexplainable things that complicated their situation unnecessarily -- it's something I call the "Stupidity Quotient." You know how you'll watch a movie, say your generic, run of the mill "disaster" movie -- and there's an active volcano, and it's gonna blow, and there's no escaping the fact that it's going to annihilate everything in its path, and yet you'll have the one character who stubbornly refuses to evacuate, or the kids who decide to go exploring, or the young hot couple who'll go make out in the shadow of said volcano? High stupidity quotient, there. Horror movies have a ridiculously high SQ, too. It's a shame, because I love a good scare, but idiocy just makes me gnash my teeth.

Anyway. My characters were being stupid. And I can't abide by that, so I scrapped the chapters and I'm starting over again, trying to keep things a bit more reasonable and realistic, and stick to actions and reactions that make sense. (Before, I was going for a bit of humor -- a whole "comedy of errors" thing, and it just wasn't funny.)

In non-writing related things, I took my dog to a local dog-park today, because running full-tilt in a wide, open space is something he doesn't get to do as often as we'd both like, and (hey, since we're speaking about stupidity) I'd like to wonder WTF some of these dog-owners are thinking by (a) taking aggressive dogs to a place where other dogs congregate and (b) what the owners of small breeds are thinking by taking their dogs into the "large breed" area. Darwin's a puppy still, yes, but he plays rough (Australian Shepherds, more often than not, are known for being rambunctious playmates), so I can't really take him into the "small dog" area. There's actually a weight limit in the small breed area, and recently passed that cutoff point.

Anyway, today I brought him to the park, and everything was going fine until this one dog owner brought her Golden Retriever in, and he started bullying the other dogs. And then someone brought a wolf hybrid mix in, and... yeah. I've brought Darwin there before, and the other visits have been very positive. Today, though, we left soon after the wolf-hybrid got there, because a few of the larger dogs were starting to gang up on Darwin.

Now, I realize that it's my responsibility as a puppy owner to be aware of the safety of a situation, and I'm not suggesting that the other dog owners should let my puppy do whatever he wants. I also realize that dogs have their own rules for hierarchy. I know that dogs will play rough. But when a dog has chased mine behind/under a bench, and has him cornered, and is barking its fool head off keeping my dog cornered, I'm going to get a little annoyed. When I take my dog to the other end of the park, far away from aforementioned other dog, and that dog chases Darwin down just so he can get my dog in a submissive position and then keep him there, I'm going to get a little more annoyed. And when the owner is nowhere to be seen, then I'm going to get downright cranky.

Why is it that I can maintain better control over my puppy than someone else can over their adult dog?

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