So tonight at workshop, after everyone was settled in with their whiskey and Xanax and whatnot, I passed out my pages. It was a troublesome plot-filled chapter of Empress, one that never quite did its job and I was open, really open, to having it eviscerated and fixed. A tummy tuck, maybe. A little light brain surgery.
My group came through, as they always do, with aces. Money stuff. A slew of concrete solutions. And then it was Chuck's turn, and he asked, "Why do we put dogs in a story?" (I had two in this particular chapter.)
I stumbled through some lame possibilities:
Because they're cute?
Wrong. Wrong and wrong.
"So we can kill them," he said.
Ah, (palm-to-forehead smack), of course! And in my particular case, by poisoning the spaniels, I'd be killing two dogs with one stone: raising the stakes by foreshadowing a bigger death, and ending the scene on action rather than conjecture. Always a better choice.
Can't wait to wake up tomorrow and poison the pooches!