Canine Comedy

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Author: foguth

Though Jeanne began her career technical writing, her love of romantic-suspense, whether it be present, future or in an unknown galaxy inspired her to write the novels she wanted to find in bookstores. Since marrying, Jeanne and her husband have lived from the arctic to the tropics, as well as from yacht to off-grid mountain home. She loves using vivid colors and flowing shapes in her oil paintings as well as creating edible landscapes. At present, she is finishing writing the Chatterre Trilogy and working on a new episode for The Sea Purrtector Files. You can always find out what she is working on and/or contact her at: www.jeannefoguth.com.

23 thoughts on “Canine Comedy”

  1. I especially love the first series where the doggie notices the camera and frowns. Wow. And the last one where the little dog looks away when the man with the yogurt turns his head. It’s as if the dog has ESP! My son tells me they probably really do.

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    1. I’ve suspected that animals are more in touch with things like ESP than humans, which is why I gave Kazza that capability (among others). Marcha Fox’s character, Thyron, is a sentient, alien plant (very cool character) who also uses ESP.

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      1. I saw Kazza’s Mother’s Day wishes, but which of your books features Kazza?

        Marcha Fox’s, Thyron, is a brilliant character, embodying the quite rational assumption that “mind” is at least as fundamental as “matter and energy” to the universe.

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      2. Thanks! I’ve found it on Amazon, now. Btw, I really enjoyed your interview on Smashwords. I’ve heard of that organization but don’t know much about them yet. Sounds like you’ve had a good experience with them.

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      3. I’d forgotten about that interview.
        Smashwords can be a pain in the neck to format for, but IMHO, it’s worth the annoyance. KDP (Amazon) only offers mobi format. Smashwords, on the other hand, is a formatting annoyance (cuts things down to basics) because their system transforms the file into multiple formats. For instance, epub is utilized by Nooks and iBooks and I sell a lot of those.
        Another thing that I like about Smashwords is that I can create coupon codes, which is a handy marketing feature.

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      4. I try to tell things as accurately as possible and let others evaluate if they think something is viable for them. (In other words, I spend decades as a tech writer.)

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      5. I think the tech writing was a good base, too. For certain, it was good practice with typing, proper sentence structure, etc. IMHO, non-fiction = information while fiction = emotion.

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      6. I totally agree, though I have trouble convincing my subconscious mind about it. When I was writing Hapa Girl, I would read nonfiction for the better part of a month between chapters, looking for some piece of information to inspire me for the next chapter. Usually I found something, but often cramming it into the story was artless and boring. Toward the end, I just quoted the inspirational non-fiction and moved on with the story without trying to include it.

        Nonfiction certainly works for me in terms of inspiration. Not so much in terms of emotion.

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      7. I read a lot of non-fiction when I’m working on a novel, too.
        When I’m writing the rough draft, I equate it to creating a chunk of rock, then the editing stage is where I carve ‘the rock’ into something interesting.

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      8. I like the chunk of rock analogy. Nice.
        I’ve tended to be a seat-of-the-pants writer who admires from a distance those who follow a detailed outline. My current novel is outlined. I was even sticking to the thing fairly well until I suddenly all motivation left me. The same thing happened to a friend who was following an outline.
        Yesterday I came across this in “Antifragile” by Taleb:
        “The Secret Thirst for Chance

        “There is a titillating feeling associated with randomness…. I myself, while writing these lines, try to avoid the tyranny of a precise and explicit plan, drawing from an opaque source inside me that gives me surprises. Writing is only worth it when it provides us with the tingling effect of adventure, which is why I enjoy the composition of books…”

        So I’m designing a hybrid system in my head. Something that caters to the strengths of unpredictable creation as well as the practical advantages of having a specific plan for a story. I know there’s a way, if I can just discover it.

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      9. Coming from tech writing, I started out with an outline, too…. Took me about 3 novels to figure out that the ‘characters didn’t speak to me when they were constricted by an outline. Now, I write down Vogler’s 12 points, nothing more, not even a word after ‘ordinary world’. I also collect jpgs of what each character looks like and keep Sol Stein’s 10 commandments in mind…. And the characters tend to take control of their own story….If you aren’t familiar:From: Sol Stein / Stein on Writing:
        1. Thou shalt not sprinkle characters into a preconceived plot lest thou produce hackwork. In the beginning was the character, then the word, and from them character’s words is brought forth action.

        2. Thou shalt imbue thy heroes with faults and thy villains with charm, for it is the faults of the hero that bring forth his life, just as the charm of the villain is the honey with which he lures the innocent.

        3. Thy characters shall steal, kill, dishonor their parents, bear false witness, and covet their neighbor’s house, wife, manservant, maidservant, ox and ass, for reader’s crave such actions and yawn when thy characters are meek, innocent, forgiving and peaceable.

        4. Thou shalt not saw the air with abstraction, for readers, like lovers, are attracted by particularity.

        5. Thou shalt not mutter, whisper, blurt, bellow or scream, for it is the words and not the characterization of the words that must carry their own decibels.

        6. Thou shalt infect they reader with anxiety, stress, and tension, for those conditions that he deplores in life, he relishes in fiction.

        7. Thy language shall be precise, clear, and bear the wings of angels, for anything less is the province of businessmen and academics and not of writers. (Why not politicians & lawyers?)

        8. Thou shalt have no rest on the Sabbath, for thy characters shall live in they mind and memory now and forever.

        9. Thou shalt not forget that dialogue is as a foreign tongue, a semblance of speech and not a record of it, a language in which directness diminishes and obliqueness sings.

        10. Above all, thou shalt not vent thy emotions onto the reader, for thy duty is to evoke the reader’s emotions, and in that most of all lies the art of the writer.

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      10. Thank you for sharing your approach and for sharing Sol Stein’s big ten. I needed to hear them again because I’d nearly forgotten them. I have his book, but it’s been over a decade since I read it. He influenced my writing quite a bit. I think it was Stephen King, though, who persuaded me to be a “pantser” instead of an outliner on my first novel. I’m naturally a pantser. I wrote a boring post (“How Johanna Turned me into a Writer) on my discovery of Johanna, my favorite POV character. The context of a plot-free environment with no preconceived ideas was essential to her showing up and changing my writing experience 180 degrees from work to pleasure.
        I like your approach, just having Vogler’s 12 points and nothing else in front of you. I’m looking for something like that.
        I think there’s probably a spectrum involved in each of our decisions on how much to outline and how much to “pants it.” Perhaps everybody needs to find the place where their characters continue to speak to them, while the story structure doesn’t wind up being academic, boring and meaningless. You’ve certainly found your balance. I’m still searching. The value of knowing something of a story’s important points ahead of time would have saved me years of re-writing my first novel. On the other hand, in my current novel I’ve gone too far… either toward preconceived ideas (outlining) or perhaps simply writing too fast. Both seem to have taken me out of the flow at different times in the past.

        I find Stein’s 10th commandment particularly interesting. I’ll have to pull his book off my shelf now and see what more he has to say on the subject. I need to know exactly what “venting emotions” means to him and how it looks like on the page. Thanks again! 🙂

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      11. Stein & Vogler were the 2 that ‘spoke to my heart’. Stein, because he outlined the difference between fiction and non-fiction, which I was coming from.. Vogler because his 12 points resonated.
        I’m sure you will find a method/plan that works for you.

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  2. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

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