AWESOME IDEA IS AWESOME!by-the-throat wrote:The Coyote Encounter - Not that I disliked this scene but I have two small nits to pick with it. First off, even in the non PAW, small dog = snack for coyote. I've buried the remains of plenty in my time. I doubt very much they'd just let him go while they root for chicken nuggets on the floor. And secondly I think this could have been an epic fight scene-I know that a story doesn't have to have a fight scene but I saw the potential for a good, desperate one there. I dunno how he would survive it-those are long odds-but I feel like the little guy deserved to kick some ass sometime. Maybe a running battle would have been the thing here.
I've completely rewritten that segment based on your excellent feedback. As soon as I read your suggestion I could see the fight in my head. You know what? This little guy wouldn't have survived if he hadn't been willing to lay it all on the line, so that's what I had him do. I would encourage anybody who has been reading to go back and reread that segment. I think it really adds a different aspect to Buddy's personality, and must say I enjoyed writing a bit of action into the story.
Thanks for all the constructive criticism, by-the-throat! I appreciate you taking the time to do that. I really didn't put a whole lot of thought into the human characters, honestly. In the first few chapters I tried to show that they really loved Buddy and didn't want to leave him but had no choice, and I also needed some way to reintroduce them into the story so I didn't end up having to write something like "...and then Buddy suddenly spotted his humans across the field and they were all together again!" I wasn't sure how to do that. I had actually originally decided that The Man would be the one standing watch and almost shooting Buddy when he showed up in camp, but thought it would add a bit more tension if I made it another person. I do love to draw out the tension in a story.
Watership Down is one of my top 5 favorite books of all time. Incredible read. I actually borrowed really heavily from Stephen King when it came to the animal communications, believe it or not. His writing from Cujo's perspective is amazing, and he also writes briefly from a dog's perspective in The Dome. I figured animals of similar background or IQ could communicate rather efficiently, and as their backgrounds or intellect levels began to disconnect it would become harder for them to do so. At some point Buddy would have stopped being able to communicate at all with certain types of animals (like frogs or fish) or would have great difficulty with similar animals from a radically different background or social structure (the coyotes for example). The dumber or smarter the animal the simpler the communications would have to be. I actually had sketched out a segment where Buddy pals up with a little dog (like a Shi-Tzu or Pomeranian or something)and they have a more extensive 'conversation' but nuked it because I thought it was too cutesy.
Anyway, thanks again for the great feedback. Glad you enjoyed the story, I really did like writing it!