Don’t Forget the Dog!

At the end of The Aware, Blaze has a dog, a marsh dog with webbed feet.

At the beginning of the second book of that trilogy, Gilfeather, the dog was still with her. Then, for a part of the story, Blaze the character was not around. When she returned to the story line, the dog was missing and I blithely wrote on to the end. Only when I went back to re-read, it struck me: what happened to the dog?????

So one of the things I had to do in the second draft of Gilfeather was bring back the dog...

Needless to say, now that I am writing the second book of this Random Rain trilogy and re-reading Book 1 at the same time, I am looking for missing dogs, cats, tics, accents, mysteriously changing eye colour and a whole heap of other stuff. Trying to keep a whole world and fifty characters straight in one’s head is, well, a headache sometimes.

So as I re-read Book 1, I am jotting down things on a white card with the title:


Here are just a few of the items I have put on the list:
  • Gibber rush comes twice a year
  • Reduner women do not drive pedes
  • Embroidery on carapace Baster pedes is red
  • Burnish – inlaid with mica
  • Ryka has freckles
  • Pede carving – done by sons
  • The piece of jasper!
  • Sandmasters can take zigger water
  • No ginger hair in the Quartern
  • Two days ride between Scarcleft and Breccia

…and so on.
Let’ s hope this time I don’t forget the jasper. It’s important.


Don’t Forget the Dog! — 21 Comments

  1. I have to write myself a list like that too!

    Also I have list of things to remember from before, and ideas I’ve had ‘ahead of time’, which goes at the end of the current Word doc I’m writing in (I write each chapter in a separate file).

    Reading your list here brings back good memories … so looking forward to seeing bookk 2 when it’s done (I hope … pretty please. 🙂 )

  2. How could you forget about it ?

    oh well i think i didn’t noticed that much the lost of the dog in ‘The Aware’, but i’m so glad to find him back in ‘The Gilfeather’.

    i’m on chapter 4 !!
    it takes me a long time but it’s because i’m reading it twice each time : i’m reading first at the lunch moment before working and a second time with my dictionnary at night time ! lol

    i can’t wait to read your others books !

  3. Yes, I’m glad to hear you are writing ru, even if I can’t get the first book of yours.

    I often wonder how authors keep track of what’s going on, now I know. Some hawkeyed readers spot things anyway, but novels which become a big series with dozens of characters, must be a total nightmare.

  4. Gynie, you have no idea of how chuffed I am (translation: delighted to think someone would do that!) that you went ahead and bought the next book in English because you couldn’t wait for it to come out in French.

    C’est incroyable, ça!

    And look, I learned how to do an accent! Thanks mon amie who showed me how…

  5. Being a bad, amateur writer I once had a plot go completely out of control. I was disgusted with the plot, having lost complete control of the characters, who seemed to want to tell a different story than the one I’d set out to tell.

    By the end, I had a jam-packed Excel spreadsheet with 3 tabs just to keep track of things like dates and names, and who did what to whom when. =sigh=

  6. But, from what I understand, this is what happens when you write, characters do go where they want and not necessarily where you want them to go.

  7. Not impossible, Jo; there’s a whole video of how it’s done on U-tube.(g)

    Glenda, whatever you do don’t let them drop the jasper into the zigger water…

  8. A YouTube video of herding cats? LOL!

    Yes, sometimes I have minor quarrels with characters who don’t want to do what they’re told, and we kind of have to negotiate terms. A particularly bad offender is a certain character named hrugaar … 😀

  9. Glenda, you could have gone back and contrived an ‘accidental death’ for the dog like they do in the soaps when they want to write off a character.

    I often wondered how the late Robert Jordan managed to keep control of the details and timelines in his epic Wheel of Time series. He had hundreds of characters spread across the world and very few glitches as far as I could tell.

    If you think that herding cats is difficult then you should try herding ants.

  10. Oh dear, I was thinking about Robert Jordan because of this discussion. I was totally unaware he had died. What a great shame, and what a pity the Wheel of Time series won’t get finished. Originally it was supposed to be only 5 or 7 books and he kept on and on writing more.

  11. Hi Jo,

    Just to let you know that the 12th and final book in the Wheel of Time series called ‘The Memory of Light’ will be written by the American author Brandon Sanderson.

    Before his death, Robert Jordan had started writing the final book and also wrote copious notes about the plot which he passed on to both Brandon and his wife.

    According to his website, the final book will be published in the fall of 2009.

  12. Thanks Peter, I actually googled and found out that stuff on Wikipedia this morning. I then had to check out Brandon Sanderson, couldn’t find his books locally, and ended up buying Mistborn, the first book, as an ebook. See you made me spend money *g*. I must admit I was staggered when you described Robert Jordan as being ‘the late’ I don’t know how I missed that piece of news a year ago.

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