Sunday, March 20, 2011

Recipe for Success: Going to the Dogs

From author Robert J. Wetherall...

Celebrated author and welder Eddy Salinski tells me that anytime he writes himself into a corner, he just pops a dog into the story. Mutt or champion, it doesn’t make any difference, insists Salinski. "You’ll be swamped by drooling agents and bean-counting publishers," he says.

People, including those who can read, have a special place in their hearts for pooches, according to Eddy. Big pooches, small pooches, fat pooches, skinny pooches ... they’re all the same: lovable, laughable and loyal to a fault.

As a serious writer (or an unserious writer for that matter), you can use pooches to good effect in writing yourself out of all kinds of jams.

Tired love scenes? Throw any large pooch into the fray. Dull dialogue? A yipping Chihuahua can sprinkle your story with sage comments in Spanish. Blocked on your tense mountain avalanche tragedy? Try a trusty Saint Bernard to the rescue.

This works in all media, of course. After all, who ran for help when that little kid (Timmy?) got stuck in the well? (Yes, that's right, Lassie to the rescue.) And even the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales frequently add a bit of pathos to their commercials by tossing a Dalmatian into the mix.

And it’s so darn easy, requiring not a shred of imagination or literary expertise, because you can plug any old dog into your work and leech off a good measure of furry warmth. Puppies are surefire, of course. Pair them with doggie names like Katie, Buzzy, and Elmo, and you just can’t go wrong.

One caveat, thought - match mutts to your storyline. Would Stephen King have had a bestseller if he had chosen a Yorkie to play the part of Cujo? Perhaps not.

Summing up, literary success is yours for the asking, according to my pal, Eddy Salinski. Put a pooch to work in your saga, and you’ll never have to eat beans again.

-Robert Wetherall

Last Flight Home
The Making of Bernie Trumble
Forever Andrew

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  1. I'm also a dog-lover, so putting a dog into a story would be a plus for someone like me. However, don't assume doing this will automatically have agents or publishers sniffing after you.


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