Posted by admin | February 27, 2020
On one of the nights I was out with the dogs on our mile long walk, we were passing a neighbor with no fence. I thought nothing of it at first and apparently neither did the dogs. It wasn’t until this long hair, tiny dog (like 5lbs, 20lbs dripping wet with all the fur holding a ton of water) was barking and running towards us with no leash.
My first reaction was to keep the dogs calm. I didn’t think this little dog would try to fight Zailey and Milo, but I wanted them to meet the dog calmly and not provoke anything. Milo got scared since the dog looked bigger than him even though it was smaller in body mass. Zailey thought the dog would be a nice toy to play with. She was half right since it was a toy breed.
That little dog got way too close to Zailey and she took a nip at the dog before it backed off. I pulled Zailey’s leash to keep her back, too, but she was still lunging as much as she could. I had thoughts of picking her up to calm her. I was also trying to talk to the toy and calm it down. Its owner finally caught up to it and picked it up. As the owner and toy were walking away, I noticed some fur hanging from Zailey’s mouth. I was concerned about the toy, but the owner didn’t find any blood. I pulled the fur from her mouth and found it to be about four inches long and about the width of a petite carrot. There had been no yip from it, so it wasn’t in any pain, so we continued on our way.
I hate it when I read fluff passages from other authors. Thus, I try to limit it as much as possible in my writing. I’m always leery when I get a critique of, “nice fluff” or “good job getting the reader to the next passage”. To me, these are backhanded complements. If they see it as fluff, then I haven’t done my job.
About a month or two ago, I realized something else. Someone paid me one of these complements and I was like, “this isn’t fluff to get the reader to the next passage!” That’s when I realized I had done my job a little too well. The chapter was setting up something coming up and would be reflected upon later as a turning point. It wouldn’t be until my critique partner read the later chapters would they realize the importance of the passage. I knew the importance, but the reader, in the moment of reading it, would not. Once they realized just why that passage was so crucial, the depth being added would be appreciated. Heck, it might not even be figured out until a second reading.
I then realized something else. Some books are worth reading a second time to find these hidden setups! I just hope mine are worth rereading.
Zailey and I both have chewed on some fluff. I think I’ve gained some new appreciation for it and I hope Zailey doesn’t have a taste for it.