Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Big Fat Dog And Other Dogs

My oldest daughter is calling this her first novel. The happy implication being there will be others.

There is a darkness at the edges of this that as a writer I like very much, but as a father I find disquieting. I'm trying to get used to the tension between these roles, as this surely won't be the last time I feel it. Life can be a dark ride. They've seen more than their share of that already.

I like that she gave the chapters individual titles. Not a new trick by any means, but it is one she learned from me.

And that last sentence of chapter 3 is simply good, strong prose.

The Big Fat Dog And Other Dogs
By Shay

Chapter 1

The Dog Ran Away

So it all started with the dog. It was on a leash. The dog was fat. He was so fat that the leash broke and he ran away. The owners were sad. Their names were Lee Ann and Jade. The kid Jade cried all the way to school.
It was really sad. I had to go home. It was in the newspaper that his name is Marley. The next day the guy found the dog called the number the number changed. They had moved to California. So the he drove to California but they weren't there.
The person found the owner. They were happy.

Chapter 2

They were happy

The family was so happy. The people saw the tag. It was the dog. They were so happy. They played with the dog all day long and gave him a bath.
They got a new dog because their dog had died. They braided him. The second dog was named Mane. They were so happy. They could not stand it at all. They loved it so much they got more and more dogs. They sure love dogs. They had 5 dogs. They played with the dogs all the time. It was the dogs’ birthday. They had so much fun at the birthday.

Chapter 3

The vet

The dog was sick. We took him to the vet. He was ok. We love the dog so much. The dog had babies. We kept the puppy. We played with the puppies.
They are as small as a hand.

Chapter 4

The dogs had died except for the puppy. And the puppy was safe. The dog has food and water. He lived happily ever after.

The End


Margaret said...

"They braided him" defies coherent reaction from me. nmmmmghhhh or something. awfully beautiful thing to say.

"They were so happy. They could not stand it at all" is my other favorite part.

he lived happily ever after? if she says so.

Clowncar said...

I think she means braided his hair.

The thing that is so beautiful/disquieting is that it's such a transparent snapshot of her mind, of what's going on inside there.

Which I guess is the one of the goals of fiction. Of any art.

Eric said...

Wow, Clowny. "Small as a hand". Really good. She comes by that honestly.

Clowncar said...

Thanks Eric. Such a good line. I may have to steal it one day.

This just in, Margaret: she told me today she meant to say "buried" instead of "braided" but spelled it wrong. Kinda changes the meaning.

Laurita said...

I agree about chapter three. That's some good writing there. As small as a hand. That's beautiful. I also really liked this part. "They sure love dogs". If you don't have one, this might be a not-so-subtle hint. :)

I felt that last chapter, right in the heart. Kids can do that so well.

I see a future novelist here.

Fresca said...

That's a gut puncher.

I pulled out (like Margaret, I see), "They were so happy. They could not stand it at all."

Girl's a writer.

Hilary said...

Awww what a tender heart. You need to get that child a dog.. or four.

Clowncar said...

They sure can, Laurita. No more pets though. 3 cats already, and a snail.

Fresca, I think you are right, she is a writer. Oddly, she doesn't draw much, or paint much. But she writes, and has been itching to since before she could spell.

Hil, I may have to delete that comment, lest the girls see it. Our cats give us too much chaos as it is.