One of the most commonly asked questions of an author is where they get their ideas. Even for a goat novel there is no easy answer except life.
The germ of my novels is a character I find interesting. This may be someone I see out somewhere or someone I knew sometime. As this character becomes more real, the questions change to what would happen if? What would this character do?
“Dora’s Story” began with Dora and a question of whether it was possible to write a gpat novel about the life of a goat in the spirit of “Black Beauty” and a horse. I have known a lot of goats, met quite a few goat owners and heard about other livestock owners.
A list of possible things that could happen to a goat started forming. Each thing brought in the type of owner who could trigger the event. The list got quite long.
The novel might have remained only a list until Emily appeared. Then the story had a focus: Emily and Dora were best friends, parted for some reason leading to a search and a final reunion. This goat novel would be easy to write.
I was so wrong.
Confidently I started writing. The first part was so easy. The second part started getting sticky. The fourth part fell into shambles. Perhaps this goat novel was never meant to be written.
Except I knew the ending.
My list of story points became a time line. My goat shows became pages of classes, goats entered, goat owners, awards. The shambles got rewritten.
My goat novel “Dora’s Story” was written and went into rewrites and more rewrites. The timeline was off. More rewrites. More corrections.
My goat novel was like a movie in my head. I saw the goats, the people and wanted to have an illustration for each part as well as having a cover with Dora on it. Thanks to Martha Cunningham those illustrations became reality.
And “Dora’s Story” was written.
Read some pages from “Dora’s Story“.