Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday's Dogs Offer Writing Insight

I agreed to pet sit for one of my mom's friend's dog. Let's call the dog ND for New Dog. I took ND home and introduced her to my dogs. I have three. Let's call them MD1, MD2, MD3 for my dog #. Yes it does sound like all of my dogs are doctors, but they are not.
Anyways the main worry was that MD2 would bully ND. MD2 can be a bully around other dogs. MD1 was also a concern because he is the big boss. He is the guard dog of the group. MD3 is all bark with no bite.
One by one we introduced ND to the dogs. MD1 was first. They did the whole dog butt smelling thingy. A few barks were made, but they were okay. Good sign.
Then I brought out MD2. I put her on a leash just in case. Butt sniff, bark, etc.
Finally MD3 came out. She barked and barked and barked. Nothing less than I expected.
Over all it went way better than I expected. All the dogs are happy and relaxed.
Even though it all went well, ND was scared the entire time. Meeting my dogs was a very overwhelming experience for ND.
If you are like ND, you are probably a tad overwhelmed as well which is not surprising. I just introduced you to four dogs with names very similar to each other, random facts about said dogs that seem random, and also my mom and her friend.
All of that information can be overwhelming for a readers. 

Tips on Avoiding Overwhelming Your Readers:
  • Avoid introducing to many characters at once (this is the one I thought of because of my dogs)
  • Avoid characters with names that are similiar 
  • Avoid info dumping (even if it is all info the reader needs to know)
  • Avoid characters who are unnecessary to the scene or else they are just extra names to remember (I could have just said "I am pet sitting." and avoiding making you know two people who don't impact the scene)
I hope this post made more sense than my last few.  I need to stop trying to write posts when my brain is dead and only capable of watching NCIS reruns.

What overwhelms you as a reader? How do you prevent overwhelming readers?