"Solace" (maybe my next novel)

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"Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:08 am

The "your own dog breed" thread contributed to an idea for my next novel manuscript. (I draft a new story every November. some are good enough to develop, others go into the trash December 1st.)

Story premise:
The US military has bred dogs for use in mid-east conflict. Like all breeding programs not EVERY dog "makes the cut" for military training. (scenting hidden enemies and explosives, running down fleeing opponents and guarding.) Those that don't "have what it takes" are YIKES! culled until an animal rights activist finds out about it and successfully starts a program where the dogs not selected for military training are rescued out as pets. (she also has to keep them out of the hands of puppy millers.)

Unfortunately... it wasn't just a breeding program. The genes have been chemically altered in some way resulting in a recessive trait for an almost psychic-like ability for a dog to form a bond with the human mind so the dogs almost have a form of ESP. These psi-dogs are the ones chosen for training but in some dogs, it goes so far as to cause them to be "skin changers" But instead of a human, taking over the mind of an animal, the animal takes over the mind of the human. (with potentially fatal consequences)

Meanwhile a war widow of one of these dog's handlers remembers how her husband's letters talked about how special these dogs were and how closely he bonded with his war dog, she adopts one of the "rejects" for comfort in her grief and names him "Solace"

It soon becomes apparent that Solace is no ordinary dog and the all-American, right-wing war-widow and the bleeding-heart-liberal, animal rights activist team up in an unlikely pair to uncover the truth before the widow suffers the same fate as her husband.

The way I envision it, it will be a compelling, suspenseful story with undercurrents of the dangers of reckless breeding practices and showing a dog's eye view of puppy mills.

But I need an imaginary dog breed. Can you help?

I'm thinking maybe German Shepherd and Saluki? Call it a "Sand Shepherd?"

What might that look like and what ideas do you have?

PS- I know this is an international forum and my novel idea has a strong American political content. If in my ignorance, I offend the sensibilities of other nationalities, I sincerely apologize.

For my part. I do love my country. But I *really* think we need to start seeing other people. :lol:
One's horizon shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
~Nin

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by TerriHolt » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:01 am

that sounds like a great story line, loads different to anything i read to date. i wish i could help with ideas tho... (i named my dog sam, that is as far as my creativity and imagination goes :oops: ).
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There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by HiTenshi16 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:13 am

Sounds like an awesome read! My thoughts were maybe a mix of wolf (just because they're awesome ;) ), Great Dane (size), Border Collie (intelligence), and Saluki (they look just interesting), just maybe not in that order. I would love to draw up something too ;)
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by Nino » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:55 am

Instead of a GSD you should think of the dutch shepherd..

Amongst others because of the biting style..
http://www.tamaskan-forum.com/viewtopic ... yle#p10564
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by JulieSmith » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:34 am

For detecting people etc pointer type dog or spaniel, but for size pointer type would be best. For hunting ability rodisian ridge back, collie for intelligence if you used a smooth collie that is nice and tall and not too much fur for hot places. If you picked all sandy coloured dogs they would blend with the desert. Call it sand hound!

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:03 pm

WOW!

Thanks guys! This is a great creative fodder and especially thanks for the research links.
Pulling "prehistoric predators" up on netflix now!

~Angie
One's horizon shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by blufawn » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:27 pm

AngieH wrote:For my part. I do love my country. But I *really* think we need to start seeing other people. :lol:
lol :D
Send me an autographed copy when your published ;)
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by Misaya » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:33 pm

Sounds like a brilliant idea for a story. Will look forward to reading it :)
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by TerriHolt » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:22 pm

can we do dibs on signed 1st ed's? ;) :lol:
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There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by GjenetCarro » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:46 pm

Nino wrote:Instead of a GSD you should think of the dutch shepherd..

Amongst others because of the biting style..
http://www.tamaskan-forum.com/viewtopic ... yle#p10564
Yes!! A Dutchie would be good (take down and fierceness), mixed in with an Arabian wolf (look and instincts), a Mastiff breed (size) and some Australian cattle dog (fearlessness).(Maybe adding in some Tamaskan wouldnt be bad neither :lol: )
*quick note* Some geneticists belief dogs came from the Middle East. So that seems pretty cool.
Hope you like my feedback :)
"To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul - hope you like what you see."
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"We humans fear the beast within the wolf because we do not understand the beast within ourselves."
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AZDehlin » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:50 am

I would totally read...put me on the pre-order list!

Any mix of dog breeds that are willing to please but can be and independent thinker... strong... big... sneaky and fast :)

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:27 am

TerriHolt wrote:can we do dibs on signed 1st ed's? ;) :lol:
You all made my day with the vote of confidence. If this story makes it to publication, I will defiantly mention you in the acknowledgments. This forum is a great tool for information, inspiration and source material.

Now I'm thinking Dutch Shepherd, Saluki, Pointer and Mastiff. A massive head with feathery ears athletic body and tufts of hair between the toes

Maybe looks something like "Falcor the luck dragon" From never ending story.



Now what should we call this breed? Sand hound, desert dragon, jinn dog? I'm looking for something that brings to mind exotic mystery, dangerous beauty or the majesty of an endless sand-scape.
One's horizon shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
~Nin

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by Sylvaen » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:33 am

Some great ideas! :D
AngieH wrote: Unfortunately... it wasn't just a breeding program. The genes have been chemically altered in some way resulting in a recessive trait for an almost psychic-like ability for a dog to form a bond with the human mind so the dogs almost have a form of ESP.
Sounds a bit like the film, "A Boy And His Dog" (1975).
But with a few cool twists / differences :)
AngieH wrote:But I need an imaginary dog breed. Can you help?

I'm thinking maybe German Shepherd and Saluki? Call it a "Sand Shepherd?"
I like the sound of "Sand Shepherd" :)

Jinn dog sounds a bit too close to Jindo (the Korean breed) - but that is a breed that could go into creating your 'imaginary breed' ;)
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AZDehlin » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:39 am

AngieH wrote:
TerriHolt wrote:can we do dibs on signed 1st ed's? ;) :lol:
You all made my day with the vote of confidence. If this story makes it to publication, I will defiantly mention you in the acknowledgments. This forum is a great tool for information, inspiration and source material.

Now I'm thinking Dutch Shepherd, Saluki, Pointer and Mastiff. A massive head with feathery ears athletic body and tufts of hair between the toes

Maybe looks something like "Falcor the luck dragon" From never ending story.



Now what should we call this breed? Sand hound, desert dragon, jinn dog? I'm looking for something that brings to mind exotic mystery, dangerous beauty or the majesty of an endless sand-scape.
Falcor the luck dragon... Never Ending Story was a favorite of mine growing up :)

As for the dog's name and breed... What is your idea on the region the military designed these dogs for? Or would they even have a breed name or a number system depending if they were still developing the ultimate breed for the work they do ect. If the area you are going for is desert I would first think of a sand colored Weimaraner with a little longer hair around ears, eyes and to help walk on sand.

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by Sylvaen » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:58 am

AZDehlin wrote:Falcor the luck dragon... Never Ending Story was a favorite of mine growing up :)
Same here :D
My uncle actually worked on the film as an editorial assistant. :)
AZDehlin wrote:Or would they even have a breed name or a number system depending if they were still developing the ultimate breed
Good point! From a credible Sci-Fi perspective it would make more sense that the military would use a numeric or alphanumeric identification system, rather than a breed name. For instance: DNA-X21a (or something) DNA-X being hybrid DNA and 21a being the individual dog... (or clones of that one dog: could be a / b / c etc). Maybe different 'prototype' breeds would be classified into unique categories and/or even generations F1 / F2, etc. Just some ideas to play around with anyway. ;)
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AZDehlin » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:41 am

Sylvaen wrote:
AZDehlin wrote:Falcor the luck dragon... Never Ending Story was a favorite of mine growing up :)
Same here :D
My uncle actually worked on the film as an editorial assistant. :)
That is really sweet.... just talking about it the intro song is running through my head :D
Sylvaen wrote:
AZDehlin wrote:Or would they even have a breed name or a number system depending if they were still developing the ultimate breed
Good point! From a credible Sci-Fi perspective it would make more sense that the military would use a numeric or alphanumeric identification system, rather than a breed name. For instance: DNA-X21a (or something) DNA-X being hybrid DNA and 21a being the individual dog... (or clones of that one dog: could be a / b / c etc). Maybe different 'prototype' breeds would be classified into unique categories and/or even generations F1 / F2, etc. Just some ideas to play around with anyway. ;)
Yes Yes, exactly what I was thinking...

Examples:

DO121a (Desert Operative- Individual dog - a being first individual in clone set)
SO001a (Snow Operative - Individual dog - a being first individual in clone set)

So on an so forth for ever climate the military operates in...

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:34 pm

Sylvaen wrote:
AZDehlin wrote:Falcor the luck dragon... Never Ending Story was a favorite of mine growing up :)
Same here :D
My uncle actually worked on the film as an editorial assistant. :)
AZDehlin wrote:Or would they even have a breed name or a number system depending if they were still developing the ultimate breed
Good point! From a credible Sci-Fi perspective it would make more sense that the military would use a numeric or alphanumeric identification system, rather than a breed name. For instance: DNA-X21a (or something) DNA-X being hybrid DNA and 21a being the individual dog... (or clones of that one dog: could be a / b / c etc). Maybe different 'prototype' breeds would be classified into unique categories and/or even generations F1 / F2, etc. Just some ideas to play around with anyway. ;)
Ahhh yes, but that's all just back story.

By the time the animal rights organization exposes the culling of the unsuitable dogs and sets up a rescue organization, a breed name is established to for public awareness and media relations. (The dogs are in the public by this time.)

It would also be likely that the military handlers themselves would have come up with an unofficial nick-name for the dogs. ESPECIALLY since part of what they do is have an increased ability to read and discern human intent. The human would experience this as an uncanny bond between themselves and the dogs that seem to know what the handlers want before they even teach it.

And CERTAINLY the puppy miller who gets a hold of one of these dogs for commercial use would give the breed a really cool name :roll: even if he had to make it up, to increase desirability, demand and profit.

(any similarities between characters and actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Any similarity to actual events is coincidental or the events are used fictitiously!)
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~Nin

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:44 pm

AZDehlin wrote:
Sylvaen wrote:
AZDehlin wrote:Falcor the luck dragon... Never Ending Story was a favorite of mine growing up :)
Same here :D

Examples:

DO121a (Desert Operative- Individual dog - a being first individual in clone set)
SO001a (Snow Operative - Individual dog - a being first individual in clone set)

So on an so forth for ever climate the military operates in...
Can TOTALLY use this! the Animal Rights activist will find this language on wiki leaks and figure it out! :lol:
One's horizon shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:05 pm

Off to the Columbus All Breed Training Club's Agility trials!

(I love how my novel "research" involves going to dog shows! :D :D :D
One's horizon shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by JulieSmith » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:19 pm

AngieH wrote:Off to the Columbus All Breed Training Club's Agility trials!

(I love how my novel "research" involves going to dog shows! :D :D :D
Don't work too hard :lol:

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by HiTenshi16 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:34 pm

I say you should give us a report on your research ;)
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by TerriHolt » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:40 pm

HiTenshi16 wrote:I say you should give us a report on your research ;)
:o piccies :mrgreen:

hoping you get a publication (obviously not more than you :oops: ), it sounds like it would be an amazing read :P
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There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:12 pm

Wow! it sure pays to wander around behind the bleachers and stroll through the camp ground. I overheard a few juicy and gossipy conversations that can easily be adapted and put in the mouths of some of my characters. (I really need to wear a t-shirt that says "I am a writer, anything you say or do may be fictionalized and used in my next novel." Kind of like the miranda law in the USA.) :lol:

My sister-in-law and I had a wonderful time. This little guy:

/Users/angelahilbert/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Modified/2011/Oct 3, 2011/IMG_0901.jpg

was a hyper, manic, speed demon in the ring :twisted: but sweet as blueberry pie once finished. 8-)

After each division, the winning handlers got a rosette and the winning dogs got to pick a toy from a basket. :lol:

Of all the shows I've been to so far (conformation, obedience, rally and agility) the agility dogs seem to be having the BEST time!

/Users/angelahilbert/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Originals/2011/Oct 3, 2011/IMG_0891.MOV
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AZDehlin » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:45 am

Can you repost the photo's they aren't showing (for me at least)

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by TerriHolt » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:30 am

yeah,, me either... thought it was just my phone but seems not :D
Image

There’s a battle between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.
The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.

The wolf that wins? The one you feed!

~ Cherokee Proverb

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity... I'm not sure about the former.

~ Albert Einstein

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by JulieSmith » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:22 am

TerriHolt wrote:yeah,, me either... thought it was just my phone but seems not :D
I assumed it was because I was using my phone as well, but they are not showing on my computer either.

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:10 pm

oops, :oops: let me try this again through my google+ acct. (hope this works)

Here's the demon turned angel:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-cZNE ... G_0901.jpg

and here's the running dogs:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-hshN ... G_0891.MOV
One's horizon shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
~Nin

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by Booma » Sun May 13, 2012 11:09 am

what happened to this? it sounds interesting
Image Image

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Sun May 13, 2012 7:57 pm

The story has gone through quite a bit of evolution over the past 9 months. Now I am honing and polishing a 20 page passage from the draft to take with me to Antioch Writers' Workshop in July. There I will get some professional critique, gauge agent interest and see if I have something marketable here.

Thanks for your interest! Novel writing is slow and boring to spectators, occasional inquires like this are very encouraging and greatly appreciated!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Working Title: "Solace"

tone: “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” meets “Cujo” in “The Hurt Locker.”

brief synopsis:
The widower of a military dog handler who was KIA under classified circumstances, adopts a dog from the rare breed his wife worked with. As the dogs become anti-terrorist heroes in Afghanistan, private interest grows in the "Sand Shepherd" motivating private breeders and commercial puppy-farms become interested in producing them for civilian ownership.
Soon, strange and potentially dangerous behaviors come to light in the dogs that are placed in family homes which leads to breed prejudice and legal restrictions threatening continued private ownership of Sand Shepherds. The widower is worried about his Sand Shepherd "Solace" and enlists the help of an animal rescue worker and Sol's private breeder to figure out where this behavior comes from and what, if anything, can be done about it.
When Sol's breeder is killed just as she discovered a clue, the animal rights activist pursues an uneasy alliance with a inscrupulous commercial breeder to interpret her findings. Together, they find the original military breeding and training program is far more dark and complicated than imagined. Meanwhile, the widower uncovers the secret of his wife's death and confronts the civilian contractor developing the dogs about what it means. But the breed developer has too much at stake to ever let anyone learn the truth. (queue dramatic cliff hanger music)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm still working on the proper POV for specific scenes to let the reader experience the story organicaly and still trying to decide if it should be mystery (reader figures out the answers with the protagonist) or thriller (reader already knows what's going on and is afraid for the protagonist who is in danger because he hast figured it out yet.)
One's horizon shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
~Nin

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Sun May 13, 2012 8:10 pm

I switched it from a widow to a widower to be less cliché and more contemporary.
Besides, it also allowed for some sexual tension between him and the animal rights activist (both so hot, but totally inappropriate for one another.)

Gotta make it difficult for your hero to keep the reader rooting for him!
One's horizon shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
~Nin

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by Nino » Sun May 13, 2012 8:49 pm

Oh how interesting it would be if the animal rights activist was totally unattractive but as they get to know each other in reaching their goal they get emotionally involved..
>> Nino <<
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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by AngieH » Sun May 13, 2012 9:54 pm

Nino wrote:Oh how interesting it would be if the animal rights activist was totally unattractive but as they get to know each other in reaching their goal they get emotionally involved..
at first, he doesn't like her because, though attractive enough, she's an edgy, bohemian that doesn't shave while he's a clean-cut, all-American type, but she grows on him as they work together.

So sad though... it's an impossible romance. She's much younger and he's on the rebound from his deceased wife.
One's horizon shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
~Nin

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Re: "Solace" (maybe my next novel)

Post by Booma » Mon May 14, 2012 12:36 am

Doesn't shave- hahaha!!!!!!!
Keep us in the loop. I'll still read it, even if Noone else wants it
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