I've blogged in the past about how many times writing and horses have parallels. This weekend I was reviewing a scene in my novel, "Tom Named By Horse," which I'm hoping my publisher will pick up, and my mind drifted to my mare Kessy. I was reviewing a scene in which we slipped into just a bit of back-story. I like to weave in tidbits here and there to help the reader understand why a character feels and act the way they do.
|Saturday and Kessy helping me understand my characters ...|
For the reader to care about your character, they must know them. Writers create that bond with little baby steps of information. Huge information dumps are boring, and actually turn off readers. Sometimes permanently.
For your horse to care about you, and understand you, we must use those same baby steps of information sharing. Horses each have different levels of how much information they can absorb at any one time. Too much, pushing them beyond their comfort level, will make them uncomfortable and take their mind off you and your attempt at communication. Sometimes building doubt and mistrust.
Setting the stage for your reader with a combination of you character's action in the moment, and tiny slices of where they came from, combined with hints of where you're going to take them, all come together to create a strong, compelling character. Your reader will feel the connection and become invested in wanting to learn more.
It is exactly the same truth for your horse. Mixing in actions of the moment, or things she already knows, with tiny steps of new information, will open the door to where you want to go in a clear way that will keep her interested, involved.
Just as the reader will want to turn to the next page to follow your character on their quest, your horse will want to turn the page and follow you on your journey together.
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry