Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October's Visit to the Writing Sheep

A bright light turns on. A group of sheep are discovered huddled in a corner, sleeping.

Sheep #1: HEY!

Sheep #2: Who turned on the light?

Writer: Sorry. That was me.

Sheep #1: We’re sleeping here.

Sheep #2: We’re still recovering from our Thanksgiving dinner.

Writer: Thanksgiving?

Sheep #1: It was Thanksgiving this past weekend in Canada. We’re Canadian sheep.

Sheep #2: Except for Nigel. He’s English.

Nigel: Team GB!

Sheep #1: Ignore him. He’s reliving the Olympics.

Writer: They were very good games.

Sheep #1: Anyway, what can we do for you? Make it snappy. We’re tired, we’re Canadian and there’s no hockey.

Writer: No hockey?

Sheep #2: (whispering) The lock-out. We don’t speak of it.

Writer: Sorry again.

Sheep #1: Another apology? Are you Canadian?

Writer: I wanted to ask about location.

Sheep #2: As in where to buy? 

Sheep #1: We’re not the real estate sheep. You’ve clicked on the wrong blog.

General resentful muttering from the sheep.

Writer: No, no, location in my story.

Sheep #1: It’s important. Good bye.

Sheep #2: Sorry about him.

Nigel: It’s the lack of hockey. He’s finding it hard to cope.

Sheep #1: He suggested I watch cricket. Cricket!! 

Nigel: It’s a thrilling sport.

Sheep #1: (ignoring Nigel) Location is important. It’s should be another character in your novel. Use it.

Sheep #2: Let your readers walk the streets alongside your characters. Let them feel the gravel or pavement beneath their feet.

Sheep #1: Have to raise their voice because of the constant roar of traffic.

Sheep #2: Be startled by the scuttling of rats.

Nigel: Relish the whack of a well hit cricket bat…

Sheep #1: Their stomachs grumble because of the smell from the near-by chippie.

Sheep #2: Or Tim Hortons.

Sheep #1: Are you in a metropolis? The country? Another planet?

Sheep #2: Those real estate sheep are right - it’s all about location.

Writer: Thanks for your help.

Sheep #2: Glad to be of assistance. See you next month.

Writer: It’s the baseball playoffs. You could watch those.

Sheep #1: I’m Canadian. I want my hockey. 

Sheep #2: Hey! Nigel just found some left over pumpkin pie!

Sheep #1: That’ll help ease the pain.

Elspeth Futcher is a bestselling author of murder mystery games and playwright. She has been the top selling author at since 2011. Her British games are published by Red Herring Games in the UK. Her latest game is "The Great British Bump Off?" Elspeth's 'writing sheep' are a continuing feature in the European writers' magazine Elias and also appear on this blog from time to time. Connect with her on Twitter at @elspethwrites or on Facebook at Elspeth Futcher, Author.


  1. It's not always easy, but it is the author's duty to get into deep point of view with the characters, so the reader can get the most out of that book.

    Morgan Mandel

  2. Clever format piques interest and curiosity. Loved the comment about letting the reader feel the gravel or the pavement beneath her feet. I might add the grass -- the cool dampness of the early morning dew. Yes, indeed, the importance of location qualifies it to stand alongside your other characters. Also, the senses waft in upon the air with the tantalizing aromas of eateries beckoning hungry passersby to come in partake of their varied offerings.

    Nice post, Elspeth. Now I'm hungry, so I'll venture to the kitchen for something tantalizing … oh, I forgot, this is my kitchen. I have to fix it. No time … back to work.

  3. I don't know why, but I have a sudden craving for lamb chops.

  4. Great post. Fun presentation of good information. Thanks.

  5. Elle; I'll pass your message on.

    Morgan; Excellent advice!

    Linda; Thanks for your kind words! I try to remember to writer using all my senses.

    Christopher; The sheep will find you.

    LD; Thanks!

  6. Too funny. This was just the break I needed from revisions.

  7. girlseeksplace; Glad to help!

    Liza; Wonderful comment!

  8. Sorry to be so late with my comment, but as soon as I saw the BRP post was about sheep, I flagged it to visit later. I love the sheep, Elspeth.


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