Dogs can’t tell time and neither can readers

If you own dogs, you know that old joke about dogs acting like you have been gone for 10 years when you just stepped outside to get the mail. We have two dogs, Paxil, a border collie/ Australian shepherd mix, and Lunesta (Lulu) who is a Papillion. Every morning the routine is usually the same. My husband, who is a saint and can deal with mornings better, gets up lets the dogs out to do their business, does his business and gets the coffee going. This is my husband’s time to relax and start the day slowly. Later when I have to get up, the dogs want to go out again. No matter if I get up in one minute or one hour later.

Dogs really don’t have a sense of time. They are event driven and base their actions on reactions to actions around them. Therefore no matter what time I get up, it is time to go out again, much to the annoyance of my husband. When you come through the door, that is an event and you must be greeted.

While I was laughing with my husband over his frustration with this, I realized it is the same thing with readers.

Not that readers can’t tell time, but that in our stories there is no way for them to. So it is up to us as authors to create events to orient the reader to when things are and to the passage of time.

What do you think?

Have a great day!

Paula

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