Lian Tanner

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The trouble with chickens


The trouble with chickens is, they never do what they’re supposed to. If there’s a bit of garden you don’t want them to go near, they’ll head straight for it. If there’s a bit of garden you do want them to dig, they won’t be the least bit interested.

Turns out it’s the same for imaginary chickens.

If you’ve read Accidental Heroes, you might remember Otte’s pet chicken, Dora. She only plays a very small part in the first book, but becomes way more important in the second. And in the third book she’sā€”

No, I’d better not tell you. It would give away too much. And besides, I’m not even sure myself after what happened on Friday.

I’ve started on the second draft of Book 3, and I thought I knew how she was going to behave. But right at the beginning of the book, she did the complete opposite of what I was expecting. And now I don’t know how to get her out of the trouble she’s got herself into.

Of course I could rewrite that section and make her do what I wanted. But that’s never a good idea ā€“ these unexpected gifts from the imagination often turn out really well in the end. And saying no to them feels a bit like those people in fairy tales who refuse to help the poor old woman, or the injured bear, or the trapped bird.

In fairy tales, it’s never a good idea to refuse to help someone. And in writing, it’s never a good idea to reject unexpected gifts.

So for now, this stubborn and disobedient chicken is going her own way, and I’m going to watch and see what happens. I just hope she makes it to the end of the book alive ā€¦



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