Regardless of the reason for doing it, killing the dog in the story feels like a cheap emotional ploy. I think it's a common trap for new writers to fall into because we learn pretty quickly that "happy" stories are boring and even a little juvenile. Killing the dog is an easy way to impose grief on a reader because virtually everyone likes dogs.
I wondered then, not for the first time, if Amy hated me. Why couldn't I be more like Barb at the chair next to me who knew exactly which questions were appropriate to ask her stylist about her bunions? For that matter, why didn't I just ask Amy a damn question?
The first memory I have of stealing a word was when I was ten years old.
It came from a brochure crammed in the pocket behind the driver's seat in a shuttle bus that was taking my family to a beachfront hotel. "Waves crash rhythmically upon the sandy shoreline," it advertised. I plucked the word from the page and I tucked the brochure back into its pocket.
“Look Pete, no one’s forcing you to come. If you’re so scared you can just go home.”
We both know I can’t. The coat of arms is too bulky for one person to carry and this is the first time we’ve ever been invited anywhere. Who knows when it’ll happen again.
I'm not very good at getting started.
In fact, I've gotten up and done four unnecessary tasks since typing that first sentence. Two of those tasks were cups of coffee and two were the resulting bathroom breaks.