Why I wrote Black Labrador

This is a story based on an urban myth. When someone first told it to me, I thought it was true. I began to think about it, the characters acquiring personalities and quirks, taking up quite a lot of my head space. Then, I discovered the story I’d been told was an urban myth. I wondered if it was valid to base a short story on an urban myth. But using an urban myth is as valid as stealing someone’s true life story – in fact, probably more valid. Writers of fiction are generally principled people, but most of us steal (adapt?) other people’s stories at one time or another.

An urban myth isn’t a bad start for a short story. An urban myths has a beginning, a climax, a resolution, which is all good. But generally, they’re sketchy, without real characters or depth. Seeing I liked these characters who were taking over my mind, and since they were already augmenting the urban myth, it felt like a very good basis for a story, although whether I’ll make a habit of it, I don’t know. Probably not.

So this is a story with humour, characters, a beginning, a middle and an end, and a black labrador. I’m a great fan of labradors, but mine is a blonde. Thanks to Charlie for posing for this post. I asked him to look rueful and he does.

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