Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z IS FOR ZOOLOGY!


Ideas can’t be copyrighted, so these ideas are free for you to use

Z is for Zoology. (Skim to the underlined genre or style that best suits you.)

Romance. As a last minute choice, Rolene jotted her name on the sign-up sheet next to zoology. As she thought about writing on zoology as a possible career choice, her dislike for manure and the smell of wet fur loomed in her mind. What was she thinking? And Professor Litchinson would expect a top-notch research paper. Zoology. What a zany idea. Preposterous even.

Rolene spent the next night sitting in on a talk about molecular biology. Ugh. It took three aspirin to get through it. Wednesday night improved. She attended a lecture about animal behavior, and the presenter, a man who made her knees weak every time he opened his mouth, brought two little lion cubs for all to observe. After the lecture, Rolene jiggled the tongue of the zipper to her sweater, a habit when she felt nervous, and stepped closer to the gentleman. And the cubs. “They’re adorable,” she said, ordering her knees not to give out.

She barely made out the man’s words, because her eyes were fixed on his smile and her heart was pounding louder than her voice.

It wasn’t until she felt a cool breeze across her chest that she’d realized she’d jiggled her zipper so hard, it broke.

Okay romance writers. Give him a witty line to save her, and let’s watch these two fall in love.

Mystery. There’s a lot of room for mystery in a zoology department at any university. Consider the wrong person taking the molecular biology course, and as luck would have it, he’s Bria’s lab partner. He utters under his breath snarky remarks about the professor and even said, while looking straight in her eyes, “That traitorous jerk is the only reason I signed up for this course.” Another time he mentioned in what she had assumed to be jest that he’d like to bury that guy (the professor) and put him in a nameless tomb.

Bria had never given the comments thought, assuming her partner was just a negative person having a bad day, until another faculty member addressed the class and announced that the professor was dead. Poisoned, actually, perhaps with something concocted right in this lab. Everyone in the room was now a suspect, and especially those who understood chemistry. How she regretted acing the course.

You can take it from here, mystery writers.

Literary. Daphne appreciated studying in the natural field of zoology. It gave her another way of viewing motherhood. Some animals were so overly protective of their young it made her feel empty inside, because this was a bond she’d never experienced with her own mother. Still, sometimes she’d watch the behavior of the animals, and she thought she could almost feel what a strong love was, sort of like reading a book and living the life of the characters along with them. But then there were those other animals, the ones who seemed to act as though their duty was done as soon as they’d given birth. Watching them felt like watching a reel of her life, an unnecessary thing her mother had to deal with to appease the law and societal expectations. Perhaps her mother was too animalistic–and that’s why she apparently saw no problem in leaving her young behind to make it on her own.

            But studying the different animals, the nature of them, did put Daphne’s life in a new perspective. It gave her a different view of her mother, a less resentful view. But Daphne couldn’t deny that it also made her wonder what kind of mother she, herself, would be, if she ever agreed to become one.       

Now you have the background on this character, and to give her a place in a literary story, you might have her caring for a specific animal that gives birth, and use the parallel with her own life. Through this type of reflection, she may be enlightened in a way she never would have imagined.

Children’s. To work this big word –zoology–into a story for children, you might consider writing it in a sort of teacher and sidekick manner. Imagine that Uncle Vernon is a zoologist, and he’s bent on explaining the profession to Kyle. “Zoology is studying everything about animals. I study how Koala’s react to their young, where kangaroos sleep, and what giraffes eat. I learn all about animals.”

“Like dinosaurs and aliens?” Kyle asks, stepping his feet up the back of the sofa.

Next, you can have the uncle try to give more information, but maybe with a little more character, perhaps with some antics. Then the young boy (sidekick) will again ask, “But what about dinosaurs and aliens?” (Then use this idea as repetitive interruptions to the uncle’s speech.)

This isn’t really unrealistic. Have you ever tried to have an educational conversation with a child whose mind was set on a particular subject, rather than the one you wanted to discuss? They try to listen, really they do, but they always come back to their own questions. You can use that to your advantage. You can lighten a serious topic, or you can make a boring topic less boring.

I love children’s books, but I admit the textbook style ones don’t even grab me on the first line, let alone hold me. I’ve never tried to read one to a kid, because I wouldn’t know how to make it interesting. But I think it can be done if you add a sidekick to throw in a little humor after every three or four lines of boring education. It will even make the learning part fun.

Then again, if you can imagine an uncle as a zoologist, you can imagine that he’d always have amazing stories to tell and pictures to look at. What would happen if the pictures he had from his visit to South Africa were on his desk, because he treasured them and had been admiring them. Unfortunately, when he left the room, your little character accidentally spilled his grape soda all over the photos. How will he try to cover up or “fix” his blunder? Naturally, in his attempt to make it right, he’s going to make it even worse. After a few times, the pictures are barely recognizable. Now what will your character do?

What ideas can you pull off the top of your head? If you can offer some in genres I didn’t cover, such as horror, sci-fi, or fantasy, please share! Readers will appreciate it.

Happy writing!

 

 

97 comments:

  1. That Romance idea cracked me up! I can so see that scene happening.

    Happy Z Day!

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    1. Thank you, and yes, Z day. I'm kissing the calendar. :-)

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  2. I just woke up and you're my first stop today. I read this post clear through and all I can think of now is the song by Simon & Garfunkel: It's All Happening At The Zoo.

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    1. Well, inspiring you with song is at least inspiring you. :-)

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  3. A broke zipper can show one is chipper or maybe they hope to find a good tipper lol

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  4. Hello Debi - I suppose we live in a zoo of sorts. Daphne's mother seems to have traits that are becoming more prevalent in society - give birth and let the offspring fend for themselves! Did I get this right? I'm worn out now!

    At last we've arrived at Z. We are survivors. I'm shattered. I'll return after recovery.

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    1. I agree, we are survivors. Thank you for stopping by.

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  5. Considering how much my students can hate me for my difficult courses, the Mystery one hits a little close to home :)

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  6. Amazing how you come up with such wonderful ideas...even for a word like Zoology :) Congratulations for completing the challenge and making the world of fiction writers much richer with all these great ideas :)

    Beauty Interprets, Expresses, Manifests the Eternal

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    1. Thank you so much, and congrats to you, too!

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  7. Congrats on finishing A-Z!!! I am very interested in cryptozoology, myself. I know Sasquatch is out there somewhere!

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  8. I'd like to offer my congratulations on completing the A-Z Challenge!

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    1. Thank you. It feels good to be here, loving Z-Day!

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  9. The A to Z challenge and you aced it! It has been an adventure and it has been wonderful. Hmmm Anything that comes to mind about the zipper, she would just smack him in the face and any romance would be gone-lol As for the kid who is centred on Aliens and dinosaurs. The uncle kept trying to talk about the zoo animals but to no avail. he told little Kyle to get some sleep and he will address Kyle's ocd with aliens and dinosaurs in the morning. Kyle woke up the next morning from his uncle opening up the curtains and telling him it's time to get first hand knowledge of the animals. Kyle rubbed his eyes and wanted to sleep more but that was not going to happen. After a quick breakfast of oatmeal with raisons, they stepped out into his Uncle's 500 acre spread. His uncle owned a zoo of animals that were rescued and could live a much better life here. The animals needed care and Kyle's first chore was to get the shovel and clean out the manure. As Kyle started shovelling, his uncle smiled and wondered if he is thinking about aliens and dinosaurs now.

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  10. I think one of the most brilliant book series was the Magic Tree House series. Not only are the books fun to read, parents, teachers, and librarians LOVE them for kids because they actually learn things. I've worked hard to come up with a series that will do something similar, but it's not so easy!

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    1. Yes, I loved that series too. Now if I could just write one like it ...

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  11. Who knew love could be found in Zoology class. Nice one Debi!!

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    1. I believe it can be found in odd places anywhere. :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Zoology! A great end of the challenge word.

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  13. I can imagine a hilarious Dr. Seuss type of story for children.
    Congrats on reaching the A to Z finish line, Debi!

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    1. Thank you. It was my first year, and I can certainly see how the word challenge got into the title. :-)

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  14. I used to work in a zoo, so that experience is something I will have to write about someday. Genre? New adult, maybe, since it was my first job out of college.

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    1. Yes, I can see that making a great new adult story. Let me know when it's done so I can read it. :-)

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  15. A wonderful ending to the challenge Debi. I've so enjoyed your posts and am keeping them as inspiration. Congratulations for finishing! Whew, and enjoy some zzzzzz's!
    Garden of Eden Blog

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    1. Thank you and congrats to you too. And yes, I'm looking forward to sleep. :-)

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  16. Well done for reaching the finish line! And what a fun theme too, I'll definitely be doing something with a theme next year. Glad to have found your blog through the challenge and looking forward to coming back post A to Z!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I created my theme to avoid a theme. :-)

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  17. "And so are they" He smiled with a grin at her exposed chest.... ha! I've loved this journey and you have given some great ideas and made me crave green eyed muscle at the same time! I could do with you sitting next to me everyday. Great to meet you on this road Debi and well bloody done! x

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    1. Great to meet you, too, and thank you so much!

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  18. Rolene is a hoot. I like her a lot, want to write a similar character.
    Congrats on completing the challenge, Deb. You did brilliantly -- amazing posts, great community. Very well done! And way to close the A-Z, with another fun post.

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    1. Thanks, Silvia, and thanks for introducing me to this blog hop. It's been fun! Congrats to you too--your second year. Woo-hoo!

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  19. Congrats Debi, we made it through the Challenge.

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  20. That was my word today too! (Well, I used "zoologically.")

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  21. I like how you got a couple other Z words in your romance piece.

    Congratulations on completing the Challenge! Your posts have been so creative and fun to read. :)

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  22. Oh boy. A broken zipper? "I have some other lifeforms for you to study." LOL! I know, it's totally cheesy, but this is what you get after 1/2 of blogging. =)

    True Heroes from A to Z

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. It's always a joy to see what you have to say.
      Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  23. Loved the romance, made me smile.
    Congrats on getting through the A to Z. loved reading all I read.
    Yvonne.

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  24. Yay, you did it, Debi!! Congrats on finishing!!
    I think Zoology, or any science for that matter, fits well in the mystery genre. So many weird clues could be dropped. Another interesting read :)
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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    1. Thanks, Sharon, and congratulations to you, too.

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  25. Zoology in the sci-fi spectrum lends us to the possibility of dangerous mutations. :D Congratulations on completing the challenge! Looking forward to reading future posts. :)

    The Immarcescible Word

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    1. Fancy meeting you here. I was just at your blog. Mutations, now that could make some interesting conflict. Thanks, and congratulations to you, too!

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  26. "the smell of wet fur"...ick. :) What a clever theme to incorporate in a story--I especially like how Daphne's knowledge of animals informs her introspection on her own life.

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    1. Thank you. I never know what's going to come out of my head. :-)

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  27. You are so immensely talented and enormously energetic. What terrific examples you have provided your fellow bloggers, and there is so much here I will return to as each is a little story of its own.

    Thank you, Debi, for your faithful visits and comments. I have truly enjoyed our interaction and congratulate you - you blogged, you visited and you commented. You deserve an A to Z award for sure!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sammy. It was my first year and I had no idea what I was doing, if I was doing what I was doing right, and if I was more of a pest when I commented than a friendly voice, but I sure have enjoyed it.

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  28. Congratulations on making it successfully all the way through the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! :)

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  29. Congrats on finishing the challenge. The ending to the romance one made me giggle. I can imagine something cute and funny happening.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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  30. Congratulations on completing the challenge. Your theme is one I liked reading its great ideas. I will certainly continue to stop by you. Michelle http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. I'm very happy with the turnout and all the fun I've had during this challenge.

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  31. Way to finish the challenge strong! :-)

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  32. Fun stuff today - a great finish!! Congratulations!! I'm so glad I found your blog. I'll be back for sure! :)

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    1. I'm glad you'll be back. I'll try to make sure I put up something interesting. :-)

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  33. Hi Debi, WOW you say it best and looks like you made it all the way through to Z. We found each other's blog late so I will have to go back and catch up on the rest of the letters.
    You are such a talent!!
    Blessings XO

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    1. Thank you, Celestina. I'm glad we did find each other before the challenge was over though. Better late than never. :-)

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  34. Congrats on completing the challenge - love what you did with it!

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    1. I had a lot of fun, although I do admit I'm going to enjoy sleeping tonight. :-)

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  35. Congratulations on your A-Z accomplishment. I enjoyed the way you treated your words, and learned some good tips.

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  36. Once again, great story ideas. Glad you made it to the end of the Challenge.

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    1. Thanks, Jo, am glad you made it too. :-)

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  37. You have some very creative topics! I've seen a few bloggers use 'zoo' (myself included) but none using 'zoology'. I enjoyed your theme and I hope it inspired a lot of brainstorming. I know it did for me.

    Congrats on completing the A to Z challenge!

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    1. Congratulations to you too, Chris, and I'm glad you enjoyed my theme.

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  38. Wow! That was some challenge - well done! I really liked your stories.

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  39. We made it, Debi! Congrats. Incredible post once again.

    I worked with zoologists for seven years, and am in awe of the work they do. It's just sad when they have to "collect" things. :(

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    1. Yeah, that's true. The downside. :-(

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  40. Hi Debi - congratulations on making it through .. I too will come back and read through all your posts ... but including love in a zoology department could be interesting .. escaping insects or mammals ... let out by an inadvertent arm against a cage catch - then gather them in ... or forget in the passion of the moment ... who knows .. cheers and see you soon -Hilary

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    1. I'm excited to get back to my regular writing routine, but I know I'll be squeezing in a little more time for knocking on someone's blog door with a cup of coffee in hand, chocolate Werther's in my pocket.

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  41. Oh what fun! Shame I just discovered you too, Deb!! I love the romance one - that could be very funny indeed! :)
    Cpngrats on making it all the way through A to Z!
    Suzy @ http://www.fictiondreams.com
    A to Z participant

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    1. Thanks, Suzy, and I'll see you soon.

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  42. Congratulations! WE DID IT :)

    Thanks for stopping by at mine during the challenge xx

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    1. Thank you and congratulations to you too!

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  43. Girl, what a fun way to end this Challenge...Unzipped sweater! Great imagery in all your Alpha Genre Prompts. Thanks for ALL the creative thinking you have inspired and for your visits to my AtoZ posts. It's been fun and inspiring.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. Thanks, Sue. It's been fun visiting with you.

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  44. These have been so much fun to read and consider! My favorite one this time is the mystery idea! Thanks for sharing these with us and congrats on finishing the Challenge!

    Jen

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    1. Thanks, Jen. It's been a lot of fun!

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  45. Debi superb ideas yet again! Zoology... Who would have thought.... But the mystery in the lab smelled really good! ;)
    Can't thank you enough for this amazing A-Z series! I have learnt a lot and hope to stay in touch! Lv

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  46. Wow! You offer so many creative ideas!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm pleased we made it through Z!

    Yvonne

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  47. I'm thinking Science Fiction, and especially identifying with the kid who keeps asking about aliens. Alien animals would make a great story.

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    1. I know, right? So get writing that one. :-)

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  48. I love what you did for the A-Z. I hand it to everyone who accepts this challenge. I don't know if I could do it! I'm going to have to read through all of them because I think this might help me in my current editing process. Great job, Debi!

    Melanie Macek

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  49. I am so glad you visited me yesterday because it reminded me that I need to follow your blog. The A to Z was overwhelming and sometimes I followed, sometimes I passed quickly through. I love the stuff you post and completely understand why so many people started following you. Here comes another :) Jeri storytellingmatters.wordpress.com

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