1. superpeppepower
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    superpeppepower New Member

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    Group Bonding?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by superpeppepower, Nov 14, 2015.

    I am currently writing a story about a group of stray dogs traveling together. In the beginning they barely know each other, barely talk to each other, and are generally antisocial. The only reason they are together is because they were all forcefully driven out of their old home and now need to find new territory. One dog in the group is shy, feels like he doesn't belong, and acts a bit babyish. Another is intimidating and cold towards others. The intimidating one is the protective mother to a puppy who is shy but friendly, and very curious/intelligent. Lastly, there is a dog who has just lost someone very close to her and is suffering from that death greatly. They have all been through some sort of trauma or loss in their life and are very detached/distant. Nobody wants any trouble.

    So, my question is this: What's a smooth way to bond them all together? How does a group of creatures all heavily isolated in their own worlds, all frightened, all misplaced, become a team in a smooth and natural way? I've tried researching group bonding, but it is a bit hard because usually the web talks about group bonding in workspace environment and I'm writing about stray dogs traveling through forest and farmland with little to eat and an unsure future. So... any suggestions?
     
  2. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    You may want to do some research into pack and herd mentality.

    Dogs (among many other animals) naturally want to be together and socialize. They feel most comfortable and secure as a unit, with one "alpha" calling the shots. This animal is the one who doesn't take no for an answer (as opposed to perhaps, a shy underdog... no pun intended) and who fights all opposition until he's the only one left standing — either he killed his competitors or they surrendered and limped away.

    Here is a link to dog psychology to get you started:

    http://www.canadiandogwhisperer.ca/the-basics-tips/dog-psychology-101
     
  3. superpeppepower
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    superpeppepower New Member

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    Thank you for your reply! Although this book is less about the actual psychology of dogs and more just about general character interactions (think Watership Down or Animal Farm) I think it'll still be helpful to weave in the way a dog's social interactions work. I'll take a look at the link and see what I can do.
     
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  4. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    You know these characters better than anyone else so only you can figure out the nitty gritty of how they start to get along. The first thing to think about is why they formed a group in the first place and build upon that as a reason for them to bond. There must be a reason for them to start working together and I would think they'd bond over relying on each other to survive. My first instinct would be to do it gradually.

    This is an on the fly example so please bear with me.
    -The mother dog might stop Shy from going into a dangerous area because Shy looks really intimidating and might deter potential threats to Pup. (Helping for selfish reasons)
    -Shy might start doing the odd nice thing for the mother and pup, like sharing some extra food because they'll move quicker if they're all well fed. (Helping because it helps the group and doesn't hurt the individual)
    -If Shy is injured and can't travel the others might stay with him and get food for him etc because the others feel like they owe him/it's best for the group. (Only now are they helping at cost to the individual)

    It's all about building trust between them slowly and also thinking about why they need to work together.
     
  5. superpeppepower
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    superpeppepower New Member

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    Thank you for your help! I think that's a really good idea. I'll tweak it of course, but I like the idea of the members first helping for selfish reasons and then setting of a chain that eventually leads to them helping out of caring and appreciation. I think they'll also start to bond because of the one thing they have in common- an uncertain future and a need for new territory.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice! I'll keep it in mind as I write. :)
     

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