May 21, 2011

Writer's Ramblings: Legend of the Devil Dog

A Devil Dog is nothing satanic, it's a name that marines have used since WWI when Germans at the Battle of Belleau Wood, in 1918, saw the marines climb out of the trenches filled with mustard gas and charge up a hill at them. The marines climbed on their hands and feet to reach the top of the hill. They had those gas masks that made them look like they had snouts and they’re eyes were bloodshot from the gas. Their mouths foamed, from over exertion, which was coming out of the masks, making them look like rabid dogs. I don’t know how much of that was real but the “Hounds from Hell” nickname became Devil Dogs after translating it from German and it’s said the Germans started the nickname when they were running for their lives.

Some recent news article has mentioned that newest generation marines have thought of it as an insult for troublemaker. That’s a shame, because I think it is an awesome nickname and marines should be proud to be called a Devil Dog. Last thing anyone wants to go head to head with is a Hound from Hell.

I've been spending the evening cleaning up the manuscript for The Devil Dog, I eliminated approximately 12,000 words of dull, and boring scenes that included excessive back-story and pointless dialogue. I’m not sweating though, because all the new scenes I’ve planned with the new outline that there should be far more than 12,000 words put back into it. Tonight, I’ll begin filling in those scenes and hopefully this week I’ll have a complete manuscript again, this time with a much faster story pace than before. Hopefully I removed all the lulls in the tension that I had previously with poor pacing.

I just wanted to cleanse my pallet with a book update since the day is nearly over and I am a little tired of the end of the world stuff. Especially since everyone is still here. The jokes over, its old news, and we’re moving on with our lives. I just feel sorry for the people who believed it.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend and I’ll get a blog up by Monday night that doesn’t involve my own book or zombies.


  1. Sounds interesting. Are you prior military?

  2. No, I was convinced by my wife not to join the marines back when I was young and had seriously considered it. I've grown up around military. My dad was a marine, my grandfather was Navy and my step-dad was Air Force. I did a lot of research and discussion with a couple of Marines before writing this book as well. I'm still researching as I write and I have one more marine to talk to before putting on the finishing touches.

  3. I was in the Navy for a while myself, and I know it's tough to get the lingo down, because the military culture is so esoteric. Glad to hear you've found a lot of people to give it that authentic touch. I'm reading Stephen Knight's book, the Gathering Dead, and he does a good job getting it right also. Can't wait to read your book when it's finished!

  4. Sounds interesting! When I'm editing, I always end up adding back almost as much as I cut too. *g*

  5. Thanks Paul, I'm hoping that last marine I talk to will be willing to beta read too. I really want his input.

    So true Lindsay, it's amazing, I even doubled the size of the first scene, which was perfectly fine the way it was, but now it's even better. I might have to post that up before long. Maybe after the next couple blogs I started putting together already.