Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Animals and writing


It was my turn to pick the topic this month. My question for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog was:
How do your pets/kids/plants (something you take care of) influence your writing?  Do they help you, or distract you?  Do you include them in your stories?

People rarely inspire my fiction, but the animals in my life often have.  I’ve even named a kitten after one of my characters, then used his personality to guide the character’s behavior.

I’ve asked what my darling, long deceased Mystic would have done if she’d been human and in such a situation.  Her ghost informed me she’d never act as silly as humans do and would never have gotten into such a situation.  When I reminded her of some of the stunts she pulled in life, she just stared at me with that cool cat stare that says “You’re thinking of someone else, but I’m too polite to correct you.” LOL!  She was good at that.

My family had horses when I was a teen, and horses are often supporting characters in my stories.  Occasionally they have more personality than my humans.  Horses are more than a mode of transportation. They have feelings and reactions and quirks, and they most certainly are not cars that can run forever without tiring.  Horses are fairly fragile, and die from misuse or accident, in real life and in my fiction.

Churchill, my current owner cat, is purely a distraction. He insists he needs to lie upon my keyboard.  No way, my lad.  That’s one of the few battles I’ve won.

How do animals affect your writing? Do you like stories with animals as significant characters?

11 comments:

  1. I don't have many animals in my creations. If I do, they are usually made up. But I love how other people use them in their stories, the way you do.

    Hey Churchill! He's looking pretty happy. :)

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  2. I had a dog growing up but after she died we never got another one. I think having a pet can say a lot about a person. Something to think about when creating characters. =)

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  3. Hi Lydia! Yeah, Churchill loves a good tummy rub. :-)

    Hi Elizabeth! You need a new pet, if only to remind you to add animals in your characters' lives. And to pester you, and to make you laugh!

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  4. I LOVE horses and I especially love it when their personality outshines other characters--have you seen Tangled? Yeah, there's a very prominent horse in it.

    Churchill's soooo cute!!!!!

    *hugs* for Mystic.

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  5. Hi Laura! I keep meaning to see Tangled, but ...

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  6. Oh that little pink tongue--it kills me with cuteness!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  7. LOL Angela! He's normally so dignified, almost grumpy-looking, I had to share the tongue. :-)

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  8. My cat is also my distraction. She snores really loudly while I'm trying to write. Now I listen to really loud music.

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  9. I love writing significant animals into my stories. In my current manuscript, my main character's best friend is named after--and is exactly like--a little pink cockatoo I used to work with.

    My dog, Bridger, recently passed away, and I've already planned a huge part for him in my next manuscript as well. I love the depth special animals bring to the stories I read. :)

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  10. Hugs on losing Bridger, LisaAnn. May he bring special insight to your next story.

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Share your thoughts with me! :-)