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Animal POV Fiction?

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Animal POV Fiction?

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  • #68537
    duskflower
    @duskflower

    It’s uncommon enough that I doubt there are people who do write this, but it’d be totally awesome to find people who did! Animal Fiction/Animal Fantasy is from the perspective of an (anthropomorphized, to varying extents) animal. Other than that, there’s not any real requirements. Some of them feel more fairy-tale like and talk to humans, others like Black Beauty or Call of the Wild are more realistic in modern society and don’t talk to humans, others like Warrior Cats take place in modern day but have no interactions with humans and others like Redwall or Guardians of Ga’hoole are in an alternate world without human and have organized societies and inter-species cultures. Many children’s books are from animal perspectives, but there’s a fair share of adult books that are too (especially the more serious ones).

    Some examples include:

    – The Call of the Wild (dogs) and White Fang (wolves/dogs)

    – Watership Down (rabbits, very gruesome but very well done)

    -The Wind in The Willows (a variety of creatures)

    – Black Beauty (horses, very realistic and based on the treatment of horses in the 1800s)

    – The Tale of Desperaux (mice! utterly charming and fairytale like)

    – Warrior Cats (cats, though they’re not terribly cat-like)

    – Redwall (like Warriors, they’re more human-like than animal, but I do love how the animals each have their own culture, dialect and strength and weakness. The merging of animal and human is really well-done)

    – Guardians of Ga’hoole (Owls! Like Redwall, it’s really, really well-done! They feel like owls and, more than many of these, are more based in actual science and observation of owls)

    – Wolves of the Beyond (by the same other as above! It’s also good, but I like it a little less because the structure of the wolf packs and their culture feel less..realistic? The owls have societies and write books and all that, but are still owlish enough to feel not wholly fantastical. The wolves do feel more fantastical here, though again it’s a great series).

    – The Sight (David Clement-Davies – wolves)

    – The Firebringer Trilogy (Meredith Ann Pierce – one of my favorite trilogies of all time! It’s about unicorns).

    – Birth of the Firebringer (David Clement-Davies – deer)

    – The Named Series (Clare Bell – prehistoric creatures)

    – The Wolf Chronicles (by Dorothy Hearst – guess what animal? more realistic and very well-done, a seamless mingling of fantasy and science and basically a fantasy explanation for how wolves became dogs 1400 years ago)

    I write about wolves! My particular novel is based off of real wolf packs and two wolves that traveled a thousand miles to be the first in California in a century (which, as you may have guessed, actually happened and is begging for a story). They think and feel like humans, but their physical capabilities, pack structure, etc. is more realistic. I do a lot of research (one of my favorite places for information is Wolves: Behavior, Ecology and Conversation which is a scientific tome solely about wolves, from social dynamics to biology to territory structure) and my aim is to make them as realistic as possible while also being relatable. Thankfully, wolves are very social, friendly and surprisingly empathetic (though as ferocious as any other predator) creatures and make for fantastic characters!

    Anyone writing animal fiction? Has anyone read it? What do you think of it? How is your faith (or how have you seen faith) woven into it?

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by duskflower.
    #68560
    Cassandra Hamm
    @cassandraia

    @duskflower The Warriors series was one of my absolute favorites when I was in middle school, so much so that I wrote 5 fanfiction books about it (all with the same characters) and started several others with other sets of characters but didn’t finish those. I suppose you could count those as writing animal fiction. XD however, my cats were even more human-like than the ones in the series. XD I also loved the Redwall books. I read the Guardians of Ga’hoole books and enjoyed them, though not as much, and I remember reading the Wolves of the Beyond series, but it evidently didn’t make much of an impression on me. XP and I read the Tale of Despereaux when I was in elementary school. All in all, I very much enjoy animal fiction. However, now that I am older, I find myself only writing from humans’ perspectives, and I think that’s okay. I’m a different person now, and my animal fiction was always terribly human-like anyway. XD I have never seen faith woven into animal fiction, though. Warriors has astrology in it 😛 but I never picked much up on that when I was younger.

    I crush readers' souls like grapes.

    #68576
    Lin
    @lin

    @duskflower I used to love animal fiction as a child, but I strangely never read books like that now that I’m an adult. Even though I really enjoy movies from an animal point of view. I might like to read some of those books you mentioned and maybe even try to write something similliar. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of that before haha. Your story sounds very interesting! I’ve always loved wolves. (:

    “I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

    #68585
    Evelyn
    @evelyn

    @duskflower

    You’re writing a story about wolves? Haha… tagging @steward-of-the-pen 😉

    #68587
    Ariel Ashira
    @ashira

    @duskflower First of all, I LOVE wolves!  (I should change my profile pic to a wolf instead of a lion…)  That is cool that you are writing about them.   And the story you are writing about actually happened?!  SO COOL!

    I have read Watership Down.  That book is awesome!  I really liked how everything the rabbits did was something real rabbits could have done.  The rabbit lore and language helped put you into their world.

    I have written a little…nothing special.  But when it is well researched and written, I love reading animal fiction!  I think its relatively easy to bring faith into it, because even animals can acknowledge God as their creator.

    Does that help at all?

    "No matter how much it hurts, how dark it gets, or how hard you fall, you are never out of the fight."

    #68594
    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @duskflower

    Ohhh, I LOVE animals!! And I love books from animals POV!! Most of the Animal Fiction/Fantasy books I have read are middle-grade novels, but I love them just the same. 😉 Some of my favorites are: The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Cricket in Times Square (best kid’s book ever!!) The Redwall books, The Green Ember, Black Beauty, Charlotte’s Web and of course Winnie-the-Pooh! (I have a slight obsession with Animal kid’s books.😉)

    I have tried my hand at Animal POV fiction different times, but never completed a whole story. I am still holding to the idea of writing a story about a hedgehog someday. 😍

    I think that it is so cool that you are writing a story about wolves!! Wolves are such fascinating and cool animals…I think it’s awesome you are writing about them. GO YOU!

    I haven’t read any books where God/faith/religion were necessarily incorporated into a story’s theme that was about animals…but I like what @ashira said about pointing to the Creator.

    I think if you are writing from the POV of an animal, it’s going to be hard to incorporate God into the story, seeing as animals are neither spiritual or eternal beings. They can do neither right nor wrong, they act on instinct alone. Of course in some Animal POV fiction, the animal is basically act like humans and have souls…and I personally like that type of style to some extent. But to try and incorporate spirituality into the story or the animal’s life, might be stretching it a little bit…🙂

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    #68644
    Andrew Schmidt
    @andrew

    @duskflower

    I really enjoy writing short stories from animals’ POVs. I’m not ever sure which animal I like better, though. Sometimes I like dinosaurs, other times stingrays, sometimes elephants, and sometimes dragons, and all those other cool, amazing creatures out there!

    "Muhahaha!"- Unknown Villain

    #68680
    duskflower
    @duskflower

    @eden-anderson Though I’d love to hear from other Christian writers who have tried it, the way my faith is woven in is definitely in a very different way from other novels.

    As anthropomorphized as they are, they’re still animals and I agree that it’d be odd to have organized religion in an animal story (-sighs pointedly at Warrior Cats-) but animals are still Creation, and under bondage. They experience death particularly acutely and my protagonist’s arc involves a jarring face-to-face encounter with it, shocking her out of much of her naiveté. A dying character mentions death being constant, until the “world is made new”. Death is portrayed as both natural and unnatural, a integral reality and yet a strange enemy. They have hope for the renewing of the world and for death being wiped away. Though it’s not addressed very directly, fate and destiny and things “happening for a reason” also quietly play a role in the background. Nothing is by accident and, though not everything makes sense, there is a strange order to the dance of life and death. Even the prey is a gift, and neither plenty nor starvation is an accident (Psalm 104:21). There’s no rituals or direct mention of God (it’s more Esther-like) and even the morality is a little different from humans (there’s nothing taboo about killing non-pack members – killing intruders is justified, for example, but it’s not necessarily right either) and even the aforementioned allusions are just that: allusions. They are quiet realities playing out behind the scenes and barely acknowledged, but certainly there. There’s also themes of true love, self-sacrifice and redemption that are cornerstones to the story. I believe that animal fiction in its basic form is a unique way to display God’s glory – kind of like those Psalms that mostly talk about animals and God’s creation – and show the wonders of the natural world that it’s hidden in. Of course, through the characters and whatnot there’s many other things that can be revealed, including a surprising amount of truths about people (especially in animal-centric stories where humans play little to no part).

    Woah, that was a little longer than expected ^_^

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by duskflower.
    #68699
    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @duskflower

    Okay, makes sense! I think it’s really cool that you’ve found a way to present faith/biblical values in a story about animals. If you can do it and do it well, then I say GO YOU!!! I wish you the best of luck…your story sounds really interesting!

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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