fb

Fantasy Writers

Characterization: Talking Animals

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #127751
    Tabitha
    @tabitha

    How do you make talking animals show their animal side? I’ve read some fantasy books where I sometimes forget that a character isn’t human, and then I am totally caught off guard when the character flies, etc.

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Tabitha.

    "Those who look to Him are radiant with joy." --Psalm 34:5

    #127851
    Erynne
    @erynne

    @tabitha

    Great question! I honestly don’t have any talking animals in my story, but some things I would make sure to include are:

    1. Animal characteristics. Have the dog chase his tail every once in a while, and make sure the frog catches a fly here and there. I really feel like C S Lewis forgot to do this with Aslan and I always forgot he was a lion and I was even confused when I first began reading Narnia because of this.

    2. Remind the reader that the animal is talking by mentioning their physical traits. Ex. ” ‘Yes I do,’ said the cat swaying her tail happily”

    3. Maybe try some speaking errors. The animal can’t control himself from making the noise he’s technically supposed to make. Ex. ” ‘Yesss I do’ said Mr. Snake”

    I really hope this helps!

    #127916
    Arindown (Gracie)
    @arindown

    @tabitha

    This is a good question…I get so annoyed when I think a character is a human, only to find out they’re a parrot.😄

    Erynne has some good ideas, but I might add a few. Depending on how your story works, you could remind readers of animal-ness by making them have different accents or cultures.

    I think something I would do most would be to pay attention to details. Animals act differently then humans, even if they have similar characteristics (C.S. Lewis’s Horse and His Boy might be a good reference for horses). A cat, for example, might pay more attention to movement, stare you in the eyes when she’s angry, flick her ears if she hears something, scratch herself with her back leg, make meowy-grunting sounds instead of saying “eh,” or “yeah,” and prefer naps in sunny spots.

    I think the little things make the most difference…like remembering that eye-contact is friendly among humans (at least in North America), but animals almost always take eye-contact as aggressive.

    Asking your readers if you’re being clear is also a good idea. I don’t have talking animals at the moment…but one of my stories has centaurs, which is going to be a challenge because they have human attributes as well as horse characteristics.😂

    Not all who wander are lost.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Story Embers

Enroll in Our Seven-Day Mindset Challenge Course

Enter your email to begin taking the course. We'll send you a link to begin the mindset course along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You've joined the course! Check your email to watch the first video.

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.

 

Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the plot sheet in one moment...

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.

 

Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

 You can download the entire Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers series in e-book form for free!

 Learn how to wisely handle subjects like violence, language, and sex as a writer.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Worldbuild Smarter, Not Harder

 Some worldbuilding questionnaires force you to answer as many questions as possible about your world.

 

Ours doesn’t. Answer targeted questions that reveal what’s actually important about your world.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the worldbuilding questionnaire in one moment...

Take Your Style to the Next Level

Take Your Style to the Next Level

The written word matters to God.

 

Does it matter to you?

 

Learn how to develop an eloquent, practical, and personal style by downloading our free e-book.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

Every Year, Thousands of Writers Give Up

 Don’t be the next.

 

We understand how exhausting writing can be, so download our free e-book and find inspiration to press on!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Don't Be That Kind of Christian Writer

Want to impact the world for Christ with your writing—without being preachy or cliched?

 

Learn how to avoid common pitfalls and craft powerful themes by downloading our free worksheet!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the theme worksheet in one moment...

So You Have Clichés in Your Novel...

Thankfully, we’re here to help!

 

Enter your email below, and we’ll send you a simple process for smashing clichés.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the cliche worksheet in one moment...

Sign Up for Updates

Enter your email to receive updates on the Engaging Plots Summit, along with emails to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Does Christian Fiction Need to Be Clean?

Our Tricky Subjects for Christian Storytellers e-book examines how to depict sensitive topics like violence, language, and sex with realism and wisdom. Sign up to download it for free!

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

Poetry Isn't Just for Poets

It can also help novelists write better stories!

Get our Harnessing the Power of Poetry e-book to learn how techniques used by skilled poets can enrich your storytelling.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

Enjoying This Article? Get the Full Series!

You can download the entire Harnessing the Power of Poetry series in e-book form for free!

Learn what surprising insights and techniques novelists can glean from poets.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Uncover the Secret to Relatable Characters

Learning how to help readers connect with your story's characters doesn't need to be a mystery.

Get our Evoking Reader Empathy e-book to discover how successful authors build empathy.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the eBook in one moment...

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Stop Using Meaningless Character Questionnaires

Knowing your character's favorite ice cream flavor won't help you write engaging protagonists.

 

Our questionnaire is different. Use it to discover your character's core fears, longings, hopes, and needs.

 

 

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the character questionnaire in one moment...

Plotting Is Hard

Plotting Is Hard

That’s why we created a worksheet that will help you make sure your story hits all the right plot beats.

 

Sign up below to learn how to ace story structure.

Congratulations! Redirecting you to the plot sheet in one moment...

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Learn What the Bible Says about Engaging Plots

Enter your email to get your guide, along with other resources to help you grow in your writing craft!

You have successfully subscribed for updates!

Pin It on Pinterest