I sat down to write only four hundred words yesterday, knowing I had a huge day today and had to prepare for the visit. Turns out that time pressure is a fantastic way to get writing out, because instead of four hundred words in the hour I spat out over a thousand, and pretty much topped off the chapter. Succulent wordy goodness.
In other news, apparently it’s a pretty common thing to make animals in fiction act like dogs, even if they’re horses or elephants. Well, here in the real world, my dog doesn’t even act like a dog all the time. He usually acts more like a Wolf (if you weren’t aware that there’s a difference, I suggest house-sitting a sleigh-dog for a week). I am thinking that this probably happens because almost all of us can relate to dogs, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to write what you know (I mean, who hasn’t slept all day only to get up and beg for chicken nuggets? What, noone?) .
Now I don’t want to fall into this trap of having only dog-like lovable animals to support my characters, but I’ve got a problem: I don’t have a clue how most animals really act (thank you, city living!), and then even less of an idea how to make them into something a reader can sympathise with. Cats are maybe the only one where I can see it working without giving them either human or dog behaviour.
My horse character is going to be wilful, and greedy, and finicky, but also brave. Guess I need to do more research than that though (they dig sugar-lumps, right?)
Do you know any writers that can do different animals justice? No, scrap that: what’s your favourite animal character in anything ever?
For me it’s Mouse from Jim Butcher’s the Dresden Files. That dog is a boss.