1. HistoricalScience
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    HistoricalScience Active Member

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    Animal As Major Character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by HistoricalScience, Jan 20, 2016.

    I was curious if anyone has made an animal a major character in one of their stories and how you handled that character, their development, etc.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    Hey there! Are you talking about an animal living in a human dominated world (like the family pet having human thoughts), an animal in a world where humans exist but do not control animals (like the Warrior Cats series) or animals like , say, the Khajiit in Skyrim, where they live like people and fully interact with humans?
     
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  3. HistoricalScience
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    HistoricalScience Active Member

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    I mean real animals. I don't recall ever getting directly into the animal's thoughts (in this case a Gray wolf) but he is a major player in the story.
     
  4. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I have a car. Is that the same thing?
     
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  5. HistoricalScience
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    HistoricalScience Active Member

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    Sure!
     
  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    It's a 1938 Packard Straight Eight Coupe, somewhat sentient and entirely capable of breaking the laws of physics. The car was originally called Sweetie Pie by its first owner, Jack Asher calls it The Experiment. He switches pro-nouns when talking about "it", or sometimes "her."

    The Experiment emotes through its hood ornament. Originally an angelic figure holding a discuss (called in documents, "the goddess of speed"), The Experiment now uses the ornament to show how it's feeling. For a car, it mostly feels pretty happy when it gets to drive, and bored when it has to stop somewhere or park. She knows Jack and will unlock her doors for him, and usually only needs a little convincing to unlock doors for people she's never met before. She won't turn on if he isn't driving, it flat out refuses.

    Recently (in the chain of events in At Least I Have Chicken) she was moved from the garage on the alley, to the street outside. On occasion Jack has found bits of fur under her tires, and the local racoon population has noticeably declined. He moved it back to the garage as soon as he could, terrified he'd find an undigested collar under it. The alternative was standing on the street and lecturing his car about eating racoons, and his neighbors already think he's weird enough.
     
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  7. BoddaGetta
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    BoddaGetta Active Member

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    There are plenty of authors that have done this successfully that you can use as a reference point.

    One of my favorites I read a few years back was Firebringer by David Clemet-Davies. The entire novel was from the POV of different European red deer. It was very enjoyable, in a way historical fiction with what the humans were up to in the universe, and similar to another example of this, Watership Down. Clemet-Davies also has another book from the perspective of wolves in the same universe as Firebringer, called The Sight.

    Another novel I enjoyed that was a comment on society and a wonderful first person POV book is Black Beauty.

    I've never written from an animal's perspective before, I apologize for not being able to offer up some tips. The only thing I can recommend is to read books and stories that do what you want to accomplish successfully.
     
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  8. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    I haven't personally read this, but I've seen multiple people praise how Steven King wrote the dog in Cujo. I'm also quite fond of The Cry of the Wolf by Melvin Burgess, and of course The Call of the Wild hardly needs to be mentioned.
     
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  9. J. Johnston
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    To clarify, is your wolf fully sentient? Thinks like a human, but just can't speak and/or naturally roams different environments?
     
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  10. HistoricalScience
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    HistoricalScience Active Member

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    I'll have to check those out! Thanks!

    Always heard about Cujo but never read it. I'll have to check that out and the others. I did actually reread The Call of the Wild several months ago for this purpose. Thank you!

    If you want specifics, the Gray wolf is the reincarnation of the main character's son so they have an uncanny bond but that is never bluntly stated as such only hinted at through the story. I don't believe I go specifically into the wolf's POV throughout any of the book. Thanks!
     
  11. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    I love Jim Kjelgaard as a child. He often wrote from the animal's point of view. You might consider checking out some of his work since he does use dogs and wild animals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Kjelgaard

    John Flanagan has the rangers horses as characters, but not MC's. Those are a good afternoon read too: http://www.worldofjohnflanagan.com/

    I've never written from the point of view of an animal, but one of my characters does have conversations with her horse.
     
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