Are there any animals in your fiction? Does your MC have a dog? Does your MC turn into a dog? I've been thinking about the role animals can play in fiction. Just like they can bring out the best in us in real life, I've found they can show a side of a character that might be harder to show with other people (or whatever creature your MC is). Other than just pets, I can see many ways animals might make it into a story, but at least in my fiction there aren't many animals. However, I put some animals in my newest short story to serve a purpose a human character can't. Mainly, I needed the sounds they make, barking and such. My novel doesn't have any animals in it as of yet. It probably won't since I can't really think of a good reason to include any at this point. Do you need a good reason to include an animal? Hmmm... I'm tempted to work something wild into my novel now. Anyway, what's your take on animals in fiction? I read in some submissions guidelines before that this one place at least didn't want any stories about cats. I can't remember where it was, but they must have seen quite a few stories involving cats to say such a thing. Is it generally a good leave to leave animals out of your story or can a four-legged friend be just what the plot call for? I know it depends on the story, but I'm just wondering what you guys think of animals in fiction and if you've brought them into your writing. Why or why not?