Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photo Tuesday - Critters in the Pages!

Well, not literally, unless your cat likes to help when you read or write!

But a recent post from a book blogger alerted me to the fact that we often forget animals when we are writing. I love animals, but I am just as guilty of omitting them from my work. (I think a zoo and Sea World were my only animal sources - I will have to work on that!)

So let's consider some of the critters we might include in our next novel!

Our character could own a dog or a cat.

In addition to being a faithful companion, pet represent a responsibility - or lack thereof!

Maybe they have a fish or other exotic animal.

If they live on a farm, there's always animals about!

Some might also be a pet.

If they venture out into their backyard or go for a hike or on a camping trip, wildlife abounds!

Bunnies, lizards, turtles, butterflies...

And don't forget the birds!

Remember, critters make sounds, so they will provide good background material.

What if your character goes to a zoo?

Lots of wildlife there!

Just something to ponder when you tackle that next book!


  1. What a great variety of pictures! Some great shots, Diane!

  2. Great advice. I don't know how many books I read that never mention animals. I never really thought of it though until you mentioned it in this post. And as always, fabulous pictures!

  3. Yes, and in fact, a pet can be a big part of character revelation. A person who owns a cat is different from a person who has dogs, and then there's the difference of small or large dogs. And the person who owns an iguana is even more definitive, let alone those who own tarantulas (and keep the skins they shed in plexiglass wall frames), or boa constrictors in specially desgined habitats in the living room. I've dated some of these people abd hadn't thought about using these elements to enliven a story or novel.
    It can be a fun way to illustrate character traits both good or bad. Two of my boa constrictor friends are sweethearts and "baby" their snakes. So you can play with dichotomy and paradox as well.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Great photos. Animals do add a lot to a book. It gives the reader a little bit more insight into who the character is if they have or deal with animals.

  5. Great post. It's a good reminder that when we envision a scene, we should consider the extraneous things a character might see or hear, from a hawk overhead to ants on the sidewalk. Sometimes it's the small things that really bring a scene to life. Love the pictures!

    Straight From Hel

  6. I'll insert some space bunnies next time.

  7. I had fun selecting photos for this one!

    I read a book blogger's rant about YA books not having any animals or pets. That got me to thinking - I really don't have any in mine, either! And as Ggray said, a pet can say so much about a character.

  8. Love the gorilla. I don't know why but somehow I could relate to that picture. Hmm - put some glasses on him and I guess I do see a resemblence.

  9. This was too cute! Loved the animal photos...I'm a sucker for them...I wonder why I never write them in anywhere? Great point!

  10. Love these pictorial posts! Hey I just noticed I hadn't signed up to follow this blog in all this time! Sheesh - fixed that just now (wink)

    Marvin D Wilson

  11. I think the cow is my favorite. :) I may have to put a cow in my next book....

    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  12. Interesting blog here, just visiting, and enjoyed this post. you are so right about animals. Reminds me of those cat mysteries, that really aren't that good, but every cat lover who reads buys them because of the cat!

  13. Love the gorilla!! I've always been fascinated by them.

    Only critters in my ms this time are rats. :)

  14. Arlee and Jemi, glad you liked the gorilla! I took that photo at the Memphis zoo over twenty years ago.

    Kristi, I've failed with the animals, too...

    Thanks Marvin!

    Elizabeth, let me know about your cow!

    And thanks, Karen, glad you could visit today!

  15. What is it about wildlife that they can bring a smile to my face? Thanks!