Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nonhuman Characters! by DL Larson

Corbin Dallas had to visit the vet this week.  It wasn't a regular checkup, he got hurt one night when he refused to come inside.  Only after he had licked the fur off around his wound did I realize how seriously he was injured.  I was told the wound was actually a cat bite and infected.  The vet informed me cat bites are always nasty. 

Corbin is taking antibiotics, not cordially, but he's still allowing me to administer to him.  I dab hydrogen peroxide on his ouchy twice a day which helps and there isn't anything for him to lick off.  He's recovering nicely and will be fine in a few more days. 

What I find so intriguing is when I tell others about Corbin's late night adventure, I don't refer to him as my cat, but by his name.  He's part of the family.  My close friends know him as easily as they know the names of my children and grandchildren. 

Writing a pet into a story is another way to explore the insights of main characters.  How they interact with their animal, how they care for it, relays all types of information to the reader without the writer having to spell it out.  The pet can be a minor character or part of a discovery with the heroine or hero in the story.  I've always enjoyed stories with pets in them. 

I've listed a few who have been extremely successful writing "nonhuman themed books."
* James Herriot has many animal stories he shared from being a veternarian in England;  One of his still popular books is All Creatures Great and Small
*Rita Mae Brown with Mrs. Murphy's Mystery series, The Big Cat Nap is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is available on Amazon and other places I'm sure. 
*Erin Hunter has a juvenile fiction series called Warrior Cat and has made a big dent in filling the need for exciting kid stories with animals as the main characters.

Do you plan to write in a pet into your next WIP?  Have you a pet in your latest work?  Do you have a pet of your own and has it become one of the family?

Share with us today!

Til next time ~

DL Larson

5 comments:

Juli Monroe said...

I have two ferrets in my fantasy series. They are my warlocks "familiars." In quotes because that's what he calls them. They've nothing really to do with his magic. ;) They are based entirely on two ferrets I owned several years ago, and readers have liked them very much. They're staying as series regulars.

Gina said...

DL, ya know how much my dogs mean to me. Just been a week now since losing Shadow. :-(

Deb Larson said...

Gina: I know, it's so hard to lose our beloved family pets. Only time and good memories can help. Remember that!

And Juli - ferrets? That's awesome. I would call that a great hook to your story and an intriguing twist to regular pets a warlock might have.
Thanks for sharing ~
DL Larson

Debra St. John said...

The hero in one of my books gave the heroine a puppy when he declared his love to show her he understood her need for a settled life and a home.

Morgan Mandel said...

Oh, Yes, there is a pet in my next book, Her Handyman.

The pet is a Chinese Crested named FuFu, and is the catalyst for the first meeting of the hero and heroine.

Morgan Mandel
http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com