As you may know, I love to write for children and all of my books feature animals who talk among themselves. Do you like featuring animals in your stories? You may also be aware that the animals in my stories have amusing adventures, where they learn important things and share their wisdom with their animal friends. If you like to write about animals, here are some things that you might consider doing.
- Make the animals the stars, rather than the people in the story: I like to give my animal characters fun personalities that children will relate to. For example, in the story Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes,Hattie the chicken likes to wear hats. She’s also an emotional little chicken. How does the reader know when she’s happy or excited? Hattie hops around, flapping her wings.
- Share the thoughts of the animals: I like to share the thoughts of the animals so that the readers learn more about their personalities and their natural talents. It’s fun to give them skills, the same as people have. One example is that Hattie finds she’s very good at organizing events. But, since chickens don’t have hands, she writes signs and ads with her beak and she remarks that she has very nice “beakmanship” and it’s not at all like chicken scratch.
- Be sure the animal characters learn important things: In my stories, I take care to ensure that the animal characters grow and learn, the same as human characters do. In my story, Charlie the Horse, Charlie dreams of becoming a famous racehorse like his dad, Charles the Great. But he has trouble focusing on his work and finds himself distracted by things like daffodils and tulips that he would like to munch on during his workouts. Eventually, he learns he won’t be the first one to reach the finish line if he continues being distracted.
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on creating entertaining animal characters for your stories.
(c) Deanie Humphrys-Dunne 2013