September 1, 2017

Animal Characters

Have you ever used animals as the main characters in your stories?  If not—why not? Children love stories about animals.

If you don't know where to start, do Google search for "fascinating animals,"  You may find creatures worthy of starring in your stories.  That's how I found Cholla.  Cholla was a horse that could hold a brush in his mouth and paint pictures.  In fact, his owner entered one of his paintings in an international art contest and it won a prize.  My story  Cholla, the True Story of an Artsy Horse is based on a real horse and a true event.

Besides searching for unique animals online, you may run across some interesting creatures while you're traveling or on vacation.  Keep your eyes open and you may come across an interesting animal to write about.  Once when my husband and I were in New Orleans, we saw a dog do funny tricks for bystanders in Jackson Square.

Sometimes pets in your own neighborhood may inspire you.  We have a neighbor that owns a potbelly pig as a pet.  Our next-door neighbors have three chickens, two dogs and a cat. Raccoons and opossums have visited our patio.  A red-tailed hawk sometimes perches on our deck.

Perhaps a friend or a relative has an adorable or an unusual pet that you could use as basis for a new character.  A good friend of my rescued a lovable dog named Charlie (his gorgeous picture is to the right), and he is the inspiration for Maggie's dog in my upcoming book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.

You don't have to look far to find an animal that can be used as a character in one of your stories. Search the Internet for interesting animals.  Take a look in your own neighborhood. Write about a pet. Children will love a story about an amazing animal character.


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