For many of us, nothing is quite so full of inspiration as an animal. (Witness the ten kajillion online photos and videos on YouTube). They touch us in our daily lives, teach us how to enjoy the world, and surprise us with their beauty, strength, and grace. Why not let more of them inspire us in our writing?
I enjoy including animals in all of my books. My characters have pets that immediately say something about who they are. From the enigmatic MacKenzie Cole’s sole companion, an Irish wolfhound named Rosheen . . .
to Gunnar Wolfe’s Norwegian Forest Cat, Odin . . .
. . . to the collection of albino and leucistic reptiles owned by Lester Purvis, the animals my characters live with have an important role to play in their lives.
But let’s assume the pets aspect doesn’t work for you. Think about your setting, instead. Unless your entire book takes place in a windowless apartment, animals will, to some extent, be part of the environment. And if your story takes your characters out into nature, you have a great opportunity to use them to help paint the scene,
add an element of danger,
or a note of mystery to the sounds of the night.
I hope you’ll be inspired by these photos, some taken by my good friend, photographer Doug Little, and consider adding a few animals to your books and stories. You never know what kind of tale you might come up with!