You are an important part of world-building. Whether we are writing in a fantasy world or the world we know, animals are an important part of it. We might have pets that are a part of the story, even mentioned only in passing. Even if there are no animals in the story, there's no way that animals don't have an impact. If we're writing a story on earth, maybe we hear owls at night or birds during the day, or see a mouse in the city or a stray cat, or pass by a barn or a pasture full of cows. Animals impact the world around us every day. If we're writing an alternate world or even on Earth, we have the freedom to create all sorts of animals that could help or hinder our characters.
Has anyone seen Avatar: The Last Airbender? (The original cartoon show, not "The Last Airbender" movie. The show is one of my favorite things ever, but I did not care for the movie. Sometime, I will do a blog post on everything I've learned about writing and storytelling from this cartoon.) The original show was full of hilarious and creative animals that were part of this world. Most of them were two animals blended together. Otter Seals, Platypus Bears, Boarcupines…I cannot even begin to describe how awesome and fun it was, and I bet the writers had a blast coming up with this stuff. That was a fantasy world setting. If you look at The Hunger Games series for another example, it took place on Earth, but in the future, and there were quite a few different animals around. They were often really scary, but they served an important purpose in the plot, too.
If you have a lack of animals in your world, it might be indication that something is wrong. No birds chirping? Where'd they all go? Were they ever there to begin with?
No matter what world you're writing in, it's good to keep in mind that animals can help make a better and more realistic story, too.
Someone With Animals in All Her Stories
*Are there any particular animals you've written/read that you really like or that intrigued you?
***HAPPY END OF THE A-Z CHALLENGE! I have met so many, many wonderful people through this challenge. Thanks to all of you who came along for the ride! It'll be interesting to see what everyone's blogs look like when they're not doing the A-Z challenge! I hope all of you who participated had fun!***