Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zoology

Dear Zoology,

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!***


  1. Truth! Sounds and such are things I have to keep reminding myself to include.

    Congrats on the completion of A to Z.

  2. I like this!
    I found you on the day after the last day of the challenge but hey!
    You sound like my kind of gal.

  3. I have always wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands and see the fascinating zoology found there. Even our own world abounds with unusal animals. (I spend too much time on the Nature Channel)

  4. We finished the challenge! Woooo for us!

  5. Congrats on finishing the challenge! It was so great to meet you!!

  6. Where has the time gone? I can't believe I missed your last posts! Ugh. Having a social life alongside a writing one's hard to balance. I shall comment on the “Xari”, “Yawn”, and “Wade” post when I have the time.

    Animals are very important, aren't they? And you can have so much fun with them! My Script Frenzy novel had crazy animal names. I feel like everything in the story was alliteration. Or mistranslated names. LOL

    Haha. I love the Avatar animals! I love the episode when Sokka's stuck in the ground whilst trying to hunt the saber tooth moose lion cub. That was what it was called, right? And then the episode when everyone was so shocked that the Earth King had something just called a "bear". ROFL.

    You've read The Hunger Games? I didn't know that! Here's hoping that I wasn't telling you to read it when you already had. LOL I still have nightmares about those Tracker Jackers.

    I have to say that I'm surprised you didn't mention Chocobos. They are the mascot for Final Fantasy. I feel the series is better for it, too. Of course there are other amazing animals in the games, too. I still laugh about Yuna wearing that moogle suit in Luca.

    Huh. Speaking of FF, I just noticed that some of KH's animals have human forms. That is, if you consider Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed animals. I mean Xehanort's Heartless ended up retaining a human form. There were Nobodies like Organization XIII and Naminé. And technically, the Unversed where Vanitas' emotions incarnate.

    Oops. Hope I didn't spoil Birth by Sleep for you. Gosh, I can never shut up about the fandom. Haha. Anyway, this is a wonderful post, Laura. And I hope you're doing well! (I hope you got my last e-mail.)

    You know, Maximum Ride has some interesting animals, too. Would you consider the Erasers animals?

    But of course, I don't love any animals as much as the brethren in you and Faith's stories;)

  7. I had fun creating some dangerous magical creatures for my most recent WIP!
    And I'm looking forward to the post on the Airbender series :-)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!