Animals, or fauna, can play a part in making a setting a character. Consider how different parts of the world can be identified just by certain animals. For example, if a story has kangaroos, it’s probably taking place in Australia. Also consider how we’ve come to expect certain people to have certain pets. The rugged tough guy might have a pit bull, the kindly old woman who lives alone may have ten cats, and the kid who’s into science might have a pet mouse who runs a maze. These are clichés, but they paint fast mental images. Settings that have animals feel more alive because readers live in a world with animals. If your setting is a character, give that character a “pet” (maybe even a few) to help make it more relatable and fleshed out.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson in preparing to write settings that feel like characters – my A to Z Challenge theme for 2015. If you long to discover more in-depth details on this topic, I have a .99 cents (US currency) ebook available on Amazon and Smashwords.
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Question of the day: What is your favorite Australian animal, place, or saying?