One of the major ways to pull a reader into a book is the details. Yes we all know this, but I am not taking about the turquoise broach she wore on her cashmere sweater. I am talking more about the details of someone’s life, the little things we tend to forget about.
One of those things is our pets.
Did you know, over 72% of the populace either has, or wants to have, a pet in their family? Also, surprisingly 83% of people are more sensitive to pet violence than people violence. I do not argue with either of these statistics because they are correct.
Watch any movie where there is a sidekick dog or a favorite cat, and while the world is exploding the audience worries if the dog made it through the zombie invasion or if the cat made it safely out of the burning house.
People, readers can relate to the affection felt for an animal. It is the simplest and one of the purest forms of unconditional love in the world, and something we all crave.
As a writer, the furry friend can open avenues of growth for your character. Whether it reveals a fear, you character has a paralyzing fear of rabbits, or loneliness, the woman’s only confidant is the cat she talks to for hours in the evening because he can’t reveal the horrific secrets she tells.
Pets are also wonderfully expressive characters in their own right. The bird who attacks anyone with an accent, or the ferret who jumps in your romantic interest's pants before he can jump in yours.
These supporting characters are powerful driving forces as far as plot. She knew something wasn’t right. Where was Charlie, begging for his daily belly rubbing and cookie?
Many authors have utilized pets as the keys to the kingdom. Animals in any situation are a secondary character, thus in the background. A writer can easily hide clues to the identity of the villain or the hero in the actions of a pet.
Even the silent goldfish can speak volumes if characterized correctly—
Alyssa stirred on the couch, the rustling sound of rocks playing against her struggle to sleep. Damn goldfish nesting again…The most plausible reason is that he's setting up the place the best way he likes it. Everyone needs to feel at home. Maybe that is what she needed to do, rearrange the furniture, make the space more hers. If she is staying here for lord knows how long she should at least feel at home. If a goldfish deserves it, so do I, besides, what harm could it do…
So now I have given you a few off the cuff suggestions for you to mull in your super writer brains! Have fun with it!
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