Animal Main Characters

by Tikaani

Question: I have been working on a five series for awhile, and have been wondering is it too cheesy to have the main characters be dogs (huskies). It sometimes switches to a human character, but basically the story starts and is being told from a dog's point of view. So would this be cheesy? Should I give the point of view to the humans?


Answer: Whether it's cheesy or not depends a lot on the genre and what you do with it. There are many books written from the point of view of an animal. The Incredible Journey is just one example that comes to mind. However, most animal books are written for children.

If that's not your audience, you have to ask yourself whose story, whose dilemma interests you most and why.

If the dog's unique perspective is the most interesting and if the dog's ultimate decision is what determines the outcome of the story, you could make it work.

However, animal stories, especially pet stories, are tricky if you are writing for adults. It's easy to write with dog lovers in mind. The challenge, I think, is to write a story so interesting that even people who hate dogs will be intrigued by your animal's story and perspective.

It's probably more common to have an animal be the impact character than the main character. In other words, to have a story about how an animal impacted a person's life, seen through the eyes of the person. In such stories, the animal influences the main character to make a change in their life.

I suspect the reason is that most adults feel they can relate better to a human being's perspective, and that an animal's perspective is too limited. Real animals, so far as we know, don't worry about philosophical questions or ponder the meaning of their lives. That only happens in children's stories.

Comments for Animal Main Characters

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 29, 2012
animal pov
by: Jesse

You might do well to check out a couple of books by Shirley Rouseau Murphy (Joe Grey mysteries) and Rita Mae Brown (Mrs Murphy mysteries).
Yes these are cat mysteries but they strongly use animal voices.
They may give you an idea on how to use your dog voices.
It is not cheesy to use animal voice, but you may limit your audience to died-in-the-wool animal lovers.
Hope this helps.
I think Carol Nelson Douglas did some midnight louie ones. Could be wrong about author.

Mar 23, 2013
Books to look up
by: Jehrum

"White Fang" and "Call of the Wild" by Jack London are very good books to check out if you are writing a story from the pov of a dog, as Jack London does this very well in these books. They are also not strictly children books, which can give you some good insight if that's not your target audience.

Apr 12, 2014
warriors
by: Ananymous

i personally love these type of stories, like the Warriors series. I would be in depth, descriptive, stuff of that sort, and not all animal books are for kids.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Character Invite.


 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook


NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles


"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards



"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero