Writer’s Craft #49 – Writing a Wolf
Nikki Broadwell studied English and Art in college before embarking on a marriage, two daughters, and a series of careers in the greeting card business and silk painting. “I won’t reveal my age,” she describes herself on her Clarion write-a-thon page, “but let’s just say I participated in protests against the Vietnam War.” Nikki now writes fulltime, ten to twelve hours a day. Finiche, the wolf, features in her fantasy trilogy (http://wolfmoontrilogy.com/).
I have very kindly been asked to guest blog on “writing Finiche”. Finiche is a wolf and a major character in the third book of my trilogy entitled, Wolfmoon.
I didn’t want to anthropomorphize Finiche, nor did I want to trivialize his wolfness. I had to find a way to keep him true to his species as well as have him able to communicate, since he is an integral part of the story. In my first draft the wolves had their own POV but as I was writing in third person and not omniscient, I re-worked it to have the wolves communicate through the main character. This gave me more freedom of expression. Through telepathy their communications would not be by direct words but more diffuse. Here’s an excerpt:
When they came to a stream Finiche’s lambent eyes stared into hers as he communicated his message: this stream was clean but many were not, what the men were doing had contaminated the waterways or what was left of them.
As the story progressed I became a bit bolder with Finiche’s communications:
As Finiche came to a stop in front of her, Maeve laid her hand on his wide head. He gazed at her out of his intelligent amber eyes. His thoughts were so clear in her mind: I traveled with your grandsire. He is now with his mate not far from here and I heard your call.
How do you write your animal or non-human characters? Is telepathy one of your methods?