Galloping Into Fiction

100_4288Okay so the elephants aren’t galloping and you were expecting a horse. Fiction’s like that. Today’s round robin topic is about how we use animals in our writing. Topic: Have you used pets or other animals in your stories? What function do they perform in the story? Do they need to have a function? Can they be a character?

Horses were the main means of transport in Georgian and Regency times (after shanks’s pony – ie your own two feet). As such they were highly prized and highly valued. It’s possibly not too strong to say a man looked after his horses as well or better than most of his staff. but I write from the woman’s pov with a bit of him included so how did she see her horse?

Mariah Fox in Mariah’s Marriage doesn’t ride, but she is very impressed by Toby’s vehicle when he arrives to take her driving. It’s also the case that Mariah’s opening scene is with an animal – she’s nearly up-ended by a charging pig. I loved that image and chose it because we in the West have lost sight of the close integration of animals and humans in earlier and growing cultures. The fine chap below was wandering the streets of Bikaner in Rajasthan. He doesn’t ‘belong’ to anyone. the cows, however, because they give milk, are ear-tagged and there are urban dairies where they are milked. There were also many pigs, but they moved a little fast for my photographic skills, so I haven’t got a photo. 100_5173 BELLA’S BETROTHAL contains a heroine of a different stamp. Brought up in an aristocratic, rather than intellectual, household, Bella has her own horse, Ruby. And it’s the missing of Ruby that eventually pushes her into behaviour that rouses her hero’s ire and potentially endangers her life. How many secrets and troubles did Bella pour into her horse’s listening ear? Life was circumscribed for aristocratic ladies and activities like riding were the things that allowed those of an active mind and disposition to retain a hold on sanity. How many of the women portrayed idle and ill on day-beds were neither? They were just bored and it was killing them.Daisys Dilemmal 333x500 The hero in my work in progress is a dog and horse man. He’s waiting for news from home of how many pups his bitches have bred. Why give him this angle? Shows his caring side, I think. My Round robin companions are writing on this subject today and you may want to drop along and see what they’re saying. Start with Robin herself, here: Rhobin Courtright and try a few others.

Beverley Bateman

Victoria Chatham

Connie Vines

Margaret Fieland

Rachael Kosinski

Kay Sisk

Judith Copek

Marci Baun

Diane Bator

Anne Stenhouse

Rhobin Courtright

skye Taylor

So, do you enjoy reading about animals in fiction? does it endear a character to you if they’re kind to the horses?


8 thoughts on “Galloping Into Fiction

  1. Enjoyed how you used animals in your stories and loved your photos from India. I agree here in US at least, many of us have become detached from larger animals, they’re not even allowed to be kept in most cities and towns. We have a strange relationship with animals: some dogs and cats become their owner’s children, others are considered the vermin of back alleys.


    • Hi Rhobin, the animals in India are very much present. Camels are rather large too, and used as draught animals. I agree with your observation about substitute children V vermin. Really strange juxtaposition. Anne


  2. Anne,
    Very nice little post. I didn’t even consider how people confide in their animals! That’s a good way to reveal information in a story, isn’t it? Just a character thinking aloud with their dog/kitty/etc. I cannot imagine living how woman did way back then, how free you would feel if you were able to get on a horse and ride! I presume, still, even that would be sidesaddle and slow-going, but it would be something. I don’t know much about the Regency/Georgian genre, so this was fascinating. 🙂


    • Hi Rachael, thanks for dropping by. Regency and Georgian are great fun to read and write and the actual historical periods were an amazing time of change. Maybe you’ll dip in now? Anne


  3. You’ve pointed out how many different animals might be in our stories. I seem to always remember pets and in historicals there are always horses, and occasionally farm animals, but you bring up some really interesting options.


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