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Children and anthropomorphic animals

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I agree with you Jen. I think one real problem tho is facial expressions and body language/gesture. Some animals do not lend themselves well to a healthy dose of real and varied expressions and gesture. I avoid them myself. When I see expressionless characters or weird ones  and poor gesture I don't feel anything.

Expression, emotion and reaction are the life blood of the character and give the character soul and heart in the visual form... whereas the finely selected words/dialogue/monologue give same in the oral/aural form. They should both provide that poetry to get the best response from the listener/viewer and reader.
#61 - December 09, 2009, 07:02 AM
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 10:47 AM by AE »
What's for pudding, Mimmy?

Illustration website:

http://www.puddintanesbrain.com

www.puddersputter.blogspot.com

Don't know if this relevant.  While it has been said that some animals wouldn't necessarily have these facial expressions, I think it is the idealism of it.  You can't actually see them frowning, but their expression in their eyes could lead you to believe that they are smiling etc.  Possibly the belief is what intrigues us.



Must go.  Just caught my cat eating yoghurt.  And he's supposed to be on a diet! :fridge :cat :fury

By the way, would it be ridiculous base a plot on the perception that cats have nine lives?  I have been tinkering around a story that would be totally unrealistic.
Then again, so is anthropomorphism!
#62 - December 12, 2009, 04:44 AM
« Last Edit: December 12, 2009, 04:46 AM by thunderingelephants »

Jan Brett did one about a cat named Comet.
#63 - December 12, 2009, 04:48 AM
What's for pudding, Mimmy?

Illustration website:

http://www.puddintanesbrain.com

www.puddersputter.blogspot.com

I really need to write at the moment and I have dried up completely.  Anthropomorphic stories are my best.  Any suggestions?
I have a cat tearing around the lounge at the moment and even he isn't giving me inspiration! :cat :drumfingers
#64 - December 17, 2009, 06:45 AM

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In my non-writing life, I do developmental psychology research, and one of my fellow grad students was interested in the question of why kids would like anthropomorphized animal characters so much- she had all of these interesting theories as to why, and then she set up an experiment to establish the effect and found... that if you control for all of the other variables (what the story is about, gender of the character, etc.), kids actually don't have any preference between human characters and animal ones.  This was with four and five year olds, but really, they just didn't care- and she tested large enough numbers to reveal statistically significant preferences on all kinds of other variables.  All of which I think says that it all depends on the EXECUTION of anthropomorphization, because the mere act itself doesn't actually seem to convey an advantage, if all other things are equal.

Of course. This would hold true with writing for any age group, including adults.
#65 - December 17, 2009, 07:13 AM

For me (and this is just me), if my characters can be human then they will be. If they have to be animals then they will be.

#66 - December 17, 2009, 07:43 AM
What's for pudding, Mimmy?

Illustration website:

http://www.puddintanesbrain.com

www.puddersputter.blogspot.com

For me (and this is just me), if my characters can be human then they will be. If they have to be animals then they will be.


I think this can be said of all writers.  I simply feel easier writing with anthropomorphic characters.  I can bring their personalities out more.  Anyway, I came up with another plot today because I have been thinking a lot.  This time, I am just going to go ahead and write it. 
#67 - December 17, 2009, 12:40 PM

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I think this can be said of all writers.  I simply feel easier writing with anthropomorphic characters.  I can bring their personalities out more.  Anyway, I came up with another plot today because I have been thinking a lot.  This time, I am just going to go ahead and write it. 

Great! Let us know how it goes.
#68 - December 17, 2009, 04:01 PM

I know this is a crazy (yet again) question, but any idea what pigs eat? :hair
#69 - December 18, 2009, 05:33 AM

They eat anything. They are omnivores. They do love to eat, and they are very intelligent and they get bored very easily. They also can sense when they are off to the slaughter house. Really.

I've researched them for a parody dummy I have on submission. The food part didn't enter into mine tho. (Well, not for them anyway.)

Nor the slaughter.

Kids love pig books. I know I did. But please research every pig story out there. Your story must be completely different.

Oink, oink, oink, oink.
#70 - December 18, 2009, 05:46 AM
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 05:57 AM by AE »
What's for pudding, Mimmy?

Illustration website:

http://www.puddintanesbrain.com

www.puddersputter.blogspot.com

Mike Jung

Guest
I recently read FARM CITY by Novella Carpenter, who established an urban farm in an abandoned lot in Oakland - she writes about raising pigs, and about how they eat literally any kind of food, including stuff like pastries, roast chicken and fish guts.
#71 - December 18, 2009, 06:35 AM

Thanks Guys.
I notice a horrible pattern developing because I have previously written two stories featuring pigs.  Both of those were completely bonkers and I think this one will be too.
I am pretty certain it has not been covered before either.  This one I am definitely just going to go ahead and write.

AE,
This story is just something to occupy my time.  I am writing about a rare pig who the key to a farmer's fortune but he doesn't realise it yet.  I went on the internet yesterday and researched out various pig breeds.  There are strange looking porkers out there.

Seriously,
Thanks for the feedback.  I really appreciate it.
Now, I am off to a WARM coffee shop to to write.  I can't possibly do it at home.  Too quiet and too cold.
Talk to you later.
#72 - December 18, 2009, 09:26 AM
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 06:40 AM by thunderingelephants »

Hey,
Hope your Christmas was a good one.  Mine was so boring I actually got a lot of planning and plotting done.  I am actually starting to like my pig character too.  That's rare for me.
Just don't tell the chef.  I have heard piggies have to be cooked thoroughly before being consumed.
This  is my third pig character story and I notice a nasty pattern developing. :eh2 :bangbreak
#73 - December 30, 2009, 04:01 AM

joypainter

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AgeOwns ( reply #11 on 8/3/09, 4:53 pm) said: " Children like to relate to the characters, and will hunt for anything that they have in common, yet can quickly get discouraged by obvious differences. But they also inherently like animals, so you've removed any obvious racial, age, or gender blocker."

I agree with that.  javascript:void(0);

PS  I tried to do the purple quote box and it didn't happen for me?!  I have not posted anything except an intro.  I am still learning. :cjavascript:void(0);razy




#74 - January 12, 2010, 08:52 PM

Just read over a story of mine and really need to shorten it, there is a lot of revision to be done.  Just one predicament: it features a singing chicken. Is that a little too crazy?  My friend John works as a receptionist in a butcher's that sells mainly poultry and I got the idea from him because his music taste is wacky to say the least.
A bit like the story.
#75 - March 26, 2010, 07:37 AM

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thunderingelephants,

Your post cracks me up.  I didn't know buthcers had receptionists.  Tammi Sauer's Chicken Dance features a singing rooster, so I think a singing chicken would be okay.  As long as he keeps his head on throughout the book.   :dr

Good luck with your revisions!

 :chickendance
#76 - March 26, 2010, 10:16 AM
You must be mad, said the Cheshire Cat, or you wouldn't have come here. -- Lewis Carroll

I don't see violence in anthropomorphic animals to be a problem. Wind in the Willows had a room clearing brawl. Let alone other examples like Warriors and Redwall.
#77 - March 26, 2010, 10:48 AM
Bazooka Joe says, I have the ability to become outstanding in literature.
http://samhranac.blogspot.com/

thunderingelephants,

Your post cracks me up.  I didn't know buthcers had receptionists.  Tammi Sauer's Chicken Dance features a singing rooster, so I think a singing chicken would be okay.  As long as he keeps his head on throughout the book.   :dr

Good luck with your revisions!

 :chickendance
Actually, useless piece of information: there is a trading market in Cork City where I live in Ireland called the Old English Market.  It is a place where basically there are a variety of different stalls selling all varieties of meats, fruits/vegetables, etc.  John works in a place called The Chicken Inn where he is in the office, taking orders. Particlarly busy at Easter and Christmas.  Including goose, pheasant, goose and partridge!  The name of our bowling team was born out of it: Turkey Tavern.  Particularly poignant considering three strikes in a row is called a Turkey.   Most of my characters aren't violent, just complete twits who
don't ]]]]
#78 - March 26, 2010, 12:03 PM
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 12:05 PM by thunderingelephants »

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It sounds like a wonderful place to shop, te.
I agree that violent animals have their place, Sam.  I was thinking PB, and a chicken singing for his life in a buther shop.  My brain just got away from me a bit.   :-X

As it often does. 

But I say yes to singing chickens in picture books.   :yup

     
#79 - March 26, 2010, 12:33 PM
You must be mad, said the Cheshire Cat, or you wouldn't have come here. -- Lewis Carroll

As usual, John inspired me to create another character in that story.  Jimmy Sage, a cockrel guitarist who eventually "flew the coup".  Yes, it does sound like chicken run, but there is a twist to it.  Yet another crazy story, possibly worthy of plagiarism because of Chicken Run.  I am not sure, but I enjoyed writing it and probably wouldn't submit.  I enjoyed writing it and creating some daft characters.  Pure and simple.  A bit like most of my stories.
I have been banned from speaking about this story at home and had to write elsewhere.  John said it reminded  him too much of work.  I can see why.  Must go.  I have a chicken maryland to munch on for lunch.  Henrietta and Jimmy would be completely disgusted, so I had better be quiet and go eat.
#80 - March 28, 2010, 07:00 AM

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