admin wrote:I'm writing a fantasy series set in a world that is clearly not earth, and I'm struggling with what to do about the animals. The main character are, to all intents and purposes, human. Should they ride horses or zwargs? Should they have dogs as pets, or catrabbits? I'm looking for advice from professional writers who have successfully solved this problem in their own work.
I've encountered this issue in my own before.
As I see it there are two approaches to this:
1. Creating your own individual animals (catrabbits for example) has the problem that for every new animal or creature you will need to give at least a brief description or in some way impart knowledge to the reader about what the creature looks like, does, etc. Whereas using 'Earthly' animals has the benefit of instant recognition by the reader, i.e. a horse is a horse (of course! sorry, couldn't resist)
However, on the upside, creating your own animals and creatures enables you to fully immerse your reader in your own world, gives YOUR version of a place your own personal touch. Furthermore, it can be a lot of fun and gets the creative juices flowing to create a wide fictional eco-system.
2. But the bottom line, is that which do you feel fits your story better? After all, can you picture (though I regret to refer to LOTR in such a text-book way) Aragorn riding into battle on a Chicobo?
Hope that helped in some small way.