Posted by: victanguera | March 7, 2011

You Have a What?: Writing Prompt #308

For the longest time, my daughter had pet rats. I had one friend that couldn’t come visit while my daughter lived at home because the rats creeped her out so badly. I could relate, though. In my teens, my boyfriend’s roommate had a tarantula. Thinking I’d be fine, I let him bring it out to show me. I backed into a corner and started to quiver. And scream at him that if he didn’t get it out of my sight I’d kill the thing.

So for today’s prompt, would your main character own a pet? What kind? Weird? Not weird? Do they instead have a friend with a strange animal companion like an iguana or boa constrictor (oh god, that rates right up there with tarantulas)? Think of all the ways your character would react in either situation.

And if you don’t bring your spider to visit, I should be fine. Unless you bring a snake.

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Responses

  1. Huh, I had not thought about a pet. A good loyal dog would be my personal choice, but who knows with my characters. They can be a strange lot. I would not be surprised with anything from a rock to a living planet.

    • OMG, that is so funny:

      “What is that?”
      “Alpha Centuri. It’s my new pet.”
      “Well I don’t care what you think it is. You cannot bring it in my house.”

  2. I remember thinking once that I had always had pets growing up, but none of my characters had pets. This realization ended up with Daphne (who first appears in this scene: http://text.u-town.com/utown/starling.htm#daphnedog). She was intended to be a walk-on, a one-time gag, but became a major character in this novel and in the one which followed it.

    • Very cool. Bit like Lucky in Waiting for Godot. Always an intriguing idea to bring in a person but have others think of them in the capacity of–well, not human.

      • People who have read the whole book have pointed out that I don’t always specify each time she appears that she’s human, so if a reader has not been paying attention (and there are a lot of characters to keep track of), it really unnerves them when she speaks or does other things that dogs don’t ordinarily do. Of course, if often unnerves the other characters, too, for pretty much the same reason.


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