The manticore under the bed – writing animals

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My brother’s cat is angry with me.

She’s staying with us for a week over Christmas, and when I brought her into the house for the first time she prowled for five minutes then completely vanished. An hour later I found her sulking under the bed in the back room. She glared at me but otherwise failed to acknowledge my presence or my attempts to coax her out to a warmer, more comfortable spot.

I guess she likes sudden change as much as most people do.

It’s easy to forget when writing animals that they have their own personalities. I’m about to write a scene where my potagonist fights a manticore. My previous monster fighting scenes have treated the creatures more as forces of nature than characters, just something to be overcome. This time I’ll try to think about the manticore’s intentions – what it likes, what it fears, how it feels about being screamed at by an arena crowd. Finding ways to show that should make its actions more interesting and the scene more exciting.

Maybe the manticore also wants to hide under the bed.