Most readers have enjoyed pets at some time in their lives. Children learn empathy from pets. Every emotion from unconditional love and to dealing with death can be illustrated through animals. The movie, Old Yeller, brought me to tears as a child, yet it taught me worlds about love and sacrifice. Just as pets help us grow up to be better adults, they can enhance any theme an author wants to show. So, you tell me, why don’t more authors use pets to create or enhance plot movement?
What does the horse’s reaction to the woman tell you in this scene? Using the animal’s intuition about Tess, I hoped to show the reader how vile she is.
|SKUNK? We thought it was a cat!|
How about the fear by a mother with two small kids, wary of an unseen beast lurking in the darkness of nearby forest? To enhance the tension, add a large family dog barking aggressively, saliva frothing on its muzzle, but even this formidable canine keeps backing away from the growing threat. Tension grows more palpable for the reader when even the protective dog backs down.