Dog (loyal, best friend) – Does your book give fan-service? Does it give you exactly what you want or expect? Is it always predictable and there when you need a friend?
Cat (selfish) – Maybe, your story would rather do it’s own thing, regardless of what you try to coax it into. Did you intend to have a character do this, only to find out that it’s too finicky and just won’t comply?
Mouse (meek) – Not all books have to explode. Sometimes a whisper can get the point across just fine.
Rat (sharp teeth) – Of course, sometimes you read/write something that might leave you when you’re at work or watching TV. But then, when you lay down at night, or you’re in the shower, or you’re eating breakfast, there it is: gnawing and gnawing at you.
Bat (blind, nocturnal) – You don’t really want your story to fly blindly from one scene to another, but if you do it right, you can engage other elements to bring about a satisfying end.
Bird (flighty, flocks, nests, eggs) – There’s something satisfying about crafting a series full of recurring themes, locales, and characters. The familiar setting lends a feeling of coming home – nesting. Use well-placed plot devices early on so they can hatch in subsequent volumes.
Frog (amphibious) – If you’re confident, try mixing genres. Some of the more popular sub-genres are a mix of two or more. What’s a comedy without a little love? What’s a horror without the right amount of dark humor?
Fish (smells fishy, takes the bait) – If you write a “bait” scene to lure in the reader, be certain the catch is well worth it, once they’re hooked.
Snail (slow, slimy) – Um, yeah, just don’t do this one.
Snake (Slimy, gets you down low, sometimes wraps around you and suffocates you) – This one can act a lot like the rat example. The main difference is that this one is constantly slithering through your mind.
Anteater (too busy focusing on the small stuff) – Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s tedious.
Elephant (way too large, never forgets) – This is similar to both the anteater, and the bird. Too many details and too much continuity can really turn people off. This can actually hamper not just a series, but also a stand-alone novel.
Spider (hides in corners, waiting to catch you and drain you to a husk) – This actually isn’t a bad thing in this case.
Flea (irritating, sucks, bounces around) – Really, who wants to read something like that, hmm?
Horse (runs free with it’s hair blowing in the wind) – Nothing like a good escape. Bring on the adventure!
Cow (stupid, chews it’s cud) – When you’ve started repeating yourself, it’s time to call it quits. Also, if you start writing the same thing, you’d better stop. If you keep telling different versions of the same story, you really ought to put down the pen. Um . . . What?
Ok, before I become too much of a cow, I’ll leave you with these last few short ones:
Bull – charges forward, tramples, can’t stay on for more than 8 seconds
Yeti – illusive
Turtle – slow, hard shell
Chicken – cluck, cluck, cluck all the time
Rooster – really wakes you up
Be sure to add your own in the comment section.
Moo, moo, moo,