Tips on writing anthro characters

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Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby furrster090 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:14 am

I've been trying to write vore stories and I'm planning on mixing up human and anthro characters, the only problem I run into is that I have a hard time actually making use of the anthro parts of the characters; it just doesn’t tend to come up without it seeming forced, like “Frank was asleep, laying on his side in the grass. He was also a fox.”

To give you an example, I’ll be writing about a bunny, but the only thing you really have to use in that case are the long ears. The stuff like the paws, fur and in a bunnies case, tail, don’t really come up that much, or at least I don’t seem to find a way to use them in a natural way.

What are your thoughts/tips on this?
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Re: Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby anyonarex » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:56 pm

I think every animal has a thing we associate with them. We associate cats with claws and being sort of aloof, dogs with being loyal (to a fault) and just sort of oblivious, wolves with being quite strong and in control. If you can identify parts of the animal we mentally associate and use that to anthropomorphize them a bit, it can be very effective.

also I tend to just make my anthros more animalistic in the first place, more keen to sniff/touch/lick, that sort of thing. After all isn't that the fun of using anthros? :p opens the door to describing the animal parts of them too.
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Re: Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby JadeMarauder » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:08 pm

If we're talking specifically about how to use them in vore, then it depends on whether the character is the predator or the prey. With your bunny example, if they're the prey, you could have the predator tease them by pulling on their ears or saving those for last when they swallow them. Alternatively, if they're the pred, then you could have the prey lulled into a false sense of security because of their harmless appearance.

One thing I recommend with anthro animals in any context is that if you use more than one species, the differences between them should matter. With a wolf, they could use their enhanced senses to locate another character. With a crocodile, they could ambush somebody by staying underwater. Humans can't do these things, so the character being an animal is made much more important, and therefor feel more interesting.
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Re: Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby CuttleScuttle » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:08 pm

When I write my stories, I do one of two methods:

1. — I say it outright.

Beatrix is a raccoon surrounded by rubbish.

She’s a witch, you see. Well, not a “real” witch—those approved by one of the many colleges of Carim. No, she's a pyromancer: a ragged, chipped-ear trash panda with singed fur and fire-nibbled clothes. Right now, she’s pinching her nose—wading through the murky squelch of a poisonous swamp.



2. — I give hints until it all comes together. I might state the species outright, but I also just spew description all over the page. I try to keep the reader engaged throughout it, though.

He crushes Ember with the gravity of his gaze. Standing upright, black skin covers its bare pudgy belly and the undersides of its arms and front of its thighs. White fur sprouts from everywhere else—with a center ridged stripe that stretches from head to bushy tail, dipped in bright magenta. It almost reminds the phoenix of a white skunk. Until he raised his gaze to its horrible face: snarling, two yellow curled horns jutting from the fur. His eyes glow pink. No pupils. No sclera. Just a solid block of light. The dragon's black wings stretch far, eclipsing the just-rising sun. Shadow swallows Ember. But the darkness abates when he sets his gaze down—illuminating Ember’s frozen, babbling body in a rosy spotlight.


All in all, I simply do my best to make sure that the description is woven organically in the story. But I think it's most important to efficiently give the reader something fun to imagine. There is no problem saying "James is a bunny with ears long enough that he can wear them as scarves."

For your example, I would write,
Frank is snoring peacefully in the windswept field. His orange fur pops vibrant from the sea of green. And his fluffy, white-tipped tail brushes sluggishly across the tips of the grass. Pointed muzzle cracked-open and dribbling with drool, a raucous snore tears the air. Frank is a fox. And a rather lazy one, at that.
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Re: Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby TheDragonBoy » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:09 pm

Well, ears and tails are part of animal body language, so you can use them for expression. You can have ears fall back when they’re scared or shameful, have them perk up or swivel when they hear something (or are searching for something), or just have them twitch every now and then for a cute effect or comic relief. Tails can be very expressive, particularly with canines but with other species too. Dog tails can wag, sag or get tucked between legs to show excitement, sorrow or fear respectively. Tails can swish slowly from side to side to show a mischievous interest or even arousal. Or they can wander somewhat aimlessly like a cat’s, which I usually use to show boredom or detached interest.

Fur is part of an anthro’s character. Just like you have to take care of your skin and hair, anthros have to tend to their fur: brushing it, washing it, etc. It helps keep them warm. When touched, it’s soft (or, dirty and tangled, disgusting). It can be part of their beauty (or ugliness). It can also be expressive, bristling to show fear or to intimidate, like with dogs and cats.
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Re: Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby Slayerhero90 » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:21 pm

Logistics are always a hassle. Does a tail refuse to fit into pants? Ears conflict with a hat? Teeth struggle with certain foods or, as it were, preythings?
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Re: Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby Stanku » Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:59 am

The preceding tips are all good and useful, especially anyonarex's suggestion to utilize the culturally associated traits to model the anthro's behavior and personality. For example the bunny might come from a large family and have a lot of siblings so they are used to getting by themselves.
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Re: Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby furrster090 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:30 pm

anyonarex wrote:I think every animal has a thing we associate with them. We associate cats with claws and being sort of aloof, dogs with being loyal (to a fault) and just sort of oblivious, wolves with being quite strong and in control. If you can identify parts of the animal we mentally associate and use that to anthropomorphize them a bit, it can be very effective.

also I tend to just make my anthros more animalistic in the first place, more keen to sniff/touch/lick, that sort of thing. After all isn't that the fun of using anthros? :p opens the door to describing the animal parts of them too.


thanks for your tips, finding something that we associate with the animal is a great tip and I'll try to incorporate it where I can.

I'm planning to just try out things and see what I'm also comfortable with and what feels right when I read it. I can always change it if I'm not exactly pleased with it. And I feel like that's a good stance for trying to learn to write.
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Re: Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby ArcaneSigil » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:39 pm

I have a method similar to the last one shared by CuttleScuttle.

Xina stared at the leaves overhead, reclining back, simply enjoying the sunlight that poked through the trees to warm her body. She had to get her warmth somehow. You see, Xina is a naga.

Something like that.
Just a wolf lookin' for some fun. I like all sorts. Just... don't eat me.
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Re: Tips on writing anthro characters

Postby Tassie » Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:02 am

I've seen Zootopia so many times now, I have dreams in 'furry'.
I would like to blame that on being a parent, but that's a lot my fault too. I swear, writing fanfic and all, I'm seriously worried that I'm turning into one.

That aside, the easiest 'out' I can think of is qualify your 'human' characters. By describing them as 'human', in addition to whatever else they look like, a reader will have to assume you're adding that "detail" for a reason, making naming the species of other characters less of a hard gear-change.
The obvious questions would have to be, "Well, yes, of course they're human; why else would you say that?" so when you drop characters that are not human into your stories, they're less alien or ground-breaking to continuity, more a different species, for what that's worth.
I don't know, this is just an idea.

I mostly imagine my characters that aren't human or even mostly human in a way that they experience life with different senses, but since I write from the prey perspective, that means I'm trying to write what it would be like to life a day inside a character's head.
Mice are mice and are scared and timid, birds are birds and therefore think and act like birds, dogs are dogs hence experience the world in terms of scents, and the likes. 'anthro' or 'furry', I guess would be the weird middle-ground between normal people and normal animals.
Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I've not been sleeping well.

Also, I'm not a great writer; just an old crazy person with an overactive imagination.
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