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Writing Wolves

WolfI’m in the midst of a new/old story – spacemen come back to a depopulated earth only to find out there are werewolves there.

I’m writing the wolf POV in present tense to give a sense of immediacy, but got called on my lack of pack dynamics in the story (thanks, Beth!), and I realize I’m basing them on nature specials I saw as a kid and on some half-remembered episodes of True Blood. LOL…

With wolves in particular, I know there’s a pack hierarchy, usually with an alpha male, but that female wolves also have high status in the pack.

But I’m also throwing in a bit of human mentality from that side of their brains, even when they’re in winter mode (wolf mode.

So I’m wondering, how do you go about getting into the head of an animal or a pack for your writing? Help me out, some of my shifter-writing friends?

4 thoughts on “Writing Wolves”

  1. Packs and groups have a similar, but differently purposed, function. Remember that in packs, there’s always the top and the bottom (no, not like THAT). The one on the bottom is the lowest subordinate. If you want to grab people’s attention, trying showing the viewpoint and the difference between the lives of two people living those roles.

    Just a thought.

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  2. I’m no expert on wolves, but I know with horses there is a whole other language of pack hierarchy and communication which is purely body language and body positioning. With horses, it consists of a tail swish here, a flattened ear there, a body turned to show the threatening hindquarters there. I can read a herd of horses like a book, but although I have seen dogs use a similar style of communication, I don’t know that language. However other people seem to. There are some excellent documentaries on the wolves of Yellowstone National Park which focus a lot on pack dynamics, if I remember rightly. Also Cesar Milan did a special once on wolves and the lady he called in to help him understand wolves explained some basic differences between wolf and dog behaviour which surprised me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfpQVjYFcSE There’s also this explanation on uTube of wolf body language https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_ro8diVOWA I don’t know if this helps but I hope it does. :)

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