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Commentary: Tips for new furry/anthro writers

“Van Hill Millvele (fursona name Janky the Fuzzy Life Coach) is a writer of clean romantic space fantasy novels with anthropomorphic elements.”

I’ve started publishing my writing in my late teens, though I might have had a poem or two published before then. I have learned a lot, and I feel my second book is better than my first.

My first “Technically Furry” novel was written in 2000/2001, when I had one Furry race in it before having it rewritten.

Having all the characters being anthropomorphic aliens was a choice I should have made from the very start; they are easier to visualize than an obscure unknown alien race. I’m still learning how to write even though I have been published. 

Writing for Furry or Furry/Anthro fiction has a unique set of challenges.   
I wanted to give tips and hope to people who are unpublished furry fiction writers. Many of you will most likely be even better writers than I am, if only you get over your fear.

Being unpublished does not mean you are not a writer. It just means you haven’t submitted your work, or that you have yet to publish your work. ‘Author’ is the term for a published writer. Being a writer is not a magical special club that only a few chosen ones get to take part in. Writing takes grit, imagination, and a thick skin.

The Tips:

#1: For the unpublished

If you can’t find the right publisher for your story, you yourself can become the publisher and even publish other Furry Fiction writers.

#2. How furry/anthro do you want your stories to be?

I feel that having some animal characteristics in the (furry/anthro) story is important.

How much of animal characteristics do you want to include in your fiction? In my books, I have some behavior (assigned for the characters), but since they are aliens, they can also have more human characteristics too.

For example, if you are writing about animals that gained intelligence, they would not blush. On the other hand, if you’re writing about humanoid aliens with some animal characteristics, they would.

So, the furries/anthros in my stories would have clothes, families and even part-human children called ‘Halflings’, though I do include some animal traits for them and kept it to a few. 

#3: Indicate whether your story is made for children.

One of the biggest problems I had as a furry fiction writer is that people have confused my works for kids’ books or “YA” (young adult fiction), even though my books are not mature.

A plot for semi-innocent sweet adult science-fiction pieces might sound weird and gross if the characters were teenagers, even though my adult book is tamer than some YA books. I worked around this by adding a warning, so people know what they are getting.  

You can check out my warning here and you might want to consider making one of your own.

#4: How’s your characters’ diets like? Are there a difference between sentient and non-sentient characters?

Food is an important aspect of good fantasy writing. It is even more so when ethical constructs might need to be addressed.

I watch history and fan-based cooking shows on YouTube for world-building. Even though my books are blatant comedies, it is still important to figure out what your furry characters eat.

For example, some of my aliens (characters) get drunk and high on chocolate because of the caffeine in it; they have separate hormones that give them animal features and a longer lifespan. 

#5: Be aware that readers have their own preferences.

You will not be able to please everyone – many people have their own personal likes and dislikes, especially when it comes to furry/anthro fiction.

Some readers hate it when the word ‘pups’ are used for offsprings, yet others love it. Some hate having fursonas mentioned. Others want furries to have paws, or are fine with fingers and paw pads.

#6: Ready to publish? Use appropriate tags and descriptions.

If you are writing original furry or fan fiction, you need to use the right tags and descriptions. Do not use the words ‘lime’, ‘fluffy’, ‘sweet’, or ‘clean’ if you have sexual content in your story. Don’t use these terms in your title as well.

‘Clean’ means there is no sexual content and the book is basically G (general) and might have a kiss at the end. Misusing tags can get you blocked and reported.

Take note that young furs look up furry fiction with their parents – tag abuse can thus give parents the wrong impression.

‘Lime’ is another word for ‘Clean’ and used mostly for Wattpad. ‘Fluffy’ is also another Wattpad term that means no sex. The things I write falls under the tag ‘sweet,’ which means there is hand-holding, kissing, sometimes mild innuendo, but sex, while sometimes implied, is never shown on screen.

‘Sweet’ movies range from a “PG” to a “PG13 without nudity.” Do not use the tags ‘smut’, if your books are not sexual either. 

#7. Make friends with other furry writers.

This can help you feel less isolated within the writers’ community.

#8. Familiarise yourself with your characters.

Figure out your furry characters by writing about them more and be honest. One problem that can build up with writing is that other characters could proclaim the character as amazing, but their behavior is a bit of a jerk. Though, letting a character be a jerk can work too, so long as you are honest with them.

Read: Writing Should Be Honest

#9: Have fun and write.

Writing is an amazing hobby that more people should take part in. 

Content submitted by Van Hill Millvele
Main editing by Ahmar Wolf, further editing by Pawsry HTCN.


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