Is Your Writing Beastly?

1920s Dorothy Sebastian
Dorothy Sebastian 1920’s

Today I thought a little “writing process” post would be fun.  So I ask you… Is your writing beastly? 

Don’t get defensive. I’m sure your words are beautiful.  However, maybe it should be beastly.  One way to animate your words is to well — animalize them.  (No, that is not a word.  Now it’s a “Teaganese” word.)  I caution against over use of this animalized technique.  However, it really can liven up your text. 

In The Three Things Serial Story, if Pip (and her Roaring Twenties friends) thought someone or something was the height of excellence they might say it was “the bee’s knees” or “the cat’s pajamas.”  However you can animalize your writing in more descriptive ways.

Here’s a bit from Atonement, Tennessee.  Ralda and Bethany happen upon Cael and Gwydion in the middle of an argument.  So the women pretend they didn’t overhear the men.  They try to choose a tombstone for one of Bethany’s charcoal rubbings, which is intended to be a gift. 

After a little looking around, Bethany and I were choosing between a floral carving and one of an angel.  Cael was inordinately pleased by the choice of the angel, but Bethany became worried that Lacey might think it was too “graveyardy.” 

When we went back to the design of a cluster of roses, I noticed that my florist friend looked rather self-satisfied.  For a moment I thought Gwydion would stick his tongue out at Cael.  I didn’t know just what the source of the testosterone filled undercurrent was, but they had practically gone from posturing lions to school boys.1926 life halloweenkitty

Also, you’ve probably heard sentences like the following. He moved with feline grace.  Her owlish eyes regarded me curiously.  He was a nocturnal creature, thriving on late night forays.  You get the idea. 

My challenge to you is to animalize a sentence — leave it in a comment here.  But remember, this is a G rated blog!  (Sorry if I just took the fun out of it.)  

Here’s a list to get you started.  It doesn’t even begin to cover all the animal adjectives.

Avian Hircine Simian
Asinine Icterine Skunky
Bovine Leonine Slothful
Canine Lupine Snaky
Catlike Murine Tame
Crocodilian Nocturnal Tigrine
Delphine Owlish Ursine
Elephantine Piggish Vulpine
Feline Ratty Vulturine
Fishy Reptilian Weaseled
Foxy Serpentine Webbed
Goatish Sheepish
Goosy Shrewish



Have fun!  May your 2017 be filled with mega hugs.

Happy New Year!


Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.


95 thoughts on “Is Your Writing Beastly?

  1. Teagan! Oh I’m sorry for being out of blogland and missing your posts… a break of sorts for me.. Happy New Year, sweetie ♥ I love this challenge. Perhaps my sentence will be: His foxy movements were all the better for the tigrine princess who was fawning all over him 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thinking he was making a very quiet and tame comment about the woman standing across the room, he felt very sheepish when she turned and looked directly at him with those owlish eyes of awareness to his comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved your year-in-review video. Aren’t you clever! Happy New Year. I’m sure 2017 will be a huge and successful year for you. ❤
    "I knew I was in trouble when she trained a yellowed nail in my face with reptilian precision." Eke. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Teagan, what a lovely post 🙂 and I just loved your video on your next post.. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I wish for all of your own Dreams to come true in 2017 and beyond my friend..
    Happy New Year to you and have a wonderful year filled with Fun, laughter, Love, health and Happiness..
    Love and Blessings
    Sue xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Sue, thank you for this beautiful New Year’s wish! Returning that wish to you and yours in full. I’ve enjoyed a lot of scattered time away from the office (using up “use or lose” leave before year-end). Happy New Year. Hugs! ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Teagan. Yes, it is time (almost here!) for the year of the mean monkey to be over. Another friend predicts the Year of the Rooster will see increased battle of the sexes (at least in the farmyard!) but here is hoping 2017 will see people working out win-win solutions rather than zero-sum games. A very Happy New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy New Year Teagan, enjoyed your post and the video so much. My sentence: I noticed a sheepish grin on her face as she watched the simian moving on the dance floor, his movements were almost serpantine. Ok that was silly, LOL, hope you are having a wonderful evening, my wish for you is that your every wish comes true in the new year and that your creativity knows no bounds. Best wishes for the New Year,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A beautiful New Years Eve video and post, Teagan, as wishing you and Crystal all the best for 2017. May it be a better year for all of us. I’ve enjoyed being a part of your community!

    My sentence contribution:
    “Eyes wide-open, pupils fully dilated, she stealthily moved through the woods in the growing darkness with a silent determination normally reserved for feline hunters.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh — well done Lavinia! I could feel the woods around me, hear the cracking of twigs, and see the light of the rising moon!
      Thanks for another lovely newsletter. I hope everyone will visit it.
      Returning that wish, multiplied to you and yours. Happy New Year, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. just popped over form the end of year post with the picture of the youngsters doing the Charleston or Black Bottom or something; rather unfortunately when I first saw it I was convinced the middle dancer had her pants round her ankles. Some photo prompt if it was. Any way here’s to a New year where no one gets caught with their pants down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gerlinde, thank you for your kindness and encouragement throughout this difficult year. If I were half as talented as you in the kitchen, I might set up a bed there so I wouldn’t have to leave. 😀 Wishing you every joy in 2017. Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Judith. I’d be honored. I started to include definitions, but I didn’t have time. It would have made for a cumbersome post too. I prefer the ones that don’t require a lot of head scratching anyway.
      Thank you for the beautiful New Year’s wish — returning it to you along with mega hugs! ❤ ⭐

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy New Year Teagan! I’ve been told I’m a bit of a night owl and if you wake me up early I can get a bit crocodilian in my nature. Us night owls need our sleep too! I hope 2017 proves to be less shrewish to you with good fortune. XOXOXO!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My copy of your book, ‘Atonement, Tennessee’ is dog-eared, but it’s inner glow is so spectacular that it never looks ratty. 😉
    Loved this, Teagan although you made me think and on my birthday too! I’m now wondering if I don’t animalize enough in my writing.
    Wishing you a wonder-filled New Year although with your last election, asinine might become the word of every day, no I refuse to believe it, 2017 has to be better. 🙂
    Mega I like the word salamander because it rhymes with my son’s name, Xander hugs lol xoxox
    Happy New Year!!!! xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, nothing makes me happier than the idea of my novel being dog-eared and well loved. You brought me a huge smile.
      Asinine… is right… sadly true. Superb word choice though. Somehow this country will claw her way back up and soar to aquiline heights.
      I hope your birthday is happy in elephantine extremes, and that you keep celebrating all through the year. Happy Birthday. Happy New Year. Double mega hugs!


  11. I love the animalistic concept, Teagan. Purrrfectly done, I might add. You’ve shared a bit of your foxy nature with your request for our use of nature’s bounty in our prose. Happy New Year, my friend, and best wishes for the galline year, 2017. I am, as always, your lupine friend in the world of text.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! It’s great to see you Valentina. Thank you so very much. I suppose I’m the “day lily” a long ago boyfriend called me when I called him a night bird. So I should have included another “Teaganese” word… “plantisize” LOL. Happy New Year to you too. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.