Monday, August 08, 2005

Sticking point

A few posts ago I talked about the need for realism in fantasy fiction and how I was looking stuff up to make sure I didn't make any bone-headed errors. Wikipedia has become my best friend.

Anyway, in one scene the thoughts of my perpetually peckish heroine turn once again to food:
After two days of honey water and dried fruit, she'd happily eat a hedgehog, quills and all, with a side of roasted pine bark. Or maybe just a side of more hedgehog.
Something about that didn't seem right. I suspected that unlike woodchucks and groundhogs, hedgehogs and porcupines weren't the same thing. It turns out, hedgehogs aren't found in North America, where the book takes place. So I had to change it to "porcupines." It turns out, nothing eats hedgehogs, anyway, but porcupines can be a source of meat if you're really careful.

Still, "hedgehog" sounds funnier. Hedgehogs themselves are funnier. You'd never see a porcupine in a Monty Python sketch.

I'll probably end up changing it to something entirely different, like "bucketful of dung beetles."

Oh wait, dung beetles live in Africa. Curses!

2 Comments:

How about making it a badger?

Posted by: Blogger Andrew at 8/09/2005 2:19 PM

Badgers? I don't need no stinkin' badgers.

Or maybe I do, after seeing that cartoon. I feel a strange craving coming on.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 8/09/2005 5:11 PM

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