I hope this helps!
One of the reasons I find writing fan fictions exciting is because you get to create your very own cat. Make up great names, great pelt combinations, etc.
But have you ever gotten stuck on making the allegiances? Have you ever wondered things like: How many cats should I put in? How many toms and how many she-cats? What kind of pelt description? Is ten warriors too little or too much? Do I have too many elders? If you’ve ever wondered these kinds of questions, then this guide is for you! If not, I guess you could just read this for fun. XD.
This section is about creating pelt descriptions for cats. It’s always good to have a mix of long descriptions and short descriptions. If they’re all too long, it’s a lot of information for readers to take in. If they’re all too short, readers have a hard time picturing the characters. Have a mixture kind of like this :
Blackflame- black-and-white tabby tom with grey stripes and icy blue eyes.
Redriver- ginger she-cat
Featherflight- grey she-cat with blue eyes.
Carpstream- ginger-and-white tom with green eyes
See how I used a mixture of descriptions? Not all of them were basic, like ( pelt color) ( gender) with ( eye color) eyes. If you’re not going to get the chance to describe one character much, give them a long description in the allegiances. You don’t have to do that to main and/or secondary characters, as you will get the chance to describe them a lot during your story. You can add a little bit of extra information if you wish, but not too much.
Be creative! You can also put in a little bit of personality into the description, like Robinwing in Bluestar’s Prophecy. For example: Mouseclaw- Grouchy brown tabby tom. Or, Timbertail- motherly white she-cat. Just don’t do it for every cat because you’ll get a chance to show personality also during the story as well.
Okay, now for picking pelt colors. Have a variety. In real-life, not every feral cat is a tabby. Don’t fill your allegiances with brown, black, grey and white cats. Add some spice! Don’t make your cats all drab and boring colors. Maybe a black-ginger-and-white! Or a tortoiseshell-and-grey! Just make sure that you can picture and describe your cats. If you don’t know what a tabby is, don’t make your cats tabbies because you can’t describe them accurately. You shouldn’t have more than about five cats of the same pelt color. If you need some inspiration, flip through a warriors book and take a peek at the allegiances. Also, consider a cats parents when making their pelt color. I’m going to oversimplify here, but whatever. Let’s say a cats parents are both grey tabbies. Your cat has a good chance of being a grey tabby as well ( oversimplifying alert! Oversimplifying alert!). If one parent is ginger and the other is white, it would be logical to make their kit ginger-and-white!
If you’re looking for something more deep, observe a cats personality. Maybe you have a cat that’s bright, cheerful and optimistic. What are some cheerful colors that could be in a cats pelt? Usually ginger, yellow, tortoiseshell and maybe a kind of light brown. Make the cheerful cat a bright ginger! If you have an energetic cat, give them a pelt with lots of different colors, like a silver-and-white she-cat with black flecks. If you have a mysterious cat, make them black. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!
Some last minute pointers:
- Don’t be afraid to use shades! Not every cat is the same old shade of brown, or the same light grey.
- Unless your cat is a runaway kittypet, feral cats don’t have breeds! There are no siamese, shorthairs, persians, etc in warriors or in the wild! If your cat has kittypet ancestry, they won’t be a siamese, persian or whatever. They will have traits of those breeds.
- Remember the limitations of cats. Cat’s don’t have freckles, beards or mustaches ( I have seen that one!). And I also don’t think they have eyebrows.
- Add a few quirks to your characters. Maybe one has no tail, or the other has a spiky pelt. These things make your character way more interesting.
You might be wondering, how many cats should this clan have? There should be enough cats to make a strong clan, but not too many that you loose track of. How many characters can you keep tabs on at once? If you had let’s say 20 cats, would you forget about some time-to-time? I can manage about eighteen, and even then I’ll kick some off to the elders den so I don’t have to keep track of who’s going on what patrol and all that. I’d say that in the warriors books, the average clan has about 25 (??) cats, excluding kits. 15 is too small for a clan, and going bigger then 30 is not so good. Meh. I’d say keep a clan of between 20-25 cats. If its your first time, by all means go lower if you wish. Its better to write a good fan fiction within your own comfort zone.
In all clans, there is going to be one deputy, one leader, and 1-2 medicine cat with one being an apprentice. That’s fixed. Can’t change anything about that. But how many queens, warriors, apprentices, kits and elders? There should be more warriors and apprentices than elders, queens or kits. If you have a clan with 10 elders and 8 warriors, who is going to do the work? Your clan would crumble. I’m going to use Clan A as an example, and Clan A has 25 cats- kits included.
Clan A has their leader, deputy and med cat. that leaves 22 cats remaining. More than half should be warriors, so maybe 13. Take away one ( I’m using one in this example) or two for queens, because they are also warriors. Now you have 10 cats to divide between apprentices, kits and elders. Elders should be a small population, so maybe 3. 7 left. If you have a small clan, there should be more apprentices than kits because they become warriors faster and can already hunt and fight. Perhaps make 4 apprentices and 3 kits, and make one apprentice a Medicine cat one.
Now for gender. I’d say the easiest way to distribute she-cats and toms would be by halves, excluding kits. There shouldn’t be a clan dominated by toms or a clan with 75% she-cats. Think about it: If 95% of the cats are toms and 5% are she-cats, how will there be new kits for the clan????
Be careful with your names. Not every name in a clan ends with paw, tail, claw, pelt or fur. Be creative with your names as well. I know people say names have to make sense, but they don’t always! You can have a Leafberry or a Petalbright! Just don’t use those kind of names all the time, and don’t use completely bogus ones like Lionbee or Blacklightning.
Also make sure that all your cats aren’t named after animals or the same things.
Give your leader a more majestic name than the rest. For example, Lionstar. The medicine cat should have a softer name, like Silverleaf or something. Some people think that the suffix pool is only for medicine cats but it isn’t. There is no prefix or suffix reserved for only one role except the leader’s star. The elders should have names that sound young, to remind them of the good ‘ol days. And don’t give your warriors super-long names like Lilacblossom
Hope you liked it! Feel free to comment!