Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Characters need quirks. What makes yours unique?
It doesn’t have to be something big. Not every book needs a ninja/librarian that loves chocolate ice cream and orange kittens. It came be something simple. Which character in popular literature wears round glasses? Which female protagonist survives with her mad bow and arrow skills? Which cartoon characters have a pet platypus?
It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but give your characters something that makes them unique. Give them a trait or a love or a dislike that will stick in the readers mind. This will make the character more real and memorable.
Important note: don’t go too far with the trait. If your character always does the Hokey Pokey when they hear the word red, it might get a little annoying. For a character whose uniqueness makes them obnoxious, watch Episode 1 of Star Wars. Jar-Jar Binks is unique, but . . . .
What are your character’s quirks?


  1. Quirks are oh-so important... but you're right. It can get carried away. Like with my latest MC - she likes to chew on her nails, whenever she gets nervous, but by the end of the MS, I don't think she has any nails left :)

    Thanks for the post.

  2. LOL, you crack me up! You mean, I really can't write about a ninja/librarian who loves chocolate ice cream and orange kittens? This sounds like the start of an epic book! :D

    My MC actually has a "thing" that she likes to do, but I didn't really realise how important it was until I read this post! :D

  3. As my poems are about myself, family and travells, there are many quiks too many to write down.
    Enjoyed you U post.


  4. Bigger question: How many of our MC quirks are ones we know about intimately?!


  5. I keep lists of the quirky things I see real people doing, such as sniffing a stick of gum before chewing it or licking one's lips before licking an envelope flap. I record all the little odd things that can go unnoticed but that really say a lot about a person, then I apply them to characters.


  6. oh yeah i agree and the quirks keep them human

  7. Quirks are great - often my characters have developed them all by themselves without my realising! Great post - and thanks for visiting my blog. Now following :-) LindaK

  8. I've taken one of my own quirks and given it to one of my characters. I have no sense of smell...and now...neither do they. Something small, but unique! :)

  9. I talked about this in a workshop the other day, making characters special, but not going overboard with quirks. Makes them memorable.