Monday, October 10, 2011

Character Quirks

Quote of the Day: "Why don't they just makes phones that are connected to the base?" From my son after I duct taped the cordless phone to its base with a piece of yarn because I was so sick of it being lost!

A friend of mine and author Tamara Hart Heiner recently wrote a blog about giving our characters personality quirks--little traits that set the character apart from the rest of the world.

Everyone has them. It's what makes us unique.

So here are some of mine:
  • I am obsessed with expiration dates. I check the date on everything before I buy it and I throw out tons of unused food just because it's a few days past expiration.
  • I have to have clean sheets. I wash my sheets sometimes two or three times a week. And only I can make the bed, otherwise, the sheets aren't to my liking.
  • I don't eat leftovers.
  • I'm obsessed with London, England, and the whole of the British Isles. I lived there growing up, and it is my home away from home. 
  • I have to carry dental floss with me at all times. I keep it in my purse, my car, and in various places around the house. 
  • I smell everything. New books, plastic wrappers, even glasses as they come out of the dishwasher.
  • I have a hard time with subtlety. I speak too frankly, offend people by accident, and don't pick up on the nuances of society very well. I think if people have something to say, they should just speak up and say it in as polite a way as possible instead of beating around the bush. Life would be so much easier.
  • I am a little bit obsessed with skulls. Especially the skull and crossbones. 
  • I carry Vervain scented lotion with me at all times. If you know why, great, we're on the same wavelength. If you don't know why, then God have mercy on your soul.
  • I love maps and sometimes I just sit and study them. Any map. 
So, there's ten quickies I just came up with off the top of my head. 

Making this list has got me thinking about quirks I could give my main character to set him apart and boost his personality. But not too many quirks, otherwise it becomes annoying. Just one or maybe two. 


  1. Some of these sound more like OCD than quirks :)

    And heaven help all those who believe in sagebrush lotion.

  2. Brooke, the vervain lotion is not the same as the sagebrush lotion!

  3. This is a great idea. And I could use it for others in my life I know and use their quirks for characters as well.

    I found you on Book Lovers Blog Hop and will follow your blog. Hope you might check out mine and follow too.

  4. I didn't know a lot of that! I hate leftovers too, which means Matt takes them to work almost every day. And I can't believe you wash your sheets that often!

  5. I know why I like you so much! I share a lot of the same quirks (which my husband would prob call "obsessions").

    I always love when I'm reading and discover little details about the characters that help me know them a little better than just hair/eye color.

    I love the new look of your blog!!!! :D

  6. Well we all do what we must to be comfortable. I find your quirks interesting because they make you you.

  7. I love reading what quirks other writers love and the ones you think are overused. I posted about this not long ago.

    I am visiting from pay it forward. I will be back to read more after I visit more blogs from the blogfest.

    It is nice to me you.

  8. Hi Julie. I'm here as the co-host from the Pay It Forward blogfest. Thanks so much for signing up.

    And I wasn't following your blog until just now, so the fest is working!

  9. missed the pay it forward blog, so stopping by fashionably late! nice to meet you :)