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.