Tag Archives: quirks

That Moment When…

  • You walk out of the store and realize your sock is stuck to the Velcro on your pants pocket,
  • You thought you had your hand on the back of the couch, not your neighbor’s chest,
  • You count your toes each and every time you see your feet–in case a digit has somehow been lost since the last time you checked,
  • You realize you are entirely more human than you want to be and just can’t change the past no matter how often you replay it in your head.

This weekend, my family came to visit from states far and wide. Together, we reminisced. Hilarious childhood memories abounded, long-dormant quirks were revealed and new moments were forever burned into our collective soul.

I won’t tell you which of the above I am guilty of. Just know that I am capable of stirring up a commotion wherever I go. And so should our characters.

As a reader, my new favorite character is Dante Walker by Victoria Scott. He’s a bad boy who feels so real that I literally LOL when he talks. Miss Scott has nailed his personality–full of elevated self-worth, harsh judgments and acid wit. If I weren’t happily married with four kids and three dogs, I just might be tempted to call him up for a date.

Dante, as portrayed by his creator, is unabashedly himself. He’s not wishy-washy. Rather, he’s fully engaged in who he is, what he does and why he does it. He takes human foibles to a whole new level and reeks of a charisma so potent I can’t stop the pitter-pattering of my heart.

I fell in love all over again with my three wonderful siblings this weekend as we sat on the bed at 11:30 at night and tried on each other’s glasses to see who was more blind. They/we are goofy, fun-loving, serious, smart, quirky, strange, hilarious and utterly teasable.

As a writer, I can only hope to fill up my novels with such depth and character as was shared in a few short hours. Because truly, being human is downright amazing on so many levels. Capturing that magic and bringing it to our readers is an art.

Dear Readers: who is your favorite character now-a-days and why?

Dear Writers: how do you capture the essence of a character and write him in such a way he comes alive?

Curious minds want to know.

Make Your MC Human

Yesterday, I was happily writing when someone knocked on my door.  Instantly, my muscles tightened and my heart beat a little faster.  I gritted my teeth and pasted a fake smile onto my face.  As I jerked the door open, I wondered if people could smell anger like they can fear?

You see, I despise people coming to my house via my garage door.  In part because I keep both garage doors and the service door closed.  But especiallybecause my front door has a welcoming sidewalk in which to lead visitors to my home.

So why do people feel compelled to open my service door and  navigate their way through a dark and messy garage?  And why does it make me so  darned grumpy?

I’m tired of the cliched OCD quirks in the novels I read.  Lining up shoes.  Compulsively straightening closets.  These are becoming cookie cutter traits.  I want new tics and quirks.

So, what do you have?  What irrational things bother you and how do you respond to them?  Have you ever incorporated them into your writing? 

What is the best movie or book pet peeve you’ve seen that makes the characters look human?

~ cat

Life Quirks: Fact is better than Fiction

Yesterday I spent my day on the fly.  I had a HUGE project to work on (13 hours total by the time Iwent to bed) and a ton of running to do.

Not the get-your-heart-rate-up-cuz-I-wanna-be-skinnyless chubby, but the taxi driver, errand kind of running.  For the first half of the day I threw on my comfiest clothes while I did my creative thinking for the project. 

Low and behold, noon barely squeaked by and I had an urgent need to begin running.  Not wanting to be a total geek, I swapped my jammie pants for a day-old pair of jeans (because they were still clean and right at the end of my bed, just slightly baggy.)  They went beautifully with my hundred-year-old, navy blue sweatshirt (which looked hot with my gray t-shirt sticking out the bottom–very 80’s.)  And lest I forget, I must add that my socks were white gym socks (because what else goes with jammie pants?)  These I slipped into a pair of black dress shoes (because they were easy to get on and were by the door when I donned my taxi hat over my bed-head pony tail.)

And this, my friends, is how I presented myself to my community at no less than five places of business. 

I know, you’re all shaking your cyber heads right now and pretending not to know me.  However, I had the most amazing epiphany while waiting in front of the clothing store for my DD and her friends. 

I WAS A READY-MADE CHARACTER.

If I wrote romantic fiction, I would never have my MC be the clutzy young lady as a way of meeting the hot male protag.  Oh no, I would write myself right into the pages. 

Hot male protag would stumble across the hidden secret that his seemingly put-together flame is really a fashion faux pas of the worst kind.

Writing YA?  Heck, what a better way to  forget it.  I can’t divulge that storyline just yet!

And the list goes on…

What life quirks do you have that would make fantastic novel fodder?  Have you used them in your own writing?  Or, are you the quirky character that gets written about and don’t even know it?