Q is for Quirks

On the 19th day of the A to Z challenge, I wanted to touch on the subject of creating characters and the need for them to have quirks.

Some people argue that plot is tremendously more important than characters, because if the plot goes nowhere and nothing happens, it doesn’t matter if your characters are developed well. On the flip side of the coin, there are others who say the plot can be garbage as long as there are dynamic characters.

Personally, I don’t think either is more or less important because both are critical to a good, well-rounded story. If you make a mistake with one of these two things, maybe the other can help redeem the overall book, but I believe it’s my duty as an author to do my best at both.

My focus today is on characters and the importance of quirks. By that, I mean those special details that give your character . . . well, character. Makes them seem realistic instead of stereotyped or two-dimensional.

Quirks don’t always have to be quirky. But your characters should say or do something that is unique to them in the story, or they should have a physical feature that stands out in a way that impacts their lives. So, not that someone had extraordinarily pale skin, but that because of it, they wear long sleeves and makeup year-round because they’ve been bullied about their appearance so much in their life.

It could be an unusual food combination they like, a bizarre or old-fashioned catchphrase, a certain way they smell, an odd habit, an uncommon goal, and so on.

While going through other A to Z Challenge blogs, I came across one that struck me immediately for how well it tied in with this topic I had planned. And the character stuck in my mind later because she was described in a very specific way that stood out. There were several highly specific facts, but one of them was that the character, Muffin, deliberately stores her clothes on the floor so she can put “important” things in the dresser. That is unusual itself, but it also tells us a little about her priorities. I recommend checking it out for yourself to see what I mean: https://uniquelymaladjustedbutfun.blogspot.com/2024/04/muffin-atozchallenge.html?sc=1713185934081#c6798869284915921563

2 thoughts on “Q is for Quirks

    • It really does! Also, I’ve been enjoying your posts! I was never able to find a way to comment, but I love the format you’ve been using with the image, descriptions, excerpt, then final thought. Each post has a lot of information. I just followed you on Amazon as well.

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