Friday, July 15, 2011

The Friday Five

Goldfish Crackersphoto © 2008 Crowbeak.Sasquatch | more info (via: Wylio)As writers, we are supposed to give our characters quirks, habits, compulsions, etc, in order to make them come to life. Characters who always act as expected become stereotypical.

In thinking about this, I wondered what quirks, habits, or compulsions I had that might provide a jumping off point for exploring what to give to my characters.

So here are five quirks, habits, or compulsions I have.

1. I love to watch cooking shows, but I don't like to cook. I'm not a good cook, certainly not an instinctive one, but I'm fascinated by cooking shows on PBS and Create.

2. I don't like fish, and I'm not a big fan of cheese that isn't cooked, but I love goldfish crackers. :)

3. I always listen to the radio in the car when I'm driving. And I sing along. Very loudly.

4. I love to read mysteries, but I NEVER know who dunnit until I turn the last page. I'm hopeless at figuring them out, but I do love them.

5. No matter how late at night I go to bed, I always have to read for at least 15 minutes in order to fall asleep.

How about you? What quirk do you have that might prove an interesting trait to give to one of your characters?


  1. This one is more annoying than anything - but I crack my knuckles probably every five minutes. yikes!

    Hmmm...I have to eat the crust of my sandwich first.

    When I eat a Dairy Queen blizzard, I push all the candy to the bottom and eat the ice cream first. Then I dig into the candy!

  2. Erica, I don't like to cook either. I'm a self-professed lousy cook. Good thing there's Taco Bell. That's how I survived the three weeks when my hubby took our German-French major daughter to Germany recently. =)

  3. I also have to read before I go to sleep or else I CAN'T go to sleep.

    I eat M&M by colors...browns first so that I don't have to look at them. (reminds me of "droppings")

    I can't touch the door handle when leaving a public restroom, because I know good and well that not everyone washes their hands!!!

    And no, I'm not OCD. :)

    I always read before I go to sleep, but I read books I've read before. I can't read somethng new because I can't sleep. I have to know what happens.

    But I have a ountain of beloved favorite books. So I'll pick on and start skimming through them, re-reading favorite scenes, until I start to yawn. I've probably got 300 books and I've reread many, many, many of them dozens of times. That's gotta be a quirk

  5. Groan! I have an awful quirk--I'm a romance author and I LOVE romance, but I'm too independent and headstrong to marry. (A pity that men don't find those traits charming.)

  6. As an afterthought--Sound to you gals like God chuckles over our quirkiness? =)

  7. My 3 in 1 novel Nosy in Nebraska is full of my quirks.
    Mostly I make my characters how I WISH I was, but in that book, I deliberately set out to use all my many, many quirks in the three heroines.
    Book one, afraid of mice, and worked in a small town newspaper (I don't think that's exactly a quirk)
    Book two, insomniac, read-a-holic, shy
    Book three clumsy
    I could've done a TEN book series with all my quirks

  8. Katie, I remember the knuckle-cracking, though it didn't bother me. I did wonder if it hurt after awhile though! :)

    Keli, we REALLY need to go to TB together in St. Louis.

    Sherrinda, I sort my M&M's by color too! And I always save the red ones for last, because those are the best. :D

  9. Mary, I'm the same. I can't read a new book before I go to sleep because I can't stop until I reach The End. :) And I Loved the Nosy in Nebraska stories. I was totally sympathetic to the mouse phobia and I'm such a klutz it's not even funny...except to everyone else...

    Tammy, I think God must have a sense of humor. :)

  10. I hate fish too, Erica. And I love cooking shows, but I don't like cooking.

    I love penmanship. I love seeing how other people write. I do invisible doodling often--using my finger to write words on my leg or arm of the chair.

    My dishes have to be lined up in the drainer or dishwasher tallest to shortest and like cups with like cups.

  11. Erica, when perusing books in a bookstore, I have this uncanny urge to hold up the book and flip the pages as fast as I can. I just love that "new" smell!

    And I bet you're a great cook! I well remember your recent taco soup recipe on Jill K's blog. Remember...the one I thought called for "beer" instead of "beef"? (Side note: Went to the optometrist this wk and I should have a nice new set of glasses in time for the ACFW conf.!) :-)

  12. I refuse to eat sandwiches. I don't know why. I think I like nice warm meals opposed to cold meat shoved between two pieces of bread.

    Another strange quirk is that when I have my research binder in front of me, I have to flip through every single page. I think it's a way to make me feel accomplished with everything I've gathered for the research. It's strange and a bit OCD.