Writing Unique Characters
You’ve given your character strengths. You know their weaknesses; you know what motivates them to their goals and you know what scares them. But do they play a musical dialogue filter instrument or are they the best pastry chef in the suburbs?
Among the many aspects of your character’s personality, hobbies add that extra bit of depth that will finally complete your character. Like you, your characters are more than just fear and desires. They go to school, they visit relatives, they have jobs, they sneak out of the house at night, they like to text or spend their time on Facebook, Twitter or blog. They may not be real people, but they need to be realistic.
What makes us who we may help us reach or goals, or cause us to fail miserably and ruin our lives. We are victims of our own devices or we are our own support group. What does your sleuth do when he’s not solving mysteries? Not all your character’s hobbies will make it into the novel or movie script. They may only mention it in passing.
Your vicious mob boss may volunteer at a local orphanage. Your sleuth may collect post cards from the 1980s. Your superhero may be a closeted romance-novelist reader. Anything is possible when it comes to giving your characters hobbies.
Adding character quirks and ticks could make a reader fall in love with the cast in your novel or movie script. Your character may bake cinnamon rolls from scratch when he’s upset. Maybe for breakfast she pours milk in the bowl before she pours the cereal. He may run his fingers through his hair when he feels content and scratch the back of his neck when he’s nervous. These characteristics may develop as children, inherited by our parents, or from the effects of post-traumatic stress. They may be as small as biting their fingernails, or as eccentric as an elderly great aunt who loves standing on her head and touching things with her fingertip