Monday, June 25, 2012

The FUNNEST Part of Writing-- Quirks

(I have a new schedule to blogging; go check it out on the above tab :) )


I haven't used this literary device until last night, and I LOVE them.

I loved it. My passion for my characters spread to all of the minor characters too, and you know why? Because the quirks made my array of characters individual, and that, I feel, is the main importance of quirks.

Quirks are so helpful.

I didn't use them before because I thought they were 'unnatural' or something to my story. So I just didn't use them. Also, I didn't think JK Rowling used any quirks. That's why I thought, "Quirks aren't necessary. JKR's characters are the best I've seen." And then I realized it was because JKR GAVE her characters quirks.

Dumbledore (<3) is the weird powerful wizard. Ron is the ginger, Hermione is the braniac, Madam Pince is crazy about her library books, and Filch has his cats. In fact, JKR's entire world is full of quirks! How about Spello-tape, or Platform 9 3/4, or Hogwarts, named when Ravenclaw had a dream that she was riding a warty hog.

The reason I didn't think her characters had quirks was because they felt so natural to their character. And that is where I tried to come from in my revisions last night. I knew my characters, and I knew their jobs, habits, and passions. Thus, I fitted a quirk specific to their personalities. This is HUGE, otherwise the quirk feels so unnatural, and non-JKR. Make it so it fits to their personality! Quirks make a world and a character endearing.

And, the other huge thing, is that quirks differentiate your characters from each other, and from other literary characters. Unique quirks will tell a reader, "Oh, he's the redhead," or, "Oh, she's the woman with all those rings on her fingers." If you have teachers in your book, it is SO easy for the reader to lose track of all of them. The way JKR did it is with quirks. Snape = mean, Flitwick = small, McGonagall (<3) = strict with the hat, Sprout = fat, stuff like that.

Quirks would help a ton so the reader doesn't go, "Wait, who is he again?" Because trust me, I do the same thing a TON with a lot of books!

Have fun with quirks, because you are enjoying your characters and world! (Also, same goes with world-building. If you have a unique setting, UTILIZE IT to all the quirks it can have. JKR did this fully, and just look where she is right now :).)

I think you can tell I love JKR :)

What quirks do your characters have? Any truly amazing, funny, creative ones that you would love to share? Do you think quirks are helpful?


  1. What a great post! I followed you over here from Love of Contemporary. Saw that you reread HP over and over, and I had to stop by! I reread HP at least a dozen times per book! So glad to meet another HP lover!

    new follower!

    1. OOOOOO, I think we are going to have SOOOO much fun talking/commenting to each other! I followed your blog too! I'm so excited to find another awesome HP fan! EEP!!! I've wished to find one, and I'm so happy right now you can't even know :) AH! I would talk HP with you, but I don't know where to begin! Thank you so much though!

  2. One thing I tend to worry about is over-emphasis on quirks. Going back and referencing them enough they get tiresome. This is a really awesome post (: Since you ask, here are some of the following quirks my characters have:

    Ashley: Stubborn
    Fortune: Formal
    Alex: Worrywart
    Troy: Persuasive
    Ryan: Braniac
    Midori: Oh-my-God-happy
    Damian: The cockiest SOB you'll ever meet.

    Those are just a few (: I'd be curious to see how you describe your characters. From your story, we KNOW this, but sometimes it's unique to see what the author thinks outside of the story. (:

    1. Ooh, I made a list for this so I could reference to them :)

      For quirks, I use personality, I used more like the 'odd' weird stuff about the characters; unique stuff.

      Alphi: Purest, looks like mother
      Ealite: beautiful, blonde, mother
      Calt: little, fat
      His mother: Nice, old
      Feroa: Only wears grey clothing
      Matria: Red-head and wears a TON of jewelry

  3. I'm still struggling to create quirks for my characters and get better at characterization. It can be really difficult sometimes.