Quirky People

Today I thought I’d talk a little about quirks. Everyone has something about them that is a quirk. The author who must clear out his or her email inbox before writing, the friend who has to eat all of the vegetables on the plate before touching anything else in a meal, the woman has to put her makeup on in a certain order otherwise it “won’t look right.” Some of these quirks may be charming or sweet, and others can be down right annoying. These quirks help to define who we are, and set us apart from everyone else in the world.

I have many quirks. Forget about talking to me in the morning until I’ve had that first cup of coffee. (Sound familiar to anyone?) When in a public restroom, I never touch the door handle directly. Instead I pull a paper towel and use that as a barrier between my hand and the door knob. (Hey – you never know what germs may be on the door handle) I like to stay up late, and love to snack in the wee hours of the night. (Anyone like to do that, too?) I’m also always looking out of my window to see what the neighbors are doing (yes, I’m that neighbor, lol).

Characters in movies and novels are no different. Think of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. Now there is a character with quirks. He’s so much more than a pirate who had lost his ship. His mannerisms, the way he talks and acts, it all goes into defining who he is. (By the way, that picture is for you, Barbara. šŸ˜‰ )

Or, if you prefer paranormal fiction, think of Anita Blake in Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. The tough-as-nails character who sleeps in her penguin pajamas. Says a lot about her character, doesn’t it? It gives her an added dimension we can all identify with.

Everyone needs something special about them that people can relate to. In Dark Deception, the heroine, Maria, has a fondness for cherries, and Enrique constantly rubs a small stone around his neck. Many times these quirks are wrapped up in the character’s past, such as Nico’s refusal to speak in Down on the Boardwalk.Ā  Other times, it’s just part of their character, like how Spyder glances at the ring finger of every man she meets in Spyder’s Web. Overall, quirks are qualities that help to define them (just like they define us) and set them apart from everyone else in the story. Many times, its these character quirks that pull a reader into a story and keeps them reading at two o’clock in the morning.

So I’m asking all of you ā€“ what are some of your favorite characters from movies and novels? Did these characters have any lovable quirks? Tell me about it!

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Comments
2 Responses to “Quirky People”
  1. Oh, I noticed Jack right away and was grateful, Suzanne. Nothing like a little Depp to brighten my morning!;>

    Quirks that define character are the bread and butter for a character-driven novelist like me. I especially love when the reason for a habit isn’t explained right away, but led into over time. My erotic paranormal romance CAPTURED begins with the psychic heroine dreaming of cinammon flavored kisses. Then, it’s revealed that the hero always carries cinammon candy in his pocket. It isn’t until later that we realize this seemingly simple quirk is tied to a dark tragedy from his past.

    Using another Depp example (because I can’t resist), the Mad Hatter in the movie version of Alice in Wonderland slips into a thick scottish brogue when he’s reliving his own dark past. Those moments give insight and empathy into his madness and they make him lovely to me in spite of his wild appearance.

    So, yay quirks. Love ’em!

    My own? Well, I’ve got a touch of OCD. That makes for more quirks than I could possibly list. But I’ll pick one. I always add a dash of bleach to the machine when I’m washing towels. And it has nothing to do with germs. I like to bury my face in a towel that has a “pool” scent all year long.

  2. Grace Conley says:

    Suzanne,

    LOL on the Johnny Depp pic — my kid LOVES Pirates of the Caribbean (has movies, toys, book tie-ins) and it’s all about Johnny.

    Even in pre-school, they love Mr. Depp! (Barbara, you’re not alone)! šŸ˜‰

    On quirks in movie characters — one of my faves is Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. I thought she was absolutely hysterical with the mannerisms (and the whip) !

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