Friday, September 19, 2014

50 Character Quirks

by Anthony Owens

Okay, well, I decided that I wanted to contribute and as part of my new commitment to writing more and being more involved in the writing of others, I thought that it might be neat if I can come up with a list of personality quirks or traits that someone might find useful in fleshing out a character. I mean, even though the plot is important, it doesn’t mean anything without a character that the reader can sink into and relate to.

Normal Traits/Quirks
  1. Carries a large coin which he or she is always rolling over his or her knuckles.
  2. Is a habitual sniffler even when he or she is healthy.
  3. Regularly looks up at the sky to check the position of the sun/moon and comments on it.
  4. Always knows the direction he or she is traveling in (which really annoys my wife).
  5. Corrects people when they use colloquial speech.
  6. Is never seen without a baseball cap or stocking cap (except, of course, in bed or the shower)
  7. Whistles the Scarecrow/Tin Man/Cowardly Lion song at random time and refuses to stop.
  8. Ends declarative sentences with in interrogative inflection?
  9. Is a mush mouth.  Think Boomhauer of “King of the Hill”.
  10. Is an incessant fidgeter and is always touching his or her face or head.
  11. Dots his or her i’s with a smiley face or heart (respectively or inversely for humor’s sake).
  12. Is unable to digest proteins correctly and gets very ill if too much protein rich food is consumed.
  13. Compulsively interrupts people telling stories to interject facts about the story that he or she only knows because they have been told the story before, not because they were involved with it.
  14. Makes up random lies about unimportant things for no reason.
  15. Has a weakness for rescuing stray animals.
  16. Gets physically angry when people mispronounce a certain word (e.g Illinois, precedent as president, especially as expecially).
  17. (cheat) Regularly mispronounces a certain word or uses redundant terms (e.g. PIN number, ATM machine, Hot water heater–if it’s hot, does it need to be heated?).
  18. When stressed or lying, speaks from the corner of his or her mouth.
  19. Profusely sweats even when at rest.
  20. Is unable to take advice from anyone because he or she thinks that they know it all.
  21. Uses mundane items as toys (e.g. bottle caps, straws, chopsticks).
  22. Cannot drink anything with ice in it.
  23. Is strongly susceptible to “brain freeze.”
  24. Doesn’t wash his or her hands after using the bathroom.
  25. When dining out, always tidies up the table and resets the condiments.
  26. Walks in the middle of any aisle, sidewalk, or other shared walkway causing people to have to move around him or her.
  27. Drags his or her feet.
  28. Only drinks from plastic or paper cups and cannot stand the feel of glass in his or her hand.
  29. Draws random doodles on any piece of paper in front of him or her and always carries a pen or pencil to facilitate this habit.
  30. Wears only new socks.
  31. Has several hidden body piercings or tattoos that regular clothing conceal.
  32. Always stands with his or her hands behind their back, sometimes in an “at ease” position, though he or she was never in the military.
  33. Excessively uses initials or acronyms for common AND uncommon phrases and doesn’t bother to explain them.
  34. Doesn’t eat green things.
  35. Strongly dislikes the sound of chewing and hums a quiet song while eating.
  36. Has the ability to speak in a cartoon-like voice which sounds little or nothing like his or her real voice.
  37. Is thrifty nearly to the point of obsessive or compulsive nature.
  38. Is always at least ten minutes early to any meeting or appointment.
  39. Can calculate the total of any items put in a shopping cart and tax to within $0.05.
  40. Generally submits to the ideas and suggestions of others without thinking of his or her own needs.
  41. Readily puts him or her self in the way of danger without careful consideration.
  42. Always has change in his or her pocket to give to beggars or homeless.
  43. Is always trying to recruit people to his or her religious/philosophical beliefs.
  44. Constantly quotes favorite movies and can usually identify the movie that a quote may come from.
  45. Overly honest person, always telling the truth even to his or her own detriment.
  46. Takes stupid bets/dares for small amounts of money.
  47. Has several parts of his or her body that are double jointed and bend or flex in an unnatural or uncanny manner.
  48. Writes with left hand, but does everything else right-handed.
  49. Can only see out of one eye or hear out of one ear.
  50. Is susceptible to malapropisms or spoonerisms.

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