books . poetry . events . about . blog . faq . need help? . contact
Instagram Facebook Twitter Tumblr Pinterest Goodreads

Here a Quirk, there a Quirk everywhere a Quirk, Quirk…


Hello there!
Look! Look! It’s Maya and her favorite stick! Uh yeah. She likes ’em big! Oh jeez, that sounded um… anyhoo… You guys are so sweet to compliment my mediocre photography skillz in the last post ;o)

So… I thought I’d share another photo I took the other day with my new camera… which brings me to the point of this post… did ya like that transition there… LOL

Quirks.

What information you give about your characters shapes what the reader thinks about them…. duh Erica… I know. I know. But… and stay with me here, what if what we are putting out there is giving out the wrong message?

Oh. *light bulb* you mean not all readers will think the same thing? Uh. No.

So…. how do we as writers make sure that the mother who forgets the MC’s friends’ names isn’t labeled a deranged amnesiac, or the MC who drops a couple things isn’t labeled a shallow klutz?

Simple. We can’t. Readers will think what they want, however, we can shape what they think by making the character as real as possible and true to what he/she is there to accomplish. In other words – make the quirks work for you ;o)

For example… Someone read the first chapter of my now defunct Mystery novel, and they said, your MC comes off as a klutz. Uh what? That’s not how I intended her to be at all. Not that that’s a bad thing (yes I used to that’s’ together, so sue me) *drops cup* So, I had to think… was that what I wanted her to be like? In the end, I didn’t really care, cause Klutz worked for her. Or didn’t, since it’s now defunct.

But.

This can work for you too, maybe something you didn’t intend for someone to read into the character, they did. Such as the MC who has a way to calm everyone down, and you didn’t know it. Or the one that breeds conflict (gotta love her/him). So it can work both ways.

Question O the day – what have you found out about your characters? What do others think? Was it what you expected?

I’m sorry to say there won’t be another Friday Featured Blog this Friday either… I know. I know. Bad Blogger. Truth is. I’m having surgery tomorrow to remove my gall bladder, so I’m thinking I won’t feel up to writing one. Don’t ya worry about me, ole Erica will be just fine, besides I’ve already been through a worse one, so this… is doable ;o)

Have a wonderful rest of the week.

See ya back here next week! *hugs*

24 Responses to “Here a Quirk, there a Quirk everywhere a Quirk, Quirk…”

  1. First your eye. Now, tomorrow your gall bladder. Ouch!

    I will remember you all day tomorrow as I drive and pray for the operation’s success and a swift and as painless as possible recovery. Some years make you want to wave a white flag, yelping “I give up!” Hang in there, Roland

  2. Thanks Roland ;o) You are so sweet to think of me.

    I’m sure all will be fine, should be home the same day. It’ll take a lot more than this for me to raise my white flag! But I know what you mean ;o)

  3. Matt says:

    Erica, clealy your quirk is having so many afflictions. I won’t worry though. You’re a tough chick. I’ll be thinking about you though. Good luck.

  4. Matt – I’m starting to think you’re right! Thanks dude ;o)

  5. Amy Saia says:

    Cute picture! I love it when dogs think they’re bigger than they think they are, haha.

    And I love character quirks—makes them more real. And like you said, each reader will have their own opinion no matter what you do. You can’t control that, just embrace what you love.

  6. Amy – Couldn’t have said it better myself ;o) Thank you! Oh yeah, she loves the bigger sticks, she is the alpha in our household…(out of the animals anyway) LOL

  7. I’ll be thinking about you. I hope the surgery goes well. As for finding something out about my characters… well I had a huge wake up call. My crit partners told me my MC was coming across as a typical teenage girl (all melodramatic) and they didn’t think that’s what I wanted. They were right. I wanted her to be more in tune with her emotions than the average teenage girl. I did not want her to be melodramatic.

  8. Your dog is so cute, that’s a great picture of her with that big branch. One of my cats is named Maya.

    In a way it’s a good thing that readers can read into writing, it makes for a more personal connection when they can get something unique from the book.

    Good luck with your surgery, hope your recovery is as smooth and quick as possible.

  9. Well, my thoughts go with you! Hope all goes well.
    Funny we both posted picts of our dogs today!
    One of my characters ended up being a little stronger willed than I orginally thought she was. By the end, not what I expected, but good.

  10. Susan – Thank you! Wow, I had my crit partner tell me the same thing about my MC, I changed her quite a bit since then, thank goodness, she was right too ;o) Good luck!

    Claire – Thank you! Oh I won’t tell her that, she has a big head already ;o) Love that you have a cat named Maya too – good name! I agree, readers need to be free to read what they want into things ;o)

    Terry- LOL – we did didn’t we. So funny! Yours is adorable ;o) Glad it worked out for you! Thank you ;o)

  11. Jamie D. says:

    Wow – Maya really goes all out with her sticks. I bet she’s about taken someone down at the knee with that thing…am I right? 😉

    My poor heroine just came off as a brat, with no good reason. Thanks to *someone* (ahem, Erica) pointing that out, I’ve rewritten the situation so the readers understand why she is the way she is. Which makes her much better, of course…

    I’m not good at giving my characters memorable “quirks” though…which is something I’m working on. Everyone needs a small quirk, right?

  12. C R Ward says:

    Hmm, Maya doesn’t have any rottie in her, does she? The rottweiler that lived next door to us used to love fetching trees too. Of course she also ate rocks. 🙂

    I’ll be sending good vibes your way tomorrow. Hope everything goes as painlessly as possible!

  13. Natalie says:

    One of my side characters is a chatterbox. She’s my agent’s favorite character, because she’s kind of funny and way over the top. Most of my betas have liked her too, but one found her really annoying. I guess you can’t please everyone!

  14. Good luck with the surgery. I’m sure it’s scary.

    I’ve had readers misinterpret what I intended for my characters. I don’t mind unless it’s completely off base, then I go back and see how I can tweak things to make sure I’m not steering readers in that direction. Not everyone will see characters the same way, as you said, but I want to make sure that’s THEIR problem — I mean, opinion — not mine. 😉

  15. Thanks guys! Still in some pain, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Will be back to my old quirky self soon ;o)

  16. We found out our MC looks differently than we imagined…had to kind of go back to the drawing board for that one.

  17. Amy Saia says:

    There’s an award for you over on my blog : )

  18. Southpaw says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Southpaw says:

    Maya is adorable with her little stick.

    I’ve been thinking about quirks lately, character quirks I mean. I’m hoping when I go through my first round of edits they will ring true.

    I hope your surgery goes smoothly and quickly and you have a speedy recovery.

  20. Take notes on your surgery…You’ll never know when you can use it in your writing. Take Care of yourself afterwards!

  21. Thanks guys! Sorry I haven’t been around. Thank you so much for your comments ;o)

  22. You just heal and we all be happy. Oh, and send me ten dollars. Just joking. Heal quickly, Erica, and be safe, Roland

  23. Good luck with your surgery tomorrow and hope you’re back real soon.

    As for quirks, it’s good to keep them as subtle as possible. Make the reader feel like they’re discovering something! 🙂

  24. Thanks guys!! Enjoy your weekend ;o)

Leave a Reply