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Monday, September 5, 2016

Habits and Quirks / Character ER + Question of the Month



This is my 500th blog post! YAY!!!! :D


A simple way to give a character more depth is to give your character a habit or quirk…or two. I eat salad and eggs at night for a snack, randomly sing “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”, and wear socks every day even in the summer and even then my toenails are always painted pretty colors. Those are a few of my habits and quirks. I bet you have some, too.

Habit – a regular tendency or practice that is hard to give up.

Examples: smoking with a cup of coffee or after sex, flossing your teeth twice a day, cleaning when stressed, waking up early to exercise, binge watching TV shows or checking social media when bored, biting nails, comfort shopping, cracking knuckles, speaking with a full mouth, talking to yourself (aloud), and humming to yourself.

Image from Pixabay


Quirk – a peculiar behavioral habit, a characteristic that makes someone special.

Examples: dots I’s with smiley faces or hearts, needs ice in every cold drink, quotes movies or books, always has a particular item wherever they go, replaces curse words with silly words, only eats specific candy colors (red M&Ms), sprouts off a lot of useless trivia, always sings the wrong words to songs, wears sunglasses even indoors, doesn’t step on cracks in sidewalks, and sighs while sleeping.

Giving your main character and a couple of the most important minor characters a couple good and bad habits and strange/funny quirks is a great way to make them realistic, fun, and memorable.


QUESTION: What are a few of your habits and quirks?

I always drink green tea in the morning and decaf coffee in the afternoon, and I put my feet on the coffee table.



To join this monthly blog hop visit MichaelG D'Agostino's blog.


QUESTION: What kind of music best speaks to you?


This is a tricky question. All kinds of music speak to me. I listen to it all. Even rap and country, although I will admit those two I listen to less than the rest. On the top of the list of musical genres I enjoy is rock music and all of its variations, especially what is termed "gothic rock opera." Bands like Within Temptation kill this genre. I listen to their music and get tingles. Yes, tingles. I even listen to a band called Hollywood Undead, which blends heavy metal and rap music. Certain Christian music is great, too, but Christian Rock is my favorite. See? Rock music always pulls out on top. 

But...*pumps brakes*...that doesn't mean it "speaks to me" the best. I love rock music and listen to it the most when I write action/suspense, but the genre of music that speaks the most to me is from the '90s. 

Yes, '90s music. When I listen to '90s music, memories flood in and an instant smile lights my face. If I'm not listening to rock in one form or another, or one of my current obsessions (this has been Sia, Demi Lovato, and Lana Del Rey), I can be found listening to '90s music. I have a playlist on Spotify full of my favorite '90s songs. The first song is "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal and the last song is "Zombie" by The Cranberries. (I'm always adding to it.)



51 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Well, I hate socks but sometime chew on my tongue... And I like most kinds of music but especially FM rock of the 70s (when AM ruled and many FM stations played albums). Groups like Steely Dan, Yes, Emerson,Lake & Palmer

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    1. Thanks! I love to know what music others listen to. :)

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  2. I pick at my nails and cuticles and I hate shoes so I'm barefoot as much as I can be. Hubby quotes from his favorite movies... I hardly know any of the groups you mentioned! Guess I'm old school, 60s rock, jazz from the 40s, classical. :)

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    1. My mom quotes from her favorite movies, but they're the same few quotes every time. haha The groups I mentioned are all in the rock genre. :)

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  3. I don't know how you wear socks in the FL heat! I actually have a few pairs of funky socks I wear when it gets cooler here.

    And hey, I got up early to exercise this morning. I think it might be becoming a habit.... :o

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    1. My poor feet are always cold.

      Exercising in the morning iis a great habit.

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  4. Hi Chrys .. congratulations on your 500th blog post - brilliant blogging. I eat a salad every lunch time ... at the moment I have to wear socks so I can use proper shoes ... but prefer going bare foot til winter comes.

    I am definitely quirky by nature - and do try and make people feel special ... but to you my dear on your 500th post ... many emojis of whatever sort you wish for ... and multi-coloured if so desired!

    Cheers for now - Hilary

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    1. Thank you! :D

      I love quirky people. You jeep on being quirky. And I do love emojis, too.

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  5. lol I have many quirky habits I bet, I talk to myself a bit, sometimes answer too, is that bad? Congrats on 500 as well. Music and memories go hand in hand indeed

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    1. Who better to answer your questions? :)

      Thank you!

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  6. Wonderful post, Habits especially bad ones are hard to break.
    My love of music has been with me since a child, classically trained on the piano, I love all genre's of music especially when it comes to Irish singer Daniel O Donnell,
    Have a great week.
    Yvonne.

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    1. They certainly are hard to break.

      I always wanted to learn to play the piano. :)

      Enjoy your Labor Day!

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  7. Congratulations on post #500! ☺ It's always interesting to know someone's quirks. I wear sock all winter but prefer bare feet in summer.

    Rock is one of my favourite umbrella genres as well. I think we all gravitate back to the music we loved growing up and the pleasant memories attached. Happy Labour Day!

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    1. Thank you! My feet are cold even in the summer.

      Yes, we do. :)

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  8. Other peoples habits and quirks can get on my nerves. I don't notice a lot of mine. I am bad about picking at my fingers. I used to bite my nails, but now I'm afraid I'll damage my teeth.

    I like to listen to a variety of music as well, but have a strong inclination toward rock. I guess it's what we've grown up with so it speaks to us most. My era is 70's and 80's music since that's when I was listening to music the most. During the 90's I didn't keep up with music as much since I was working more and heavily involved in parenting and family life. When I'm busy with life that isn't music-centric then music takes a back seat to most other things.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  9. I have a major sweet tooth and tend to throw dirty clothes on the floor or drape them over a chair instead of putting them in a laundry basket.

    I've always been all about classic rock and pop, as well as Eighties and early Nineties music. I would've loved living during the Sixties and Seventies, to experience the music first-run, so long as my time in the Fifties were minimized.

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    1. I tend to pile my worn clothes in my closet after taking them off. Oops. lol

      I do enjoy '60s and '70s music. I always felt I could've been alive during that time. :)

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  10. Congratulation on 500 posts! That's awesome.
    I have two quirks that are easily noticed when I'm anxious in public, specifically at a resturante. I will eat one item at a time on my plate and turn the plate as I complete each item. Anything on the table that's not at a 90 degree angle will be by the end of the meal, and I may not even remember the meal and what happened when it's all over.
    I love 90s music too. I recently did a battle against the ages with some friends: 80s vs 90s and it was a tie. ;)

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    1. Thanks, Toi! :D

      I get nervous while eating in restaurants, too. Sometimes to the point where I feel a little sick.

      I think '80s and '90s music could only come out as a tie. ;)

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  11. Congrats on the 500th post! That's a lot of words. . .My favourite music is jazz, then blues, and original rock music. I could listen to Bob Dylan all day long as his lyrics are like poetry to my ears, and his music like Leonard Cohen's jumps my mind back to the college days. . .when anything was possible. Quirks? I like to get up before everyone else to have time to myself, I always want coffee (Canadians are big coffee drinkers according to a recent survey), and I like having a map of Paris over my writing desk. I'm a calendar person - the kind with big squares to write in - don't use the digital type, it needs to be in front of my face, hard copy.

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    1. Thank you!

      I don't listen to much jazz or blues. I should give them both a try more often. Bob Dylan is a legend!

      I admire that habit. I can't get up before others. I'm more likely the last awake. :P I have a big calendar on my desk, too! I get a new one every year. It keeps me organized. ;)

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  12. Congrats on your 500th post! I always hum to myself when I'm enjoying a good story. And always drink French roast decaf coffee w/ 3 sugars and 3 hazelnut creamer with Lorna Doone cookies after eating oatmeal for breakfast.
    As for music, I listen to almost anything but country, classical and heavy metal being the least. I especially love listening to 90s music in particular 90s hip hop.

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    1. Humming while you read is a cute habit.

      '90s hip hop is the best!

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  13. The Nineties is about when I stopped finding music that spoke to me, to be honest. Funny how that works, isn't it?

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    1. Everyone is different. Thanks for commenting, John! :)

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  14. 500 and more to go! Congrats, Chrys. Love your posts, so glad you're doing this. I love characters with quirks. Those little habits endear them to me or make me want to smack them. Either way, they stand out in my mind.

    I listen to lots of different music. I love to match my choice to my mood.

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    1. 500 more posts? I don't know. We'll see. :)

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  15. Congrats on reaching your 500th post! That's huge!
    I enjoyed reading about the music that speaks to you. I just decided to join the blog hop today so am looking forward to the monthly questions.
    The Seal song you posted is fabulous!! I need to add it to my playlist. I forgot about it. Such a great song...

    Great tips on adding depth to characters by giving them habits and quirks. Thanks for that!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Thank you, Michele!

      You'll have a lot of fun with this blog hop. I do, and I look forward to your answers. :)

      You're welcome!

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  16. My favorite music varies as well. Oh I love Kissed by a Rose! 90's and earlier has some of the best music ever. Also Lana Del Rey has that voice which sounds from a different era all together. Love it. A new favorite though I found last night on MTV Youtube (peeked on coincidence, I don't follow). Bebe Rexa's 'No Broken Hearts'. It's just a nice song about not staying in the dumps and I think today we all need songs that remind us that being happy is better than being glum.

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    1. That's exactly why I like Lana Del Rey. The old era vibe to her vocals is rare and amazing. I'm going to check out that song. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  17. Congratulations on the 500th post!

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  18. Quirks, huh? I'll have to think about that. I put my snow books on every morning, with my shorts or jeans, to walk the tenth of a mile to get my newspaper. No, I'm not crazy and we don't have snow, but we do have rattlesnakes, and the boots keep them from biting my toes.
    I like country music, but mostly Elvis music.

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    1. If there were rattlesnakes where I lived, I'd where fishing boots up to my hips! Hahaha

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  19. Habit....I always have toast and honey in the morning...always. Quirk...let me count the ways...freaky dreams, hum a song in my sleep. Whe I get really scared, my armpits itch and I have to scratch them. Yes...I am a bit of a freak. Oh and if there is a cupboard door left open, I have to close it. Congrats on your 500th post! Music really speaks to every person on the planet. No matter who they are, music is universal. I love rock, in all its forms(mostly) but I love classical and movie music. I also love folk music from Celtic to even yodel music from Austria.

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  20. My quirks? I have a hard time sitting still, unless I'm sick. So, I knit or crochet while I watch TV. But I think everyone knows that about me already.

    Congrats on the 500th post.

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    1. That sounds like my mom. She can't sit still either. She's always knitting or sewing something. :)

      Thanks!

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  21. Congratulations! :) Speaking of M&Ms, I organize them by color and eat the largest amount first. Now I want some chocolate!

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    1. That is a cute habit. I can totally see a character doing that in a book. A YA or NA book. :) Thank you!

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  22. I wear pajama bottoms and camisoles all year round--in the winter I add a sweater. I have 2 martinis every evening after ALL my chores are done and I'm ready for bed. I drink iced coffee first thing in the morning all year round. Those are 3 off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more.

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  23. Congrats on your 500th, Chrys! 500 awesome posts. Wow.
    Love this. I come to know that characters with quirks are mostly hard to forget.

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  24. Awesome on the 500th! I look forward to reading many more on your site all full of excellent advice.

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  25. The '90s did have some great music. Congrats on your 500th post!

    Habits...I have a really bad habit of looking for split ends and cutting them off with nail scissors. Seriously, hours will go by. I usually don't let myself even start.

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    1. Thank you, J.H.!

      I don't even know what a split end looks like. LOL

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  26. Your habits are hysterical, Chrys. I, forever, have a certain image of you in my mind, socks et el. LOL. Thanks. Needed a good chuckle. One of my characters sucks on candies, has ever since his time in Vietnam.

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    1. LOL! I'm am so happy to be in your mind...socks and all. ;)

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