Tracy Madison knows how to make paranormal romance light and fun! And to prove it, she’s having a Month of Mysticism (with great prizes) on her blog.
Meanwhile, Tracy has dropped by S&S to give away a signed copy of A BREATH OF MAGIC to a commenter, so tell us about your favorite quirky characters!
Quirky Characters and Why I Love Them
One of my favorite words in the entire world of words is “quirk.” I love how it looks, how it sounds, and I even love saying it. Quirk. Quirks. Quirky. Go ahead and say it out loud. Please? I’ll wait…
See? It’s a fun little word! Just saying it forces your mouth into a pucker, which is sort of quirky on its own. But as much as I love the phonetics of the word, that’s not the only reason why I adore the word “quirk.” I also love its meaning.
Quirk has a few different definitions, but the one I’m talking about today is:
“A peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality: mannerism.”
And right there is the reason why I am hooked. Every single one of us has at least one quirk. I totally believe this. Even if you can’t identify your own quirks, I bet those closest to you can. Some people’s quirks might be tiny, barely noticeable peculiarities, while others have more than their fair share of peculiarities. Heck, I know a few on both sides of the equation.
But these quirks are part of what makes us who we are. Some of them are funny, and we’re used to being teased about them. For example, I cannot sit in a public place with my back to the room. Okay, well, I can. I just don’t want to. It gives me the creepy-crawlies and I’ll do almost anything to avoid it. My friends and family give me a knowing look whenever I beeline it for the chair against the wall. If I have to sit with my back to the room, I will. I’ll just be uncomfortable until I can get up and leave.
And oh, am I teased about this. Everyone thinks it’s hilarious. Especially because I have no reason to be this way—it just is what it is. But if you think about it, that’s a true statement for most quirks. And that’s another reason why I love them. Quirks, peculiarities of action, can breathe life into the characters of any book I’m reading. They are an important aspect of what helps me connect to characters, so I care about them and their story.
These quirks don’t have to be huge or crazy, either. Often, the tiniest of mannerisms are the strongest in characterization, the most compelling, and deliver exactly the bit of insight I need to truly understand a character. They add dimension, texture, and create characters that jump off the page into real life.
Can you imagine Sookie Stackhouse being quite as interesting without her high quirk quotient?
Or what about Eve Dallas and her penchant for sweets and coffee, or even the fact she hates having her hair styled? Eve is a strong woman, an engrossing character, and infinitely interesting to read about, but I have to say, I like her even more because of her quirks.
Quirks can also make me dislike a character, feel disgust, or even cringe as soon as that character walks into a scene. But when that happens, it’s for a reason. In most cases, the author wants me to have those feelings, and that’s why they’ve given these particular characters unappealing quirks. They’ve still used certain peculiarities of action to add dimension, texture, and realism into their characters. So, whether I like, love, or loathe the end result—these characters feel real to me, and that’s exactly how I want to feel when I’m reading a book.
And this is why I love quirky characters.
When I’m creating the characters who will live in my stories, I definitely give a great deal of consideration to quirks. Sometimes, these quirks pop up when I least expect it, and I love that. Other times, though, I have to consciously decide what quirk is right for which character. In my Magic series (A Taste of Magic, A Stroke of Magic, and my newest release, A Breath of Magic), I use quirks mostly to add humor, but also to add emotion.
I want my readers to care about my characters, to laugh with them, to worry about whatever struggles they’re facing, and giving them quirks is one way I can accomplish this. As a writer, my hope is that my readers will become invested in my characters, so they’ll stick around from page one all the way to “the end,” and enjoy the journey in between.
What about you? Who are some of your favorite quirky characters? And if you feel like sharing…what are some of your quirks? Everyone who comments will be entered to win a signed copy of A Breath of Magic!
To learn more about my books and maybe even some of my quirks, visit me at www.tracymadison.com.