Time got away from me which is 50% my fault and 50% my son’s fault for daring to call me to chat and throwing me off my stride That’s my official excuse for a quick Wednesday post.
Characters quirks make help make heroes, heroines and secondary characters, recognizable, relatable and interesting. They also develop a character’s emotional arc, but that’s a deeper (longer) post. This is more for fun today. I’m going to use Eve Dallas from J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series because those books are recognizable in some form to the majority of readers. I’m going to skip over her childhood trauma which is Eve’s motivation for most of her life decisions, and stick to quirks–those smaller, but recognizable traits that, when added together, make us unique as individuals. For Eve, what amuses me and keeps drawing me back to her in the series, is her “literal thinking”.
I can think of two examples. Keep in mind, I’m simplifying a really complex and well-done character to boil it down to amusing quirks. And these are “my” interpretation of the character. Each reader has their own interpretation
- Eve is a “literal thinker” meaning that she interprets things, well, literally. To her, words should mean the dictionary definition, so when she the comes across idioms like the Pot Calling the Kettle Black or Raining Cats and Dogs or Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch, she’s confounded. She’s always questioning the logic of the sayings, and it cracks me up every time. I look for these little conversational asides to pop up in each of the “in death” books I read. They are also great ways to give readers a little break from tension.
- The second one is Eve’s “Marriage Rules.” In Eve’s childhood, she didn’t have any healthy relationships or a good marriages to teach her the meaning of love, and the obligations that go with loving a person. She’s so confused by little things like calling to let her spouse know she’s late but alive, buying gifts, couple friends or a million other little things most of us learn growing up. Eve’s solution is to creates a mental list she calls the Marriage Rules. To her, it’s a mental guide to navigating marriage for not hurting her or angering her husband out of ignorance. I love those rules. Eve really hasn’t grasped that the fact that she created the rules alone shows her love for her husband. It’s also a great way to show a character’s emotional arc, and keep them interesting.
Those are some quirks I love in romance novel characters. Now it’s your turn to share quirks that you love.