Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quirkiness In Your Characters

I'm a good dog.  I only sit on Dad's chair when invited (or no one is home).  I know how to lay down, how to go to sleep, how to beg, how to roll over, how to get my belly rubbed, and how to sit on my pillow.  I even know what toy to get when Mom says, "Where's rope? or "Where's ball?"  I always bring the right toy...even if I have to look for it all over the house.  I don't go upstairs...EVER!  Ginger lives up there and she doesn't really like me.  Sometimes she will let me lick her if Mom's holding her in the family room, but she doesn't like it.

I have a confession...I have a problem and I don't know how to stop doing it.
You probably can't tell by looking at me that I even have this habit, but it drives everyone in my house crazy.  I don't think it's such a bad habit.  I've seen some of the things people do.  Throw litter on the ground, spit in public, not cover their mouth's when they cough and worse...much worse.  Mom's writing about a girl who cuts herself.  Why would anyone do that?
  I'll bet you can't even tell what my quirky habit is?
I don't really care if my right ear is shorter than my left ear...I'm not looking for a husband...

Your characters must have real flaws in them...They must have highs...They must have lows...or they're going to be boring..

I'd like to thank everyone for stopping in and reading my post about my new critique partner.  You put a smile on his face...If you haven't checked out Lenny's blog hop over and I'm sure you'll leave with a smile and a friend...


  1. Awwwwww what a CUTE dog!!! I love the lop-sided ear!!!

  2. Look at that sweet face, surely you don't have any bad habits. Your ears are purrfect!

  3. I totally sympathize. One of my ears sticks out more than the other. And that's just one of my many flaws. ;)

  4. Good thing she's not looking for a husband! Though it makes her all the much cuter. :)

  5. hi macy! you look really cool in those pictures. i gotta tell you youre way to cute to have those bad habits or flaws. i got one ear more short just like you and my new sun glasses sit all lopsided on my face. ugh! good thing you dont gotta wear glasses. ha ha. wild thing i think i love you! :) hi miss sharon! what a neat post from macy. shes a writer just like you. :) my mc in my shark fins book has lots of for real flaws cause its me. ha ha.
    ...hugs from lenny

  6. This is such a cool post! I literally cannot stop smiling. I hope to be as cool as your dog one day :)

    And you're right about the quirks--they're what I love most about characters, as well as what makes them so memorable to me.

  7. I think the dog looks edgy.

    We do need to add quirks to our characters. I've read books where characters were flat, as you say or seemed little more than a stereotype - a role to fill.

  8. Candace--The groomer knows she has to be balanced out everytime we get her groomed. LOL!

    Brian--I guess you are right, if she tilts her head it to the right it would make her look like they were even. :)

    Karen--You hide your flaws are adorable!

    Janet--I guess if he leaned a little to the left, she'd be the perfect wife.

    Lenny--We all have flaws. I think that lots of people actually have uneven ears...If they were glasses, they have the glasses bent by the eye doctor so that they look straight on their faces. :) I'm glad you liked Macy's post...she's letting me do the comments...she's off eating peanut butter. :)

    Amparo--Thanks for stopping in...I have about a year's worth of Macy's journal entries in a file...We'd never had a dog, so I kept track of her life and her reactions to things...For a while she was into carrying home trash from our walks.

    Theresa--Trust you to think Macy is edgy....Yep, no body likes a perfect mc!

  9. Great point... the closer we connect to the characters, is a direct result of how we write in the real world into their behaviors, the more real it is… the better it is.

  10. Sharon! You are so cute! :) What a great post idea!

    I couldn't agree more! Quirky is good! When I think back to people I've met in my life, family, classmates, co-workers, I remember the ones that were different in some way. Those are the ones I frequently recall. For me, the same goes for writing. You remember the characters who were a little bit odd ball, clinically crazy or perhaps annoyingly nice! I always seem to model characters after people I know and have known. And I think I may just model one after that dog! She's bursting with personality! ;)

    xoxo -- Hilary

  11. Darling pictures, Sharon - such a cutie!! Thanks for continuing to visit me despite my absence this summer. I'm working to get back on track. I love that Lenny is your new critique partner - that is too cool for words! :-)

  12. Is it the ears? I was waiting to find out what the quirky habit was.

    Cute dog.


  13. WONDERFUL post! :o) Sweet doggie, we love you with your flaws and all. (And I just want to scratch those cute, soft, crooked, little ears so bad!)

    Flaws are good because we all have them, and they shout at ourselves more than anyone. This is why we relate to characters with lows. :o)

  14. Hi Sharon .. lovely pictures of Macy and you can see the character in her .. animals are great. I'm off to see Lenny ... and have commented and followed ... lovely post on dogs saving lives.

    Thanks Sharon .. & Lenny ..

  15. You're doggie is so so cute!! So huggable and loveable! Love the connection you made to characters and their need for real flaws! So true! A character without flaws is flat and unrealistic!

  16. What a cute dog, ears and all. Those eyes just make you melt.

    I went over and checked out Lenny's blog and I'm now a follower.
    : )

  17. Oh Macy, sweet Macy! I for one think you are PERFECT and flawless!!! Seriously! My cat Charlie will even go so far as to say that "Only humans have flaws"! LOL!

    Have a wonderful day gorgeous Macy!

    take care

  18. I love quirkiness. (Smiles) Seriously, it makes the characters seem more real. I have so many quirks that I would run out of space listing them. But it's who I am.

  19. She's so adorable! I keep picturing her with a little doggie tiara. LOL.

  20. Sweet puppy looks cute to me!! And I think if we all looked closely enough, we all have something on our bodies hanging lower on one side. ;)

    xo Catherine

  21. What a beautiful puppy!...I'm very behind in comments and email, I'll be in touch soon, Sharon...Hope you are happy and well.

  22. She is adorable! I can't believe she can have a flaw that would drive you all crazy. But I totally agree with you, Sharon, that perfect characters are boring and unrealistic.

  23. awww this is just too cute! the ears especially.. they look like little imperfect ponytails! but who has anything perfect anyways?

  24. Hi Sharon,
    I have just shown the photos of this lovable dog to our lovable dog. She can sure relate to the whole ear thing happening.
    Aint that right, Penny? 'Arf arf' :-)
    And doesn't Lenny do just the most wonderful blog.
    With respect, Gary.

  25. Cute dog! :) The ears only make her more adorable.

    You're absolutely right. Our characters must be flawed.

  26. Jeff--Your right, every character has to have a real world base line...then be pushed...

    Hilary W--Yep, it's always the crazy people you remember...They stick in your mind...

    Shannon--We're all glad to see you are back. :) Your cheerful comments were missed.

    Clarissa--Yep, she's an ear chewer...Right side only???

    Jackee--Good points. I'm always looking at characters and trying to find something I have in comonn with them, be it a good qualiy or a flaw.

    Hilary M-B--Thanks for checking our Lenny! He's something special! Macy is a character...Today she swiped my vick's vapor rub, a coaster and a box of tissues...What a mess!

    Carol VM--So right! Perfection is boring...I wonder why I'm always trying to obtain it?

    Susanne D.--You'll really enjoy Lenny's blog! He has such a good heart and says such wonderful things...

    Jennifer--Macy thinks she's hit it big...Since I got a sinus infection I've been sleeping on the sofa, so I can get up and have a cup of tea without distrubing anyone...She's been sleeping with me and is very happy about it.

  27. Buffy--If talented writer, crazy organized, and caring community member and friend make you quirky, I wish everyone was as quirky as you!

    Vicki--We haven't tried a tiara, but it's a great idea...Princess Macy for a day...

    Catherine--You're right, unless you are a super model you probably have something that isn't symetrical...

    Jacqueline--I hope your move is going well! Thanks for stopping in...

    Hema--It's that whole need for everything to be "right"...Macy's ears being lopsided drives me nuts, just like knowing that there is a spot on the ceiling in the powder room where the painter got paint on it and didn't fix it....

    Lynda--Thanks...Sometime I'll put up Macy's story. We got her to help us with some grief we were going through.

    Farah--Thanks for stopping in! Good point, none of us are perfect.

    Gary--Thanks for dropping in! Lenny is the best! I couldn't have asked for a better critique partner and blog friend!!!!

    Dawn--Macy is pretty funny. Every once and a while she'll zoom at full speed around the house for no apparent reason. It's sooooo funny! She's a character!

    Thanks for stopping in everyone!

  28. Oh, Macy is ADORABLE. :) (My dogs love tissues, too. Dogs are rascally like that.)

    You're right, of course. Characters need to have flaws and quirks and peeves. They need dimension and depth to be interesting and feel real.

    And, I love me some Lenny. :)

    Happy Friday, Sharon!

  29. Flaws are what makes characters (and Macy) so adorable, no doubt. I can only hope MY flaws make me just as adorable as Macy!


  30. I am so in love with Macy. Don't you wanna' send her to live with me? haha

    This is the cutest way to show how important it is to let your characters have flaws. It's the differences that make us love 'em more.

    My favorite cat is the one who only has three legs. Why? Because she has accepted an' overcome her challenge so remarkably well. Oddly, she's about the most independent cat of them all.

    ~ Yaya

  31. I had a hard time focusing on the writing because your puppy is just that cute! Oh, I want to hug her! Cute!!

  32. So CUTE!!! What a good dog! Lily stays in the bedroom when no one is home to protect her from the evil cats. She went through a phase where she was sacking out on our bed (where she isn't allowed) while we were gone. I would peek in the window and see her, but she would be back on her own bed by the time I got through the door. She hasn't done it in a year now. I kind of miss it!

    Flaws in our characters help our readers connect with them! I love giving my characters flaws. It's part of the fun of figuring out who they are!

  33. Hi Sharon,
    I came across your blog and had to leave a comment when I saw your doggie's beautiful face. Your post is so right on. Characters have to be real otherwise they're not credible and they become either flat or stock characters. As a writer, I always keep in mind that my characters have be real even when the story is fiction.

  34. Lola--Thanks! We think she's pretty cute (usually)...

    Nick--Thanks for dropping in! Nice to "meet" you. :)

    Cinette--I wish my flaws made me adorable too... :) Thanks for stopping in.

    Yaya--I'm afraid you'd have a fight on your hands if I tried to send you Macy...PS...I keep telling you you should be writing picture books!

    Jill--That's hard for me to believe...You are one focused girl! Thanks for stopping in. :)

    Jennie--That's funny! Katherine's cat doesn't come downstairs very much, but since Stripes died she comes downs some times. The first time she did Macy went nuts! You would have thought there was a burglar in the house...

    Claudia--Welcome and thanks for stopping in. :) Even those most out there fantasy has to have veins of human truths in them.... :)

  35. Man, I love that last pict. You can just tell she's quite a character. Not looking for a husband. Too funny! Great post.