Quirk and Mannerism In Characters And How To Use Them

To build a great character’s voice (where we discussed the other things that help build a wonderful character’s voice), and a unique one at that, some of the things you need to apply are some quirks to your characters. Quirk refers to being odd. This indicate that that every conversation is measured by their abilities or disabilities. There are various quirks that guide the ways characters’ voice can be portrayed.

  1. Speech Defects: these are the various speech defects a character has that influences the way he or she is perceived by your readers and other characters. What problem does he or she have? This is what should help you in building your character’s voice.

Stuttering: when your character stutters, then you should let them find it difficult to always talk. And when they do, there should be a lot of straining while trying to make their idea known to the other character.

Malaprop: this is when your character confuses words and misuse them. Make your characters feel they are so fluent with the use of this words that it would be hard to convince them that they are confusing words. Make sure other characters either are left confused or have to correct them.

Aphasia families: these set of your characters are forgetful and would always try to grasp for words. For example,

‘when you are in the ….’ Hannah said and snapped her fingers repeatedly, making John look at her quizzically. ’What is the word for that thing that goes up in companies again…. Elevator. When you are in the elevator…’

Fast paced speakers: these set of people try to make sure their words are gotten in the right time and therefore rush it out. This is considered a quirk because it is rare. Now, you have to show this through other people and not by the character himself. For example:

‘Calm down’, Gbolahan barked at him.

 But that’s how I talk’, Sean said.

‘Gbolahan, help me ask him. Can’t he talk like normal human being?’

‘I can’t talk like normal human being, especially now. My girlfriend and your girlfriend. I stumbled upon them kissing…’

‘Slow down… What happened to your girlfriend?’

‘Kissing. How could…

2. Any peculiar act: do they do any stupid act while talking, like shaking of heads or anything. Let one of the other characters detest it. In my series, The Fortunecity Series, Rachael is known for her bottle of coffee, while Once is known for his stick of sweet.

3. Their Job or Love or Affliation: The things your character do for a living like Gladys (in ‘Grabbing The Hot Gate’), who works with a herbal company. Or the things they love like Nosa in ‘A Dread In The Spine’, who loves to watch movies.

There are many others, and if you follow Writertain, you would be exposed to mine and that of other writers. Have fun.

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