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Quirks make your characters feel real to readers

Even if you don’t actually use them all in your story, it’s good to know your character’s quirks because they help you describe your characters and show behaviors and details that make them feel real to readers.

Observing quirks and thinking about what they say about a person offers insight into your characters’ personalities. Here are a few quirks about food and eating that I’ve observed in my family and friends.

I’ll start with myself and say I have to eat with a regular fork, not a salad fork. As it turns out, a few years ago, I happened to mention it to my sister and she said her son felt the same way. Part of our DNA?

When it comes to macaroni and cheese, my niece can eat it only with a fork, not a spoon.

My brother-in-law can’t let a stale donut go to waste. He’ll pour milk on it and chow down. I think this came from watching his father who grew up during the Great Depression.

Gigi, my friend, cannot be disturbed while eating her Cheerios lest they become soggy. If the phone rings, it just has to go to voice mail until she’s done eating her cereal.

Speaking of food, my cousin’s husband eats one item of food at a time from his plate. All the potatoes, then all the salad, then all the meat.

So what are your quirks? And better yet, share some of your characters’ quirks in the comments below.

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