LESSON CHARACTERS ROLEPLAY Quirks

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY SKILLBUILDING' started by pyra4eva, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. First off, let's define what a quirk is. A quirk is what one might also call an idiosyncrasy or to put it even plainer, it is a mode of behavior or way of thought that is distinctive to a character.

    Let's break this down even more!!

    What do I mean when I say mode of behavior?
    This basically means how do they do things, how do they react to things. If they get nervous, do they start to stutter? Do they stutter even more than they usually do where it's noticeable? Do they tap their foot continuously until they feel better? When they think about a particular thing, do they bite their lip? Do they have this sigh that they always do? If they are expressing emotions, do they do this weird cough or clear their throat? Maybe they are particular about a certain thing. Maybe they have to sit in the front seat of every car they are a passenger in. Maybe they always have to wear their lucky shoes on every Friday the 13th. It could be something that has no meaning behind it at all. Like having a stutter. Some people just naturally stutter. (I have a nature stutter that no one seems to notice until I point it out or get very flustered. It's my quirk in real life.) It's basically something that they do that may or may not have a deeper reason as to why. It could simply be a preference. Think Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. He has his special spot that he always sit in that no one else can sit it because it's his spot and he enjoys sitting there. That's a quirk.

    What do I mean by a way of thought that is distinctive to a character?
    This simply means their unique train of thought that they follow in order to come to the conclusions that they come to. It can also lead to strange behaviors or maybe not. A character that wears their lucky shoes every Friday the 13th can believe that their shoes keep all the bad luck away. For the character that does a weird cough or clears their throat whenever expressing emotions, why do they do that? Is it because they want to think of a particular word because they don't want to share their true emotions or maybe they do it because it's difficult to show their true emotions or maybe both? Maybe it's because they were taught that showing emotions is being weak. Maybe they think that there are "right" and "wrong" emotions to feel. Maybe they do something that doesn't really seem out of the ordinary but the reasoning behind it is particular to them. Like sitting in the front seat whenever being a passenger to a car. Maybe they do that because they like to have control over the music because they believe their musical taste is better than everyone else's. Maybe because sitting in the backseat makes them feel too much like a child. The train of thought can be as long and twisty as you want it to be. Expanding on the Sheldon example, the reason why he likes the spot he sits in is because he can see everything in the room and it's the perfect distance between the air conditioner and the heater so he will never be too hot or too cold.

    Some things to think about when picking a quirk:
    A quirk can happen all the time or because of a trigger. A quirk isn't an emotion since everyone has the capacity to have every kind of emotion at any given moment in time. A quirk, even if it might make a character unique or distinctive, isn't a disability or illness, be it mental or physical. Including things like that into quirks can lead to tokenism. I'm not saying that characters with disabilities or illnesses can't have quirks. I'm saying a character's disability or illness is not their quirk. Quirks can change and alter over time depending on if they have some underlining thought process that causes it. Thought processes can change even if quirks don't. Quirks might not change even if thoughts change. One don't have to change because the other does. Maybe the quirk has become a bad habit even though their thoughts have changed. Bad habits are another topic but has some overlap in quirks.

    A small addition to this topic:
    This is in no way an extension review of quirks. It's mainly a starting point to start thinking about them. It can help with character building/development. A character doesn't have to have a quirk to be a good character. This is simply meant to give people another angle to look at a character.

    Thanks for reading and I encourage you all to post what kinds of quirks you've noticed in characters, whether it be a character you've made or a character you've read about or watched on tv or in a movie or whatever! There are so many quirks out there so feel free to share as many as you can think about.
     
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  2. I had a blind oracle character whole would stare at people, and though you could tell she could not see you, she would still fix her eyes on them. She thought she was being polite by 'making eye contact' when in reality she was creeping people out.
     
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  3. I recently revamped a character and I gave her a certain quirk that I found present in myself XD Whenever she gets really excited about something and she's sitting, her legs starts to shake with excitement. It's pretty fun to write and something new for me to expand on.
     
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  4. I have a character that nods and/or shakes his head a lot, even when he's not agreeing or disagreeing with someone. It's become a subconscious gesture of approval, understanding, thinking, etc for him. I hadn't formulated that into his personality beforehand, it was a quirk that manifested as I wrote (which I love).