Where Did That Quirky Character Come From?!? By Linda S. Glaz

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Where Did That Quirky Character Come From?!? By Linda S. Glaz

I had someone recently ask me about a character in one of my books.

A hockey player. Tough, mean, leaves other players’ body parts on the ice. Well, okay, maybe not that dramatic, but he does leave plenty of blood on the ice. His nickname is the Pain Machine. So how can that character later in the story almost pass out when he sees blood on someone else? How could I possibly sell that idea? Simple.

It happened.

A few years ago, my husband was drawing blood on a hockey player who shall remain nameless for, oh, so many reasons. This guy was an explosive gotta-get-them-first player on his team. He was known for leaving it ALL on the ice. Quart by crimson quart. He spent so much time in the penalty box that I think he had to pay rent. But when my husband drew his blood…PLOP. One look at the blood in the syringe and he passed out against a sink.

These are the types of things that make our characters real! That show the different sides of their personalities. That make them three-dimensional instead of cardboard characters. We ask ourselves what kind of quirky action or thought will show us a distinct side of the person that no one would expect. What makes them tick stronger than Big Ben?

I, for one, love the opposing sides of a person’s personality.

How about you?


  1. quart by crimson quart. Beautiful word picture Linda, and great post. I love reading books that show depth of character.

  2. Linda Glaz says:

    Me, too. Nothing more boring than a formulaic character just going through the motions the way we THINK they should.

  3. Ron Estrada says:

    Oh definitely. It’s so easy to fall into the stereotypical character, especially those background characters–the gum smacking waitress, the stone-faced lady at the post office. Whenever I write one of those characters into my books, I stop and consider what my reader would expect, and then go another direction. It really doesn’t impact the plot, but it makes for a bit of fun along the way.

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