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1001 Character Quirks for Writing Fiction (eBook only)
A tool for creating memorable fiction characters
Have you ever gotten stuck writing your stories, because your fictional characters “ran out of steam”?
Have you ever found yourself banging your head against the wall, thinking you’ve run out of story ideas?
Have you ever marvelled at others’ fictional characters, because they seem to have such depth and complexity, and thought to yourself, I wish I could write characters like that?
Let me ask you…
What If You Had a Magic Idea Box…
That Just Kept Pouring Out Character Ideas?
Dear Fiction Author,
Why do some writers seem to have a never-ending supply of wonderful characters? Meanwhile, you struggle with yours. Why is it, no matter how hard you try, your characters still come out feeling flat?
Here’s why: Because those writers, after years of research and practice, know professional techniques for creating rich, memorable characters.
I believe character is the single most important aspect of a story, because if you have compelling characters, you can get away with numerous mistakes elsewhere in your writing. That’s not to say that character is the only important thing. You still must write competently, construct a compelling plot, pace your story well, and so forth. But when you goof—and we all do—great characters will cover a multitude of sins. Because your readers identify with characters—not with plot devices—and these readers will be willing to overlook a foible here and there for the sake of a character they love.
But where does one get ideas to make a deep, interesting character? All writers struggle sometimes to find the right character traits. The good news is that character traits are just ideas, and ideas are incredibly easy to come by. Once you know how to find them, you can have as many character ideas as you want, because raw ideas are a dime a dozen.
What if you had a magic “idea box,” and when you opened it up, character ideas just started pouring out? What would that do for your writing? If you had a magic idea box, you could:
- Produce rich, 3-dimensional characters that readers will remember, because you will make readers laugh, cry, and feel for your characters.
- Cut your writing time in half (or better), because you’ll know exactly where you are with each of your characters and exactly how to deal with any obstacles that arise.
- Permanently overcome a major source of “writer’s block&rdquo: not knowing how your characters fit into the story.
- Virtually eliminate the frustration of creating characters and the fear that your characters will never be good enough.
- Increase your writing prowess, and earn kudos from other writers.
- Exercise your creative muscle, and make yourself more creative.
- Write fictional characters that people want to get to know and to talk about.
- Create characters that intrigue and excite you.
Here’s the thing: The magic “idea box” is for real. There actually is a writing tool that can help you do all these things. It’s a tool that some professional writers spend years researching, designing, building, refining. So what is this powerful writing tool? It starts with something every writer needs, and something you may even have already started. I’m talking about a character journal. A character journal is a long list of character traits. Whenever you need an idea, you go to the journal, and it helps you find the right character trait.
But a tool accomplishes nothing unless one knows how to wield it. And that is the secret to creating winning fictional characters with this tool, how to cash in on your character journal. Once you grasp this truth, you’ll appreciate that ideas really are only worth “a dime a dozen,” because you’ll have more great ideas coming to you than you ever thought possible.
I want to kick-start your character journal with 1001 Character Quirks.
Or if you already have a character journal, you can add these character traits to it. This is a list of 1001 bona-fide character traits, “ready to use” in your own stories. Traits like:
8. Denies any fact that does not fit into his theory of how things work.
15. Instantly knows what others feel.
24. Disorganized (but always knows where everything is).
35. Always hides cash in his sock, shorts, bra, etc.
40. Becomes excited at the prospect of watching a movie, skydiving, eating chocolate, playing the stock market, etc.
59. Always breaks things, trips over things, etc.
63. Feels familial affection for or attraction to cats, horses, cows, etc.
75. Distrusts people who talk with an accent, have blue eyes, can’t remember his name, etc.
84. Refuses to fight with anyone wearing glasses, smaller than himself, etc.
90. Insists everyone call him by a different name each day, depending on his mood.
104. Believes that God is a sham created by the clergy to get money.
115. Always bragging about past accomplishments, even made-up ones.
122. Refuses to use microwaves, cell phones, computers, etc.
138. Rude to everyone.
143. Professes multiple, incompatible religions.
159. Overly sensitive sense of smell, hearing, sight, etc.
163. Hobnobs with a certain person only in private.
174. Always looking for a cure for a disease or condition he has.
188. Shouts “I’m here!” (or something else) when startled.
194. Speaks every errant thought.
209. Upset when faced with a messy room.
217. Tall, but envies those who are short. (Or the reverse.)
223. Never laughs; treats every joke as though it were serious.
232. Always laughs at the wrong things; offbeat sense of humor.
248. Must control everyone and everything.
254. Carries batteries (and toys) with him everywhere.
266. Carries cookies in his purse.
271. Makes Batman noises (e.g. Bam!, Pow!, etc.) at an antagonist to express anger, dissatisfaction, etc.
284. Has 2 differently colored eyes.
291. Never asks for help; always tries to do everything himself.
305. Knows many facts in his expertise, and always corrects everyone else.
312. Always sucking on a Certs or lollipop, munching on pretzels, etc.
329. Relates everything to a fable or allegory.
334. Always replies to any email within 24 hours.
355. Loves playing catch with kittens.
361. Always uses a handkerchief to touch a public telephone, chair, etc.
376. Lives to role-play.
385. Reads every newspaper and website; watches every news program.
397. Always gets off on a tangent, tirade, etc.
405. Eats Buffalo-sauce-and-Blue-cheese burgers, mustard sandwiches, etc.
412. Frequently says the wrong word, makes Freudian slips, etc.
420. Hates to sweat, and is turned off by people who sweat profusely.
434. Can drive at excessive speed, weaving in and out of traffic, without getting in an accident.
446. Loves to sing “99 Bottles of Beer,” etc.
459. Names and becomes attached to stuffed animals, caterpillars, rocks, raindrops on the window, etc.
461. Takes every question as a criticism (or complement).
473. Always works very hard, but has no concrete goals.
486. Never talks about his past (or future).
491. Insists on remaining the same, even while everyone else is changing.
507. Always says he worked hard, in order to justify the result of his work.
514. Feels no sadness, anger, nervousness, etc., but can fake it pretty well.
523. Wakes promptly at 6 PM; falls asleep at 10 AM.
535. Prattles on about trivia when there are significant matters to discuss.
544. Willing to do anything for information (if for a greater purpose).
559. Could never accept that his close friend has a fatal flaw, even if true.
564. Can’t swallow pills.
573. Never expresses his feelings about someone else, until they explode.
580. Becomes depressed unless given a steady stream of positive feedback.
598. Always faces an emergency by taking command of the situation.
603. Has drawn up a list of transgressions and a revenge appropriate for each.
618. Turned on by any woman’s name (or man’s) with a certain sound in it.
623. Believes Tupperware parties, AA meetings, etc. are actually planning meetings for a secret underground conspiracy.
631. Always knocking things, leaving things on the floor.
645. One day each week, instead of working in the office, takes his laptop and works in the park, coffee shop, etc.
656. Brags about a new game he made up using a see-saw.
664. “It’ll never make any difference” only strengthens his resolve.
670. Has psoriasis on his scalp, underarms, private areas, etc., and scratches.
689. Loathes to be photographed.
696. Always treats everyone with respect, no matter their class or station.
709. Becomes mired in grief when his favorite fictional character dies.
718. Asks for exactly the same thing over and over, even after being told repeatedly that it’s infeasible, impossible, unavailable, etc.
724. Agrees quickly (by silence), but later comes to a different conclusion.
733. Sees all art as “whatever you interpret it as,” including family photos.
743. Practically gives money away, knowing it will come back manyfold.
755. Brilliant strategist; always seems to have planned for any contingency.
760. Easily deceived by anyone who uses words he doesn’t understand.
774. Always finds an excuse not to tell a woman how he feels about her.
788. Always tweaks what he’s already completed, to make it better.
795. Needs to be the center of attention.
809. Accomplished illusionist. (But uses this skill only subversively.)
816. Always looks and acts stupid, but is a passionate master persuader.
824. His online persona is of a different age, sex, etc.
831. Can find happiness with any lover.
845. Prefers computer sex to the real thing.
852. Loves to wear costume jewelry, tricked out clothing, etc.
867. Raises chickens, pigs, etc.
877. Has a crush on Underdog, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.
883. Can’t stand to do the same thing day after day.
895. Intensely passionate in what they pursue and believe.; frequently blowing up or screaming because of this passion.
904. Will accept almost anything as “normal,” once it is explained to him.
912. Always wants someone to help him, even with the simplest tasks.
928. Always forms an emotional attachment to fine cars, collectibles, etc., even if owned by someone else, and feels slighted if the they are mistreated.
930. Never looks a person in the eye, and always talks in a monotone voice.
944. Always tries to be nice, and always ends up insulting someone.
959. Always gets others to agree first to something he doesn’t want, knowing it will make it easier to get them to agree later to what he does want.
964. Loves sailing, motorboating, yachting, waterskiing, etc.
977. Puts maple syrup, salt, butter, etc. on everything.
985. Always offended when he discovers that someone listened to him just to shut him up (and then didn’t follow his advice).
992. Miriam Stockley’s song “Perfect Day” makes him cry, feel happy, etc.
Of course, that’s just a fraction of the 1001 Character Quirks in the list. (Literally, the 100 character traits above are less than a tenth the entire list of 1001 quirks.)
There are various reasons why some writers keep their ideas to themselves. Some feel a sense of ownership in their ideas. Others are afraid that someone else will get rich and famous off of their ideas. And still others realize how hard they work coming up with good ideas, and don’t want others to benefit from their hard work.
But these are just raw ideas, and raw ideas are useless without execution. You must turn your ideas into real characters and a real story before they’ll be any use to anybody..
As hard as it is to come up with great ideas, the raw ideas are actually the easy part. The hard part is taking those ideas and turning them into a story. Because even if you had all the ideas in the world, ideas can’t write your story for you. Only you can do that.
That’s why I’ve compiled this PDF ebook, 1001 Character Quirks for Writing Fiction, with much more than just a list of character quirks. It includes:
- 1001 Character Quirks ready to use in real stories.
- The single biggest mistake writers make with quirks, and the secret to using them effectively.
- 10 ways to enhance character with quirks.
- 12 techniques you can use to generate your own character ideas.
- 8 tips on how to multiply quirks, so you can turn these 1001 quirks into 2000, 3000, 10000, or as many as you want.
- A 3-stage character-development process you can use to create realistic and interesting characters.
- A quick-list of 35 questions you can ask to give your character depth, and which questions not to ask.
- A simple, 5-step writing process you can use to turn any character into a story, even if you’ve never written a story before.
- An actual fictional character, soup to nuts, including a snippet from a finished story starring the character.
- Numerous concrete examples and enlightening anecdotes.
- Downloads of future editions of the ebook.
On top of that, I’m including a free subscription to my “Writer’s Tips” e-Newsletter. It’s full of storytelling tips, tricks, secrets, and exclusive offers. In these emails, you’ll discover:
- 7 storytelling goofs, and how to avoid them.
- How to use personality profiles to improve your characters.
- How neurological research can make you a better storyteller.
- 6 psychological triggers that are important to storytellers.
- Why different people like different parts of the same story.
- New products and special offers for writers.
- … and more.
This subscription is not available to the general public. And I’m including it with 1001 Character Quirks. What’s more, even if you decide to return 1001 Character Quirks for a full refund—more on that below—you can keep the Writer’s Tips subscription as a free gift.
And just in case you don’t believe me that raw ideas are only worth a dime a dozen, I’m ready to put my money where my mouth is.
I want to you to have 1001 Character Quirks for literally a dime a dozen.
That’s the value of a list of 1001 character ideas, right? 1001 quirks at 10 cents per dozen. But as I said, the ebook is not just a list of character ideas. It also includes the 3-stage characterization process, the 35-question characterization quick-list, 10 ways to enhance character, 12 techniques to generate more quirks, 8 tips on multiplying quirks, and everything else listed above. All for $8.34, which is the value of 1001 ideas at a dime a dozen.
This offer includes my 12-month 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Up to a year after you order the eBook, if you decide it’s not everything I’ve said it is, I’ll refund your money, no questions asked. It’s really that simple.
Yes, Tim. I’d like to download 1001 Character Quirks for $8.34. I understand that I get:
- An instant download of the 1001 Character Quirks ebook PDF file, which includes numerous tutorials and examples.
- Downloads of any future editions of the ebook.
- A free subscription to the Writer’s Tips e-Newsletter.
- A 12-month Satisfaction Guarantee.
I can order the 1001 Character Quirks ebook online, and to start the process, I just need to click the link below:
By the way, I know that 1001 Character Quirks will help you come up with as many character ideas as you need, because when I get stuck, the first place I go is 1001 Character Quirks. The techniques in this ebook, the result of years of intensive research, always supply me with more usable character ideas than I need. and I pick the ones I like.
And the best part of all this is that my own stories now excite me myself, more than they ever did before. I actually feel like I know my characters, like they’re my children. It’s a feeling every writer should experience at least once in his life.
P.S. Because characterization is such an important skill to develop, 1001 Character Quirks will immediately improve your writing, by giving it an edge that other writers have to work years to acquire.
P.P.S. You never again need bang your head against a wall trying to figure out what to write, because with the ideation techniques you’ll discover in 1001 Character Quirks, you’ll always have the right idea when you need it.