We all know that for our characters to be life-like, they have to have funny quirks, little ticks that set them apart from other people. The hard part is that most people have dozens of these, while if we give our characters more than 3 or 4, the little quirky things become more noticeable than the plot.
Thinking about this makes me think of my dozens of character quirks. Some I might not be aware of. But in a heartbeat, I can easily come up with ten:
1) I'm obsessed with lotion. I have pump bottles everywhere and in every bag because I hate to have dry hands. I always have to put on lotion after washing my hands.
2) I love eyeliner and mascara. Rare is the day when I don't layer up.
3) I watch my reflection when I talk and make exaggerated facial expressions. No reason.
4) My favorite expression is "Oh my word." Anyone else? Hands up. Who else says that?
5) I have to do things in order. My cookbooks, wardrobe, and ingredients all have an order to them.
6) I get really really annoyed if someone calls me by something other than my first name (there are exceptions to this).
7) I speak in Portuguese with my kids and prefer it over English.
8) I have aspirations to travel the globe.
9) I don't like eating the same thing twice unless it's really really good.
10) I don't like electric kitchen gadgets. Of course I have some, but I'd rather kneed and beat by hand than w/ a mixer/machine.
So there you have it. I'm pretty quirky. What about your characters? Is there something about them that really stands out as unique? Or are they all pretty much the same? Sometimes I don't know what makes my character unique until a later draft, and then all of the sudden, bam, it's there.
What are some of your quirks?