Think back to the last book you read or TV show watched.
Now, name a character.
What was memorable about that character or story line?
Is there a particular book or show you keep reading/watching over and over? Why?
I just finished reading Mary Martinez's Beckett trilogy, and I instantly connected with the main character of the third book, Quiet, because within two pages you find out she's terrified of babies. Has no desire to hold one, nor has any desire to have any of her own. Plus, she's a little on the klutzy side. Why did I connect so strongly with her?
I too was terrified of having kids, and if you spend any time around me, you'll discover I trip over things, or drop whatever I try to pick up.
But I digress.
When I think of quirky characters, the cast from M*A*S*H comes to mind. Radar always knew what the Colonel was going to say. Hawkeye and his mystery martinis and schemes. Frank's electric socks and his pursuit of Hot Lips. Klinger and his itch for a Section 8 discharge. Charles Winchester the Third.
Any story has its main characters, but often it is the secondary ones which enrich the story or backdrop. Lumier and Cogsworth from Beauty and The Beast (or even Chip). Scuttle from Little Mermaid. Fargo in Eureka.
One of my favorite shows was Gilmore Girls. Sean Gunn (above) played the town oddball, Kirk. At first I found him extremely annoying, but then would tune in just to see what hairball scheme he'd concocted.
And the show Are You Being Served? OMG! We'd tune in just to see what color hair Mrs. Slocum had!
I don't know if I've given my characters any particular quirks; I may have to add some. But the bottom line is this: Make your characters memorable, not just cookie cutter Barbie and Ken. Readers will appreciate it.