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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Adding Flavor To Stories

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.


Victoria said...

You're absolutely right about quirky characters - and I think we watch almost all the same shows! LOL
Great info, Molly. Thank you.

Tina Donahue said...

I loved Gilmore Girls too. Could never see Lauralei with Luke though. Always thought she should end up with Rory's dad - Chris, right?

Molly Daniels said...

@Victoria: I completely forgot about the show Eureka and even Warehouse 13! *head slap* Who can forget Fargo or Claudia?

@Tina: I liked Lorelai with Luke, but I also loved her interaction with Chris. Still, I thought Luke dealt with her quirkiness better:)

Judy Baker said...

One for me is Abby on NCIS. I love her quirkiness and how she embraces life.

Molly Daniels said...

@Judy: You're right:) I've only seen a few episodes of that show.

Another one is Garcia from Criminal Minds:)

Unknown said...

Don't watch much TV but I'm with Judy! Love Abby on NCIS.

jean hart stewart said...

Good advice...I laugh even thinking of Mrs. Slocum.

Cara Marsi said...

Good points about making our characters memorable. I loved M*A*S*H and I loved Are You Being Served. You're so right about the characters that stood out in those shows.

I agree about Garcia from Criminal Minds.

Melissa Keir said...

I love the quirky characters... Simi from Sherrilyn Kenyon's books. She is a cut up! I also loved Mash. There is something endearing about the oddballs... maybe because I'm one!

Great post Molly!!

Molly Daniels said...

@Rose: I'm beginning to watch more NCIS. Thanks for commenting:)

@Jean: She never failed to deliver a laugh!

@Cara: The mark of a good show: When we remember characters YEARS after they've gone off the air:)

@Melissa: LOL...oddballs til the end of time:) May the Schwartz be with you:)

Sandy said...

Sorry, I'm late, Molly.

I like quirky characters like Abbs and Garcia, too. There are shows with a cast of characters like these that draw me to them every week. It's the characters lives together and apart that draw me to the shows.

Molly Daniels said...

@Sandy: Never too late to comment:) And most definitely!

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