We all have issues. We all have quirks. It’s part of what makes us human.
Therefore, our characters should have quirks too.
What exactly is a quirk?
A quirk is an unusual behavior, an out of the ordinary habit. If it was something everyone did, then it wouldn’t exactly be a “quirk.” But I’m not saying no two people can share the same quirk. We all have our likes and dislikes.
But, for the sake of descriptive writing, I’m going to stick with sensory quirks.
And I’m going to talk a lot about myself, so I won’t blame you if you decide to leave now.
What’s a sensory quirk?
I don’t even know if this is a real thing or if I made it up, but I’m going to pretend it is for the sake of this post.
A sensory quirk is just what it sounds like. A quirk that has to do with your senses. Or you could just say you have sensory issues. Because I do. Big time.
A lot of other people might agree with me on this one. I don’t like the feeling of chalk. I don’t like the feeling of it when I scrap it against the pavement or wall. I don’t like how it gets underneath my fingernails.
This is something I used to love. I played with chalk a lot when I was a kid. When I started working in preschools, my appreciation for chalk shrunk. The kids would as me all the time to play chalk with them and I would agree because… Well, that’d just be mean otherwise. I’d hold the chalk in between my index finger and thumb and barely put any pressure on it when coloring.
Why? I don’t even know. There’s just something about the feeling of chalk that makes me cringe.
Others may be able to relate to this one as well, especially if you have young kids. The seams of the socks (or as I call it, “the line across the toes”) are awful. They bother me. I don’t have any explanation why, they just do.
And, I prefer knee socks. I look ridiculous, but I love them. I can wear ankle socks, but I pull them up as far as they can go. They stretch out and then I get holes. (I go through a lot of socks.)
They also feel too loose on me, which is why I think I pull them up so far. I don’t know why that bothers me, but it does.
I don’t like the taste of toothpaste. It’s all gross. I like mint, but even the mint is yucky to me. But it’s something you have to do, so I suck it up.
What really bothers me is the feeling of it on my teeth. I don’t like the feeling of the brush gliding over my teeth and I don’t like the sound it makes in my head. Brushing my teeth is the worst part of my day, every day.
I’ve saved the weirdest for last. I don’t like lettuce. I’m not a huge fan of the taste, but that’s not why. I mean, lettuce doesn’t really have a taste anyway.
No, it’s because of the crunch. Yes, you read that right.
I love everything crunchy. Chips, croutons, graham crackers, regular crackers, anything. But I can’t stand the sound (or the feeling) of lettuce crunching in my mouth. Why? No idea.
A sensory quirk can literally be anything. I mean, if lettuce bothers me, then you can find something ridiculous for your character.
It adds a little more depth to your character and makes them a little more real, as strange as it is.
Do you have any strange quirks? Have you given any to your characters? Let me know in the comments below!