Yeah, I'm weird I know.
Another thing that I like to observe is how people act when they are trying to stop themselves from having an argument or when you see a couple of people sat next to each other who are acting very differently. You know when you're in a situation and you can just tell from their body language that one person is attracted to the other or when one person wants the other to just shut up?
|Image courtesy of Google|
So, let me get to the point.
One way to make your characters more realistic is to add in these little habits. Maybe a woman who is in a stressful job taps her foot or a man who is struck between an argument with his partner and mother may run his hands through his hair a lot or pinch the bridge of his nose.
It doesn't even have to be physical, maybe they repeat a phrase all of the time such as, "Like" or "Apparently".
Here's a great way to pick up some interesting habits people have:
- People watch. This is probably the most effective way to pick up on people's habits. Whether
you're in a café or using public transport, watch what other people are doing and take note of it.
- Pay attention to what you do yourself. Do you often have people pick up on something that you do or say? With me, I often have people tell me I say 'basically' a lot when starting a sentence or wringing my hands when I'm nervous or excited. If you're not sure, ask the people around you- you may be surprised by their answer!
- See what other authors do. Can you think of any characters from books you've read with a famous habit? One that immediately springs to mind is Ron Weasley from Harry Potter always saying "Bloody Hell."
- Don't forget to use BAD habits too! Not all habits are good and if one gets on your nerves- use it! It could be a negative trait of a character or maybe a way to connect with the audience on a emotional level- maybe they hate the habit too and can sympathise with your protagonist!
And most of all, don't forget to have fun with it!