I’ve been playing the Sims 3 game lately, where you create your Sim, (your character), by selecting not just the looks and clothes, but also a choice of personality traits. These make for very different characters in your game, with different reactions, and even habits while you play the game.
These traits ranger from virtuoso, insane, lucky, kleptomaniac, childish, and many more. These characters are true to the traits selects, such as the clumsy not only stumbles at times, they tend to break things. The ‘evil’ traits tends to enjoy scaring other sims. The insane will unnerve other sims, and wear inappropriate clothes (swimsuit to work, or formal wear to sleep).
People often stand out by the little quirks we have, from the way we speak, to the personality, to our habits. These qualities sum up the people we are, providing unique individuals.
I remember a game I played with my sisters where we’d act out another family member by their habit, speech, or mannerism, and the others had to guess who we mimicked. It caused quite a bit of laughter, since you often had to exaggerate a bit to get the point across.
One sister tended to flip her head in such as way to get her bangs out of her face. Another sister had a distinct manner in which she blew her cigarette smoke, much like a fire extinguisher. Generally, my character had something to do with being goofy. (I have no idea why).
Play with this game with the people you know. You don’t have do this with them, but write down these mannerisms and quirks that stand out. You’ll find remarkable differences that make each person unique.
Now do this for the characters in your stories.
Post in comments your thoughts on this, or share your own technique on how you make characters.