Sweeping Barefoot

I was cleaning a little tonight in preparation for a trip, and I realized something about myself.  I prefer to sweep barefoot.

This is not something that I had really recognized before, probably because I spend most of my time at home barefoot.  It wouldn’t occur to me to notice my lack of footwear while cleaning if it is the trend for the day.  However, it’s a bit chilly here, so I had socks on this evening.  When I started sweeping the bathroom I felt the sudden inexplicable urge to take off my socks, as if they were an impediment to my completion of the task.

It’s weird, but true.  I’m telling you this, not to increase your opinion that I am strange, but to point out something related to writing.

People have odd quirks.  (Pets do too, sometimes.)  If you paid a little attention, you’d probably notice that you have some quirks, too.  Or ask your friends and loved ones; they know. Because most of our characters are people or people-like, they should have quirks.

Depth of character doesn’t just mean that your protagonist has a back story and emotions.  It means that she behaves like a person you might really know.  Characters should seem like people to your reader, full of strange little traits and unconscious behaviors.  Take a minute and think about your main characters.  Do they have odd quirks?  Would your readers be able to tell you the odd quirks of your characters?

Maybe your next main character should have an inexplicably need to take off her socks to sweep.  🙂


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