10 Character Aspects You've Never Used Before

OF ALL THE CHARACTER ASPECTS OUT THERE, you've probably not considered the following.  I've curated some realistically awkward realistic gems for your literary jewel-boxes.  


HICCUPS  ||  SO. ANNOYING.  Hiccups never respect what you're trying to say; they just barge in + ruin everything.  Even worse: people think it's hilarious that you poor schmuck are being sabotaged by your own diaphragm.  Oh yeah, real funny.  Life: 1. Character: 0.


FORGET THE WORD THEY WANT  ||  For some reason, people think I've got an excellent handle on the English language just because I'm a writer.  This is very much not true.  I'm (exceptionally?) bad at losing words, bad at integrating new words, + in general just a terrible orator due to a:: lack of practice & b:: a deep + abiding embarrassment of my own voice.  Again, I can't be alone in this, right??

WHAT WHAT WHAT  ||  Someone says something to you.  You weren't paying attention.  "What?"  They say it again.  Still garbledeegook.  "Excuse me - what?"  They repeat themselves again.  Good Lord have mercy, you still have no idea what they're on about so just NOD + AGREE.  NOD + AGREE.

& hope you didn't commit to anything serious

FORGET WHY THEY WALKED INTO A ROOM  ||  or really how they got into a room in the first place, am I right?

FORGET PEOPLE'S NAMES  ||  You know that thing, when you're introduced to someone, & you 100% don't remember the person's name within 0.05 seconds of being told?  Yeah...

EYELASH IN THE EYE  ||  I wear contacts, which means my eyes are used to being bludgeoned by my fingers twice a day.  ALL THE SAME, getting an eyelash in them is NO. JOKE.  EXCUSE ME.  I NEED TO BORROW A SERVICE DOG TO GET ME TO THE BATHROOM.

"does anyone have any saline??"

SOME RANDOM BODY PART FALLS OFF  ||  Anyone out of their teens has probably experienced the unpremeditated betrayal of some limb/core body part that just randomly chooses to throw itself excruciatingly out of whack at the worst. possible. moment.

GETTING DROP-DEAD SICK AFTER INTENSE STRESS  ||  I think Tolkien is the only writer I've seen to get this right: you don't travel all the way to Mount Doom & then frolic off for a round of drinks with the guys to celebrate.  No.  You're bloody well laid up for an eon because your body is dead.

EVERYONE YAWNS  ||   People in books yawn.  That's realistic.  What I find completely unbelievable is that no one else yawns afterward.

Here are your 10 neatly curated aspects of being a people that you've probably not considered including in your novel.  Go forth + be a great writer!

thanks for reading, peeps!
xoxo, jenny

11 ripostes:

  1. Oh! Oh! I at least have the "forget people's names" one in mine. That's why people in my novels always end up having nicknames, because my main character either never heard or can't remember their actual name.

    Bonus 11th: Saying something nonsensical and/or flipping your words around because you're under pressure and too stressed to speak right.

  2. Abigail - oH & I'VE JUST THOUGHT OF ANOTHER: not recognizing people because there is no internet/widely circulated portraiture. Le duh.

  3. Yesss! The stress breakouts! We all know that this happens. I have actually considered writing a blog post on accurate stress symptoms based on *cough* personal research *cough*. But don't want to sound like a total downer.

    Anyways, great list! And I really want to do a dialogue scene where someone has hiccups now. :D

  4. LOL Loved these. Hiccups are the worst! And whoever says that your complexion clears up after the teen years? THEY LIE. I mean, I don't get *as much* acne as I used to, but I still get it and I'm like, hey, I'm 24, WHEN WILL IT GO AWAYYYYY?
    And getting sick after intense stress. Yep. So true. It's like life says: first I will upset you and stress you out, and then when that's over I will take you out with stomach pains and exhaustion.

    So glad our family isn't the only one that goes around saying, "What? WHAT? I have literally no clue what you just said. Oh, OK, I caught that one word, which makes absolutely no sense without context. You know what, never mind."

  5. All of these, but particularly #4 and #10. WE NEED MORE.

  6. bASICALLY stress is the #1 cause of most + various aches, pains, neurosis, etc. And yet it gets remarkably little press in stories. HUH.

  7. Yes! All of these character aspects are sorely lacking in literature when in real life they happen ALL THE TIME. I need to utilize some of them more often. I feel like forgetting why they walked into a room promises good comedic moments.

  8. As soon as I read the mentioned yawning, I yawned :').

    Also I absolutely love the hiccup thing. Oooh, I know one story that does it (though actually it's a tv show not a book). Merlin BBC in the ep. "Eye of the Phoenix" has a really bad bought of hiccups and it's adorbs as he's trying to talk to Arthur with the constant interruption of a hiccup :D.

    And I totally agree with you about "Getting drop-dead sick after stress". So lacking in stories. I nearly hugged Tolkien for doing that, because I felt like I needed to lie in bed and recover from the trauma too, after reading//watching them almost die at Mt. Doom.

  9. Also, the forgetting the name thing, or missing out on what a person said for the 3rd time is so SO relatable. I'm constantly pretending I got the gist of things at uni, especially from my tutors, when inside I'm like... WHAT IS THIS GIBBERISH DRIPPING FROM YOUR MOUTH I CAN'T EVEN ASK AGAIN OH MY WORD?!"

  10. LOVE this so much! That yawning one is a good point. Never thought of it, but so true. You can't just have give out one yawn. And I love making my characters hiccup. XD It's so hilarious. They don't tend to appreciate it much though. . . you'd think they'd rather be thrown to wild beasts.