Friday, February 05, 2010

How Silly Can They Be

Twice in the same day I saw women walking Downtown wearing shoulder bags facing their backs. I also saw women wearing boots with high pointy heels. It's winter in Illinois, snowy, icy and slippery. How silly can they be?

Guys are not excempt from doing silly things. What about putting house or car keys in the coat pocket and leaving the coat in another room at a party? keys have a habit of falling out. Coats have been known to go off with the wrong owners.

When you write, do you let your characters do silly things? Do they do them as a matter of habit or as a mistake? Depending on the answer and the skill of the author, the reader can look on your character as ridiculous or endearing. It's fun to create a quirky character, but the challenge is in not making the person seem too dumb.

What about you? As a reader, do you enjoy it when a character does silly things? What would seem too silly?

As a writer, do you let one of your characters do silly things? On a regular basis? Maybe only once, but it turns out to be once too many?


  1. Silly is okay, stupid drives me nuts! It's why I hate watching bad horror films - the poeple always do stupid things. "Let's split up so the creature can kill us off faster!"

  2. I'm with you Diane. Silly, quirky, that's okay. Stupid stuff drives me crazy.


  3. as a reader, depends on the character, depends on the dumb. As long as it's in keeping I can deal.

  4. I think it's human to be a bit silly- and helps you connect with your reader if your characters do some silly stuff-but agree with the others- stupid is not good.

    Nice post!

  5. Silly or quirky is okay for characters, even good I think. It helps to make them real and memorable. In my mystery coming out in December one of the central characters makes instant coffee with tap water. She is a homicide detective, sort of a female Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon, and she doesn't have time or the inclination to brew a proper cup of coffee. I am hoping that little quirk, among others, will make her memorable.

  6. I love it when my characters sneak those silly moments in my story. Haven't thought about planning them, but it's a good thought.

  7. I agree with Katie, It is part of human nature to be silly. Sometimes little quirks or comments put a more natural flow in your Characters, an action sometimes is what determines how thought-provoking a whole paragraph might be. I like them. However, that’s just my opinion

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