Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hobbies - Crafting Characters #AtoZChallenge

Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier and Don Rickles, Kraft Music Hall, 1968. Souce: Wikimedia Commons
   Giving your character a hobby can serve several purposes.  It can serve to reinforce a particular personality type - an aggressive risk taker may race cars or skydive on the side.  Conversely, a hobby which seems incongruous might make a character far more memorable.  Anyone old enough to remember Rosey Grier?  He was an American football player who then served as a bodyguard for Robert Kennedy in 1968.  He was guarding Ethel Kennedy when the assassination took place and subdued the killer, Sirhan Sirhan.  Grier released many singles as a singer and also authored books on needlepoint.  Needlepoint? Yep. And macrame.  Not the sort of interests you might expect from a 6'5" former member of the 1968 LA Rams "Fearsome Foursome" starting defensive line.  I was born in the 60s, so I don't clearly remember any of the events in his life firsthand.  Yet I did remember the name Rosey Grier and the fact that his hobby was cross-stitch - it made a strong enough impression for me to recall him 40 years later, while writing this post.

    A hobby can provide alternate settings and a host of other characters with which your MC may interact.  Hobbies range from the well-known (bird watching) to the slightly odd (extreme competitive ironing of clothes).  An intriguing and little-known interest could also provide you with an entire subplot and/or act as an aid in bulking up your word count. Who knows - doing a little research on hobbies might provide you with an idea for your next novel!

Bonus: Which Hobby is best suited to your personality? Click here

Adjectives for the day: habile, henotic, hircine, hoary, honorificabilitudinity (!), horrisonant, hyaline



  1. First thing that comes to mind is Dirk Pitt and his "hobby" 'of collecting cars(which is also the author's hobby). Adds a bit to the fluff.

    love the adjectives!!

  2. Hmm, my hobby (according to the quiz) is outdoor :). I suppose that fits since I spend tons of time out there enjoying things with my dogs!

    From AtoZ at The Five Dog Blog

  3. Wow, that's a lot of hobbies. Letting your characters have hobbies also makes them seem more real.

  4. Clothes ironing! The new Summer Olympic sport.
    I actually did remember to give my main character a hobby.
    Afraid to take that test though. It will probably tell me I am least suited to write...

  5. Giving your character a hobby is fun and it makes them seem real too, and that's always a plus! You can also have your character collect something. That's fun too. :)

  6. I did give my character a hobby, but its not something people will like (she likes playing mischief).