THOSE kind of people.

This week I’m reading  Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and, of course, now I’m thinking about how I like quirky, distinct characters in writing.

Also I’m wondering how best to create my own characters like Charlie, the book’s first-person narrator.

If you haven’t read the book, it’s worth the read. Unless you hated Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace. I liked both.

But anyway, about characters.

If I were in a book, what kind of a character would I be? Or maybe, how would I write myself to be interesting and compelling?

I suppose it’s like life. You can’t set about to write a character who everyone will love any more than you can try to be a person who everyone will love. It’s not possible.

Plenty of people dislike Salinger’s Holden Caulfield, and *gasp* plenty of people dislike me, too.

Even if I changed myself, I’d still have haters out there, so what’s the point? I mean, I might as well let my freak flag fly.

In real life, people don’t always like weirdos, but in books, weirdos become kinda cool, right? I mean, more than in real life, anyway. That’s why it’s called fiction.

So here’s my practice character sketch, based “loosely” on myself. Let’s call her, uh…Mable.

“Mable” dressed as a butterfly with her daughter, the bunny.

  • Mable is one of those people who dresses up for Halloween. And street fairs. And sometimes for no reason.
  • Her favorite animals are chickens and owls, even though owls eat chickens. She eats chickens, too. But not her own chickens.
  • She’d live off of cola and milkshakes and chips and dip and sour cream and yellow cheese, if it weren’t so unhealthy. And gross.
  • She tries to be stylish–loves fashion.
  • She rarely shaves her legs.
  • She lives within driving distance of the beach and when she goes there, she fills her pockets with shells and tries to figure out the sex of crabs. (Apparently, the shape of their little crab “chests” is the give-away.)

Well, that’s a start. I don’t know if you like her, but–and I know it’s narcissistic–I can ‘t help thinking she’s not too bad. I’d read about her.

There’s a lesson here somewhere.

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