Wednesday, 29 August 2012

But Is Your Book Weird Enough?

Being weird is not something most of us ever wanted to be in high school. In fact, most went out of their way to fit in or at best, go unnoticed. But as a writer (especially when writing fiction), it's important to embrace our inner weirdness. 

Books that have weird or eccentric characters attract curiosity and get noticed. So if one of your main characters feels a bit flat or blah, get out your weird stick and smack em with it. Give them a strange physical feature or an odd character trait, something that will stick out in your reader's mind.

Fellow blogger over at ...paws and reflect, *me waving* shared the following video clip, Weird is Better: Writing Eccentric Characters. In the video, Steve White gives great examples of weirdness found in successful books and talks about how important it can be to the overall success of the story. If you haven't already seen this clip then I strongly suggest you give it a go.







How important do you think weirdness is to the success of a book? Do you have a weird character or weird setting in your wip? 


33 comments:

  1. I have an unusual character in my novel. It was fun writing him. I think characterization is so important as long as it fits with the story line.

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    1. I've got your book on my to read list and I'm hoping to get to it soon! Wish I read faster (:

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  3. OMG tell me about it. I'm not the weirdest girl at my HS but I'm close to it. I like candy on my mac and cheese and I sit on the bleachers for two hours just watching the boys play football. One in particular. Most girls gossip in the halls or throw up in the bathroom but not I. No siree.

    I have some pretty weird stories I don't think I can share with anyone. Not unless I want the FBI on my ass. Is it weird that I write about my male leads tied to a chair where my MC does with them as she pleases?

    If that's weird then count me in, Elise!

    See you tomorrow.

    (And that's how you write weird stuff. Pretty good, huh? LOL)

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    1. Awesome. Did I ever tell you how much I LOVE weird books! (;

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    2. No. But you can stand to mention it more. :D

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    3. I LOVE WEIRD BOOKS! Especially when they're about male leads being tied up for sexy time!

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  4. Insightful post, Elise. Perfect example of weirdness: Harry Potter. He's often imitated, but I don't know if he'll ever be duplicated. My stories tend to come from the everyday, so I'll have to work extra hard to add the weirdness factor. :)

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    1. Sometimes weirdness can be in the details, the little things. It can be subtle and very effective at the same time. You may already have enough weirdness if you look close enough... (:

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  5. Character quirks are a great way to make your characters strong and memorable... and eccentricity sells. That's for sure.

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    1. I completely agree. A toast to quirks! :P

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  6. Noone wants to read about a perfect character. Weirdness = interesting. :)

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    1. Absoutely.
      Weirdness = Interesting and Interesting = Page turning. (:

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  7. This is excellent. I definitely need to beat some characters with the weird stick. Thanks for this. Cheers.

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    1. I know and I love that about you! (:

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  9. You are brilliant. "The weird stick". Haha Great idea, Elise. I like in Meet Joe Black how Brad Pitt is always eating peanut butter. Weird trait, indeed.

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    1. Great example. I love weird traits, especially when they're subtle and a bit random. (:

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  10. Hm, it might be time to whip out the weird stick on my WIP. Honestly this is something I'd never thought of before!

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  11. Great post. I think you should embrace the weird, but not too deliberately so. That might come across as trying too hard. Fine line between weird and "wacky". :)

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    1. I agree. It can be difficult finding the right balance. Too much weird, kills weird.

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  12. let the weird be your umbrella, sez i ;)

    thx for the link back... not posted a whole lot on writing, recently, mostly stuff i find online and interesting at the time...

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    1. I like what you post on your blog. There's always something on there to cheer me up. (:

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  13. Hi, Elise,
    I'm big on characters, so yes, I like to have at least one person in my stories that stand out.

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    1. It's the best way to create a memorable character and makes the story that much more interesting. (:

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  14. I have tagged you with a meme to force you to speak frankly about your work-in-progress. You cannot escape it.

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  15. "... if one of your main characters feels a bit flat or blah, get out your weird stick and smack em with it." LOL - Love it! :D

    I tried to watch the video, but with both volume controls turned all the way up, I still couldn't hear it. :( Wish there was a transcript somewhere.

    Anyhow, great post! :)

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  16. I'm stuck on an idea for a new WIP for this very reason. I've been trying to come up with one for six months now. Everything's been done before. Even weird things have been done so much they've become mundane and boring. How the heck do you find a really "Wow" idea? I see other writers or screenwriters coming up with them. What's their secret? *le sigh* I'm scouring news headlines and odd things to try to kick my muse's butt. No luck yet...

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  17. I prefer to break out my weird stick in the privacy of my own...uh. You meant something else, didn't you? Hmmm. Never mind, then.

    Also; dig the new profile pic, Elise. ;-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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  18. Melissa: Sorry about the video Melissa. If I find another version of it I'll send it your way.

    Lexa: If you look at the movie industry, the big blockbusters are glorified old comic strips. Nothing is original anymore. But, you can try taking a simple idea and combining a few strange characters and their interaction could spark something different or at the very least, refreshing. Though I'm writing a story about vampires so nothing really original on my end. ):

    Mina: Hahah! Oh I've got one of those...uh.. I mean, what in the devil are you talking about??? (; And I agree this new profile pic brings out my best side. (=

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