100 Free Fictional Character Ideas

… a tiny sample from 1001 Character Quirks for Writing Fiction. Literally, the full list is more than 10 times as big. Of course, the list of quirks is the easy part, because they’re just character ideas, and ideas are a dime a dozen.

-TimK


8. Denies any fact that does not fit into his theory of how things work.

15. Instantly knows what others feel.

24. Disorganized (but always knows where everything is).

35. Always hides cash in his sock, shorts, bra, etc.

40. Becomes excited at the prospect of watching a movie, skydiving, eating chocolate, playing the stock market, etc.

59. Always breaks things, trips over things, etc.

63. Feels familial affection for or attraction to cats, horses, cows, etc.

75. Distrusts people who talk with an accent, have blue eyes, can’t remember his name, etc.

84. Refuses to fight with anyone wearing glasses, smaller than himself, etc.

90. Insists everyone call him by a different name each day, depending on his mood.

104. Believes that God is a sham created by the clergy to get money.

115. Always bragging about past accomplishments, even made-up ones.

122. Refuses to use microwaves, cell phones, computers, etc.

138. Rude to everyone.

143. Professes multiple, incompatible religions.

159. Overly sensitive sense of smell, hearing, sight, etc.

163. Hobnobs with a certain person only in private.

174. Always looking for a cure for a disease or condition he has.

188. Shouts “I’m here!” (or something else) when startled.

194. Speaks every errant thought.

209. Upset when faced with a messy room.

217. Tall, but envies those who are short. (Or the reverse.)

223. Never laughs; treats every joke as though it were serious.

232. Always laughs at the wrong things; offbeat sense of humor.

248. Must control everyone and everything.

254. Carries batteries (and toys) with him everywhere.

266. Carries cookies in his purse.

271. Makes Batman noises (e.g. Bam!, Pow!, etc.) at an antagonist to express anger, dissatisfaction, etc.

284. Has 2 differently colored eyes.

291. Never asks for help; always tries to do everything himself.

305. Knows many facts in his expertise, and always corrects everyone else.

312. Always sucking on a Certs or lollipop, munching on pretzels, etc.

329. Relates everything to a fable or allegory.

334. Always replies to any email within 24 hours.

347. Nudist.

355. Loves playing catch with kittens.

361. Always uses a handkerchief to touch a public telephone, chair, etc.

376. Lives to role-play.

385. Reads every newspaper and website; watches every news program.

397. Always gets off on a tangent, tirade, etc.

405. Eats Buffalo-sauce-and-Blue-cheese burgers, mustard sandwiches, etc.

412. Frequently says the wrong word, makes Freudian slips, etc.

420. Hates to sweat, and is turned off by people who sweat profusely.

434. Can drive at excessive speed, weaving in and out of traffic, without getting in an accident.

446. Loves to sing “99 Bottles of Beer,” etc.

459. Names and becomes attached to stuffed animals, caterpillars, rocks, raindrops on the window, etc.

461. Takes every question as a criticism (or complement).

473. Always works very hard, but has no concrete goals.

486. Never talks about his past (or future).

491. Insists on remaining the same, even while everyone else is changing.

507. Always says he worked hard, in order to justify the result of his work.

514. Feels no sadness, anger, nervousness, etc., but can fake it pretty well.

523. Wakes promptly at 6 PM; falls asleep at 10 AM.

535. Prattles on about trivia when there are significant matters to discuss.

544. Willing to do anything for information (if for a greater purpose).

559. Could never accept that his close friend has a fatal flaw, even if true.

564. Can’t swallow pills.

573. Never expresses his feelings about someone else, until they explode.

580. Becomes depressed unless given a steady stream of positive feedback.

598. Always faces an emergency by taking command of the situation.

603. Has drawn up a list of transgressions and a revenge appropriate for each.

618. Turned on by any woman’s name (or man’s) with a certain sound in it.

623. Believes Tupperware parties, AA meetings, etc. are actually planning meetings for a secret underground conspiracy.

631. Always knocking things, leaving things on the floor.

645. One day each week, instead of working in the office, takes his laptop and works in the park, coffee shop, etc.

656. Brags about a new game he made up using a see-saw.

664. “It’ll never make any difference” only strengthens his resolve.

670. Has psoriasis on his scalp, underarms, private areas, etc., and scratches.

689. Loathes to be photographed.

696. Always treats everyone with respect, no matter their class or station.

709. Becomes mired in grief when his favorite fictional character dies.

718. Asks for exactly the same thing over and over, even after being told repeatedly that it’s infeasible, impossible, unavailable, etc.

724. Agrees quickly (by silence), but later comes to a different conclusion.

733. Sees all art as “whatever you interpret it as,” including family photos.

743. Practically gives money away, knowing it will come back manyfold.

755. Brilliant strategist; always seems to have planned for any contingency.

760. Easily deceived by anyone who uses words he doesn’t understand.

774. Always finds an excuse not to tell a woman how he feels about her.

788. Always tweaks what he’s already completed, to make it better.

795. Needs to be the center of attention.

809. Accomplished illusionist. (But uses this skill only subversively.)

816. Always looks and acts stupid, but is a passionate master persuader.

824. His online persona is of a different age, sex, etc.

831. Can find happiness with any lover.

845. Prefers computer sex to the real thing.

852. Loves to wear costume jewelry, tricked out clothing, etc.

867. Raises chickens, pigs, etc.

877. Has a crush on Underdog, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.

883. Can’t stand to do the same thing day after day.

895. Intensely passionate in what they pursue and believe.; frequently blowing up or screaming because of this passion.

904. Will accept almost anything as “normal,” once it is explained to him.

912. Always wants someone to help him, even with the simplest tasks.

928. Always forms an emotional attachment to fine cars, collectibles, etc., even if owned by someone else, and feels slighted if the they are mistreated.

930. Never looks a person in the eye, and always talks in a monotone voice.

944. Always tries to be nice, and always ends up insulting someone.

959. Always gets others to agree first to something he doesn’t want, knowing it will make it easier to get them to agree later to what he does want.

964. Loves sailing, motorboating, yachting, waterskiing, etc.

977. Puts maple syrup, salt, butter, etc. on everything.

985. Always offended when he discovers that someone listened to him just to shut him up (and then didn’t follow his advice).

992. Miriam Stockley’s song “Perfect Day” makes him cry, feel happy, etc.

About J. Timothy King
J. Timothy King

I'm the eldest of three siblings, a stay-at-home father of two daughters, the husband of a wonderful wife, and an indie author of life-expanding character fiction. When not writing, I read, watch old TV and movies, play bass guitar, and tend to my family in our Boston-area apartment.

Catch me on:  my web site Facebook Twitter 

Comments

Hello..I am an unpublished teen writer and if anyone, anyone would like to read something from me so they could refer it to an editor, I would be very grateful. I am writing a fantasy at the moment involving science (quantum physics and the sort) and I have a very witty and quick voice. Thanks,
Ryan Koenighain, soon to be Ryan Swofford with adoption. :)

Hi Ryan, I also write fantasy stories, and I love hearing other peoples stories. Could I maybe have a read of yours? Thanks.

Tom.

Yes, my email is ryankoenighain@gmail.com

I would like to read something if you’ll read what I have of mine….

Hey! I’d be thriller to read someones work if they would read mine. It’s only starting but I want to get a base reaction before I continue further. Thanks !!!

you forgot one

becomes enraged whenever someone says “impossible” and will try to the point of collapsion just to prove nothing is impossible.

i write a lot and have like five storees plz contact me @ my email

atolamacs@live.com i dont get on often, though

thnx

hi! i am a teen writer and have written many stories. my problem is that i have trouble puting twists in my stories. any ideas?
please and thankyou
-jules <3

@Jules

This is a helpful list, but noone can tell you to put a certain conflict in a story but you. Writing plot twists is hard at first, but you’ll get better if you keep trying. To make one, just read through the story and think about what information is being withheld from the reader, like a hard-boiled detective’s secret past, or the identity of a mysterious benefactor, for instance. Think about these bits of info, and how they contribute to the story. The hard-boiled detective might have had a messy divorce in the past, which creates conflict for him in the future; Perhaps sometime while on a case he meets his old flame, and he then has to deal with the mistakes he made that made her leave.

That being said, twists will only make a good story if used sparingly. Too many and you’ll end up with “soap opera syndrome”, and your readers will end up bored, confused, or both. Too little, though, and the story will be unbearably dull. Keep writing and you’ll get the hang of it, I know it.

This may seem crazy to you why I an commenting, but I’m a ten yr old. I adore writing stories. At the mo, I am writing a story ’bout a secret passage. It may seem to you a bit copycat from Nina Bawden’s version. She gave me the idea when I read it. I want to start doing a character description before I write stories, so I am here to get idea’s from bethestory.com. Any more ideas, comment soon plz.
xx

Character ideas? I’ve got plenty. Do you need a guy, a girl, an animal, an alien? Anything, I’ll do it. Email me what you need, in general, and I’ll see what I can do.

I can’t believe no one commented on the gender pronouns in this article. Always masculine, no feminine or neutral. Wow.

J. Timothy King

Hi, Erica. Yes, all the lines intentionally use masculine pronouns, as a matter of convention, even though the character might be female. As I explain in the introduction to the book:

In all the character quirks, I use the pronoun “he” to refer to the character. However, remember that each of these can refer to female and male characters alike. Also note that quirks can be applied to characters of any age. However, some quirks are cute on a small child, but creepy on an adult. And others that are appropriate for an adult are disturbing on a child.

Hello. My name is Julia and I am in the process of writing a medieval story. I am also an unpublished teen and LOVE writing.

J. Timothy King

Hi, Julia. Best of luck in your writing. If you love it, keep doing it, no matter what. Because writing is a wonderful, healthy activity. Keep writing! -TimK

Ok, describe myself in 7 words or less.
16 with too much time on his hands
I am writing a story and need a visual describe for a female deceptive, *ahem* seductive (if you know what I mean) antagonist. Or should I even describe her, I’ve seen that done well. this is actually one of my deeper charecters (before you jump to conclusions)
Please respond, I will check this site, good list Mr. King, very amusing and exeedingly helpful in making my secondry protagonists.

Hello. Im not writing a novel or anything more like trying to come up with a good plot and characters for a graphic novel because I love combining my art and writing skills. However no matter how well the plot is I have trmendous trouble coming up witha character that isn’t basic or 2-dimensional. I think you for puttin up these quirks because they helped a lot and if anyone is willing to help me please contact me at elizbethrue42@yahoo.com

Yeah, I have to agree that the masculine pronouns in this article are weird and give it a definite odd sense. It feels very strange. Also ‘convention’ is ever changing and hardly a reason to keep to so odd and jarring a habit. In the end this winds up feeling kind of demeaning, and I’m not even female…

I love writing fanasy stories and I love poetry. Im only 12 but im not that small. I am a straght A student and i am happy all the time. I agree with CJ that the masculine pronouns in the article are very strange but great in the same way.

Hi Timothy,
I am an aspiring actress/author, and at the moment I am having a severly hard time developing a new story. I already have one written, if you would like to see some of that, but I can’t think of any new ideas. PLEASE HELP! Just contact me by my email.
-Lauren

I am currently writing a story, and I would love for someone to read it ;) Give me some feedback, and help in anyway.

I’m a teen writer. At the moment I’m having trouble starting my dtories. I always get the first scentence or two, and then give up. I’d love it if someone could give me advice and maybe read some of my story. Thanks
Here’s my email: Michaela16186@yahoo.com

im have to write a character story and i think i want to write something about a childish old man, but dont know where to start, and would appriciate help

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