35 Bad Habits for Your Characters

Hello again! I’m back with some more character-related stuff — this time ideas for bad habits. Like hobbies and fears, bad habits can make a character feel more human. (Or at least more real and relatable, if they aren’t human.) So I’ve come up with a list to share with you all, some that I’ve used and some that I haven’t, and some that I plan to.

I suppose I should just get on with it already, so here are 35 possible bad habits that you can give to your characters.

1) Cracking knuckles

2) Overspending

3) Time Wasting [I think this is something we all do sometimes . . . definitely relatable]

4) Constantly Changing His/Her Mind

5) Swearing/Cursing All The Time

6) Picking Fights

7) Whining

8) Making Jokes/Inappropriate Comments At Bad Times

9) Late For Everything

10) Nail Biting

11) Finger Pointing [This could be literal, figurative, or both]

12) Sniffing A Lot

13) Nose Picking

14) Smoking

15) Grinding His/Her Teeth

16) Inability To Sit Still [This is very much me . . . I try to hold still, though]

17) Chewing With Their Mouth Open

18) Drinking Too Much Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, Soda, etc.

19) Always On His/Her Phone [Unfortunately, I think this can be very relatable]

20) Smacking Gum

21) Constant Eye Rolling

22) Glancing At Their Watch Often

23) Overeating [Or just snacking when they’re not hungry]

24) Jumping To Conclusions

25) Scratching/Picking At Skin

26) Lying

27) Biting Lips [Again, I do this . . . very relatable for me]

28) Talking With Their Mouth Full [Kind of related to #17]

29) Always Apologizing

30) Gossiping

31) Procrastinating [This is so sadly relatable for me]

32) Buying Things And Not Using Them

33) Bragging [This could be about themselves, or others, which could be interesting]

34) Oversleeping

35) Interrupting Others While They’re Talking

I think that giving bad habits such as these to characters can make them much more memorable, as well — especially minor characters. I mean, the protagonist’s aunt who is always apologizing is much more memorable than just the protagonist’s aunt, and the same with the stranger who kept cracking his knuckles, rather than the stranger.

This could be especially useful if that minor character is going to be mentioned again or play a bigger part later on, as they’re more likely to have stuck in the reader’s memory. Anyway, I’m getting a bit off track.

I hope you find this useful, and as always, if you’ve got any additions, I’d love to hear them! Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a nice day.

Writing Dare

Include a key and/or a lock somewhere in your next scene. It could be just a small mention, or it could play a big part. It may not even be physical (e.g., a character feels like they’re locked in a cage by someone’s expectations or choices, if that makes any sense at all). It’s up to you.


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