Adding Hobbies

This post is another layer to add to your character(s) in your writing. I will say that I have read a book or two that was solely a plot-based book. However, if you want to add more to your characters on a relatable level or add more words to your book, you’ll want to add a tangent or even a minor subplot.

One of those tangents can be characters with hobbies. Something that fills their “free time” when they are not involved directly with the plot. Adding hobbies to character(s) is an easy way to slow down the plot if need be or even angle the story that their hobby will later give way to the climax of the plot.

Example:

Harry Potter was an athlete by playing Quidditch. Throughout the series, his flying and even practice times were aided in the series.

Herimone Granger (Harry Potter series) was a scholar. She was constantly reading, quoting, and seeing the important clues that Harry missed.

Fred and George Weasley (Harry Potter series) were jokesters who later opened a joke shop. They were a comedy relief as well as played important roles in the series as well as their products.

Katniss Evergreen (Hunger Games) was a hunter who fed her family.

Bella Swan (Twilight) didn’t really have a hobby until the second book when she started rebuilding and riding the motorcycle with Jacob Black.

Personal examples I’ve used in my own books – one character was training for the school’s track team. It gave her an excuse to be out on the roads or in town to witness different clues. Another had a successful career in music – with him being used to his fan base, he could relate on a better level with people from all different walks of life.

One VERY common thread I see in many books is that one of the main characters is a reader. Yes, we writers also love to read. I’m guilty. However, try to push pass this pattern. Get a bit more creative with the hobbies. Yes, I understand that in some cases you want your character to be smarter than the average human – especially if it’s needed for the plot, but get out of the box. Have the character have first hand knowledge of the subject because their parents or best friend worked in that field. Make them a Wikipedia junky – as in they are always looking something up online. It doesn’t make them a reader exactly, but it can be used as the result of a t.v. show curiosity or topic of conversation and they look it up on their phone.

I also understand that in period based novels there was limitations in the activities people could do as a hobby. Jane Austen did have her characters do more than reading. She had them attending parties, playing games, putting on plays, playing piano, taking walks, visiting neighbors, traveling, etc. It is doable.

If you want to push your creativity, do a hobby in the book that you have never done before. Go out and explore that hobby. In a previous post, I wrote about that I personally took up archery to better understand my characters. It will give you firsthand knowledge and may even teach others who read your books about the hobby or craft.

L. R. Mauck

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Author: lrmauck

Over the last decade, I have received several positive feedbacks on my stories and one college professor encouraging me to pursue a career as a writer. I have attended a few elective writing classes at IUS to help hone in on my skills. I have recently attended Kentucky Writing Workshop in Louisville, KY where I learned more hands-on experience and encouragement from other writers. I currently resides in southern Indiana with my four fur babies. Follow me on twitter at: @lrmauck

3 thoughts on “Adding Hobbies”

  1. I hadn’t thought about giving characters hobbies. You’re right in that it adds a layer that may be important to character development. There are so many that are unknown to me that I really don’t think about adding them. I don’t have a lot of hobbies myself, so it’s hard to give them to my characters because I don’t know anything about them. But that’s not to say I can’t learn about them so as to demonstrate the knowledge I’ve researched.

    You’ve given me something to think about for my character profiles. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great! If you get stuck on a possible hobby, check out a local craft store or Hobby Lobby if you have one. A couple of easy ones – music, exercising/sports, baking, sewing, photography, etc. Also, research the area if your story takes place in a physical location – you can use local festivals or events in the place of the hobby. Hope this helps.

      Like

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