• Jessica Sherry

12+ Hobbies for your Characters

To create well-rounded, realistic characters with depth and intrigue, give them hobbies. Side-passions not only make them more interesting, but provide a plotting bonus, pushing your character into action. What does she do when she's not working, falling in love, saving the world, or solving a murder? And what messes might she get into in pursuit of her hobby? There must be something she longs to do when she's not doing it, something that helps her get in the zone and think, like Sherlock Holmes playing the violin.

A character's interests can reveal much about them. A fly fisherman, for example, is probably patient, meticulous, and longs for the peaceful solitude of the outdoors. On the other hand, someone drawn to dancing, theater, or performing is high-energy and enjoys bright lights and people.

"I collect spores, mold, and fungus." ~ Egon, Ghostbusters

Consider your own hobbies and what they give you. A creative space, focus, self-expression, physicality, ownership, satisfaction, an escape? What does your character need from downtime? Get a hobby on, maybe with one of these:

  1. Cycling around the city... knowing all its nooks and crannies could come in handy for a hero or a villain, or Uber driver, or delivery person

  2. Extreme couponing... to cheaply stockpile for the next pandemic, perhaps. This might suggest an anxious personality.

  3. Lucrative pursuits... investing, coin collecting, antique hunting, "picking" in hopes of discovering that long-lost Picasso in grandma's attic

  4. Binge watching old movies... because she's stuck in the past or depressed about her future

  5. Stamp collecting, coin collecting, bone collecting, brain collecting. *smirk* Anything can be collected. What's the weirdest thing your character could collect?

  6. Gaming... Perhaps she has a secret Twitch life or an entire social network through a screen. Could be fun for your character if these worlds clash.

  7. Birding, Bugging, or Reptiling... Yeah, I just made up a word. Shakespeare said writers can do that.

  8. The dark arts... photography, YouTube videos, writing. Perhaps the world she creates through her art doesn't jive with her reality, creating conflict, tension, and drama. I've often wanted to live in my character's world, but then, I remember all the terrible things I do to them and the danger I put them in, and reconsider.

  9. Mixology... designing the perfect smoothie, cocktail, beer, perfume, aphrodisiac, street drug, poison. It'd be a cinch turning this hobby into a character's dream, business, book, or weapon.

  10. Journaling or Blogging... while watching the neighbors through binoculars and keeping track of their lives, keeping a diary, a log of work-offenses.

  11. Knitting, painting, candle-stick-making... Hobby Lobby employees know this character by name. Perhaps she tries every hobby because she can't find the one thing she does really well. This could mirror her real life as she struggles to fit in.

  12. Walking, hiking, exploring... especially in places she shouldn't. She could be a loner, content with quiet, open spaces. Or someone who's really searching for a place to hide.

Here are more hobbies to consider for your characters. Or yourself.

Determining what your character's into will help readers get in to the character. *smirk*

What ideas do you have for hobbies? Share yours below! For more crazy ideas, check out www.coffeebrained.com

Or practice a little escapism (after you thoroughly check out my blog) and read a good book, like one of these.

Happy reading, writing, and hobbying. (Another new word).