To distinguish between characters. Each person in our story should be unique in their actions in some ways. Maybe your female lead twirls the ends of her hair when nervous or gets heartburn.
To keep actions constant for reader recall. If your story is peppered with a multitude of characters, one way of keeping them apart is to give each character something that is unique to that person only. How about a character who refuses to meet other people’s eyes in a group setting?
To avoid action in a vacuum. Add movement to help readers with physical character placement in your setting.
To show personality traits. Maybe you main character makes people nervous and grinds his teeth (impatience) when he comes across timid people who stutter when speaking to him.
Creating Credible Characters–Mannerisms and Quirks
Giving Each Character Unique Mannerisms
Developing Character Traits: Mannerisms
Mallah chicken is a dish that came to us from the Chinese. If you like spicy food this dish is for you. The chicken is marinated in a soya sauce mixture and then sautéd. It is then simmered with nuts, hot pepper(s)/sauce and a little sherry, which is added at the end.
Wendy Tyler-Ryan in hosting her Anniversary Blogfest and the rules are - write a 50-500 word scene or flash fiction with a dark feel. You must use all of the following 'M' words in your piece, mist(y), mambo, moon, musk(y), mongrel, myth. See my story below. Note that Rolling Calves are mythical creatures – ghostly bulls with blood-red eyes. To facilitate this story, I’ve changed the eye colour to green. Enjoy!
Rolling Calf Encounter
“What the heck we doin’ out here on a moonshine night?” Kahini asked, crouched behind a tree. “Rolling calf my butt. Never heard such nonsense.”
“Shhh!” His brother, Shomari, put a finger over his lips and pointed with his other hand. “Over there. Wait ‘til the moon comes out from behind the cloud. You’ll see.”
Kahini rubbed his hands up and down his arms to ward off the cold. The leaves shook in the tree above them, battered by the breeze. Something slithered along one branch. In the darkness, it looked as big as a mambo. Probably a tree snake.
To their left, the bushes moved and then steadied; the rattling of a chain carried on the night air. In the mist, a shadowy figure approached them, low to the ground, its eyes an eerie green. It grunted and pawed the dirt, spreading a musty odor.
Kahini cut through the bushes, the creature running hard on his heels. Heart pounding, he clawed at the cane fronds hugging the path. When he was sure he would collapse, the creature behind him yelped and ran in the other direction.
Shomari emerged from the darkness, panting hard.
“Jeez! Rolling calves really exist!” Kahini yelled.
Shomari giggled and bent over holding his belly, body heaving with laughter
“What’s so funny?” Kahini asked, wiping sweat away from his forehead.
“You!” Shomari said, holding up a length of chain. “Those things don’t exist. It’s a myth. The rolling calf you were running from is just a mangy mongrel.”