One of the tools you can use to make your characters appear real to the reader is to give him or her one or more idiosyncrasies. Such unique characteristics must continue with the character from one story to the next. For instance, in Richard Davidson’s mysteries, his protagonist, Pastor Arthur Blake, suffers if he doesn’t accompany each meeting and thinking session with black coffee. His police chief friend, Bobby Andrews, likes to move a toothpick around in his mouth with his tongue, but he only does it occasionally. An idiosyncrasy can become an addiction for both the character and the author if it is stressed to the point of being unnatural. Richard Davidson admits that since he first created Arthur Blake as his protagonist, he has taken to drinking more coffee. (Yes, he drinks it black, just like Arthur.)
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