Hobbies is both a fun and a frustrating part of creating characters. Honestly, trying to come up with hobbies for my characters made me feel really stupid because I just kept coming up with the same ones over and over.
Obviously you don’t want all your characters to have the same hobbies and traits because that would be boring. Not to mention incredibly unbelievable. You’ve got six characters who are all avid readers and all love to play volleyball. Unless they were all related and came from a reading/volleyball playing family, this doesn’t seem very likely does it?
Now, I wish I had some super sage advice on how to come up with unique hobbies, but I don’t. Use the internet, that’s all I can say. That’s how I come up with hobbies for my characters. I’ve included the PDF file for the Go Teen Writers Hobbies/Skills list, which is one that I use frequently, on the bottom of the post. It’s a great list and I recommend checking it out if you need help coming up with ideas.
The advice I do have though is to make your character’s hobbies diverse. You can have the stereotypical nerd kid whose hobbies include reading, doing homework, going to conventions and that’s fine (personally, I don’t have an issue with stereotypes, but that’s a post for another time). But! There’s nothing wrong with breaking stereotypes too.
Your stereotypical nerd kid could be an avid soccer player or they could love to knit or they could collect shot glasses or something like that. That’s the part of hobbies that I really enjoy, giving the characters kind of strange, unique things.
As frustrating as it can be to think of things, how awesome is it once you’ve got this character who actually has things they like doing. When those things can be incorporated into the story in various ways. It makes them seem a lot more real doesn’t it?
I’ve got a character who is really into certain types of art and whenever I see a piece of art like that I think of that character. It’s weird that something like that can make me think of a fictional character I created, but that’s just how it works and, as weird as it is, it’s a pretty cool feeling. If I feel like that then maybe one day others will too.
Imagine your character really liked black and white photography. Now imagine that your character is someone’s favourite character. Whenever this person sees black and white photography they think of your character. Maybe they even get into black and white photography themselves because of your character. How cool is that?
Hobbies are significantly harder to talk about than I thought they would be. I guess this shouldn’t really be a surprise given how difficult it was for me to come up with hobbies for my own characters, writing about it probably wouldn’t be a walk in the park.
Nonetheless, I hope you maybe found this post helpful. If not, then thanks for sticking with it anyway long enough to reach this point.
How do you come up with hobbies your characters? Do all your characters share a certain feature?