The Kind, the Funny, and the Peculiar Characters

This week I’ve realized my book characters are too bland and ordinary. Real life sure isn’t. It’s full of all sorts of interesting and dramatic characters.

* Five days ago I blogged about my encounter with kind and helpful strangers stopping to help me when my car broke. (See https://sandycarlson.com/2014/03/31/good-samaritan-recipient/ ) They stirred good feelings towards them with no way for me to pay them back. It was quite humbling.
* A second incident happened today as I walked through the parking lot to a grocery store. As I passed a car, a little dog inside started barking at me. Ever notice that the smaller the dog is, the quicker and higher pitched the yip, accompanied with lots of bouncing and jumping? (“See how tall I am? And how dare you approach my territory! Yap!”) Anyway, his yipping and jumping set off the car alarm.

I find it amusing how car alarms vary. Our own car alarm is rather wimpy. I set it off on purpose once. I had to get close to it to hear. It was a pitiful, “Oh, pooh. Oh, ow. Oh, and, yeah: help. But only if you wanna.” On the contrary, Mr. Yippy’s car alarm could be heard two blocks away. (“Yeah, you better keep walking, you human. Yip!”)

* And then there are the peculiar characters, like the Cedar Rapids, IA, dog owner whose loose dog bites neighborhood kids in their own yards and terrifies postal workers so there is no mail delivery in the neighborhood until the dog-owner-issue is resolved. There are many wonderful dog stories, but who really wants to read about irresponsible owners? Yuck.

* Another peculiar character involved my friend Freda in a border disagreement. She’d raked leaves for mulch on her side of the telephone pole and pink marker in the woods which NDN (Next-Door-Neighbor) had marked himself. He blew the leaves back into her yard. When she confronted NDN, he paced and yelled without making eye-contact, accusing her of moving the border marker (which in his guess was 12″ into his woodland separating their lawned yards). He then accused her of tossing huge chunks of 200 plb cement over her fence. Freda quietly backed away, fearing his anger would evolve into more than just words.

So there you have it: the kind, the funny, and the peculiar characters. They’re around us ever day. What about in your writing? Are your own characters as interesting?

Keep on writing!

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2 thoughts on “The Kind, the Funny, and the Peculiar Characters

  1. Thanks for your comment, Ann. I’ll pass it on to Freda.
    I once lived in a neighborhood where I think we were the only non-dog owners. At first it bothered me that they’d bark so much, but then I learned to identify their barks, names and owners (who were at work), and I could tell which direction a stranger was walking down our street – a tried and tested Doggie Alarm System.:)

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