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  • Writer's pictureRachel Demeter

How to Write Hobbies and Interests for Your Characters


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As a writer, one of the most rewarding and challenging of creating relatable characters is giving them depth and personality. A crucial part of achieving this is crafting hobbies and interests for your characters that not only make them more interesting but also help readers connect with them on a personal level. In this blog, I'll share my insights on how to write hobbies and interests for your characters effectively!


Why Hobbies and Interests Matter


Before we dive into the how-to, let's explore why it's important to give your characters hobbies and interests in the first place.

  1. Characterization: Hobbies and interests help define your characters. They give readers insight into their passions, values, and what makes them tick. This can make your characters feel more three-dimensional and relatable.

  2. Conflict and Plot: Hobbies and interests can be a source of conflict and plot development. For instance, a character's love for hiking could lead them into unexpected adventures, or their passion for photography might be crucial to solving a mystery.

  3. Reader Engagement: Readers are more likely to connect with characters who share their interests or have hobbies they find intriguing. It creates a bond between the reader and the character, making the reading experience more immersive.

Now that we understand the importance, let's delve into the steps to create compelling hobbies and interests for your characters.


1. Know Your Character Inside Out


Before you can start assigning hobbies and interests, you need to have a deep understanding of your character. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What are their values and beliefs?

  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?

  • What are their past experiences and traumas?

  • What are their goals and aspirations?

Understanding your character's core attributes will help you choose hobbies and interests that align with their personality and motivations.


2. Research Extensively


Once you have a clear picture of your character, it's time to do some research. If you're writing about a hobby or interest you're unfamiliar with, take the time to learn about it. This will help you depict it accurately and authentically in your writing.


For example, if your character is an avid rock climber, you might want to research different climbing techniques, gear, and safety protocols. This knowledge will allow you to describe their experiences and interactions within the climbing community convincingly.


3. Balance Uniqueness and Relatability


While you want your characters to stand out, it's also essential to strike a balance between uniqueness and relatability. If your character has an incredibly rare or obscure hobby, consider making them relatable in other ways. Perhaps they have a quirky sense of humor or a love for animals that many readers will connect with.


For instance, if your character collects vintage typewriters, you could make them relatable by giving them a sentimental attachment to a typewriter they inherited from a beloved family member.


4. Use Hobbies to Advance the Plot


As mentioned earlier, hobbies and interests can be great tools for advancing the plot. Think about how your character's hobbies can be woven into the story.


Let's say your character is a passionate gardener. You could use their gardening skills to help them uncover clues in a murder mystery, or their love for plants could be a source of solace during difficult times, providing a window into their emotional world.


You can also use hobbies as a way for characters to connect with one another. For example, in Finding Gabriel, Ariah draws Gabriel, which leads to an emotionally poignant moment.


5. Show, Don't Tell


This is a golden rule of writing that applies to hobbies and interests as well. Instead of simply telling the reader that your character enjoys painting, show them in action. Describe the colors on the palette, the texture of the canvas, and the emotions that flood your character as they create a masterpiece.


By allowing the reader to experience the hobby through your character's senses and emotions, you make it more engaging and immersive.


6. Dialogue and Interactions


Dialogue is a powerful tool for showcasing your character's hobbies and interests. Have them talk about their passions with other characters. This not only reveals more about your character but also creates opportunities for character development and conflict.


For example, a conversation between two characters about their differing opinions on a particular hobby can lead to a deeper exploration of their personalities and values.


7. Use Hobbies to Reflect Growth


Characters should evolve throughout your story. Their hobbies and interests can reflect this growth.


Let's say your character starts as a novice guitarist but becomes a skilled musician by the end of the novel. This progression can mirror their personal development, showcasing their determination and dedication.


8. Avoid Stereotypes


Be cautious when assigning hobbies and interests, especially if they are tied to stereotypes.


For instance, if you have a female character who loves shopping and fashion, consider giving her other layers and interests to avoid perpetuating clichés.


People are multifaceted, and your characters should be too.


9. Experiment and Be Creative


Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Mix and match hobbies and interests to create unique and memorable characters. Perhaps your character is a computer programmer who also has a secret talent for ballet dancing. These unexpected combinations can add depth and intrigue to your characters.


10. Listen to Your Characters


Finally, let your characters guide you! Sometimes, they may surprise you with their passions and interests. Allow them to evolve organically as you write, and you might discover new dimensions to your story.


Conclusion: How to Write Hobbies and Interests for Your Characters


Crafting meaningful hobbies and interests for your characters is a crucial aspect of character development that can elevate your storytelling. It requires research, creativity, and a deep understanding of your characters' inner worlds.


Remember, the goal is not just to write about hobbies and interests, but to use them as tools to connect with your readers and enrich your narrative.


Happy writing!


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About Rachel L. Demeter


I write historical romance novels that feature tortured heroes and the women who love them! Looking for a hot new historical read? Check out my books on Amazon. 🥰

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