Sometimes the little details and eccentricities about a fictional character are the best. For instance, Anita Blake (aka the Executioner) collects toy penguins. Betsy Taylor adores designer shoes, and badass Zarek of Moesia makes carvings inspired by The Little Prince. It’s still unconfirmed whether Vishous really does like to knit – a hobby Sylvester Stallone’s character got stuck with in the movie Demolition Man.
Nalini Singh’s Psy character, Walker, makes doll furniture for his daughter. Declan in R. Garland Gray’s sci-fi romance has a pet poodlefly, while Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files) has an enormous dog named Mouse.
Then there are the signature lines. Anyone who ever saw The Princess Bride (and really, who didn’t?) knows which character said, “As you wish,” “You killed my father. Prepare to die,” and “Inconceivable!” Terminator immortalized “I’ll be back” and “Hasta la vista, baby.” Author P. C. Cast gave us a merman in her Goddess Summoning series who always promised to wait for the heroine forever.
I’m an animal lover, but I think we all wanted to shoot Amy, the obnoxious talking gorilla in both the book and movie, Congo. Mention chaos theory, and many of us think of Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park – another Michael Crichton book turned into a movie.
My point is there are some details that are meshed with who and what a character is. These qualities and idiosyncrasies help bring these fictional people to life.