Thursday, April 20, 2017

Personality Quirks: Q is for Quiescent

Whew! Slim pickings for the letter “Q”, too. But then, that’s always the case. There are some troublesome letters in this challenge each year. But that’s part of the fun for those of us who do it.

Quiescent. Dormant. Inactive. Still. Quiet. What would a quiescent character look like? I think you could go two routes in writing a quiescent character. One is overt and the other covert.

But first, it shouldn’t surprise you that quiescent comes from the Latin quies meaning ‘quiet’ and from which the word “quiet” also derives.

So what is an overt quiescent character? Everyone would refer to shim as low energy, non-confrontational, agreeable, pushover. A kind of “still waters run deep” personality. Except, when probed, there is water running deep. In your book, your overt quiescent character could be the one in the background all the time, the one you’d never suspect of an original thought. A “go along to get along” person. This character may not have an arc at all. What you see is what you get. Background. Wallpaper. Use shim as a backdrop for other characters. Other characters may be annoyed that there is no there there with this character and conflict can arise over the passivity of your quiescent character.

On the other hand, the covert quiescent character is one who puts on a front to appear to be a social critter when in fact social interactions are very painful and difficult to maneuver. This person disappears for long periods of time to recharge because pretending to enjoy social interactions drains shim. This character can have a secret life or others suspect there’s a secret life because heesh is not available all the time. Perhaps the character is in therapy and trying out various strategies the counselor suggests in order to overcome shis innate reticence. That could be played for laughs or for pathos as others try to dissect what is going on.

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Here are some ideas for #writers on creating quiescent #characters from @RomanceRighter

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