When I develop my characters, outside of the physical attributes, I like to start with what makes them tic. What are their pet peeves? Not only does it help with story progression, but it can also create some pretty comedic moments too. Here are some of my own pet peeves:
1. Cutting Me Off When I'm Trying to Talk. We all can think of someone that fits in this category. Someone that absolutely has to have the last word in everything to the point where you just want to shut down. Then they wonder, "Why are you so quiet?" I don't know, maybe it has something to do with you stealing all my words.
2. Judgmental People. I think this one strikes a chord with me because I used to be one myself. Always critical of others because I wasn't totally happy with myself or because I felt superior in some form or fashion. Now when I see it in others, it really makes me cringe.
3. Those "Seen it All Done it All" People. You know exactly the kind of person that I'm talking about. Everytime you talk about an experience you've encountered, they fire back with, "Oh, I remember this one time where I did what you did but better" or "A buddy of mine did blahblahblah". Guess what dude? I don't care if I had a water gun fight with my son, but you were the guy that killed Bin Laden. Your story isn't that interesting because you aren't. Moving on...
4. The Current State of Fashion. I'm sorry, but the idea of wearing a zip-up sweater over a button-down over another ridiculous shirt sounds like a heat stroke waiting to happen. Have you met me before? Have you seen how much I sweat? And why am I wearing tortoise-frame glasses? My vision is great, thanks. I see guys walking down the street today and it reminds me of something out of Gangs of New York. I'm good.
5. People Without Patience. Most good things take time and a lot of people aren't willing to wait for it. Some of you might be thinking I'm being hypocritical because I self-published as opposed to going mainstream. My response: I tried to go mainstream for ten years before I came to this decision and, in that time, my work evolved and got better by miles. As a result, I'm happy with the finished product.
What drives you up a wall? What are your pet peeves?