Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Curious Lives of Teenagers: Our Secret Quirks?

When asked what they thought YA writers would want to hear from them, my high school students suggested that the writers should know the things teens do to make individual teens unique. The students thought a sampling of real-life quirks might help flesh out characters/ inspire new side characters for writers with writer's block. How considerate. These quirks are anonymous, and the kids have given permission for you to use with abandon. So here are their secret quirks/ a bit of silliness for a Wednesday afternoon:

  • I shower with my socks on
  • When I was little I used to "cook" things in my belly button
  • I eat Oreos with lemonade
  • I look in two different mirrors with two different lightings to see if I look okay
  • I will read for hours and try my best on tests, but I never do my homework
  • I secretly watch the science channel
  • I jump over every sidewalk crack so I don't break my mother's back
  • I eat lemons whole
  • I have to brush my hair 100 times before leaving the house every day
  • I set my alarm for 6:36 am, take out my retainer, and go back to sleep until 6:44
  • I put ketchup on my Mac & Cheese
  • I feel the automatic need to wink at people when I don't know what to say in passing
  • I hint at people to invite me places
  • When I go to restaurants, I ask waiters with mustaches for pickles
  • When I was little, I stuffed my American Girl dolls into a doll-sized tent to see how many would fit in
  • I'm waiting for my own Godot
  • I lose weight to get concert tickets
  • Things Rick Astley will never do: #1-Give you up #2-Let you down #3-Run around #4-Hurt you #5-Make you cry #6-Say goodbye #7-Tell a lie #8-Desert you (fyi you've just been Rick rolled)
  • I eat Doritos with peanut butter
  • I like turtles
  • I rub my fingers through my hair to think
  • When I eat apple strudel, I eat the filling first, then the pastry part
  • Eye contact makes me feel uncomfortable
  • I read Dictionaries in my free time
  • I can have fun with anything from a broken highlighter to an empty wrapping paper roll
  • I like to make people feel as uncomfortable as possible by saying really awkward things. If someone is talking about what they will eat for lunch I will then interrupt with a random statement such as "aborted fetuses are surprisingly interesting" and then I will walk away
  • I like rubbing people's earlobes
  • I have to drink one and a half glasses of milk before bed every night
  • Quirk?..I'm perfect.

And finally, a hint for writers from one precocious student: "To make any title better add a question mark at the end." (See title above. Did it work?)


  1. Love those teens! My favorite quirk is . . . Quirks? I'm perfect. I couldn't agree more. Quirks are what make us interesting and ultimately perfect. Thanks for keeping us young guys.

  2. Ha, I love these! Also, I'm very impressed that HS kids know Rick Astley.

  3. Great quirks! Can't wait to have an oreo eating, lemonade drinking, belly button cooking teen as my next main character!! :)

  4. Wow, smart kids. Reading a dictionary for fun!

  5. I have to have the closet doors closed at night before going to sleep. And I read somewhere about someone who had to roll tennis balls under her bed at night.

  6. I'm not so sure about the question mark?!

  7. Who is Rick Astley?

  8. I have a friend who is always 30 minutes late for everything.

  9. When I talk, I also use my hands.