Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thinking to Inking Blogversary: Secret Quirks of Teenagers

Thinking to Inking is two years old this month! To celebrate, we're highlighting some of our favorite posts and giving away all kinds of fun swag (scroll down for the Rafflecopter!)

One of my favorite regular blog features here at Thinking to Inking is "Curious Lives of Teenagers." Lauren (who is a high school English teacher) periodically asks her students questions of interest to writers and then posts their responses anonymously. The answers range from silly to morose to insightful, but they give an excellent glimpse into the teenage mind.

I thought this post from last year about her students' secret quirks was particularly useful to the YA writer. Who doesn't want to add more individuality to their characters?

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?)

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  1. This post on Secret Quirks of Teenagers was one of my favorites too!!! I loved all the great ideas.

  2. I like fictional characters who eat weird things. Really brings the characters to life and adds interesting sensory details to the story. These curious teens have provided some fun combinations that would make any reader take notice.

  3. These quirks really have me thinking. My character already has one of them, but should I give her another? Thanks for the inspiration!