Howdy friends! Coral here. One of my hobbies is collecting pictures of personalized license plates. I love it, and I have hundreds of them! So, I thought it would be fun to share some of my collection with all of you. I’ll be posting a picture of a different license plate I’ve collected every week, sometimes with a story to go with it, sometimes probably not. Today we will start with one I got recently and just loved.

The Littlest Limo I ever did see

I find it super fun to collect these personalized license plates. Part of the fun is snapping the picture from the passenger seat or trying to get my camera up during the brief moment I’m at a stop light (I promise, I’m not being totally crazy and taking pictures while I’m actually driving a moving car, that’s a little TOO extreme for me.) My whole family has started to get in on it, and I’ll get texts from them that just have pictures of license plates. Someday I want to cover a wall with the pictures I’ve collected, but for now, I’ll start by putting them here.

License Plates: A Character Quirk

This kind of thing makes me think of writing, sometimes it’s hard to make a character feel unique and fresh. This is just the kind of hobby they need, of course depending on the genre. Giving someone a quirk like this can really help flesh out a character, especially if you look back at why they did it.

I started this when I was serving as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While serving, there were a lot of hobbies that were restricted, I didn’t watch movies, tv, read books other than church-related content. I could still write some as a stress management technique, but I needed something else. Collecting license plates was fun, easy, and it also helped make long drives or walking around town for hours less monotonous.

Your character doesn’t have to have some weird backstory event to set it up, though, it can just be something they like. Maybe they just really love heart shaped food because it’s cute, maybe they’re always on the look out for the ultimate comfy socks. Little touches like this can add so much to a character.

Example: From The Class Villain

In “The Class Villain” we have a variety of fun characters. Two in particular stand out in my memory for the character quirks, hobbies or interests, that we gave them that shaped their final draft outcome. Let’s start with Scuba.

Scuba has the super power of absorbing soap and being able to use it later as soap suds or even bubbles he can fly around in. In the original draft, Scuba just had wind powers, but his character still needed something extra. My amazing writing group gave us the idea to switch it to bubbles. This added all sorts of fun details, filling in his personality, and giving him a hobby of buying soaps of all different scents to try out. And of course, now he always smells clean and fresh.

Alexandria is the other character I want to talk about. She was always a pretty well established and strong character, with a forceful personality and a strong sense of right and wrong. When we were crafting the first chapter of Part Two, we were writing her as a younger child. During this process, we introduced the idea of Visualization as something Alexandria prescribed to. Having heard about it from a cousin, Alexandria was determined that the Universe would get the point and give her superpowers- whether it wanted to or not! This fit in perfectly with her already established character, helped strengthen her friendship with Carter, and gave us a great introduction to their fondness of capes.

If you haven’t read “The Class Villain”, our debut middle-grade Super Hero novel, check it out! It’s a fun story with fun characters, and the sequel is coming out as soon as we can finish editing and formatting.

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