Here’s the “eccentricity” chunk of my “Writing Great Characters” talk at Write on the Sound 2010. As before, the audio’s a little shaky, so turn it up.
Sol Stein said it:
“Eccentricity is at the heart of strong characterization. The most effective characters have profound roots in human behavior. Their richest feelings may be similar to those held by many others. However, as characters their eccentricities dominate the reader’s first vision of them.
If you were to examine the surviving novels of the twentieth century, you would find that a majority of the most memorable characters in fiction are to some degree eccentric.”
(Watch that ‘thank you’ sign behind me. It’s the real star of this show.)