Marvel? Star Wars? DC? Harry Potter? Doctor Who? Supernatural? Sherlock?
Even if you’re not a self-proclaimed fangirl, chances are that you recognize most, if not all, if those names. They are the giants of the entertainment industry, it seems. The thing is, writers are sometimes a little too focused on reality. There needs to be a balance between “my plot meanders and frolics through the English countryside like an aimless lamb” and “my plot. is. on. point.” One will make everyone bounce the book against their skull in a violent fashion, and the second cuts out way too many character development opportunities.
The question is, why are certain characters never allowed to fully develop their inner fanboy/girl?
Obviously, in strict sci-fi/dystopian, it might be a little difficult. After all, their societies and world history are totally different, so much so that no one has access to the same media.I’m focusing on you contemporary people right now.
In books, usually it’s “Patrick and Katy sat down to watch a movie. They ate popcorn. It was romantic.” I don’t care about the romance, I want the author to divert three words from purple prose and tell me what movie they watched.
Do they appreciate chick flicks? Would they sell their soul to Batman? If they’re lugging books out of the library, wHAT BOOKS? Non-fiction tomes? Romance? Dystopian? Classics? It tells so much about a person’s personality.. Say your angsty MC is watching one of his favorite movies. Well, good for him. Is he watching Iron Man? Or Finding Nemo? Either option will lend us a quirky option to explore his character.
That being said, develop your character’s relationship to their fandoms. Are they totally obsessed? Do they mow over innocent pedestrians in their quest to make it home before their favorite show begins? Are they a secret geek? Does their family/significant other make fun of them? Are they casual readers? (what is this biological phenomenon of ‘casual reading?’)
What musical genres do they listen to? My favorite thing is when a musical tone/genre is a thread throughout the entire book. It sets a wonderful tone/atmosphere. Maybe your character’s favorite is classic rock, and it’s brought up throughout the book. Maybe your character appreciates Disney soundtracks. Shaping your character’s media choices will not only show off their personal lives/quirks, but it will also help set the atmosphere for your book. One of my MC’s only appreciates screamo/alternative rock. Guess what the atmosphere for his book is? Yep.