Ok, I know this might sound unimportant and trivial, but catchphrases can make or break your characters.

Think about it. The words your character will be known for often says something unique about that person. It often reveals the innermost qualities of them. Whenever anyone in the world recalls your character/s, they envision them often through dialogue.

But why? Why is dialogue in itself (forget catchphrases for a second) so important? The reason is that it shows how a character interacts with others. And how they interact with others often reveals how they act towards themselves.

Someone with little respect for others might have a tragic backstory where they were never loved well themselves. Someone who is especially kind no matter the struggles they themselves may be going through could be a virtuous character who grew up with a good family. A reckless teenager who cares for others yet often harms them might have no parental figure to reel them in. Clearly, interactions are everything, and they are often shown through speech.

A catchphrase is specifically important because 1) it is unique and 2) it is unforgettable. It may be a one-liner or some deep, philosophical thought, but either way, it sticks with the reader, and they will remember your book because of it.

The key to crafting a good catchphrase for your character is making sure it completely captures the traits of the character you’re pairing it with. It MUST establish exactly who they are in some nuanced way.

Some examples:

“Bah! Humbug!” -Scrooge, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“Constant Vigilance!” -Mad-Eye Moody, Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

“Avengers Assemble!” -Captain America (in various Avengers comics)

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

Each example speaks to the individual character’s heart and soul yet is unique in its own way. I encourage you to try to do the same in your own writing.

(As for why I chose Scooby-Doo as my pic: 1) “Zoinks!” is a classic catchphrase and I don’t care that it’s not from a book. 2) Scooby-Doo is awesome. Fight me if you disagree.)


Published by aspiringwriter111

Heyyyyy, random person reading my bio! There's a TON to know about me, but I think I'll keep it pretty simple. Basically, I'm an aspiring writer who somehow manages to make time in her already hectic life for creating new, fantastical worlds on a daily basis. I love dreaming up romances, adventures, and crazy new species of animals to include in my books. Fights with dragons, damsels in distress, and pirates are right up my alley, but I also enjoy writing of the sometimes torturous struggles of everyday life, like... doing chores!! *sigh* XD And remember: "Everything you can imagine is real." -Picasso

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