When was the last time you were reading a novel and learned about a hobby you shared with one of your favorite characters?
Just like that, you feel more connected to them.
And honestly when are you not curious about character interests?
They seem more human when they have hobbies.
But when you’re writing a story of your own, how do you know which hobbies to give your characters?
That’s what the character hobbies list below will help with.
And the better you know each of your characters, the more likely the right hobbies will stand out for you.
Why should your book characters have hobbies and interests?
So, why should you bother with character hobbies? Consider the perks:
- Well-chosen hobbies make a character more human and relatable.
- A hobby can relate to an interesting sub-plot involving the character.
- Readers who are drawn to a character may take an interest in their hobby.
- Readers who share a hobby with a character will feel more engaged.
The more reason you give your reader to pay attention, the more likely they are to keep reading. That said, hobbies aren’t to be thrown in as bait to hook your readers. Characters with hobbies should have them for a reason.
- Why should your book characters have hobbies and interests?
- 101 Hobbies for Characters in Your Book
101 Hobbies for Characters in Your Book
Look through this generous list of character hobbies to find the ones best suited to your characters (those whose hobbies have a place in your story).
Picture them enjoying their hobbies or showing off the evidence of their hard work.
Hobbies for Fantasy Characters
3. Woodworking / Carpentry
4. Stone Carving
6. Leather Crafting
7. Horseback Riding
8. Boat Making
9. Rune Casting and Rune Making
11. Fortune telling
13. Swordmaking or Weapons Forging
16. Doll Making
17 Candy Making / Confectionery
Hobbies for Characters Who Are Loners
20. Jewelry Making
21. Mixology (cocktails)
23. Knitting or Crocheting
24. Cross-stitch or Embroidery
26. Soap Making or Creating Naturopathic Skin Care Products
27. Whittling / Woodcarving
30. Writing Letters to the Editor
32. Coding or Learning How to Code
33. Going on Nature Walks
35. Watching Documentaries
36. Hacktivism (computer hacking as a form of protest)
39. Art / Graphic Design
40. Gaming / Video Games
41. Pottery or Sculpting
Hobbies for High Energy Characters and Social Butterflies
42. Vlogging / Video-making
48. Skiing or Snowboarding
49. Home Improvement
50. Public Speaking
52. Martial Arts
54. Rock Climbing or Mountain Climbing
55. Skating or Skateboarding
56. Team Sports
57. DIY Home Repair
58. Fashion Design
59. Kayaking, Rafting, or Canoeing
60. Boxing or Kickboxing
61. Cleaning or Decluttering
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Popular Hobbies for Characters of All Kinds
64. Baking / Cooking
66. Bird watching
67. Crafts & DIY
68. Collecting (books, figurines, dolls, novelty items, etc.)
69. Learning a Musical Instrument
72. Learning New Languages
74. Watching TV / Streaming
75. Acting / Theater
79. Writing as a hobby
Unusual Hobbies for Characters
81. Graffiti art
83. Latte art
86. Magic tricks (sleight of hand)
87. Puppetry or Ventriloquism
90. Beer brewing
92. Balloon art/twisting
94. Make-up Art
95. Stand-Up Comedy
99. Extreme Sports (e.g., Skydiving or Bungee Jumping)
100. Flower Arranging
How should you integrate character hobbies in your book?
As mentioned earlier, hobbies aren’t to be thrown into your story without purpose.
And just as their inclusion should add to your character’s development, the way you integrate those hobbies should draw the reader more deeply into the story as a whole.
How do you do this?
- Show your character taking comfort from a favorite hobby during a difficult time.
- Show your character presenting a result of their hobby to someone as a gift.
- Show the character’s hobby tying them to the central crime or intrigue in the story.
- Show how the character’s living quarters are decorated with things they’ve made.
- Show a character leaving a class or event related to their hobby.
Think of scenes involving a particular character and how adding a particular hobby can make the moment more meaningful or get your reader wondering about its significance.
Now that you have this list of 101 hobbies for characters, which ones stand out? Can you see one of your characters finding joy or solace in one of them?
And how will you introduce this character’s hobby to your readers? You want them to enjoy discovering this character’s hobby and wonder what it might lead to.
Think about why a particular character should have a particular hobby. How did they learn it? Why do they hold onto it? Why is it so well-suited to them?
Make it as meaningful for them and for your reader as your hobbies are to you.