Use catch-phrase when creating a character

When writing your story, you’ll want each of the major characters to be distinct. One of achieving that, especially in genre fiction, is to give a couple of the characters catch-phrases.

A catch-phrase is a short and memorable word or a phrase that a character repeats at apt times. Examples include Mr. Spock’s “Fascinating”, Dr. McCoy’s “I’m a doctor, not a …”, and Sherlock Holmes’ “Elementary, Dear Watson.”

A good catch phrase helps establish the character’s personality. “Fascinating” shows that Mr. Spock is innately curious, “I’m a doctor, not a …” establishes Dr. McCoy as a curmudgeon, and “Elementary, Dear Watson” indicates Sherlock Holmes is a genius.

Don’t overuse a catch-phrase in a story. A catch-phrase is just one of many techniques used to build a character. In addition, overuse leads to the catch-phrase becoming campy, diminishing its effectiveness.