|Miss Smith does look lovely in her Attitude.|
But until recently, I never gave much thought to the hobbies of characters in books. I don't know why, because several of my characters have hobbies.
The only reason I noticed it was because I recently read an Historical Romance where a character had a hobby.
And it was poorly written. It was like it was thrown in there at the last minute. (Essentially, Our Hero, who had a hard life growing up and had to make his way in the world through *gasp* Trade, suddenly could play the violin Very Well.)
BUT... this detail did not add anything to the plot, only happened in one scene for an improbable reason and boy, did it stick out like a sore thumb. I simply could not believe this character played the violin. It just did not suit his background, his upbringing, his lifestyle or anything. If he'd played the penny whistle, that I could believe (after all, they were aboard a ship when the little violin recital took place).
But the violin? I don't think so. Sorry, sweetie.
However, it did get me thinking. How often do we come across characters who have hobbies or interests?
In Jane Austin's Emma, (P.S. Happy Birthday, Jane!), Emma paints. It suits her character.
I also remember some other book I read (and can't recall, isn't that terrible), where one of the characters kept chickens. Yeah, lots of people keep chickens, but this character, oh, how she loved her 'girls'. She'd feed them every morning, and talk to them, and lovingly gather their eggs. It was a hobby that well-suited her and added to her characterisation. It was so well done, that was the only detail I remembered of the book.
That and I love chickens myself. Wish I could keep a couple of girls for their eggs and their lawn-fertilising properties.
Can a character's hobby add or detract to a character?
Her Grace has a few hobbies of her own. They keep her sane and occupied. They're very good for her brain and her soul.