Introducing…the Character Traits Thesaurus

Quick, name your favorite character.
Now list a trait or two that defines him/her.
Chances are, you were able to come up with a defining trait fairly quickly. That’s because likable characters are memorable. They exhibit qualities that we admire or can relate to. Creating memorable characters is key to creating memorable stories. To test this theory, ask yourself if your character’s story is on your list of favorite books.
Like any important job, character creation isn’t easy. You have to consider what traits to give your hero to make it possible (or seemingly impossible) for her to achieve her goals. She’ll also need characteristics that readers will relate to or empathize with. Having a flaw to overcome is always nice, too. And you don’t want to recreate any existing characters, so you’ll need to combine her qualities in a way that has never been done before.
It’s a tough job, but we all have to do it. Here’s hoping that our new CHARACTER TRAITS THESAURUS will help.
The goal of this resource is to examine many existing character traits through the lens of character creation. What might have caused this trait to surface in my character? What are the positives and negatives of this quality? How might I pair it with other characteristics to create someone truly original and interesting?
Our hope is that these entries will shed new light on existing traits, enabling you to create some new favorite characters. You can find all entries for this thesaurus here.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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49 Responses to Introducing…the Character Traits Thesaurus

  1. Pingback: The Positive and Negative Trait Thesaurus COVER REVEAL! | WRITERS HELPING WRITERSWRITERS HELPING WRITERS

  2. Pingback: Character Traits Thesaurus Collection | Writers Helping Writers

  3. Jackie says:

    Congrats! I’m so excited for you, and excited for us.

  4. Annette says:

    I just bought the Emotion Thesaurus and look forward to adding the Character Traits to my writers toolbox. Thanks

  5. This is perfect! I’ve been looking for a good resource for character traits! 🙂 Thanks so much for this wonderful tool!

  6. Morgan Lee says:

    Can’t wait! You guys so rock! Your blog is any writers dream.

  7. I love this blog.


    I just wanted to let you know I’ve given you the Versatile Blogger Award! Check it out here:

  8. Jeigh says:

    You guys are so awesome! Can’t wait to see this new thesaurus!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This has gotta be the best thesuarus yet. I’m always up all night trying to spice up the characters.

  10. Bailor says:

    OH, I am so excited to see what you guys come up with. C: your blog is so helpful.

  11. Owllady says:

    This is such a great idea, I’ve added your button to my blog. 😀

  12. OH you are GOOD! Fantastic idea!

  13. Lydia K says:

    What a great idea! Your Thesauruses (thesauri?) are awesome.

    Thanks for your supportive comment on my post. The best pro-conference therapy ever!

  14. Yea! This sounds amazing! Can’t wait to read more! Many thanks, as always.

  15. Deb Marshall says:

    Oh my wow and SUweeet! That is all:)

  16. Can’t wait until it comes out!

  17. This will be another great addition to your sidebar…

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