Character Trait Entry: Sentimental

Definition: being overly influenced by feelings

Characters in Literature: Anne Shirley, Mrs. Weasley, Cecily (Wither)

Common Portrayals: women, teenage girls, children

Clichés to Avoid: the nostalgic mother crying over her child’s latest milestone; those in declining years constantly reminiscing about the good old days; the hugely pregnant, hormone driven mother-to-be

Twists on the Traditional Sentimental Character:  

  • Again, in literature, this trait is largely represented by the female gender. What about a sentimental man who’s driven more by emotion than logic?
  • Sentimentality and practicality don’t usually go together. Try throwing a sentimental character into a traditionally practical career field: the sentimental accountant, mathematician, IT professional, mechanic  

Build a worthy protagonist with a mix of unique strengths that will help him overcome obstacles and achieve meaningful goals.

This sample, along with the rest of the character trait entries, has been expanded into book form. Together, the bestselling NEGATIVE TRAIT THESAURUS: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CHARACTER FLAWS and POSITIVE TRAIT THESAURUS: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CHARACTER ATTRIBUTES contain over 200 traits for you to choose from when creating memorable, compelling characters. Each entry contains possible causes for the trait, as well as positive and negative aspects, traits in supporting characters that may cause conflict, and associated behaviors, attitudes, thoughts, and emotions. For more information on this bestselling book and where it can be found, please visit our bookstore.

Love working online and having your favorite description resources in one place? We’ve got you covered. The entries from the Positive Trait Thesaurus book have been integrated into our online library at One Stop For Writers. Now you can search and cross-reference between all our thesaurus collections quickly and easily. Interested in viewing a free sample? Register at One Stop and see all that this intuitive library for writers has to offer.

 

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About BECCA PUGLISI

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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9 Responses to Character Trait Entry: Sentimental

  1. Elise Shedd says:

    Sentimental characters can be have more dimensions to their personality that make the more real to the reader.In my book I recently published, the guy lives and dwells in the past with a negative and cruel streak to him when people try to get too close especially women.

  2. Elise Shedd says:

    Sentimental characters can be have more dimensions to their personality that make the more real to the reader.In my book I recently published, the guy lives and dwells in the past with a negative and cruel streak to him when people try to get too close especially women.

  3. Love the character trait entries. Can’t wait until they become your next book because I would like to own it . . . right now!

  4. Heather says:

    I love the twist idea of making the character a man who is driven by emotion. Hmmm…

  5. I have never created an overtly sentimental character (I think the mother of my MC can be called sentimental, she cries when he he gets good grades). But, I think its natural for a mother to feel a little emotional.

  6. This would be a difficult character to pull off. I would worry about them becoming too overwrought for the reader and thus losing any sympathy.

  7. Jemi Fraser says:

    A sentimental mathematician would be fun! 🙂

  8. i like this. If I were a character, this would be my trait. lol

  9. I think it would be nice to have a sentimental mathematician –that gives me an idea……..thanks

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