As writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer.
When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story.
Description: the art of making or fixing wooden objects or wooden parts of buildings. There are many different kinds of carpenters, whose designations depend on what they make: coopers (barrel makers); framers (carpenters specializing in the structural framework of houses and buildings); cabinetmakers (cabinets, dressers, wardrobes, chests); trim carpenters (moldings, trims, mantels, baseboards, etc.); finish carpenters or joiners (makers of furniture, instruments, and fine woodworking products). Shipbuilders also sometimes fall under the carpentry umbrella, and there are many other specializations that are no longer relevant in modern culture, such as wagon making, wheel-wrighting, and the construction of everyday wooden items like eating utensils, dishes, and tool handles.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: good manual dexterity and balance, stamina, good near vision, an aptitude for math and problem solving, a strong back, the ability to use dangerous tools with adeptness and alertness
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: patience, caution, creativity, discipline, focus, meticulousness, resourcefulness, persistence, responsibility
Required Training: Most would-be carpenters enter into an apprenticeship, where they work under a master for a specified period of time in order to learn the ropes before stepping out on their own. During this time, they learn by instruction, observation, and hands-on practice, as well as taking formal carpentry courses. While focused education can be instructive, it’s uncertain how helpful it is when not combined with hands-on training. Many current carpentry apprenticeships take 3-4 years to complete.
Scenarios Where This Skill Might be Useful:
- Living in an area where wood is abundant and other building materials are scarce
- Being able to construct or mend things is always a useful skill, particularly when one is surrounded by people who couldn’t identify a hammer from a chisel.
- In a situation where certain items are needed quickly (shelter, weapons, tools, etc), wood is much quicker to finish than stone or metal, making a carpenter a commodity.
Resources for Further Information:Carpentry Pro Framer Robert Carpenter’s blog
You can brainstorm other possible Skills and Talents your characters might have by checking out our FULL LIST of this Thesaurus Collection. And for more descriptive help for Setting, Symbolism, Character Traits, Physical Attributes, Emotions, Weather and more, check out our Thesaurus Collections page.