Skills and Talents Entry: Charm

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. 

 The Silver Tongue

Description: this gift comes from an ability to communicate one’s sincerity and trustworthiness through speech, saying the right thing at the right time to persuade, get out of trouble, or talk oneself into places and events that are off limits. A charming person…

Related Skills: Lying, Manipulation, Public Speaking

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: being articulate and personable, thinking on one’s feet, having a strong command over one’s own emotions, an easy-going nature, being able to read body language and micro-expressions, displaying calm under pressure, having…

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: observant, charming, humorous, persuasive, intelligence, friendly, trustworthy…

Required Resources and Training: strong observation of people, understanding where the power lies in a situation, and the emotions at play are key. A person would be required to put significant time into studying one’s environment, people, social norms, and politics to fit in seamlessly. Understanding emotion, educating oneself in psychology …

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • talking oneself out of trouble (with the police, angry neighbors, a girlfriend or boyfriend, employers, etc.)
  • mediating tense situations between two reactive parties
  • leadership; managing a team or group…

Resources for Further Information:

Oprah: The Charm of You

How To Be Persuasive

Talents and skills not only make our characters stand out, they often help them attain their goals. So choosing them strategically can greatly enhance both the character and the story.

If this is something you’d like to learn more about, you can find the entries in their entirety at One Stop For Writers, where all our thesauruses are cross-referenced and linked for easy navigation. If you’re interested in seeing a free sampling of the Talent and Skill Thesaurus and our other descriptive collections, head on over and register at One Stop!

About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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10 Responses to Skills and Talents Entry: Charm

  1. Pingback: Character Talents & Skills: Telling Lies | WRITERS HELPING WRITERSWRITERS HELPING WRITERS

  2. Great post! I think in Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces he also explains that the hero needs a special talent. Can’t argue with universal myths!

    Christine @ Better Novel Project

  3. This would be a plus trait to have in certain situations. Lol.

  4. Two questions: 1) Is this Bad Guy Week? I hope so, that’s my favorite one. 🙂
    2) How can I convincingly write someone with a silver tongue when I don’t have one?

  5. Rosi says:

    Thanks. I really enjoy these very useful posts.

  6. Bish Denham says:

    Ah Ha! The old silver-tongued devil. I’ve know a few of those. 🙂

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