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: having a knack for cultivating and tending plants. Gardening can be a personal hobby or a professional career. It is an activity that can be done in solitude or in teams, in rural or urban areas.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: flexibility, dexterity, physical strength
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: patience, being environmentally conscious, creativity, meticulousness, organization, being observant
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: Gardening is typically associated with farmers and with elderly women in wide-brimmed hats puttering away in their backyards. But this hobby can be done just about anywhere these days; if you’re looking to modernize the experience, there are many advances in gardening that you can tap into: hydroponics, vertical gardening, aquaponics, container gardening, rooftop gardening, guerrilla gardening, community gardening, etc. Gardens don’t have to consist of just fruits or vegetables, either. You can fill your character’s plot with whatever fits the needs of your story, like flowers, herbs, poisonous shrubs, carnivorous plants, weird hybrid varieties, etc.
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- An apocalyptic scenario where food is scarce
- An emergency where one’s knowledge of medicinal plants could mean the difference between life and death
- When a stress outlet is needed for a character
- The aftermath of a traumatic event, where gardening might be therapeutic
- A scenario where the unique items one grows are vital to a person’s or community’s survival
- A scenario where the by-products of a garden are vital to the plot line (bees, butterflies, pollen, etc.)
Resources for Further Information:
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.