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: To start an engine (of an automobile, for example) without a key, as by short-circuiting the ignition system. Most people associate hot-wiring with car theft, but in the US, it’s a legal activity if the car is yours. This skill can be beneficial even for law-abiding characters who may have lost their keys or find themselves in an emergency situation and needing quick access to a car. It’s something that mechanically-minded characters or those interested in cars might realistically know how to do.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: manual dexterity, knowledge of basic wiring or electronics
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: a calm, unflustered demeanor; ingenuity (thinking outside the box); confidence; boldness
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: car thieves, hoodlum-type teens
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful: When you’ve lost your keys; when you need to steal a car; a post-apocalyptic scenario where cars are abundant but keys are scarce; an emergency situation where a car is vital but keys can’t be found
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.Image: Mahal @ Pixabay