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 ability to hit a target at long range using a bow and arrow. Some archers work solely with stationary targets, while others practice on both stationary and moving objects. Archers may hone their skills for sport and enter competitions, hunt game to provide for themselves, their family or tribe or even as a form of self defense in dire circumstances. In some cultures as well as in fiction, archery is a prized skill in battle.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: concentration, strength, strong eyesight, flexibility, being a skilled tracker, having knowledge of animal anatomy (if hunting for food) or human anatomy & armor stability (in battle)
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: focus, perfectionism, self-controlled, studious, disciplined, patience, resourceful, observant, tenacious
Required Resources and Training: contemporary archers can practice at indoor ranges or outdoor (either stationary and 3D) ranges, as well as one’s own property with either a natural barrier (such as hillside) or man-made barrier (foam blocks, special nets or hay bales) to catch any stray arrows. Understanding how to stand, aim, brace one’s arm and grip just firm enough to have a stead shot yet avoid torcing the bow are common lessons, but to become truly skilled, an archer must put hundreds of hours into study and practice. A mentor or teacher will speed up the learning curve. Archers should know their equipment and how to maintain it, and utilize arm guards and chest guards to ensure clothing does not get in the way and protect the body from injury.
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions:
- That archers are loners who prefer nature to people
- That archers are reckless (shooting close enough to scare someone, but not wound used as a plot device to show incredible skill and/or a bad temper)
Resources for Further Information:
When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting in to a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.
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.