Talent & Skills Entry: Making People Laugh

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. 

funnyDescription: Some people have a natural sense of humor that appeals greatly to others. It might be in part due to how they dress or act, jokes they tell or their ability to see humor in the every day. Whatever the source, they are able to convey their viewpoint with others, sharing the joke and spreading laughter all around.  Some refine this talent to become comedians or entertainers, while others find themselves at the center of attention in their own circle of friends, family and work because they add levity to almost any situation.

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: having a quick wit, thinking on one’s feet, an ability to mimic other people’s mannerisms or voices, having control over one’s facial expressions and movements, a good sense of timing, strong speech skills and able to read other people’s body language and micro expressions to gauge their responsiveness are good skills to have.

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: observant, intelligence, easygoing, creative, immaturity, adaptable, uninhibited, funny, extroverted, confidence, friendliness, energetic

Required Resources and Training: Being naturally funny isn’t a skill that can be learned, but it can be honed. Understanding what people find funny, learning to speak in public and in front of groups to gain confidence and studying other comedians and what makes them appealing are all helpful ways to encourage growth in this area. Embracing oneself for who one is and being able to laugh at oneself will both lead to better comedic success.

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • providing comic relief to diffuse situations where aggression could lead to violence
  • distracting people from worry or fear when they have no control over an outcome
  • encouraging people to lighten up and have fun at events
  • using humor to break the ice or find common ground with strangers

Difficult Scenarios For People With This Skill:

  • Judging what people will or won’t find humorous
  • Trying to be funny around those who are overly serious or easily offended
  • Squashing the desire to share a funny observation when it’s an inappropriate time
  • Friends and family who expect one to be funny all the time, or who never take one seriously as a result
  • Being true to one’s brand of humor under ridicule becauseothers don’t get it or don’t find it funny (silly costumes, props, being a mime, etc.)

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.

photo credit: greyloch via photopin cc


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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6 Responses to Talent & Skills Entry: Making People Laugh

  1. Humor is great–always!

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  3. Rosi says:

    Great stuff, as usual. Very useful and helpful. Thanks for all your great tips.

  4. Luckily, my characters are often funny without me even trying to be, my crit group/beta readers have told me. I honestly don’t try and work at being funny because I think it falls flat if I do.

    • Catherine A. Winn says:

      That is such a great natural talent and ability. I have to work at being funny then worry that it’s not!

  5. C. Lee McKenzie says:

    I love to read about characters with a great sense of humor, especially if the writer gives them some LOL dialogue.

    Thanks for the tips. As always they’re great.

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