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: Being a good listener means paying close attention to people, hearing what they say, and understanding what they mean.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: intense focus, the ability to pay attention for long periods of time without being distracted, having good recall
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: observant, perceptive, empathetic, being able to read people, caring, unselfish, patient, open-minded
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: women; maternal types; therapists and counselors; con artists
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- when a relationship is in trouble and needs mending
- when there is conflict between characters and a subjective viewpoint is needed
- when a character is being deceptive (a careful listener may hear discrepancies in someone’s story or pick up on tells)
- when someone needs to feel loved and cared for
- if you want to lure someone into a false sense of love and security
- when you need to get information out of someone
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.