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: Mechanically inclined people are able to intuitively see how things work. Good with tools and machinery, they’re adept at fixing things and are often able to take unfamiliar items apart and put them back together again so they work as well as or better than they originally did.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: dexterity, being able to think non-linearly (seeing pieces of a set and identifying what’s missing; working backwards, from the end point to the starting point, rather than the other way around)
Character Traits Suited For This Skill Or Talent: patience, being observant, being somewhat visionary in nature (able to look at pieces and see the whole picture), resourceful
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: mechanics, inventors, geeky computer types, men
Scenarios Where This Skill Might Be Useful: in a dystopian society where broken items must be reused and repurposed rather than replaced; when a wealthy family wants to retain a handy person to do odd jobs around the property; a scenario in which something of great importance needs fixing; when someone’s car/air conditioner/refrigerator breaks and they can’t afford to buy a new one
Resources for Further Information:
The Handyman Club (info on DIY projects, including a list of helpful blogs)
Just for fun: Take the How Mechanically Inclined Are You? Quiz
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.