Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Mechanically Inclined

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. 

MECHANICALLY INCLINED 

computer

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)

Jobs for The Mechanically Minded

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.

Image: Jarmoluk @ Pixabay

About BECCA PUGLISI

Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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10 Responses to Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Mechanically Inclined

  1. ogunsakin eniola says:

    i am a lady who enjoy fixing anything right from when i was lilltle…i think i am mechanically minded but i just dont know how to develop this talent.

  2. C. Lee McKenzie says:

    This is so important for characterization as well as plot. I love it when a skill is set up and integrated into the character, so when s/he uses that skill, it’s totally believable.

  3. Pingback: Monday Must-Reads [4/7/14]

  4. Julie Musil says:

    Holy heck, my hubby is mechanically minded and you’ve described him perfectly. He’s nick-named “MacGyver” at the fire station. Excellent work.

    • This is my dad to a T, so it was an easy one to write. Also, I went to college with a guy that we called MacGuyver. The lock on my car door broke, and he said he could fix it. Next thing I knew, my door was laying on the ground, he’d removed the lock and was holding all the little tumbler pieces in his hand. I asked him where he’d learned how to do this, and he said—-I’m not kidding you—-that he saw it on TV. As I had a heart attack. But he put everything back together, and sure enough, it worked great despite him never actually having done it before. This is one area I think it would be nice to be gifted in :).

  5. This is my son. He was barely hatched when he started taking things apart and putting them back together.

  6. Rosi says:

    This is great. I especially like “able to think non-linearly.” That is such a great skill and could be so useful in so many scenarios. Thanks for another great post.

  7. They would come in handy like you said in and end-of-the-world scenario.

  8. :Donna Marie says:

    You ladies make me happy 🙂 ‘Nuf said 😀

    P.S. Now that my checking acct. is no longer “empty”—buying the “traits” books! (Already have “Emotion”) Can’t wait! 😀 😀 😀

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