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.
High Pain Tolerance
Description: the ability to suppress pain and keep going is nothing short of heroic, and in many circumstances, is necessary for survival. Pain from injuries can fog the mind and break the body, so developing a high tolerance level for it can greatly enhance one’s performance and endurance in most situations.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities:
A strong, fit body, mental acuity, commitment to the current action, belief in oneself, strength of will, a strong need that surpasses all else, being able to visualize the goal and use it to strengthen one’s resolve, etc.
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent:
Determination, intrepid, observant, knowledgeable, energetic, relentless, disciplined, courageous, balanced, protective, resilient, dedicated
Required Resources and Training:
While there can be a genetic component to having a high pain tolerance, much relies on the ability to focus on what’s important and set aside all distraction. Meditation can be key to achieving the state of “mind over matter” required to rise above pain and focus on the goal.
Conditioning is another way to increase one’s ability to push aside distractions, such as the rigorous physical and mental training–regular exposure to stress and pain–marines go through. That said, pain exposure therapy can have the opposite effect for some people.
Having good cardio and general physical fitness also greatly helps, but the mental aspect is just as (if not more) important. Stress level management skills, dedication, a deep need or desire and belief in oneself are key. Positive thinking and visualizing a satisfying outcome can also help one push through difficult times.
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- Athletic competitions and races
- Survival situations (being lost in the wilderness, caught in a mine collapse, suffering from heat or cold exposure, etc.)
- Being tortured
- Being taken, hunted or trying to escape (the law, serial killer, kidnappings, etc.)
- Abusive situations
- High stake situations where others are counting on one’s efforts (desperately needed monetary compensation, a life and death event, etc.)
- Emergency medical treatment when proper equipment or medicines might not be available
- Fighting illness
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.
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