One quick note: Marlene at The Write Spot is sharing the fourth installment from our What Killed It For Me Series (clichéd characters). If you missed it the first time around, check it out at The Write Spot, or you can find the entire series here at Writers Helping Writers.
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: The ability to mimic sounds, voices, accents, etc. so one sounds just like the person or thing that one is mimicking.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: strong listening skills
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: observant, disciplined, determined, playful, mischievous, deceptive, resourceful, imaginative
Required Resources and Training:
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: Comedians are often able to mimic the voices and body language of others to humorous effect. Spies and assassins are often portrayed as being able to flawlessly copy the accents and vocal inflections of others.
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- when one needs to impersonate someone via a non-visual medium (over the phone, from the far side of a door, from inside an adjoining room, etc.)
- when verbal permission for something is needed and the person in charge would never grant it himself
- when someone wants to degrade or belittle an opponent
- when someone wants to discredit an opponent by posing as that person and speaking falsehoods or unflattering statements
- when a secret signal is needed and one needs to be able to mimic an animal or object
- in hunting, to call one’s prey
- when it’s necessary to lure someone away from safety
- when someone is working as a voice over artist or comedian
Resources for Further Information:
Related Talents and Skills: A Knack with Languages
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.