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: To observe signs in nature (cloud formation, air pressure changes, animal behavior, plant growth patterns and the color of the sky, etc.) and interpret them in a way that predicts shifts in weather.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: Strong eyesight, hyper awareness of one’s body and subtle shifts that will indicate air pressure changes (headaches, swelling joints, a perception of increased pain, etc.) a strong sense of smell (to detect ozone, a metallic-like scent that indicates storms), good concentration and the ability to mute distractions
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: focused, observant, alert, cautious, organized, responsible
Required Resources and Training: For a character to build this skill, they would do well to have a lot of experience in nature, and the opportunity to notice minute shifts in animal behavior (bees disappearing from flowers, swallows flying close to the ground before a storm, etc.) and plant growth (what side of a tree leaf faces up can indicate the prevailing winds for the area.) Living within and studying a specific location over a long period of time would build up a lot of knowledge in typical weather patterns for the location as well. Educating oneself on cloud formation will especially help one read the weather as both the type of cloud and its elevation provide the biggest clues to shifts.
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions:
This is a skill that many survivalist have. It is also one that will come in handy for any occupation that relies heavily on weather variances, such as a ship’s captain.
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- working as a wilderness guide for others and being responsible for their safe travel from one location to the next
- Planning battles in war times
- situations where shelter from the elements is key to survival
- when travel must take place dangerous points in a season (winter storms or flash floods, for example)
- determining whether a seafaring journey is wise
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.