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 accurately view and assess present-day reality in order to plan for and create the future that one desires (winning a game, reaching a personal goal, growing one’s business, etc.)
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: being able to look many steps ahead, being able to evaluate available information and accurately predict what’s coming, identifying patterns, being able to learn from past mistakes, having good recall, being a good problem solver and critical thinker
Character Traits Suited to this Skill or Talent: bold, alert, objective, observant, analytical, intelligent, patient, sensible, wise, discerning, focused, innovative
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions:
- Stereotypes: chess players, gamers, generals and other military personnel, business sharks and CEOs
- Perceptions: Strong strategic thinkers are frequently portrayed as greedy, pushy, or cold. This type of character is often socially awkward, being so project-oriented that they’re unable to properly relate to people.
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- in a conflict where a game or contest must be won
- in a life or death scenario where one must outwit one’s opponent
- when there is a problem to be solved with no recognizable solution
- when there is an underlying problem that needs to be identified
- in a situation where information is abundant and the truth must be sorted from the propaganda
- when one must put a plan into place in order to reach a personal goal (losing weight, getting the girl, getting one’s dream job,
- for a perfectionist who wants to be the best and beat the competition in a given area
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.