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 discern what is needed for a particular project or event, and then to prepare and collect any people, resources or information into a state of readiness so that everything moves forward efficiently.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: A good organizer can look at what must be done and immediately formulate a plan of action that is effective and insightful, taking into consideration any factors that might create challenges so that they can be prevented or minimized. Having foresight of what the path ahead may look like, being educated and familiar with common practices and factors that may cause friction regarding the project needing organization are both important. Punctuality, thoughtfulness, and being able to articulate oneself well will help one obtain resources, support and help as needed. A good organizer has strong time management skills, can split their attention to complete different action items, and is able to set aside their ego and be a team player. Projects might be small, day-to-day items requiring navigation, or larger events that involve many people, resources and high stakes.
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: efficient, orderly, articulate, friendly, inspiring, tenacious, analytical, hard working, clever, imaginative, visionary, trustworthy
Required Resources and Training: A strong organizer usually has checklists and time management tools to keep both herself and others on task, ensuring all pieces of the project are in place each step of the way. Experience can also be gained by volunteering under the leadership of a mentor will expose them to the many different factors that goes into organizing a project or event. Understanding a particular subject, industry or set of circumstances will require investigation and/or experience. For example, a planner for a climbing expedition must understand mountaineering and the particulars of a specific climb to ensure the right gear is obtained. They also need to understand potential hazards such as weather, terrain, and local animal dangers in order to plan what might be needed in an emergency (first aid medicines and supplies, a mode of communication such as a satellite phone, etc.). They would have also need to investigate guides to find the right match for the climb, plan and buy supplies for hydration and nutrition that are tailored for climbers, stay within a pack weight ratio and manage a budget. Without first understanding what climbing is like and what factors into a climbing expedition, planning properly would be difficult and mistakes could put participants at risk.
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- Tactical organization, when one must plan a single attack, prepare for war or defend one’s home and resources
- Planning an escape, when success depends on minimizing as much danger as possible
- Preparing one’s resources for survival (understanding how many pounds of meat is needed to survive the winter, or being prepared to take advantage of opportunities such as collecting rainfall, harvesting grain or vegetables at an optimal time) and then storing it effectively
- Managing money or resources
- Climbing the ladder at one’s workplace and being a go-getter
- Delegating jobs to people who one is in part responsible for, in order to give them hope when it is lost, make them feel valued or needed, or to collectively achieve a goal for the betterment of all
- In a leadership role, or any position that one has authority and responsibility
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.