Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Throwing One’s Voice

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. 

THROWING ONE’S VOICE ventriloquist

Description: also known as ventriloquism; the ability to change one’s voice to make it appear to be coming from someone or somewhere else

Interesting Origins: This ability was originally involved in religious practices. Ancient Greeks believed that the noises that came from one’s stomach were the voices of the unliving, who took up residence there. The ventriloquist was the interpreter of these voices, and so was believed to be able to converse with the dead and to foretell the future.

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: strong core muscles to enable one to breath correctly, good acting chops (since successfully throwing one’s voice relies heavily on listener perception)

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: disciplined, dedicated, sneaky, manipulative, dramatic, playful

Required Resources and Training: Throwing the voice requires utilizing the right muscles throughout the body, changing the way one typically would speak (via placement of the tongue, lips, etc.), and placing the voice in a different area of the throat than is normally used when talking. Basically, this ability requires learning to speak in a whole new way. It requires study, discipline, and lots and lots of practice.

Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: ventriloquists; fortune tellers and other scammers

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • when one needs to escape or throw an enemy off of one’s trail
  • to provide a distraction
  • to scare someone
  • to discredit or embarrass someone (by making people think that person is saying something he/she wouldn’t normally say)
  • to trap someone (by getting them to follow the sound of one’s voice)
  • for entertainment purposes

Similar Talents and Skills: Mimicry

Resources for Further Information:

Throw Your Voice Like a Ventriloquist

Ventriloquist Circle

 

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.

About BECCA PUGLISI

Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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8 Responses to Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Throwing One’s Voice

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  4. Useful tips. Has me re-thinking some of my characters.

  5. SJ Francis says:

    I really enjoy this post. It is true and insightful yet concise. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  6. Karen Blakely says:

    I’d love to be on your mailing list.

    • Hi, Karen. By mailing list, do you mean our newsletter, where you receive updates on our upcoming books and webinars? If so, you can sign up here. If you simply would like to receive blog posts via email, there’s a subscribe button on the left sidebar on the home page. 🙂

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