Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Knowledge of Explosives

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. 

Knowledge of Explosives


Alexandre Dulaunoy @ Creative Commons

Description: Having knowledge of and experience with creating and detonating explosive devices

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: knowledge of chemistry, steady hands, dexterity

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: cautious, patient, alert, calm, focused, meticulous, sensible, passionate

Required Resources and Training: Many amateurs in the field of explosives are self-taught, garnering information from the internet and from books on the subject. Others gain experience through an apprenticeship of sorts, learning about explosives in a hands-on fashion by watching and working with an expert. For those seeking a more credible education, courses are offered by government agencies, mining corporations, and other professional organizations.

Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: terrorists, anarchists, paranoid types, SWAT team members, military and ex-military personnel

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful

  • when a building needs to be demolished
  • when one needs to cut off access to an area (by destroying a street, establishing an immediate roadblock, etc.)
  • when one wants to kill large numbers of people
  • when one needs to disarm or disable an explosive device
  • when a diversionary tactic is needed
  • for a career in mining
  • for blasting rock in a quarry
  • for building roads (blasting through hills and mountains)
  • in combat

Related Talents and Skills: hot-wiring a car, mechanically minded, survival skills

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.


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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7 Responses to Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Knowledge of Explosives

  1. Julie Musil says:

    It cracks me up that we writers can have so much fun with stuff like this. Thanks for the information. *boom*

  2. Pingback: Monday Must-Reads [12.08.14]

  3. Lyn C says:

    I so want a whole book on this 🙂

  4. :Donna Marie says:

    I don’t know why, but I always think of a door being blasted, then the lock on a safe 🙂 Great stuff, as always!

  5. I would not have the nerves for this!! Thankful other professionals do though!!

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