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 read other peoples’ lips in order to understand what’s being said
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: good vision
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: focused, persistent, determined, observant, discerning
Required Resources and Training: Lip-reading is a skill that many hearing impaired individuals are able to do with accuracy. Their ability comes from a lifetime spent practicing. As with any other skill, once must practice reading others’ lips in order to become proficient at it.
Associated Stereotypes: those with impaired hearing
Associated Perceptions: When portrayed in fiction, lip-reading is often 100% accurate. But there are many factors that can make lip-reading difficult: the position of the person being read, the person moving around and making it difficult to see their lips, an obstruction that blocks the lips (a raised hand, food being brought to the mouth, someone with a cold who is always covering a cough or blowing their nose, etc.), a speech impediment that causes a person to form words in an unconventional way, a person speaking with a strong accent or dialect, etc.. These are things that can make lip-reading difficult; keep them in mind for ways to frustrate your hero and make it more difficult for him to attain his goal.
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful: For most story purposes, the lip-reader would want to be able to use his skill without being noticed, so it would be necessary for him to be able to do so from a distance. To meet this need, he might have excellent vision or utilize binoculars or a scope.
- When a spy needs to gain information while remaining unnoticed
- When someone wants to know what a peer or love interest thinks about her
- When a coach wants to know what plays an opposing team will be running
- When two people need to communicate without being seen or overheard
- When a detective or police officer is watching a suspect and wants know what is being said
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.