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: Being skilled at getting people to confide in you
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: being able to read people well, being a good listener, having a knack for making people feel comfortable and at ease
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: attentive, nurturing, discerning, observant, charming, perceptive, alert, tactful, empathetic, persuasive, devious, manipulative, hypocritical
Required Resources and Training: Being a confidant is more of a natural gift than a trained skill. There are just some people that others feel at ease with; people instinctively trust them and feel comfortable sharing their private feelings. Some confidants humbly acknowledge this skill and use it to help others. Others see a weakness that can be exploited and use their talents to take advantage of those who too easily misplace their trust.
Associated Stereotypes: grandmothers, aunts, and other maternal types; the quiet member of a girl clique; therapists and psychologists; con-artists; Svengalis and other controlling figures
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- when a character has a secret that needs to be revealed to readers
- when your character needs information that someone else has
- when a character needs to bribe or blackmail someone
- when a character has a Savior complex and wants to help others
- when a character desperately needs to be needed
- when the information shared, even out-of-the-blue, offers incite into the main character’s weakness or overall problem
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.