Character Talents and Skills: Strong Breath Control

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. 

underwater
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. 

 STRONG BREATH CONTROL

Description: being able to control one’s breathing rate to allow one to survive without oxygen for longer periods of time.

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: having good physical health, strong cardio skills and being able to alter one’s heart rate using mind-body techniques. A practitioner skilled in this area must also be able to find their center of calm quickly, neutralizing fears and anxieties when they appear as a result of environmental changes, circumventing fight-or-flight responses tied to survival instinct. Enhanced willpower is also an asset.

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: calm, self-controlled, spiritual, steadfast, disciplined, tranquil

Required Resources and Training: a character with this skill would benefit from monitored breath-holding practice sessions as well as learning breathing techniques used in yoga. Becoming adept at meditation would be necessary, allowing one to quickly find the state of calm needed to control one’s breathing rate, especially in situations when things do not go as planned or an emergency unfolds.

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • characters who must go down to great depths in order to harvest food, repair or salvage something underwater, or collect resources if some kind
  • In surviving an event when breathing is restricted (being trapped in a sinking boat, being pulled under the snow during an avalanche, being locked in a room where no fresh oxygen is available, being pulled under by a riptide, etc.)
  • when freedivers and surfers must survive extended periods of time underwater
  • aiding magicians and escape artists in their tricks
  • when one must appear dead to escape scrutiny
  • if one’s breathing equipment is damaged and conserving oxygen is necessary for survival
  • helping a character survive navy training or help with training sessions on water search and rescue teams

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.

 

Image: TPSDave @ Pixabay

About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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10 Responses to Character Talents and Skills: Strong Breath Control

  1. Elizabeth Foster says:

    Just wanted to say thank you. I am finding this series of character skills and traits so useful in my writing, in terms of both sparking new ideas and fleshing out characters.

  2. :Donna Marie says:

    It brings me back to childhood when I used to be able to hold it much longer than now! Though, with chemical sensitivities, I hold my breath often when I’m out! This is an excellent trait to consider when writing, Angela. Thanks, as always 🙂

  3. Joe Plemon says:

    Strong breath control is a talent I have never considered in my own writing, but certainly one that saved Louis Zamperini’s life (in Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken”) when his rescue plane crashed. The book was non-fiction of course, but Hillenbrand’s comprehension of this skill is one factor in making Zamperini’s story so riveting.

  4. My nephew was a deep sea diver for the navy. He went down into some dangerous places and spaces. Can’t imagine.

    • And the training they have to do is just unbelievable, but they really need to develop a specific skill set to function well in the water, so it makes scene, but wow, not a career for the faint of heart. Very admirable of him to choose to put himself in such danger for his country.

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