Definition: unswerving in allegiance
Characters in Literature: Sam Gamgee (Lord of the Rings), Lloyd Henreid (The Stand), Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
Common Portrayals: soldiers, yes-men in the business world, cult members, best friends, the mafia
Clichés to Avoid: comparing someone’s loyalty to that of a dog, kissing the ring as a pledge of loyalty, criminals who choose prison or death rather than rather than rolling over on an accomplice
Twists on the Traditional Loyal Character:
▪ Instead of blind loyalty, show the conflict of a truly loyal person torn between supporting the one they love and adhering to another valued ideal (the truth, the law, another important relationship)
▪ Loyal characters tend to attract other loyal characters. Make life difficult for your character by pairing him with someone who does not value loyalty, or someone who is equally loyal to an opposing person or ideal.
▪ How about a loyal character who has another, equally strong character trait that makes it difficult for him to be loyal? (see below)
Build a worthy protagonist with a mix of unique strengths that will help him overcome obstacles and achieve meaningful goals.
This sample, along with the rest of the character trait entries, has been expanded into book form. Together, the bestselling NEGATIVE TRAIT THESAURUS: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CHARACTER FLAWS and POSITIVE TRAIT THESAURUS: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CHARACTER ATTRIBUTES contain over 200 traits for you to choose from when creating memorable, compelling characters. Each entry contains possible causes for the trait, as well as positive and negative aspects, traits in supporting characters that may cause conflict, and associated behaviors, attitudes, thoughts, and emotions. For more information on this bestselling book and where it can be found, please visit our bookstore.
Love working online and having your favorite description resources in one place? We’ve got you covered. The entries from the Positive Trait Thesaurus book have been integrated into our online library at One Stop For Writers. Now you can search and cross-reference between all our thesaurus collections quickly and easily. Interested in viewing a free sample? Register at One Stop and see all that this intuitive library for writers has to offer.
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.