Character Traits Thesaurus: Talented

Definition: a marked innate ability

Characters in Literature: Peeta and Katniss, The Hunger Games (art/cake decorating and archery); Sam, The Lord of the Rings (gardening)

Common Portrayals: artists, musicians, athletes, fashion designers, chefs, dancers, authors, actors

Clichés to Avoid: the high school trifecta (talented, good-looking, and smart); the spoiled, entitled Talent; tortured artists; the Talent who is so into his gift, he’s completely out of touch with reality

Twists on the Traditional Talented Character: 

▪ Talent, by definition, is at least somewhat inborn. The grain of talent is there, but it is nurtured into fruition by hard work and dedication. How about the talent who really doesn’t have to work at it? This could provide some interesting conflict between him and his peers.

▪ Instead of talent being inborn, place your character in a society where talent can be chosen. See where that takes you.

▪ Talents are often strategically chosen to help a character achieve his goal. But what if a character’s talent is what makes success impossible? 

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.

 Thesaurus Pair


Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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14 Responses to Character Traits Thesaurus: Talented

  1. Pingback: Character Traits Thesaurus Collection | Writers Helping Writers

  2. Christopher says:

    The part where you state”But what if a character’s talent is what makes success impossible?”

    That is my exact character’s problem and it is psychological. Without going into my story and what it is about. It all has to do with his past. Success actually is his greatest fear for a specific reason.

  3. Sophia Chang says:

    Your Thesaurus series is simply amazing. Thank you so much for this; I’m combing it now for NaNoWriMo 🙂

  4. Great post. Every character has a talent. I love when they discover one they didn’t know they had.

  5. I so love that you went with Samwise Gamgee’s gardening. I literally never would have thought of that.

  6. I think this one is my favorite so far–there’s so much that can be done with it. Great twists, Becca!


  7. Jemi Fraser says:

    Great list! I think I need to add a talent of some kind to my male MC…

  8. What a terrific picture to show your point. When I think pure talent, I think Michael jackson! Thanks!

  9. Imagine what would happen if a character “chose” the wrong talent–now that could end badly!

    Another interesting post. 🙂

  10. Carol Riggs says:

    Good stuff! Nice reminders and descriptions. And thank you, now I have “Billy Jean, is not my lover…” going through my head. LOL

  11. Now this is a character trait I wouldn’t mind having! *grins*

  12. Aw love this post! What a pefect pic to describe talented.
    I grew up on MJ 🙂

  13. Brilliant as always!! Love the Peeta,
    Katniss, Sam,references. I was trying to think if I I do have a talented
    character in my current wip and I do!!
    An artist. This will come in handy.

  14. Another great post, ladies!

    I’m going to start working on my characterizations soon. Now I have a great list of traits to work from. 😀

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