Definition: liberal in giving; bighearted
Characters in Literature: Santa Claus; Geppetto (Pinocchio); Fezziwig (A Christmas Carol)
Common Portrayals: The kindly grandmother, the neighbor who provides for everyone on her street, the wealthy philanthropist, church pastors & ladies’ groups; charitable organizations (the salvation army, etc)
Clichés to Avoid: Having a ‘heart of gold’
Twists on the Traditional Generous Character:
- An interesting bit of conflict with generous people is when they feel pulled in separate directions by opposing needs. Put your generous character in a position where they must choose who to help, and that inner turmoil at feeling that they are letting down the other party.
- Generous people have dreams and desires too. What happens when a dream conflicts with the needs of others? Does your generous character sacrifice the dream for the greater good, or for once, choose self-fulfillment?
- Consider an environment where a generous person is continually taken advantage of. How does it affect them–do they bend, or break?
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.
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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, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.