Definition: Resourcefulness marked by inventiveness or originality
Characters in Literature: Master Kronos (The Cabinet of Wonders); Nin Redstone (Seven Sorcerers); Hansel & Gretel (Hansel & Gretel)
Common Portrayals: Thieves, inventors, lawyers, criminals, pick pockets, con artists
Clichés to Avoid: Clever antics bordering on either risky or absurd, yet they still succeed
Twists on the Traditional Clever Character:
- Trip your clever character up by using his ego and focus level against him. Have the antagonist direct his attention to a red herring task in order to distract him from the real danger.
- Nothing stirs up trouble like a little competition. Great things happen when two clever protagonists friends face off with only one winner…but what if losing means something dire or dangerous, something neither wants the other to pay?
- Is cleverness innate, or learned? Put your amnesiac clever character in a situation where free thinking is discouraged and find out!
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.