Character Trait Entry: Affectionate

Definition: displaying fondness or tenderness through action and deed

Characters in Literature:
Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables); Mrs. Bucket (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory); Romeo and Juliet; Beth (Little Women)

Common Portrayals:
Kindly grandmothers, close sibling relationships, children with their parents; people and their pets; couples in love

Cliches to Avoid:
The fake Affectionate socialite, who acts one way in private but another in public,  bestowing air kisses and “Darling” platitudes for show only; the obsessive Affectionate who tries to win over the love of another, ignoring every rejection signal than comes his way; ‘baby talk’ between couples in the honeymoon stage of their relationship

Twists on the Traditional Affectionate Character:  

  •  Affectionate characters are energized and fulfilled through giving, loving and being open. Place a character with this trait in a high stake situation that requires the opposite: secretiveness, distance and reserved behavior.
  • Affectionate characters tend to go out of their way to not hurt or harm. What if to serve the greater good, this character needed to reject another, and not be gentle about it?
  • Place an affectionate charter into a situation where they must successfully work alongside someone who has directly hurt someone they deeply care about.

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.


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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, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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14 Responses to Character Trait Entry: Affectionate

  1. Pingback: Resources For Describing Characters | Stephanie Tillman

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

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  4. Love Anne of Green Gables. Diana was a great choice!

  5. I loved Anne of Green Gables! Great ideas here.

  6. Karen Lange says:

    Good stuff as usual! I like thinking of Diana as an example. For one thing, I love the story, and for another, it gives me a good image to ponder. Thanks a bunch!

  7. Leslie Rose says:

    Believe it or not, I’m reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time. Talk about a day late and a dollar short. Loving it. I just met Diana. I was thinking about Jane Eyre’s friend at the boarding school as someone oozing affection in an awful situation. Loss of brain cells prevents me from naming her.

  8. I could see good things and bad thing about having this character. But I think the inclusion would be great to play off of someone who’s the exact opposite.

  9. It makes for such a sweet character :3

  10. Definitely reminds me of Beth too. I love how you twist this. Great post.

  11. I think any boy with a kind heart and willingness to show it falls into this, Michael 🙂 And @Jemi, great one! I’ll add that!

  12. Jemi Fraser says:

    Reminds me of Beth of Little Women too 🙂

  13. Do bad boys with kind hearts fall into this category? I would guess so.

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