Character Trait Entry: Excitable

Definition: being easily roused into a state of excitement

Characters in Literature: Gilderoy Lockhart (HP and the Chamber of Secrets), Fflewddur Fflam (The Black Cauldron), Tigger

Common Portrayals: children, sidekicks, crackpots

Clichés to Avoid: the yes man who jumps eagerly into any adventure the hero suggests; the excitable character motivated by curiosity and the thirst for knowledge; the lap-dog-type sidekick who fawns after the hero with no discernible thoughts of his own

Twists on the Traditional Excitable Character: 

▪ Because these characters are often portrayed as mindless followers, give your excitable character a brain. Maybe he can see the foolishness or randomness of his actions, but he is compelled by some other reason to always leap without looking

▪ An excitable hero who doesn’t think for himself would make for an interesting journey and a story rife with trouble

▪ An excitable mentor would also create some serious conflict for the hero

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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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. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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8 years ago

I am looking for a good read for my vacation next month – this is right up my alley! Thanks to my old Girl Scout camp buddy Jane, I must check it out! Thanks, Jane!

sue frost
sue frost
8 years ago

I would love to win your book, sounds very interesting….

8 years ago

Immaturity and boredom causing excitement. True that.

Just a small correction. “a highly intelligence person” should be “a highly intelligent person”

that must have been a typo!

Becca Puglisi
8 years ago

Thanks Susanne!

Susanne Drazic
8 years ago

Shared a link to this post on Twitter and Facebook.
: )

8 years ago

Another great entry. Thanks, ladies!

8 years ago

Leslie, Lydia is an AWESOME example of an excitable character. Great addition!

And Victoria, the giveaway is up at Goodreads. Just click on the link to enter :).

Leslie S. Rose
8 years ago

Lydia Bennett from Pride and Prejudice popped right into my mind as the poster girl for excitable.

Victoria Scott
8 years ago

Oh, I so want to win the thesaurus. Let us know if you post the giveaway on GR. This could really help me!

8 years ago

Tigger is so perfectly excitable! Love it.

Also love that you use the word “chuffed”. 🙂

Traci Kenworth
8 years ago

Excitable, excitable, Tigger is that!!

Matthew MacNish
8 years ago

A nerdy, calculating type who was otherwise (emotionally) excitable would be an awesome twist. Thanks, Becca!

8 years ago

Oh, this is gonna be very helpful for something I’m writing now! Thank you!

Laura Pauling
8 years ago

Tigger is the perfect picture for this! I love the pictures you guys pick out! 🙂