Character Trait Entry: Just

Definition: believing in or pursuing what is morally right or good

Characters in Literature & Pop Culture: Robin Hood, Dumbledore, Reverend Mr. John Williams (The Scarlet Letter)

Clichés to Avoid: the self-righteous, hypocritical priest or pastor; the just character who bravely stands alone in his quest to right a wrong

Twists on the Traditional Just Character:  

▪ Just characters are usually bold and confrontational. How about a meek or wallflower-type person who is compelled to stand up for what’s right?

▪ People with a strong sense of right and wrong are often firmly convinced of their own rightness. It would be refreshing to see a just character who takes a stand on something, but struggles with his own convictions on the subject.

▪ The self-righteous just character has been done to death. There are so many other faults and flaws  that can realistically be applied. Break the cliché and come up with a new pairing of strength with weakness.

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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8 Responses to Character Trait Entry: Just

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

  2. Jack Dowden says:

    Man, I love this stuff. Thank you.

  3. Great post. I like the idea of thinking outside the box. You raised some very helpful points and I thank you.

  4. Ooo! I love this post. My main character is a “just” person, and you gave me a brilliant idea, turn her into “a meek or wallflower-type person who is compelled to stand up for what’s right?” She was standing up for what’s right, but not in the “right” way. Now she will. Love it!

  5. Ack! Javert is PERFECT!

  6. cleemckenzie says:

    Janet has added a great character to your list. I love it when characters who are interested in justice are also flawed and perhaps a bit unjust themselves. Kind of like they’re real people, right?

    Thanks for the post on characters.

  7. Great entry! Another character in pop culture is Javert from Les Miserables. 🙂

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