Definition: one who placates; one who seeks to divert conflict
Characters in Literature & Pop Culture: Mole (The Wind in the Willows), Susan (The Chronicles of Narnia), Bilbo (at the beginning of The Hobbit)
Clichés to Avoid: the meek, quiet, peacemaker; the wife/mother who runs interference between her husband and children
Twists on the Traditional Peacemaker:
- Because peacemakers want to placate others, they’re often soft-spoken and proper. What about a peacemaker who is loud and clumsy?
- Peacemakers are usually characters who are taken seriously: mothers, grandmothers, etc. To twist the cliché, give your peacemaker a humorous quirk, like extreme superstition. Or flatulence.
- Since they tend to avoid conflict, peacemakers are usually cast in the supporting role. It would be an interesting challenge to see a peacemaker as a hero who must embrace conflict to achieve a worthy goal
This sample, along with the rest of the character trait entries, has been expanded and streamlined into book form! Together, THE NEGATIVE TRAIT THESAURUS: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CHARACTER FLAWS and THE POSITIVE TRAIT THESAURUS: A WRITER’S GUIDE TO CHARACTER ATTRIBUTES contain over 200 character traits that can be referenced for your character creation efforts. 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. Print, digital, and PDF versions are available for purchase from a variety of distributors.
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.
this site says
You want to be agreeable, peaceful, natural and comfortable. More importantly, you want to be calm and, if at all possible, to avoid conflict. You see yourself as accepting, unassuming and laid-back. You would like others to see you as humble, easygoing and approachable. Your idealized image is that you are content and harmonious.
Theresa Milstein says
I’ve written a peacemaker protagonist, so this was interesting to read.
Becca Puglisi says
So glad this entry is a useful one. The more entries I do, the more astounded I am at the sheer number of traits that exist. With a little thought and creativity, we really should be able to make each character unique and one-of-a-kind.
Jemi Fraser says
You always find a way to make me laugh – flatulance did it for me this time!
Nerdy, fantasy twist to Peacemaker…name a hero’s weapon Peacemaker. I got the idea from Wyatt Earp’s gun – a Colt Peacemaker. Think of Perrin’s axe in Wheel of Time. He doesn’t like using, it’s not his first instinct, but when he does go to work with it to following silence could be called “peace”. The flame in the void.
Just popping in to say, keep ’em coming.
Jack Dowden says
Posts like these are the reason why I really like this site. I’ve learned a lot from entries like these, keep them coming!
Kathy Collier says
I own two copies of your book, “Emotion Thesaurus,” one for my nook and a hard copy, which I refer to quite frequently. I’m going to copy this and put it into my hard copy.
As a peacemaker, there comes a time when you have to make war in order to restore peace. I so agree with your ideas. Thanks.
Linda A. says
I am printing out this page to add in with my notes on a manuscript in progress. It will help me reshape one character. Thanks for sharing terrific tips.
Natalie Aguirre says
Great tips on twisting this character. I love how you do that. And I can relate to this trait. I’m kind of like that.