Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)
Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings)
Skeeter Phelan (The Help)
Can you match the literary character with his or her talent? If you’ve read the books, chances are that you can. Characters are unique and memorable not only because of their individual mixtures of positive attributes and flaws, but also because of their personal likes and dislikes, their hobbies, and their talents and skills.
Talents and skills can serve many literary purposes. They can give insight into the kind of person a character is, showing her to be competitive, creative, whimsical, or resourceful. These specialized areas can add depth to a story if they end up contributing to the hero’s success. They also play a part in reader likability, since we’re often drawn to people who are talented or skilled in some way.
In an effort to help you create well-rounded and interesting characters, we’ve decided that our next online thesaurus should highlight talents and skills. With so many to choose from, this thesaurus will be extensive, covering abilities that fall into the domestic, medieval, sports, survival and outdoor, fine arts, and paranormal categories, among others. Each entry will give a brief overview, including a description, physical or mental strengths and abilities that are necessary, character traits that are well suited to the talent or skill, necessary training, and drawbacks or negatives that may be associated. We will also suggest helpful online resources that offer more specialized information on the talent in question, to aid in your fact-gathering efforts.
We plan to introduce a new talent or skill every Saturday, with the occasional Thursday entry thrown in as needed. You can check out our FULL LIST here and for more descriptive help for Setting, Symbolism, Character Traits, Physical Attributes, Emotions, Weather and more, check out our Thesaurus Collections page.
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.
Tracy Campbell says
Hi Becca and Angela,
You gals amaze me. I’m planning a middle grade book at the moment about a girl who loves to sew. Any chance of posting about sewing? Loved this baking one. 🙂
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Release date coming soon. Congratulations. Interesting new idea. I will be watching.
Susanne Drazic says
Sounds great! You are both awesome. : )
Kathy Steinemann says
I refer to “The Emotion Thesaurus” often. It appeals to a broad range of writers.
Good luck with the new project! It sounds like another excellent resource.
What a fantastic idea!
Angela Ackerman says
Thanks everyone! We are super excited about this new Thesaurus and hope it’ll be hugely helpful. 🙂
S.P. Bowers says
A talent thesaurus sounds cool. I recently had to do a bit of research into self defense using a knife which is a skill my MC has. Not one of my skills so I was working blind.
Natalie Aguirre says
Sounds awesome! Thanks for all the help with our writing.
Kristin Nador says
Very exciting! Thanks for all your hard work. 🙂
Brilliant ideas. Can’t wait to see it.
Michelle Gregory says
cool. you two are a fountain of knowledge.