As writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer.
When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wake-boarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story.
Description: detailed tailoring of clothing or assimilation of cloth using a sewing machine or needle. Sewing is one of the oldest textile arts, with needles being fashioned by ivory, antler and bone in early times, using thread made from veins and sinew. Sewing is a hobby to some, a skill for mending and re-purposing one’s family’s clothing to others, as…
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: Strong eyesight, good hand-eye coordination, steady hands, strong attention to detail, calloused fingers
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: Focused, meticulousness, creative, calm, efficient, thrifty, patient
Required Resources and Training: Depending on the type of sewing, training and tools of the trade will differ. At bare minimum, a character requires a needle, thread and cloth to bind, but pins, a dressmaker’s measuring tape, scissors, a sewing machine, access…
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions:
- That people who sew are women & homemakers
- Those who sew have patience and are quiet and thoughtful
- Sewers are unskilled or unsuited for more athletic or educational pursuits pursuits…
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- In an isolated environment when someone is hurt and hospital care is not readily available
- When a fashion disaster hits and time is short
- If one makes one’s own clothing, either by choice our out of financial necessity…
Talents and skills not only make our characters stand out, they often help them attain their goals. So choosing them strategically can greatly enhance both the character and the story.
If this is something you’d like to learn more about, you can find the entries in their entirety at One Stop For Writers, where all our thesauruses are cross-referenced and linked for easy navigation. If you’re interested in seeing a free sampling of the Talent and Skill Thesaurus and our other descriptive collections, head on over and register at One Stop!
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.