Talent & Skills Entry: Making People Laugh

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, wakeboarding, 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. 

funnyDescription: Some people have a natural sense of humor that appeals greatly to others. It might be in part due to how they dress or act, jokes they tell or their ability to see humor in the every day. Whatever the source, they are able to convey their viewpoint with others, sharing the joke and spreading laughter all around.  Some refine this talent to become…

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: having a quick wit, thinking on one’s feet, an ability to mimic other people’s mannerisms or voices, having control over one’s facial expressions and movements, a good sense of timing, strong…

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: observant, intelligence, easygoing, creative, immaturity, adaptable, uninhibited…

Required Resources and Training: Being naturally funny isn’t a skill that can be learned, but it can be honed. Understanding what people find funny, learning to speak in public and in front of groups to gain confidence and studying other comedians and what…

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • providing comic relief to diffuse situations where aggression could lead to violence
  • distracting people from worry or fear when they have no control over an outcome
  • encouraging people to lighten up and have fun at events…

Difficult Scenarios For People With This Skill:

  • Judging what people will or won’t find humorous
  • Trying to be funny around those who are overly serious or easily offended
  • Squashing the desire to share a funny observation when it’s an inappropriate time…

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!

photo credit: greyloch via photopin cc


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.
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Nadezhda Seiler
6 years ago

Humor is great–always!

Monday Must-Reads [03/17/14]
6 years ago

[…] Talent & Skills Entry: Making People Laugh | WRITERS HELPING WRITERSWRITERS HELPING WRITERS […]

6 years ago

Great stuff, as usual. Very useful and helpful. Thanks for all your great tips.

Traci Kenworth
6 years ago

Luckily, my characters are often funny without me even trying to be, my crit group/beta readers have told me. I honestly don’t try and work at being funny because I think it falls flat if I do.

Catherine A. Winn
Catherine A. Winn
6 years ago
Reply to  Traci Kenworth

That is such a great natural talent and ability. I have to work at being funny then worry that it’s not!

C. Lee McKenzie
C. Lee McKenzie
6 years ago

I love to read about characters with a great sense of humor, especially if the writer gives them some LOL dialogue.

Thanks for the tips. As always they’re great.