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.
A KNACK FOR MAKING MONEY
Description: the ability to multiply one’s money; having a knack for making money. Most people with this talent have a bent toward the business arena. Many are entrepreneurial by nature and, without any education or formal experience at all…
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: being able to quickly and accurately size up an opportunity, seeing opportunity where others see nothing, being good at math
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: disciplined, self-control, shrewd, patient, greedy, risk-taking, ambitious…
Required Resources and Training: Many people with this gift can be found making money at an early age through entrepreneurial enterprises without any resources or training to speak of. As they grow older, they either increase their knowledge through…
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: investors, entrepreneurs, business moguls. People with this skill are often portrayed as being greedy and caring first and foremost about money. They’re often perceived as materialistic with a shaky moral code.
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- a situation where the hero is in need of money
- if someone needs to disappear or start a new life but needs to be able to support himself
- to support the lifestyle one has become accustomed to living…
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!
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.
Rosi Hollinbeck says
I’d rather have the Midas touch than write about people with it. 😎 Thanks for another useful post.
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
haha, me too!
Traci Kenworth says
A great trait to have!!
:Donna Marie says
Another great entry, Becca 🙂 I can’t remember if anyone asked, but are you intending to compile all these “Talents and Skills” posts into a printed thesaurus?
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
Not sure. I think it will have to depend on whether enough people would be interested in seeing this thesaurus become a book. All of these conversions take a lot of time and research for us to do properly, so we want to make sure content with the widest appeal is what we focus on first. 🙂
:Donna Marie says