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.
Enhanced Taste Buds
Description: the ability to taste even the most subtle of flavors, and distinctly tell the difference between bitter, sweet, salty, sour and umami.
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: Enhanced taste buds have a genetic component, but anyone can learn to improve their range of taste. Having a love of food, a keen interest in nutrition…
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: focused, curious, attentive, unbiased, patient…
Required Resources and Training: People with a heightened sense of taste need to protect their taste buds through healthy choices. As smell affects taste, avoiding environments that have lots of scents and not wearing body sprays, perfume or aftershave will help keep one’s palette neutral. Avoiding bad habits like smoking, and foods that are…
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions:
- that people with sensitive taste buds are picky eaters
- that people with this talent avoid processed food, fast food and do not eat junk food because they are “snooty” about what they eat
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- excelling in the culinary industry (chef)
- the ability to pick up on flavors that should not be present (drugs, poison, etc.)
- being able to blend flavors and re-imagine food, inventing something new and earning fame
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!
Image: Artistlike @ pixabay
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.
Carleen M. Tjader says
Thanks for the very interesting post!
:Donna Marie says
I can tell you one thing, I’m all for the “not wearing fragrance” part, for sure. I’m chemically sensitive and fragrances ruin me in VERY big ways. They can shut down my day and certainly my brain.
As far as the taste buds aspect, the better restaurants don’t allow their staff to wear fragrance because, just as explained here, it affects the flavor of the food. This goes for patrons, too, but a lot of patrons don’t care or don’t think of it.