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.
Description: Negotiating with someone in order to agree upon a price
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: being able to read people, knowing the true value of a given product, not being easily intimidated
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: bold, uninhibited, confident, focused, persistent, persuasive…
Required Resources and Training: Anyone can haggle, but as with any skill, the more you do it, the better you get at it. This art can be perfected in places where haggling is common: flea markets, street kiosks, pawn shops, etc. It is also an expected practice in…
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: It’s assumed that good hagglers are often cheap or stingy because they refuse to give a penny more than they think an item is worth. Those who haggle well and often can be viewed as unethical, because they care only about…
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- When visiting a country or culture where haggling is common practice
- When money is scarce and every penny needs to be saved
- To keep from being hoodwinked by a cutthroat vendor or business person…
Resources for Further Information:
How to Haggle for Practically Anything
Related Talents and Skills: Reading people, the midas touch
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.
BECCA PUGLISI says
I’m the world’s WORST haggler. Luckily, my husband loves to do it and he’s good at it 🙂
Another great post, Becca 🙂 All I know is if I ever had to portray a person or scene that involved haggling, I’d simply have to think of my brother, the KING of haggling! lol And I think my son picked up some from him. Not sure how good that is. It’s OK if it keeps you from getting jipped, but beyond that *sigh*
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
When I was in Vietnam, my son was so good at haggling, because he was so respectful. I think too, there was something about his coloring that was quite attractive to women there, because they kept patting his cheek and asking if he had a girlfriend, if he wanted to meet their daughter/granddaughter/niece, etc. LOL it is amazing I left the country without a bride in tow for him.
Wow, that is VERY interesting, Angela! And funny, too 🙂 I can’t help but be curious what he was haggling over lol
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
It was mainly clothing and trinkets like chop stick sets and such. The ladies loved him, so halfway through the trip I just would tell Darian what I wanted to buy and to see what he could get it for, lol.
Well, obviously he’s a good-looking charmer. Key trait for good haggling with women 😉
ANGELA ACKERMAN says