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: having unusual or extraordinary physical strength
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: being physically fit, being flexible
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: adventurous, ambitious, confident, disciplined, competitive
Required Resources and Training: As with most skills, strength is a natural ability that is enhanced with practice and exercise. A strong person who works out, eats well, and takes care of her body will become even stronger. To build upon one’s natural strength, a…
Associated Stereotypes: Super strength is usually associated with superheroes, but there are real people who are naturally stronger than others and are capable of extraordinary feats of strength. Typically, enhanced strength is portrayed as a male trait…
Associated Perceptions: When one thinks of an incredibly strong person, the image of a muscle-bound body builder comes to mind. But while many times that can be an accurate representation, strength can also come in smaller packages. Ample evidence exists of other factors that contribute to strength apart from muscle mass…
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- in a strength contest
- in a fistfight
- in a catastrophe, when heavy debris must be moved to pave a way or save someone’s life…
Resources for Further Information:
What Makes Someone Physically Stronger than Another Person of Equal Size?
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.
Ben Stoddard says
One thing that isn’t often explored is that those with super strength might have trouble controlling it. Maybe they crush a glass when they thought they were barely touching it, or breaking a door off its hinges by merely opening it too fast.
Anyway, great post.
Traci Kenworth says
Another great entry!!
:Donna Marie says
Love this 🙂 And what also came to mind for me was that type of “super strength” that is more cause-related. The kind that seems to rear itself in the face of an emergency or something of that nature. You know when you hear about something like a woman lifting a car off a trapped baby—those type things.
Hiten Vyas says
Another excellent article with practical ways of writing a character with supreme strength, and some great ideas for scenarios to put such a character in. Thank you.