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.
TALKING WITH THE DEAD
Description: the ability to communicate with those who have passed on, and if asked, convey messages between the living and dead
Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: being a qualified medium (having the ability to tune into the specific spirit energy of a person to see the past, present and future) or having strong psychic and/or intuitive abilities, living a clean lifestyle to become more receptive…
Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: compassion, empathy, intuitive, focused, relaxed, intelligent, intrepid…
Required Resources and Training: while a certain amount of this ability would come from a natural talent, learning how to focus that talent would likely require a mentor (another medium) who could guide the character in learning meditation and focusing skills. A quiet environment (a place of peace) would help one learn this focus and how to…
Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions:
- Some believe that mediums and psychics are real, others do not. Of those that do, it is widely accepted that while true mediums exist, so do frauds
Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:
- speaking with past generations to collect their knowledge
- having the deceased’s help regarding an event that caused great disruption (a king who died under mysterious circumstances, finding the location of an important document or will, or getting details from a girl who was kidnapped and murdered to find her body or track down her killer, etc.)
- personal guidance in spiritual matters and gaining insight on what will come after death…
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: PeterDargatz @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.