A Treasury of Character Traits

I’ve yet to have a character come to me fully formed, with a worthy antagonist in one pocket and a brilliant character arc in the other. For me they start with a seed, a bit of dandelion fluff that floats in on tiny white wings and settles down, waiting for its chance to become a flower. Or a weed. 

I know they’ve taken root when I start thinking of my characters as real people. But until then I’m always looking for ways to germinate the seeds. I wrote about a few tools for character excavation in a previous post and have since added two new resources for unearthing truths about my characters-THE POSITIVE TRAIT THESAURUS and THE NEGATIVE TRAIT THESAURUS by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi.

* A large selection of attributes to choose from when building a personality profile. Each entry lists possible causes for why a trait might emerge, along with associated attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions
* Real character examples from literature, film, or television to show how an attribute drives actions and decisions, influences goals, and steers relationships
* Advice on using positive traits to immediately hook readers while avoiding common personality pitfalls
* Insight on human needs and morality, and how each determines the strengths that emerge in heroes and villains alike
* Information on the key role positive attributes play within the character arc, and how they’re vital to overcoming fatal flaws and achieving success
* Downloadable tools for organizing a character’s attributes and providing a deeper understanding of his past, his needs, and the emotional wounds he must overcome
* A vast collection of flaws to explore when building a character’s personality. Each entry includes possible causes, attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and related emotions
* Real examples from literature, film, or television to show how each flaw can create life challenges and relational friction
* Advice on building layered and memorable characters from the ground up
* An in-depth look at backstory, emotional wounds, and how pain warps a character’s view of himself and his world, influencing behavior and decision making
* A flaw-centric exploration of character arc, relationships, motivation, and basic needs
* Tips on how to best show a character’s flaws to readers while avoiding common pitfalls
* Downloadable tools to aid writers in character creation
You can also visit Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi’s website Writers Helping Writers for even more tools.  

I’m off to nurture that bit of fluff floating around my brain. Let me know if you have any cultivation tips to share!


I got the Positive Trait book for my birthday, and the Negative one is on its way to me from Amazon now. I love these books!

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