L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Amanda Patterson

Use these lists of 350 character traits to help you select the positive and negative traits you need for the characters in your stories.

What Is A Character Trait?

A trait is a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person. It can be a genetically determined characteristic.

Traits are formed by a person’s behaviour and attitude to others. We all have good and bad character traits and we should remember this when we describe people.

Some synonyms used for the word ‘trait’ are: attribute, characteristic, feature, particularity, peculiarity, quality.

Tips For Including Character Traits

Even if you adore your protagonist and loathe your antagonist, it is important to remember that nobody is perfectly good, or perfectly evil.

Every character will have positive and negative personality traits. Make sure you have created real people rather than caricatures by giving your cast a selection of both.

Include them when you complete the character questionnaires for your fictional creations.

[Use our Character Creation Kit to create great characters for your stories.]

How To Use Character Traits In Plotting

When you know what your characters’ traits are, you can use this to add to or to change your plot.

Examples

  1. An unreliable character might lose a job and the course of the story will change.
  2. A helpful or scrupulous character may inadvertently find out information when they are lending a hand. This information could create conflict and might force them to act or react.
  3. A romantic might start an affair and cause complications in their relationships. This could be the inciting moment for a story.
  4. A selfish person may want to be more dependable and self-disciplined, but this trait could prevent them from achieving this. You can use this to create internal conflict in your characters.
  5. A hostile character may want to be included in society to improve their life, but their anger will ensure this does not happen.

350 Character Traits – A Fabulous Resource For Writers

We hope these lists help you choose the negative and positive character traits you will need in your books.

175 Negative Character Traits - A Fabulous Resource For Writers
175 Positive Character Traits - A Fabulous Resource For Writers

Enjoy developing character traits. Have fun, and happy writing.

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