24 Traits to Show How Your Characters Think

“People generally agree that each individual is a unique blend of traits that serve to satisfy basic wants and needs according to one’s moral code.” — Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

by Famend
by Famend

Let’s have fun.

I have Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi’s writer’s resource, The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes. I chose 24 character traits from their list and wrote thoughts the characters with these traits might think.

For each set below, can you match the thoughts of these characters at a party to their traits? My Answers are in the comments.

Match the Thought to the Character Trait

by Openclipartvectors
by Openclipartvectors

 Set 1 

 

Thoughts

 

Traits

A

Jerry’s drinking too much. I’ll ask him to take a look at my car’s starter problem. Get him away from the party.

   1

Innocent

B

I wish Erin wouldn’t praise me for how much I helped her with the party. Lots of people helped.

   2

Ambitious

C

I wish John would stop holding the bungee rope or instructing me. I know how to gear up.

   3

Introvert

D

Man, it’s crowded. Maybe we can leave early. Oh, oh. Here comes chatty Pam. Time to visit the restroom.

   4

Patient

E

Best make sure guests know exactly what they’re supposed to do in Fictionary. Is that lint on my skirt?

   5

Humble

F

Why is Cassie upset? I’m sure John danced with Candy just to be polite.

   6

Diplomatic

G

Forget the chitchat. Let’s see how many more prizes we can win than Anthony.

   7

Meticulous

H

Anthony butted in line. Oh well, let him. I’m in no rush.

   8

Independent

 

by bungeeinternational10
by bungeeinternational10

Set 2

 

Thoughts

 

Traits

I

Jill has goosebumps. I’ll take her sweater to her. And give her my cherry pie recipe. Her nieces will love it.

  9

 Honest

J

I’ll collect cups on the way to the kitchen and store the leftovers in the containers I brought with me.

  10

 Bold

K

I must tell Erin she reimbursed me too much for the shrimp.

  11

 Extroverted

L

Great! They have bungee jumping. I’ve never done that before. Let’s do it.

  12

 Quirky

M

I’ll sing my Fictionary definition. And I’ll add some cha-cha-cha to that dance as boring as a waltz.

  13

 Easygoing

N

We’re here! There’s Jill from my painting class. I want to talk to Cass. Got my ballet flats on. Let’s all dance.

  14

 Organized

O

I bet if I ask, Erin will let us sit at the head of the table.

  15

 Nurturing

P

Whichever event Pam wants to do is OK by me.

  16

 Adventurous

by EVA8-8008
by EVA8-800

 Set 3

 

Thoughts

 

Traits

Q

Meatballs would’ve done as well as the shrimp. No wonder Erin and Ralph are in debt.

   17

 Analytical

R

If Candy comes over, I’ll stay courteous but neutral. I have to fire her, but I’ll do it tactfully on Monday.

   18

 Charming

S

Look. Each person takes one minute in the food line. If we play Fictionary for an hour, we can avoid the line.

   19

 Patriotic

T

Who’s that with Lisa? I don’t recall inviting him. Lisa is vulnerable. I’d better join them.

  20

Professional

U

When Tim moves to the food, I’ll happen to cross his path and ask his advice on IRAs. I’ll touch my lips.

   21

 Protective

V

Beth wore holey jeans to a party? And why’d Tom try to recruit my son? Upholstery is our family business.

  22

 Flirtatious

W

Jerry should live somewhere else if he doesn’t like how things are done in this country.

  23

 Thrifty

X

Let me help Pam with her coat. Great dress Sylvia’s wearing. I’ll tell her. Mark could use one of my jokes.

  24

 Traditional

Thoughts that characters with specific traits would think. Click to tweet.

What might a loyal character think at the party?

10 thoughts on “24 Traits to Show How Your Characters Think

  1. Zoe here. Answers:
    SET 1: A6, B5, C8, D3, E7, F1, G2, H4
    SET 2: I15, J14, K9, L16, M12, N11, O10, P13
    SET 3: Q23, R20, S17, T21, U22, V24, W19, X18

     
     
  2. I love this book! I have all these thesauruses and I always forget to use them. Thanks for the reminder. They are excellent resources. I highly recommend!

     
     
    1. Karla, I will definitely use them more. I like the Flip Dictionary too.

       
       
      1. I love the Flip Dictionary, too!

         
         
  3. Janet K Brown (@janetkbrowntx)

    Great exercise. I had fun trying to figure it out. Then, I realized I was learning at the same time. Good job.

     
     
    1. Hi Janet, I learned a lot writing the thoughts. I plan to use The Positive Trait Thesaurus more.

       
       
  4. gkittleson

    You’re right, this is fun Zoe, and instructive. Thanks!

     
     
    1. I’m glad you had fun, Gail. I remember liking to draw lines to the right matches in elementary school.

       
       
  5. angelaackerman1

    This is brilliant! What fun, and great job. Doing this is a great exercise to getting into you’re character’s mindset! 🙂

     
     
    1. Hi Angela, thanks for stopping in. Your and Becca’s books have a wealth of good information.

       
       

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