Apr 12, 2010

My Character Needs a Talent!!!

So I'm reading Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell (Genius I say! Pure Genius!) and I'm filling out this questionnaire about me. I thought to myself, I should do this for my MC too. Why not see how well I know her! (Considering I invented her!)

I get to the question "What are the things you (or in this case my MC) good at?


Total FAIL moment!


I mean Epic FAIL!!!


I've been working on this book for almost a year now (ok so half that year the book was still in my head and not on paper...but still!) and I cannot for the life of me come up with something my character is good at!


How is this possible?!?!


I went through all the skills and talents a person can have (Google is full of wonderful information) and could not for the life of me choose one that fit her personality.I mean how is being able to do that going to help my plot along??? Has anyone ever had this problem? Should not having a talent just be one of her quirks? Would it be strange to give her a talent that has nothing to do with the overall story?

What are your characters talents? I mean everyone needs to be good at something!

And on a totally unrelated note...
Netflix has the first 5 seasons of Bones in their Instant Que right now...I'm ADDICTED! (And I may or may not have a huge crush on Jack Hodgins....I mean just look at him!)

18 comments:

Tawnya said...

I LOVE Bones. As well as being really hot, he has another thing going for him, I will not ruin it for you!! If you want to know, I will tell...

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Okay, I want to be as talented as that girl. Heck! I'd be happy if I was a fraction as flexible as she is.

Good luck with the talent issue!

Rebecca said...

I think it would be fitting if she was a talented artist...in particular, drawing...she keeps a journal right...why not draw in it?!

Marybeth Poppins said...

Tawnya ... no no no! Don't tell me. Now I really want to keep watching!
Ok tell me what season I'll find out in...

Stina ... I'm not so sure I'd like to be that flexable...it looks like it would hurt.

Rebecca ... I considered that but one of my CP's MC is an artist and I don't want to be a copy cat. I have considered her being a writer...

Shannon O'Donnell said...

It doesn't have to be an artistic or usual talent. It could be something like holding her breath under water or decorating or a green thumb... :-)

Scott said...

My characters have to have talents? Gee, thanks Marybeth. You go away for 40 days and come back with this little gem! Thanks. Seriously, thanks!

Why does your character need a talent? I mean, yeah, I have a character who plays the piano, but I also have many characters who don't play the piano, tennis, write, sculpt, or do anything majorily talent-like. So, back to my question: why does your character need a talent? Will said talent make/break your story? Can you story survive with a talentless character? Is your character intelligent and ambitious? Does he/she know what they want out of life? Does their lack of talent mean there isn't a conflict in your story? A resolution? A beginning, middle, and end? If said character had a talent, what would be the impact to your story?

See what happens when you throw out such a dilemma on a Monday morning!

S

Jessica Nelson said...

Some people are too cute for their own good! LOL I can feel my own crush starting...

As for your character, hmmm, good luck with that! One of my characters is good at eavesdropping...no, actually, she gets caught so that means she's bad at it, right? Ha! I bet your character has a talent, you're just too close to her to see it.

Patti said...

I have to say I haven't thought about that. I don't think a character necessarily needs a talent.

Angie said...

Many talents aren't really the performing type, like being a good listener or having a lot of self-confidence or something. One of my MCs is a beautiful singer and talented pianist because that's what I needed for the story. I'm sure your MC is good at something, or she wouldn't be an MC right?

ajm said...

I don't know your MC's personality, but I think her talent should be yodeling. That just seems an interesting talent to me!

Marybeth Poppins said...

Oh Scott! What are you trying to do to me?

I must say though...yodeling does seem like a plausible talent!

Tawnya said...

I am not sure of the season... Acckk!! You might even know already. Do they talk about his family yet?

Jessica M. said...

Hi Hodgins. Licks.

Oops...wait, got distracted there for a moment. Sigh. I love Bones for oh so many reasons. lol

Talent-- She can touch her tongue to her nose! :)

Janna Qualman said...

I love doing stuff like that with my characters in mind!

I bet something will come to you, when you least expect it. Probably when you're drooling over Jack Hodgins.

Jonathon Arntson said...

My characters are amazing at sucking at everything.

Glynis said...

Bones is fantastic!

My MC (a Victorian girl), is a brilliant seamstress, she turns it into a business.

I think with her having a talent it helps me. When I am stuck for something to write, she goes to the market for lace/fabric etc. It sets me off on the right road again.

Brigitte said...

I much prefer about characters or people with hidden talents rather than artistic ones. Like, folding your tongue into a clover. Or bending your thumb strangely. Or licking your elbow!
Gives the reader a deeper look into his/her personality with a funny quirk. If that makes any sense!

xoxox
looking-glass-fables.blogspot.com

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

I have been wanting that book for a long long time now. I think I just might need to finally go get it this weekend.