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Friday, July 8, 2011


The definition of talent, as defined by, is a special natural ability or aptitude: a talent for drawing. WikiHow describes talent as being different that skills, in that they tend to be innate rather than learned. They go on to say that these talents can then be developed further through practice and work. One of the interesting things that they point out is that they can be tricky to find but with honest self-observation it is possible. I think the key word is honest.

They give some step by step instructions on how to find these talents here.

1.       Think about what you love to do.
2.       Play: experiment, explore, try a variety of things etc…
3.       Take some personality tests.
4.       Learn about your learning style.
5.       Notice what others say about you.
6.       Consider your interests.
7.       Notice what you’re not good at, too.
8.       Keep a journal.
9.       Practice practice practice…
10.   Share your talent with others.
11.   Use your talent.

I can’t remember a time in all of my class of psychology in which we ever talked about talents. We do talk about focusing on what people are good at though. I think that a person’s talents is what will bring them the most joy in this life and bring them a feeling of fulfillment when they feel they are truly good at something. I also think that we all have talents some more than others.

Our characters also have talents that define them and make them who they are. Remember the practice part, our characters need to practice as well. I always see the big things they practice at like magic or sword play, but what about the smaller talents like carving or whistling. We can make our characters have so much more depth by pointing out the little things they do as they sit around the campfire or they are walking through the forest.

What are some of the little talents your characters have? How did they discover them? How do you show the reader their talents?

Also check out the critique done on my query letter it looks like I have a long way to go. Thanks to all of you have helped me with this and I hope that it has been helpful to you as well.


  1. Hmmm!!!

    Interesting!! I remember a quote which I read long back .. it says .. "I compensate for what I lack in talent .. by hard-work and dedication"

    with warm regards
    Anotehr Author

  2. nice...i used to teach a class a while back helping others discover their passions and helped gain insight into themselves, but also built for me the need for characters to explore those to gain depth

  3. Excellent analysis and advice here, Josh. Thanks!

  4. I love how you keep pointing out all of these little things, like talents, that help ground our character. I never thought of adding a talent to a character that doesn't apply to the plot line. But these talents are a great way of developing the character and giving them depth.

  5. Hmmm, interesting question. One of my characters talents is the meanings of names; another is emotional blackmail. ;o)

  6. I had the talent for piano playing from the age of 2 yrs, I began to have lessons at 4 and went on to pass many examinations. The I fell in love I gave up the piano but it is one I bitterly regret , I can play the keyboard but to me nothing compares to my piano.
    Then after my berevements discovered I could write poetry, just to put m,y feelings down was a great relief, now I write for the joy I get from it.

  7. I think talents is a great thing to bring up about characters, and in some cases could be the base for the entire story! Very profound! :)

  8. I agree with Emily, it's great how much depth you are adding to characters, making them so much more real.

  9. I remember growing up, and at church, everyone was so musically inclined. They could all sing. They could all play an instrument. Not me. To be honest, I felt totally worthless. But now I realize that even though I am not talented musically, I may be talented in some other ways. In what ways? To be honest, I'm not sure.

  10. Haven't given it much thought, but I love the idea of focusing on characters' talents. Also thank you for publishing the critique. Wow. instructive.

  11. Talents ... what a great thing to point out. We think about that a lot for our own lives, but forget that talents are one of those things that give our characters likability and depth.


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