350 Character Traits – A Fabulous Resource For Writers

350 Character Traits – A Fabulous Resource For Writers


Writers Write is a resource for writers. Use these lists to help you select the positive and negative character traits you need for your characters.

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.

350 Character Traits – A Fabulous Resource For Writers

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

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.

  1. An unreliable character might lose a job and the course of the story will change.
  2. A helpful character may inadvertently find out information when they are helping out.
  3. A romantic might start an affair and cause complications in their relationships.

Your characters could also aspire to be braver or more self-disciplined to improve their lives. Their selfishness and hostility will make sure this does not happen.

Have fun, and happy writing.

If you want to receive a free daily writing prompt, click here to join our mailing list.

If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

  1. The 4 Main Characters As Literary Devices
  2. 15 Questions Authors Should Ask Characters,
  3. 10 Things To Consider When Naming Characters,
  4. Creating Characters – Five Mistakes Beginner Writers Make
  5. 5 Ways Setting Affects Your Characters
  6. The 7 Critical Elements Of A Great Book
  7. 9 Literary Terms You Need To Know

by Amanda Patterson
© Amanda Patterson

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course or join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

This article has 7 comments

  1. sheils evans

    Tapping into this information is a lifeline when stuck in a mire. Thank you.

  2. Ken

    The information above is very useful, wish I had it when I wrote my first book

  3. Writers Write

    Thank you. We’re glad you liked it.

  4. Michael Graupner

    Thank you very much Amanda.

  5. Amanda Patterson

    Thank you.

  6. Jazz Riley

    To write is to give breath to words….to love is to give words of life to others.

  7. Joyce Moore

    This will help me as I write and find my voice. Thank you.

Comments are now closed.