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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Workout: Hidden Talents

Middle English, from Old English talente, from Latin talenta, plural of talentum unit of weight or money, from Greek talanton pan of a scale, weight; akin to Greek tlēnai to bear; in senses 2–5, from the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14–30
1 a: any of several ancient units of weight b: a unit of value equal to the value of a talent of gold or silver
archaic : a characteristic feature, aptitude, or disposition of a person or animal
: the natural endowments of a person
4 a
: a special often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude b: general intelligence or mental power : ability
: a person of talent or a group of persons of talent in a field or activity

The concept of a hidden talent is not new. Whether you're familiar with the Christian parable or you've watched a talent search TV show you know that talent comes in many unexpected forms.

But people tend to flub up is failing to add new talents to their repertoire, or even admitting that they could develop a new talent.

Without a variety of talents to draw on a writer gets stuck with the classic conundrum of the Flat Character.

To give your characters dimension and differentiate them in the mind of your readers they need to be unique in some way. Giving a character talents makes them unique. Understanding those talents makes you a better writer, and a happier person.

It's a win-win situation!

Pick a new talent and develop it for the month of June.

I've incorporated several of my favorite hobbies into writing: yoga, SCUBA diving, cooking...

But I have one character who draws, and I can't even make a decent stick figure. My character pulls out sketch pads every time he needs to think. He does quick pencil sketches of victims, suspects, scenary, whatever he needs to focus on.

I admire the talent, but my descriptions are limited because I don't have the talent.

So, for the month of June (and possibly longer) I am equipping myself with a pencil, a pad of paper, and a tutorial on stick figures with the hope of being able to draw something other than a five petal flowers by the end of the month.

What talent are you going to develop and why?

Flat Iron picture courtesy of and copyright to freefoto.com


  1. I'm going to develop the talent of clothesmaking. I can sew a little, and have made 1 skirt. But I really want to finish the 4 skirts, 3 tops in the wings...and work on my quilts. In a wip that I won't touch for a long while, the characters can sew and the entire spy guild is based around the craft.

  2. I'm going to develop the talent of sleeping in. My kiddos are finally out of school - hurray for summer!

  3. I'm going to develop the talent of praying and healing! Along with starting a new WIP!

  4. Yuna- Sewing is fun! You'll enjoy it.

    Tess- I wish I could develop that talent. Maybe when the kids are older...

    T.Anne- Sounds like you have a full plate! Good luck!

  5. I enjoy it already...I just need to fit it into life :)