The Writer’s Bookshelf: Recommended References and Writing Resources (Episode 30: Discussing “The Positive and Negative Trait Thesauruses” by Angela Ackerman & Bella Puglisi )

Title Image for The Writer’s Bookshelf Episode 30

Whenever you begin a story, you have to start with its first words. And those first words could be “Once upon a time,” or “Gone were the days,” or “Bubba ate shrimp all day long,” or any combination worth a million pages. But then what? Do you actually know your story yet? If you’re an explorer, then you may know it a little or maybe not at all. What about your character(s)? Does that princess live in a castle or a high-rise? Does your aging detective still have a job? Does your buddy character eat anything other than shrimp?

You may not have the answers to everything at the beginning, and maybe you don’t want to. But you’re gonna have to know those characters eventually, and what better way to understand them than to study their potential traits?

Is that aging detective amiable or cranky? Is he industrious or lazy? Resourceful or irresponsible? At some point you’ll need to know, and what better time to find out than right now?

Welcome back to The Writer’s Bookshelf. This week we’re covering not one, but two guides that can help you get to know your characters better before you even write, “These were the best of times, but they were also just the worst.” The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Bella Puglisi are just the books you need for your bookshelf if you want to create believable characters with identifiable attributes that are accurate and conflict-driven.

Check them out at the links below, and check out my companion video where I discuss them in greater detail. Don’t forget to let us know what you think.

The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes

by Angela Ackerman & Bella Puglisi


Amazon Metadata:

·  Paperback: 252 pages

·  ISBN-10: 0989772519

·  ISBN-13: 978-0989772518

·  Publisher: JADD Publishing (October 3, 2013)

The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws

by Angela Ackerman & Bella Puglisi


Amazon Metadata:

·  Paperback: 270 pages

·  ISBN-10: 0989772500

·  ISBN-13: 978-0989772501

·  Publisher: JADD Publishing (September 24, 2013)

Note: These books and other thesauruses by Angela Ackerman and Bella Puglisi contain entries that can also be checked online via their database of definitions at One Stop for Writers. This service not only contains the same entries that you can find within these books, but they have additional categories exclusive to the service (like weather and color thesauruses), as well as a character creator that allows you to integrate traits, emotional wounds, etc. directly into character creation. If you’re an industrious writer who likes to know his or her character before writing about him, then check it out.

Check out other entries in the Writer’s Bookshelf series here.

Don’t forget to like, subscribe, comment, and do all of the things that convince me you like this kind of information and want more like it.

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