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

4.59  ·  Rating Details ·  811 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Character creation can be hard, but it’s about to get a lot easier. Inside The Positive Trait Thesaurus, you’ll find:

* A large selection of attributes to choose from when building a personality profile. Each entry lists possible causes for why a trait might emerge, along with associated attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions
* Real character examples from literature,
Paperback, 241 pages
Published October 21st 2013 by JADD Publishing (first published October 13th 2013)
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K.M. Weiland
Oct 17, 2013 K.M. Weiland rated it it was amazing
At its heart, this is, of course, a reference manual. Ninety-five percent of the book offers an incredibly detailed list of possible positive attributes for writers to consider and assign to their characters. But this is so much more than just a list. The authors have analyzed, categorized, contrasted, and brainstormed a tremendous resource for authors to use in not just slapping traits onto their characters, but in considering the story-wide ramifications of those choices.

The fantastic resource
Nov 26, 2013 Jami rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All fiction writers
I love Angela and Becca’s The Emotion Thesaurus, so I had high hopes for their new Trait books but didn't see how they could live up to the ET. I’m happy to say I was wrong. These two additions are fantastic resources for writers.

The Positive Trait Thesaurus leads off with helpful tips on writing characters worth rooting for and then dives into the psychological background on how positive traits develop and how we can use them in a character arc. A section even shares how villains can have posit
Laura L. Weller
Mar 05, 2014 Laura L. Weller rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
I'm a fan of the Emotional Thesaurus and was impressed with the additional books and the approach to character building, although I puzzled over the two volumes. After reading them both, I underestand there the distinct philosophies of character biographies. It's more than just the flip of a pancake between pro and con behaviors. I'm starting a new YA (two, actually) and easily tried out the suggestions and didn't use every exercise, but the approach shortened my laboratory frankensstein moments ...more
Tricia Skinner
Dec 28, 2014 Tricia Skinner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
brilliant and relevant

Before jumping in and flipping to specific traits, I took time to read through the beginning and then through each trait. I gained the most overall knowledge of traits for various characters in my current manuscript as well as many for future projects. This collection is a worthy companion book in the series. I've enjoyed it!
Jan 17, 2014 Rose rated it it was amazing
Review to come. Immensely helpful, and definitely a great companion read to "The Negative Trait Thesaurus."
Allie Penn
Dec 07, 2016 Allie Penn rated it it was amazing
Another great guide from Angela and Becca! I recommend reading this along with The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws or right after each other.

Includes: writing advice from the authors, positive traits list (possible causes; associated behaviors, thoughts, and emotions; positive and negative aspects of the trait; examples from literature; traits in supporting characters that may cause conflict; challenging scenarios for the character), a character profile questionnai
Laura Kreitzer
Oct 11, 2013 Laura Kreitzer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, 2013, non-fiction
These two authors continue to hit it out of the park with their wonderful writing ideas. They've helped me develop well-rounded characters with complex story lines, introduced me to new ways of writing, and have inspired me in so many ways. I hope they continue to publish more writing books--I'll buy every single one of them!
Jan 27, 2016 Mercedes rated it it was amazing
Great book for authors
Mary McCoy-Dressel
Jun 21, 2014 Mary McCoy-Dressel rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book filled with great information for writers. A book to be read and studied over and over again. An excellent tool.
Jun 06, 2017 Chandreyee rated it it was amazing
I have read many books that are wonderful resources for writers, amateurs to professionals, and this is certainly one of the best. Strengths make us stick with the character, make us obliged to see their journey, and Angela and Becca do us a great favour (as always) in bringing to us this marvel of a help. They save us the trouble of humongous research (for those who want to be authentic to the story and its characters) by presenting this thesaurus, which is all that and much more.

Don't be misg
Jun 22, 2017 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
This book - a long with all the other books in the writer helping writer series - is probebly the best investment I have made when it comes to my career in story telling.

A strong character makes a book. In fact - if your plot is nothing more than a delivery driver delivering a TV to someone's house and you have a proteagenist with depth and a well throughout supporting character or two, I would read the absolute shit out of your book.

I would highly recommend these series to any writer who's seri
Though some of its material is intuitive, The Positive Trait Thesaurus is a wonderful reference manual.
Jan 19, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing
This is another great resource for writers by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. I highly recommend using this book along with The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws. These two books are great tools when you are in the pre-writing stages of a story. They are extremely helpful in creating your characters.

I am not the type of writer who does a lot of pre-planning before I begin writing, but I do like to have a good, solid idea of who my main characters are, and The Posit
Marcia Richards
Nov 25, 2013 Marcia Richards rated it it was amazing
This amazing resource for writers is at hand throughout my writing, along with its companion, The Negative Traits Thesaurus. You may start out thinking that creating a 'good' guy is an easy task until you start thinking about his attitudes and behaviors, personality quirks and such. Take a person you deem to be humble. Humility can be a positive attribute but it can have an underlying negative or positive source. Your character may have come from a religious background where he learned to put ot ...more
Melinda Jane Harrison
I'm writing a novel like a million other people. I'm very organized and a plotter. I like character sheets. I used to write very simple stories, but not anymore and because I am getting older, I find lots planning and organization helps me keep it all straight. In other words, I have to write it down and keep it where I can see it, so I don't repeat mistakes. I've made enough mistakes.

I have really enjoyed these book by Angela Ackerman, lots of lists with possible traits and the whys and wheres
Carolee Noury
Jun 11, 2014 Carolee Noury rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent reference book for writing realistic characters.

There is 27 pages of essays--ranging from writing a believable villain to understanding what motivates your character and how that builds a story. Then, the thesaurus part showing traits, what they look like, how they may have come to be, how that plays out against other characters, etc. In the back are handy appendices: questionnaire, worksheet, and the categories each trait falls into.

I highly recommend this book. I own all
Apr 09, 2014 Kathrynn rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! The first 26 pages contain writing tips, i.e., "The Ultimate Hook: Characters Worth Rooting For," "What is a Positive Attribute?" and more. The bulk of this 240 page book is the thesaurus that is nicely laid out and cross referenced with a good index in the back. The author's describe the 4 elements to choose a well "fleshed out" character and building up those traits. Great examples and tips and what attribute goes well with other attributes, even what would create direct and im ...more
Ramzy Hamdy
Apr 10, 2016 Ramzy Hamdy rated it really liked it
The first 20 something pages are great at shedding light the importance of, where it comes, and how to create positive traits. The actual thesaurus is quite nifty, in some ways it's more than a thesaurus, but a reference to positive traits major characters should have.

I don't mind adding a thesaurus of this nature among the books I've read because I quite literally read every page.

Great tool!
Debbie Johansson
Apr 29, 2014 Debbie Johansson rated it it was amazing
A invaluable resource for writers to create strong, believable, well-rounded characters. There is a section dedicated to antagonists, so that they too can have positive traits in order for the reader to understand their motivations. Provided with each positive trait are the negative aspects, as well as examples of possible conflicts which are a boost to providing plots ideas. Highly recommended for any writer's bookshelf.
Melanie Hoskin
Jan 07, 2015 Melanie Hoskin rated it it was amazing
Every writer should have a copy of the books by Angela Ackerman. I ended up with sticky notes sticking out of every page when heading into my second draft of my novel.
I'm already using it to plan my future novels, so that I don't have to re-write so much!
The Appendix exercises were a great tool; I did A3 sheets for each character using all of the tools from each of the books is this series (Positive Traits, Negative Traits and Emotions).
Nicole Storey
Apr 01, 2014 Nicole Storey rated it it was amazing
I have all of the thesauruses in this collection and each one is an essential tool for every writer's resource arsenal. Knowing the characters that we write about is important. If we don't take the time and invest in WHO they are and what they are made of, then how can we expect our readers to?

This book is a great way to really get to know the ones you write about – to build them and their stories in a way that will be believable. I highly recommend this book!
Chris Norbury
Jan 14, 2016 Chris Norbury rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Another invaluable resource for fiction writer's from Ackerman and Puglisi. I will use each of their 3 character trait reference books from now on when developing new characters. So many traits, so many nuances that characters can be infused with to make them seem real and believable.

Well organized and easy to reference. I'd put it on anyone's "Must own" list.
Mar 17, 2017 Kurt rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
One learns about oneself reading this reference book with all of its descriptions of personality types. I found it valuable and illuminating.
Kate Arms
Dec 23, 2013 Kate Arms rated it really liked it
The heart of this book is a list of character attributes and how they may manifest - a valuable reference work for writers struggling to create compelling characters. The essays on craft at the beginning of the book and the questionnaires at the end round out a valuable book for the writer's bookshelf.
Debra Daniels-zeller
Sep 07, 2015 Debra Daniels-zeller rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, writing
This book is more than a positive trait thesarus and it makes a great companion for any novel writer. Positive traits and often be twisted into negative traits, like boldness into insensitividy, so it would be even better to see these two books combined to create complex characters. I will use both of these books over and over again.
Stina Lindenblatt
Oct 12, 2013 Stina Lindenblatt rated it it was amazing
I can't imagine writing a book without either the positive and negative trait thesauri. They make creating compelling characters easy and fun. I use them all the time and highly recommend them. They're great references, whether you're writing your first story or you're a published author. They benefit everyone, no matter your skill level.
Jennifer Price
May 27, 2016 Jennifer Price rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing writing resource to have. I ordered the print version and I would recommend it for anyone developing character of any kind. It's great for authors but I would recommend it for even game development. If you need a well rounded interesting character this book (and the others that she wrote like it) are an absolute must. Absolutely 5 stars all the way
Jul 12, 2015 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Another amazing resource from the WritersHelpingWriters team of Ackerman and Puglisi. Pair it with The Negative Trait Thesuarus, and you will craft fully realized characters who will practically write your story for you.
Mary Ann
An excellent resource for creating and building characters. Lists are comprehensive and useful. I only wish I had purchased a hard copy of this book so that I could more easily thumb through it while writing. It's definitely a book I'll refer to again and again.
Oganalp Canatan
Feb 22, 2016 Oganalp Canatan rated it it was amazing
Great book for new writers. You just browse the trait you are looking for and find alternative ways to write / describe / show that trait. Very useful, especially for newbies.

All three of the books (Negative, Positive traits and Emotion thesaurus) are great.
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ANGELA ACKERMAN is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of five bestselling books for writers, including The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world.

Angela is also the co-founder of the popular site Wr
More about Angela Ackerman...

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