characters / descriptors / words / writers / writers resources

One-Word Characteristics to Spice Up Your Writing

This my list of interesting words to describe people and events. None are mundane or over-used. Every person is

each of these at some time in their life, so use them to spark your imagination for the character you’re writing about.

  • absent-minded
  • active
  • affable
  • ambitious
  • amiable
  • animated
  • annoyed
  • argumentative
  • arrogant
  • attentive
  • babyish
  • bewildered
  • blasé
  • boorish
  • bossy
  • bossy
  • busy
  • candid
  • capable
  • care-free
  • careful
  • caustic
  • cautious
  • charismatic
  • charming
  • clever
  • cold-hearted
  • compassionate
  • complacent
  • conceited
  • concerned
  • confident
  • confused
  • considerate
  • cooperative
  • crafty
  • cruel
  • cultured
  • curious
  • daring
  • decisive
  • demanding
  • dependable
  • determined
  • determined
  • diligent
  • discouraged
  • dishonest
  • disparaging
  • disrespectful
  • dissatisfied
  • doubtful
  • dutiful
  • eager
  • easygoing
  • effervescent
  • efficient
  • embarrassed
  • excited
  • exuberant
  • facetious
  • fair
  • fanciful
  • fidgety
  • fighter
  • finicky
  • frank
  • fussy
  • generous
  • gentle
  • giddy
  • giving
  • glum
  • greedy
  • gregarious
  • grouchy
  • grumpy
  • hard-working
  • hardy
  • harried
  • harsh
  • hospitable
  • humorous
  • ill-bred
  • immature
  • impartial
  • impolite
  • impudent
  • impulsive
  • independent
  • industrious
  • inimitable
  • insipid
  • insistent
  • insolent
  • intelligent
  • intrepid
  • inventive
  • jealous
  • jovial
  • lackadaisical
  • languid
  • leader
  • lively
  • logical
  • loquacious
  • lovable
  • loyal
  • lucky
  • malicious
  • mature
  • naive
  • negligent
  • reckless
  • relaxed
  • resourceful
  • restless

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12 thoughts on “One-Word Characteristics to Spice Up Your Writing

  1. Hey, that’s kinda cool. I really like the pic idea of choosing words for a character. I’m visual that way. Great blog! Thanks.

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  6. Printed this out and leaving it by my computer for the next time I’m tempted to describe a character as tall with brown hair–so blase. (Got that one from your list).
    The list is awesome!! (And though awesome is overused, I think it describes what you’ve got here pretty well.) Thanks!

    • I’ve been reading a lot of the Brit Val McDermid lately. She is amazing with describing characters. ‘ “I’m sorry to hear that,” Tony said choosing his words likes steps in a miefield. ‘ I not only see that one–I feel it. She’s amazing.

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