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Inspiration Decks Character Traits 2023-12-02 00:00

Character Trait: Angst-ridden

Character Trait Angst-ridden

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. Angst-ridden is a character trait often used to describe a person who experiences persistent feelings of anxiety, insecurity, and emotional turmoil. An angst-ridden character is typically consumed with worry, self-doubt, and a sense of impending doom, making them feel overwhelmed and helpless. This trait can often lead to intense internal conflict and can affect the character's actions and decisions throughout the story.

Contents:
  1. Possible causes of being angst-ridden
  2. Behaviors associated with being angst-ridden
  3. Attitudes associated with being angst-ridden
  4. Thoughts and struggles associated with being angst-ridden
  5. Emotions associated with being angst-ridden
  6. Facial expressions associated with being angst-ridden
  7. Body language associated with being angst-ridden
  8. Behaviors associated with being angst-ridden
  9. Growth and evolution of angst-ridden characters
  10. Stereotypes of angst-ridden characters to avoid
  11. Negatives of being angst-ridden
  12. Positives of being angst-ridden
  13. Verbal expressions of angst-ridden characters
  14. Relationships of angst-ridden characters
  15. Examples from books of characters who are angst-ridden
  16. Writing exercises for writing angst-ridden characters

Possible causes of being angst-ridden

You might want to weave these into your character's back story to build a more believable character.

  • Negative self-talk or critical inner dialogue
  • Chronic stress or anxiety
  • Lack of self-awareness or emotional regulation skills
  • Past traumas or negative experiences
  • Social or cultural pressures
  • Personality traits such as introversion or sensitivity
  • Unresolved conflicts or unresolved emotions
  • Genetics or biological factors
  • Existential or philosophical concerns

For detailed feedback on angst-ridden characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's story pacing tool.

Behaviors associated with being angst-ridden

You may be able to show your character's trait of angst-ridden by using these.

  • Brooding and being introspective
  • Constantly worrying about the future
  • Being moody and unpredictable
  • Struggling with self-doubt and insecurity
  • Feeling like an outsider or misunderstood
  • Questioning one's identity and purpose
  • Feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions
  • Having a tendency to isolate oneself from others
  • Being easily triggered by small things

Attitudes associated with being angst-ridden

You may be able to show angst-ridden through their attitudes.

  • A tendency to isolate oneself or withdraw from social situations
  • Intense feelings of anxiety and fear
  • Feeling overwhelmed and trapped by circumstances
  • Overthinking and obsessing over negative outcomes
  • Difficulty making decisions or taking action due to fear of failure
  • A tendency to question authority or societal norms
  • A feeling of being misunderstood or alone in their struggles
  • A sense of hopelessness and despair
  • A desire for control or certainty in an uncertain world

Thoughts and struggles associated with being angst-ridden

Here are some ideas for things your angst-ridden character may think or struggle with.

  • A sense of hopelessness or feeling trapped in their current situation
  • Perfectionism and fear of failure leading to self-doubt
  • Feeling like an outsider or not belonging anywhere
  • Constantly feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the future
  • Struggling to connect with others and feeling isolated
  • Battling with inner demons and past traumas
  • Self-destructive behavior or coping mechanisms such as substance abuse or self-harm
  • Difficulty expressing emotions and keeping feelings bottled up
  • Questioning their identity and purpose in life

Emotions associated with being angst-ridden

Here are some ideas for emotions your angst-ridden character may experience.

  • Fear
  • Regret
  • Alienation
  • Anxiety
  • Uncertainty
  • Self-doubt
  • Disillusionment
  • Despair
  • Resentment

Facial expressions associated with being angst-ridden

Here are some facial expressions your angst-ridden character may exhibit.

  • Glaring eyes
  • Pursed or wrinkled forehead
  • Clenched teeth
  • Biting or licking lips
  • Furrowed eyebrows
  • Frowning or scowling
  • Pressed lips
  • Shaking or nodding head in frustration
  • Tensed jaw muscles

Body language associated with being angst-ridden

Here is some body language your angst-ridden character may exhibit.

  • Heavy sighs or breathing
  • Wrapping arms around oneself
  • Avoiding eye contact or staring off into space
  • Fidgeting or tapping fingers
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Pacing or restlessness
  • Clenching fists or jaw
  • Biting or chewing on nails or lips
  • Hunching or slouching posture

For detailed feedback on angst-ridden characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's story pacing tool.

Behaviors associated with being angst-ridden

Here are some behaviors your angst-ridden character may exhibit.

  • Being moody and unpredictable
  • Constantly worrying about the future
  • Questioning one's identity and purpose
  • Struggling with self-doubt and insecurity
  • Being easily triggered by small things
  • Feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions
  • Having a tendency to isolate oneself from others
  • Feeling like an outsider or misunderstood
  • Brooding and being introspective

Growth and evolution of angst-ridden characters

Here are some ways that your angst-ridden character may grow and evolve over time.

  • Discovering their passions and pursuing them with vigor
  • Gaining a sense of purpose and direction in life
  • Developing a more positive and optimistic outlook on life
  • Developing a stronger sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance
  • Learning to confront and overcome their fears and insecurities
  • Forming deeper and more meaningful relationships with others
  • Overcoming past traumas and finding inner peace and healing
  • Accepting and embracing their flaws and imperfections
  • Learning to express their emotions in a healthy and constructive manner

Stereotypes of angst-ridden characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical angst-ridden character like these examples.

  • Being emotionally unstable and lashing out at others without any provocation or justification.
  • Constantly complaining and whining about their problems without taking any action to solve them.
  • Being self-destructive and engaging in reckless behavior without any real purpose or explanation.
  • Being closed off and unapproachable to the point of pushing away anyone who tries to help or connect with them.
  • Being overly brooding and moody without any clear reason or motivation.
  • Being overly self-absorbed and focused solely on their own problems and feelings without considering the impact on others.
  • Having a victim mentality and blaming others for their own mistakes and shortcomings.
  • Being overly dramatic and prone to exaggerated reactions to even minor issues.

Negatives of being angst-ridden

Here are some potential negatives of being angst-ridden. Note: These are subjective and some might also be seen as positives depending on the context.

  • Difficulty in making decisions due to overthinking
  • Inability to enjoy present moments due to excessive worry about the future or dwelling on the past
  • Potential for depression and anxiety disorders
  • Frequent mood swings and emotional turmoil
  • Self-doubt and insecurity
  • Potential for self-destructive behavior, such as substance abuse or self-harm
  • Tendency to isolate oneself from others
  • Difficulty in trusting others and forming meaningful relationships

Positives of being angst-ridden

Here are some potential positives of being angst-ridden. Note: These are subjective and some might also be seen as negatives depending on the context.

  • Angst can add depth and complexity to a character's personality, making them more interesting and multidimensional.
  • Angst can drive a character to take action and make important decisions, leading to character growth and development.
  • Angst can make a character feel more relatable and human, as everyone experiences inner turmoil and conflict at some point.
  • Angst can create tension and conflict in a story, making it more engaging and compelling for readers.

Verbal expressions of angst-ridden characters

Here are some potential expressions used by angst-ridden characters.

  • "I'm so overwhelmed"
  • "I can't shake this feeling of dread"
  • "I don't know what I'm doing with my life"
  • "I feel so lost and alone"
  • "I can't stop worrying about everything"
  • "Why does everything have to be so hard?"
  • "Nothing seems to make me happy"
  • "What's the point of it all?"
  • "I feel like I'm suffocating"

Relationships of angst-ridden characters

Here are some ways that being angst-ridden could affect your character's relationships.

  • A tendency to be critical and judgmental of others, leading to strained relationships.
  • A tendency to be defensive and react strongly to perceived slights or criticisms, leading to conflicts in relationships.
  • A tendency to be emotionally reactive, leading to volatile relationships.
  • Difficulty trusting others, leading to suspicion and distance in relationships.
  • Difficulty accepting help or support from others, leading to a sense of isolation and loneliness.
  • Difficulty expressing their emotions, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts.
  • A tendency to withdraw from social interactions and isolate themselves.
  • A tendency to be pessimistic and see the worst in others, leading to strained relationships.
  • A tendency to be self-absorbed and focus on their own problems, leading to neglect of others' needs.

It's worth noting that not all Angst-ridden people will experience these relationship dynamics, and some may experience them to different degrees or in different ways. However, these are some common patterns that can arise when someone is struggling with Angst.

Examples from books of characters who are angst-ridden

  • Tyler Durden from "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Harry Potter from the "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  • Hamlet from "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare
  • Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
  • Katniss Everdeen from "The Hunger Games" trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Winston Smith from "1984" by George Orwell
  • Esther Greenwood from "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath
  • Meursault from "The Stranger" by Albert Camus

Writing exercises for writing angst-ridden characters

Here are some writing exercises you might try for learning to write angst-ridden characters.

  • Write a scene where the character is struggling to communicate their emotions to someone they care about.
  • Create a dialogue between the character and someone they trust, where they reveal their inner turmoil and anxieties.
  • Create a monologue where the character expresses their feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Write a scene where the character is alone and reflecting on their deepest fears and insecurities.
  • Write a flashback where the character experiences a traumatic event that has left them with unresolved emotions.
  • Show the character engaging in self-destructive behavior as a way to cope with their angst.
  • Write a scene where the character is forced to confront their fears and overcome them.
  • Write a scene where the character is faced with a difficult decision and is torn between their fears and desires.
  • Describe the character's physical reactions to stressful situations, such as shaking, sweating, or shortness of breath.
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