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

Character Trait: Barbarous

Character Trait Barbarous

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait barbarous refers to someone who is savage, cruel, or lacking in civilization. It implies a lack of empathy or respect for others, a disregard for cultural norms, and a willingness to use violence or force to achieve their goals. A barbarous character may be portrayed as uneducated, uncivilized, or brutish, and often exhibits behavior that is considered uncivilized or inhumane.

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

Possible causes of being barbarous

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

  • Mental health conditions such as antisocial personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder
  • Traumatic experiences in childhood or adulthood that have led to deep-seated anger or resentment
  • A belief system that glorifies violence or aggression, such as extremist ideologies or gang culture
  • Substance abuse or addiction leading to unpredictable behavior and violent outbursts
  • Lack of emotional intelligence or empathy, making it difficult to understand or relate to others
  • Growing up in an environment where violence and aggression were normalized or even encouraged

For detailed feedback on barbarous characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's critique report.

Behaviors associated with being barbarous

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

  • Engaging in violent behavior or acts of aggression without provocation
  • Being insensitive to cultural norms and social conventions
  • Showing little empathy or sympathy for others
  • Showing little regard for others' feelings or well-being
  • Being reckless or impulsive in decision-making
  • Exhibiting a lack of manners or decorum
  • Refusing to follow rules or authority figures

Attitudes associated with being barbarous

You may be able to show barbarous through their attitudes.

  • Impulsiveness
  • Selfishness
  • Cruelty
  • Ruthlessness
  • Violence
  • Intolerance
  • Recklessness
  • Aggressiveness
  • Lack of empathy

Thoughts and struggles associated with being barbarous

Here are some ideas for things your barbarous character may think or struggle with.

  • They may have a tendency to act impulsively, making decisions based on instinct rather than rational thought.
  • They may have a strong sense of loyalty to those they consider part of their tribe or family.
  • A Barbarous character may struggle with anger management, often experiencing intense emotions that can lead to destructive behavior.
  • Their worldview may be shaped by a belief in the survival of the fittest, leading them to prioritize strength and power above all else.
  • They may struggle with communication, finding it difficult to express their thoughts and emotions clearly to others.
  • They may be fiercely independent, resistant to authority and control by others.
  • They may have a deep connection to nature, feeling most at home in the wild and among animals.
  • They may struggle with feelings of isolation or alienation, feeling like they don't fit in with society's norms and expectations.
  • They may have a deep-seated desire for revenge against those who have wronged them or their loved ones.

Emotions associated with being barbarous

Here are some ideas for emotions your barbarous character may experience.

  • Sadism
  • Cruelty
  • Lack of empathy
  • Hostility
  • Impulsiveness
  • Intolerance
  • Ruthlessness
  • Violence
  • Aggressiveness

Facial expressions associated with being barbarous

Here are some facial expressions your barbarous character may exhibit.

  • Snort
  • Sneer
  • Glower
  • Snicker
  • Snarl
  • Squint
  • Grimace
  • Frown
  • Scowl

Body language associated with being barbarous

Here is some body language your barbarous character may exhibit.

  • Loud or gruff voice tone
  • Frowning or scowling
  • Pacing back and forth or restless movements
  • Aggressive posture, such as standing tall with shoulders squared and chest puffed out
  • Abrupt or rough movements, such as slamming doors or throwing objects
  • Clenched fists or tense body language
  • Invading personal space or standing too close to others
  • Glaring or staring intensely at others
  • Baring teeth or snarling

For detailed feedback on barbarous characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's critique report.

Behaviors associated with being barbarous

Here are some behaviors your barbarous character may exhibit.

  • Exhibiting a lack of manners or decorum
  • Engaging in violent behavior or acts of aggression without provocation
  • Showing little empathy or sympathy for others
  • Being reckless or impulsive in decision-making
  • Refusing to follow rules or authority figures
  • Being insensitive to cultural norms and social conventions
  • Showing little regard for others' feelings or well-being

Growth and evolution of barbarous characters

Here are some ways that your barbarous character may grow and evolve over time.

  • Learning to appreciate the value of education and knowledge, and becoming more curious and intellectually curious
  • Overcoming their prejudices and biases, and forming meaningful relationships with people from different backgrounds
  • Developing a sense of self-awareness and introspection, and confronting their own flaws and shortcomings
  • Discovering a talent for diplomacy and leadership, and learning to lead their people with wisdom and compassion
  • Developing a sense of empathy towards others and becoming more compassionate
  • Learning to control their impulsiveness and channel their aggression in a more productive way
  • Finding a sense of purpose beyond mere survival or conquest, and becoming more invested in the welfare of their community
  • Gaining a better understanding of different cultures and perspectives, and becoming more accepting of diversity

Stereotypes of barbarous characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical barbarous character like these examples.

  • Avoid portraying Barbarous characters as one-dimensional savages with no depth or complexity
  • Avoid making Barbarous characters overly simplistic or predictable in their actions and decisions
  • Avoid portraying Barbarous characters as inherently violent or aggressive without a valid reason or motivation
  • Avoid using stereotypes such as Barbarous characters being unintelligent or uneducated

Negatives of being barbarous

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

  • They may be viewed as uncivilized or uncultured, and struggle to fit in with more refined or sophisticated groups.
  • They may lack empathy or consideration for others, and prioritize their own desires above all else.
  • Barbarous characters may be prone to impulsiveness and recklessness, often acting without thinking of the consequences.
  • Barbarous characters tend to be violent and aggressive towards others.

Positives of being barbarous

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

  • They can be fiercely loyal and protective of their loved ones and communities, willing to do whatever it takes to keep them safe.
  • Barbarous characters are often portrayed as fearless and brave, unafraid to take risks and face danger head-on.
  • Barbarous characters often have a strong sense of honor and pride, with a clear moral compass that guides their actions and decisions.
  • Barbarous characters are often deeply connected to nature, with a strong sense of intuition and a natural affinity for survival in the wilderness.
  • They can be highly independent and self-sufficient, thriving in situations where others may struggle or fail.
  • They can be highly skilled in combat and physical activities, making them formidable opponents and valuable allies.

Verbal expressions of barbarous characters

Here are some potential expressions used by barbarous characters.

  • Refusing to listen to reason or logic
  • Showing a lack of empathy or understanding towards others
  • Using physical threats or violence to solve problems
  • Interrupting or talking over others
  • Insulting or belittling others
  • Being insensitive to cultural or social norms
  • Using sarcasm or mockery to communicate
  • Using crude or offensive language
  • Speaking loudly or aggressively

Relationships of barbarous characters

Here are some ways that being barbarous could affect your character's relationships.

  • Clan/tribal loyalty: Barbarous people may prioritize loyalty to their clan or tribe over individual relationships. This could mean that they are more likely to defend their group against outsiders, even if it means betraying a friend or ally.
  • Mutual respect: Despite their reputation for brutality, Barbarous people may also value mutual respect and fairness in their relationships. This could manifest in individuals treating others with respect and expecting the same in return, or in communities establishing rules and codes of conduct to ensure that everyone is treated fairly.
  • Honor/shame: Barbarous people may place great importance on concepts of honor and shame. This could result in individuals going to great lengths to defend their honor or reputation, even if it means engaging in violent or harmful behaviors.
  • Dominant/submissive: Barbarous people may have a hierarchical social structure where some individuals hold more power and influence than others. This could result in dominant individuals exerting control over submissive individuals, whether through physical force or psychological manipulation.

Examples from books of characters who are barbarous

  • The Dothraki from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
  • The Orcs from The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Khal Drogo from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
  • Karsa Orlong from the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson
  • Grendel from the epic poem Beowulf
  • Attila the Hun from Attila, King of the Huns by William Napier
  • Thulsa Doom from the Conan series by Robert E. Howard
  • Conan the Barbarian from the Conan series by Robert E. Howard
  • The Visigoths from The Last Roman Trilogy by Jack Ludlow

Writing exercises for writing barbarous characters

Here are some writing exercises you might try for learning to write barbarous characters.

  • Write a scene where your character reacts violently to a situation that could have been resolved peacefully.
  • Create a backstory for your character that explains why they have become so barbarous. What events or experiences in their life led them to this point?
  • Imagine a scenario where your character has to choose between their own survival and the well-being of others. How do they react and what do they ultimately choose?
  • Imagine a scenario where your character is forced to confront the consequences of their barbarous behavior. Do they have a change of heart or double down on their actions?
  • Write a scene where your character witnesses someone else being treated cruelly. Do they intervene or stay silent? How does this reflect their own barbarous tendencies?
  • Write a dialogue between your character and someone who is horrified by their behavior. How does your character respond?
  • Write a monologue or internal dialogue from your character's perspective where they justify their cruel actions to themselves.
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