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

Character Trait: Clannish

Character Trait Clannish

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait "clannish" refers to a person's tendency to be strongly loyal to their own group or family, often to the exclusion of outsiders. A clannish character may prioritize the needs and interests of their own clan or community over those of others, and may be resistant to accepting new people or ideas that challenge their established ways of thinking and behaving. This trait can be both positive and negative, depending on the context and the character's actions.

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

Possible causes of being clannish

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

  • Upbringing and family environment that prioritizes loyalty to the family or clan above all else
  • Personal experiences of exclusion or rejection, leading to a defensive or protective stance towards one's own group
  • Fear of the unknown or unfamiliar, leading to a preference for the familiar and those who share similar backgrounds or beliefs
  • Cultural or societal influence that emphasizes the importance of group identity and belonging

For detailed feedback on clannish characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's narrative quality assessment.

Behaviors associated with being clannish

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

  • Engaging in nepotism or favoritism towards members of the group
  • Displaying loyalty and solidarity towards one's own group
  • Preferentially associating with members of one's own family or social group
  • Being distrustful or cautious towards outsiders or those not in the same group
  • Prioritizing the needs and interests of the group over those of the individual
  • Following traditions or customs of the group, often to the exclusion of other ways of doing things

Attitudes associated with being clannish

You may be able to show clannish through their attitudes.

  • Suspicion or distrust of outsiders
  • An emphasis on collective decision-making and consensus-building within the group
  • A sense of pride in one's heritage and ancestry
  • A preference for maintaining traditional practices and ways of life
  • A tendency to prioritize the needs and interests of the group over the individual
  • Strong loyalty to one's family or clan

Thoughts and struggles associated with being clannish

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

  • Feeling torn between loyalty to the group and their own desires or beliefs
  • Fear of being vulnerable or showing weakness to outsiders
  • Struggle to balance their individual identity with their role within the clan or group
  • Deep sense of pride in their traditions and customs
  • Fear of being ostracized or rejected by their group
  • Strong loyalty to family or a close-knit group, often at the expense of other relationships
  • Tendency to judge others based on their connection to the clan or group
  • Desire for power or influence within the group to protect their loved ones
  • Difficulty in trusting new people or accepting outsiders into their group

Emotions associated with being clannish

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

  • Exclusivity
  • Group pride
  • Resistance to change
  • Insularity
  • Protection of the group
  • Strong sense of identity
  • Suspicion of outsiders
  • Favoritism towards members of the group
  • Loyalty

Facial expressions associated with being clannish

Here are some facial expressions your clannish character may exhibit.

  • Sneering
  • Tense jaw
  • Narrowed eyes
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Squinting
  • Scowling
  • Glaring
  • Tightened lips
  • Frowning
  • Raised chin
  • Crossed arms
  • Stiff posture
  • Furrowed brow

Body language associated with being clannish

Here is some body language your clannish character may exhibit.

  • Speaking in hushed tones or whispering among the group
  • Minimal eye contact or avoiding eye contact altogether
  • Stiff posture or tense body language
  • Exhibiting a defensive or protective stance towards the group
  • Rarely smiling or showing warmth towards outsiders
  • Standing or sitting in a tight-knit group
  • Closed-off body language, such as crossing arms or legs
  • Turning away from outsiders or new people

For detailed feedback on clannish characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's narrative quality assessment.

Behaviors associated with being clannish

Here are some behaviors your clannish character may exhibit.

  • Being distrustful or cautious towards outsiders or those not in the same group
  • Engaging in nepotism or favoritism towards members of the group
  • Displaying loyalty and solidarity towards one's own group
  • Preferentially associating with members of one's own family or social group
  • Prioritizing the needs and interests of the group over those of the individual
  • Following traditions or customs of the group, often to the exclusion of other ways of doing things

Growth and evolution of clannish characters

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

  • Overcome fear and embrace new experiences
  • Become more independent and break away from the group's mindset
  • Develop empathy and understanding for those outside their immediate group
  • Discover the value of diversity and cooperation in achieving common goals
  • Learn to trust outsiders or those who are different from them
  • Recognize and confront the flaws and limitations of their own group
  • Become a leader within the group by challenging traditional beliefs and pushing for progress
  • Learn to communicate effectively with others, even those who may have conflicting opinions or values
  • Develop a sense of personal identity outside of their group affiliation

Stereotypes of clannish characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical clannish character like these examples.

  • Avoid making them blindly loyal to their clan or family, even when it goes against their personal values or beliefs.
  • Avoid making them overly exclusive or narrow-minded, showing no interest in learning or interacting with people outside their clan or group.
  • Avoid using stereotypical physical features or clothing to distinguish Clannish characters from others, as this can perpetuate harmful stereotypes.
  • Avoid portraying Clannish characters as hostile or aggressive towards outsiders without any clear reason or motivation.

Negatives of being clannish

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

  • May result in a narrow-minded or closed-off community
  • Can limit personal growth and learning opportunities
  • May lead to exclusion or discrimination of outsiders
  • Can result in a lack of diversity or new perspectives
  • Can cause tension and conflicts within the group
  • May create a fear of change or outside influence

Positives of being clannish

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

  • Clannishness can create a tight-knit support system that provides a sense of security and belonging.
  • They may exhibit a deep sense of respect and responsibility towards their elders and ancestors.
  • Clannish people tend to value tradition and cultural heritage, which can be a source of pride and identity.
  • Clannish individuals have a strong sense of loyalty and devotion to their family or community.
  • They often prioritize the needs and well-being of their group over their own individual desires.

Verbal expressions of clannish characters

Here are some potential expressions used by clannish characters.

  • Creating a sense of superiority or exceptionalism within one's group
  • Using exclusive language like "us" and "them"
  • Prioritizing loyalty to one's own group above all else
  • Being quick to defend one's group against perceived threats or criticism
  • Holding onto traditions and customs that reinforce a sense of belonging to a particular group
  • Refusing to associate with outsiders or people from different backgrounds
  • Being suspicious or hostile towards outsiders

Relationships of clannish characters

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

  • Clannish people may have strong traditions or customs that are important to them, and they may expect others to respect and follow these traditions as well.
  • Clannish people tend to prioritize their own family or community over outsiders, which can create tension in relationships with those outside their group.
  • They may be distrustful of outsiders and slow to establish relationships with people they don't already know or have a connection to.
  • They may be protective of their group and quick to defend their members if they feel they are being threatened or attacked.
  • Relationships with outsiders may be viewed with suspicion and may require more effort to establish trust and rapport.
  • Loyalty to their group is important, which can lead to conflicts if someone within the group has a disagreement with an outsider.

Examples from books of characters who are clannish

  • The Ingalls family from Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Baggins family from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Finch family from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The March sisters from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Salinger family from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Stark family from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
  • The Lannister family from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
  • The Weasleys from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Writing exercises for writing clannish characters

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

  • Create a character who is an outsider trying to join the group. How does the clannish character react to their attempts to join? Do they welcome them or reject them?
  • Consider the character's behavior in a group setting. Do they take on a leadership role within the group? How do they enforce the group's rules and traditions?
  • Write a scene where the character is faced with a conflict between their loyalty to their group and their personal beliefs or morals. How do they handle the situation?
  • Think about the character's values and beliefs. Do they believe that their group is superior to others? Do they feel a sense of pride in being part of their group?
  • Consider the character's social circle. Do they have a tight-knit group of friends that they consider their "family"? How do they treat outsiders or those who are not part of their group?
  • Write a scene where the clannish character is forced to work with someone from a rival group. How do they interact with this person?
  • Explore the character's family background and their relationship with their relatives. Do they have a strong sense of loyalty towards their family members? Do they prioritize their family's needs over their own?
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