Get 25% OFF new yearly plans in our Spring Sale

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

Character Trait: Clever

Character Trait Clever

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait "clever" refers to a person who is quick-witted, intelligent, resourceful, and able to solve problems in creative and unexpected ways. Clever characters are often skilled at thinking on their feet and finding solutions that others might not have considered. They may be cunning, strategic, or adept at using their intelligence to gain an advantage over others. Cleverness can manifest in a variety of ways, from verbal wit and wordplay to strategic planning and problem-solving skills.

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

Possible causes of being clever

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

  • A love for puzzles, riddles, and brain teasers
  • A need for mental stimulation and challenges
  • A tendency to overthink or analyze situations
  • A sense of humor that relies on wit and wordplay
  • Natural intelligence and problem-solving abilities
  • A desire to outsmart others or prove oneself
  • Curiosity and a desire to learn and understand
  • A tendency to question assumptions and challenge authority

For detailed feedback on clever characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's literary critique platform.

Behaviors associated with being clever

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

  • Finding creative solutions to problems
  • Identifying patterns and making connections between seemingly unrelated information
  • Asking insightful questions that challenge assumptions and reveal new insights
  • Thinking on your feet and adapting quickly to changing circumstances
  • Understanding complex ideas and explaining them in simple terms
  • Being resourceful and making the most out of limited resources
  • Anticipating potential obstacles and planning accordingly
  • Using wit and humor to navigate social situations
  • Solving puzzles and riddles quickly and efficiently

Attitudes associated with being clever

You may be able to show clever through their attitudes.

  • Inventiveness
  • Quick-wittedness
  • Analytical skills
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to think outside the box
  • Strategic thinking skills
  • Savviness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Mental agility
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Shrewdness
  • Curiosity
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Cunning
  • Intelligence
  • Sharpness
  • Acumen
  • Perceptiveness
  • Ingenuity
  • Astuteness

Remember, these attitudes are not mutually exclusive and can overlap with each other depending on the context. Also, keep in mind that when creating a character who is Clever, it's important to consider how this trait affects their actions, relationships, and overall personality.

Thoughts and struggles associated with being clever

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

  • They may have a tendency to manipulate situations or people to achieve their goals, which can lead to ethical dilemmas and conflicts with others.
  • They may find it difficult to connect with others who are not as intellectually inclined, and may feel frustrated by what they perceive as ignorance or lack of critical thinking skills.
  • A clever character may also struggle with feelings of isolation or loneliness, as their intelligence can sometimes make them feel like an outsider or out of touch with the rest of society.
  • A clever character may also struggle with overthinking and analysis paralysis, where they become so focused on gathering information and analyzing it that they struggle to make decisions or take action.
  • A clever character is often highly analytical and observant, constantly seeking to understand the world around them.
  • They may struggle with feelings of superiority or arrogance, especially if they believe they are the smartest person in the room.

Emotions associated with being clever

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

  • Amusement
  • Resourcefulness
  • Satisfaction
  • Confidence
  • Cunning
  • Intelligence
  • Sharpness
  • Ingenuity
  • Pride

Facial expressions associated with being clever

Here are some facial expressions your clever character may exhibit.

  • Quizzical expression
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Chin stroking
  • Grinning or laughing at one's own cleverness
  • Smirking or half-smiling
  • Narrowed eyes
  • Tilted head
  • Intense gaze
  • Winking or eye-rolling

Body language associated with being clever

Here is some body language your clever character may exhibit.

  • Looking up and to the side
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Chin stroking
  • Leaning forward
  • Playing with objects in their hands (e.g. pen, paperclip)
  • Tapping fingers on chin or lips
  • Nodding in agreement or understanding
  • Narrowing eyes
  • Tilting head to the side
  • Smiling slightly or smirking
  • Tapping foot or fidgeting
  • Adjusting glasses or pushing them up the nose
  • Rubbing hands together
  • Crossed arms with fingers tapping on elbow

For detailed feedback on clever characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's literary critique platform.

Behaviors associated with being clever

Here are some behaviors your clever character may exhibit.

  • Finding creative solutions to problems
  • Solving puzzles and riddles quickly and efficiently
  • Being resourceful and making the most out of limited resources
  • Asking insightful questions that challenge assumptions and reveal new insights
  • Identifying patterns and making connections between seemingly unrelated information
  • Thinking on your feet and adapting quickly to changing circumstances
  • Using wit and humor to navigate social situations
  • Understanding complex ideas and explaining them in simple terms
  • Anticipating potential obstacles and planning accordingly

Growth and evolution of clever characters

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

  • Learn to balance their cleverness with emotional intelligence and intuition
  • Realize the limits of their cleverness and seek out help from others when needed
  • Realize the value of teamwork and collaboration over individual success
  • Develop greater empathy and understanding of others' perspectives
  • Discover the importance of honesty and authenticity in their relationships
  • Learn to use their cleverness for good rather than personal gain
  • Be humbled by their mistakes and learn from them
  • Develop a sense of responsibility for their actions and their impact on others
  • Learn to take calculated risks rather than always playing it safe

Stereotypes of clever characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical clever character like these examples.

  • Avoid making the Clever character too perfect or flawless, as this can make them seem unrealistic.
  • Avoid making the Clever character overly analytical or lacking in emotion, as this can make them difficult for readers to connect with.
  • Avoid making the Clever character a know-it-all who always has the answer to everything.
  • Avoid making the Clever character arrogant or condescending towards others.

Negatives of being clever

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

  • May overthink and second-guess decisions
  • May struggle with teamwork or collaboration, preferring to work independently
  • May struggle with accepting criticism or admitting when they are wrong
  • May have a tendency to manipulate or deceive others for personal gain
  • May struggle with social skills or emotional intelligence
  • May come across as arrogant or condescending

Positives of being clever

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

  • They are excellent problem solvers and can come up with creative solutions.
  • Clever individuals are often highly intelligent and have a deep understanding of complex concepts.
  • They are curious and constantly seeking new knowledge and information.
  • Clever individuals are often resourceful and can make the most of limited resources.
  • They have a good sense of humor and can make others laugh with their clever jokes and observations.
  • They are good at thinking outside the box and finding innovative ways to approach problems.
  • Clever people are quick-witted and can think on their feet.

Verbal expressions of clever characters

Here are some potential expressions used by clever characters.

  • Cunning plans
  • Sharp insights
  • Sharp-tongued retorts
  • Witty comebacks
  • Quick-witted responses
  • Astute observations
  • Cunning wordplay
  • Intellectual banter
  • Ingenious solutions

Relationships of clever characters

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

  • Clever people may have a tendency to dominate conversations and discussions, which can cause tension in relationships with those who feel overshadowed or undervalued.
  • Conversely, clever people may find it difficult to connect with those who don't share their intellectual interests or pursuits.
  • Clever people can also be prone to arrogance or condescension, which can alienate others and damage relationships.
  • However, when clever people use their intelligence to help and support others, they can inspire admiration and respect.

Examples from books of characters who are clever

  • Matilda Wormwood from Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Sherlock Holmes from the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Tyrion Lannister from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
  • Artemis Fowl from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
  • Ender Wiggin from the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card
  • Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson
  • Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Writing exercises for writing clever characters

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

  • Brainstorm a list of clever actions or strategies your character might use to solve a problem or achieve a goal.
  • Write a dialogue between your clever character and a less clever character, highlighting the differences in their approaches to solving a problem.
  • Create a scene where your character must outsmart a foe or opponent in a game, debate, or battle of wits.
  • Describe a situation where your character must think on their feet and come up with a quick solution to a problem, such as a technical glitch or a social faux pas.
Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.