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

Character Trait: Confused

Character Trait Confused

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait "Confused" can be described as a state of being uncertain or lacking clarity in one's thoughts, emotions, or actions. A confused character may struggle to make decisions, express themselves clearly, or understand their own motivations or the motivations of those around them. This trait can add depth and complexity to a character, as well as create opportunities for internal conflict and growth.

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

Possible causes of being confused

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

  • Mental health issues such as anxiety or depression
  • Overthinking and analyzing situations
  • Poor communication skills
  • Trauma or past experiences affecting their perspective
  • Lack of clear values or beliefs
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Low self-esteem or self-doubt
  • Inability to prioritize or manage tasks effectively
  • Exposure to conflicting or contradictory information or beliefs

For detailed feedback on confused characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's fiction manuscript feedback.

Behaviors associated with being confused

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

  • Pausing or hesitating before speaking or acting
  • Changing one's mind frequently
  • Feeling overwhelmed or disoriented
  • Appearing lost or uncertain
  • Making mistakes or errors in judgment
  • Asking questions or seeking clarification
  • Frowning or furrowing the brow
  • Repeating oneself or asking for repetition
  • Forgetting details or information

Attitudes associated with being confused

You may be able to show confused through their attitudes.

  • Disorientation
  • Uncertainty
  • Hesitation
  • Anxiety
  • Ambiguity
  • Indecision
  • Perplexity
  • Bewilderment
  • Doubt
  • Lack of clarity
  • Frustration

Thoughts and struggles associated with being confused

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

  • Difficulty in making decisions or sticking to a course of action
  • Feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed by conflicting information or emotions
  • Feeling lost or disconnected from themselves and others
  • Questioning their beliefs, values, or assumptions about the world
  • Difficulty in communicating their thoughts and feelings to others
  • Inner conflict and lack of clarity about their identity or purpose
  • Doubt and indecision about their choices and decisions
  • Self-doubt and lack of confidence in their abilities or judgment
  • Fear of making the wrong decision or disappointing others

Emotions associated with being confused

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

  • Disorientation
  • Doubt
  • Indecision
  • Perplexity
  • Uncertainty
  • Frustration
  • Hesitation
  • Bewilderment
  • Ambiguity

Facial expressions associated with being confused

Here are some facial expressions your confused character may exhibit.

  • Pursed lips
  • Furrowed eyebrows
  • Rubbing the eyes
  • Scratching the head or chin
  • Looking around in different directions
  • Squinting eyes
  • Tilted head
  • Mouth slightly open
  • Blinking rapidly

Body language associated with being confused

Here is some body language your confused character may exhibit.

  • Fidgeting or pacing
  • Eyes widening or squinting
  • Looking around or searching for something
  • Mouth slightly open or lips pursed
  • Shaking head or rubbing chin
  • Pausing or stuttering in speech
  • Furrowed eyebrows or forehead wrinkles
  • Tilted head or head scratching
  • Hesitant movements or gestures

For detailed feedback on confused characters and other aspects of your writing, try ProWritingAid's fiction manuscript feedback.

Behaviors associated with being confused

Here are some behaviors your confused character may exhibit.

  • Making mistakes or errors in judgment
  • Forgetting details or information
  • Asking questions or seeking clarification
  • Pausing or hesitating before speaking or acting
  • Changing one's mind frequently
  • Frowning or furrowing the brow
  • Appearing lost or uncertain
  • Feeling overwhelmed or disoriented
  • Repeating oneself or asking for repetition

Growth and evolution of confused characters

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

  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Learn to trust their instincts
  • Let go of fear and anxiety
  • Develop empathy and understanding for others
  • Start to ask questions and seek answers
  • Become more self-aware
  • Learn to accept and embrace change
  • Learn to communicate effectively
  • Gain clarity and understanding

Stereotypes of confused characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical confused character like these examples.

  • Don't use the Confused trait as a crutch to avoid giving the character real goals or motivations.
  • Avoid making the Confused character overly anxious or paranoid.
  • Avoid making the Confused character one-dimensional or lacking in depth.
  • Avoid making the Confused character overly passive or indecisive.
  • Don't rely solely on the Confused character for comic relief.
  • Avoid making the Confused character seem clueless or incompetent.
  • Don't make the Confused character appear helpless or overly dependent on others.

Negatives of being confused

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

  • Inconsistent behavior or actions
  • Lack of direction or purpose
  • Feeling overwhelmed and anxious
  • Inability to focus on tasks
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Tendency to procrastinate or avoid responsibilities
  • Struggles with problem-solving
  • Poor communication skills
  • Reduced self-esteem and confidence

Positives of being confused

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

  • Confusion can be an opportunity for growth and learning.
  • Confusion can also lead to self-reflection and introspection, allowing you to better understand yourself and your values.
  • It can be a catalyst for creativity and innovation, as confusion often sparks new and unconventional ideas.
  • It can be a humbling experience that encourages empathy and understanding towards others who may be going through similar confusion.
  • It can help you to become more open-minded and receptive to new ideas.
  • Confusion can also help you to develop problem-solving skills and the ability to think critically.

Verbal expressions of confused characters

Here are some potential expressions used by confused characters.

  • "I'm lost"
  • "I'm perplexed"
  • "I'm confused"
  • "I'm not sure I follow"
  • "I don't understand"
  • "I'm at a loss"
  • "What do you mean?"
  • "This doesn't make sense"
  • "I'm bewildered"

Relationships of confused characters

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

  • Confused people may have trouble communicating their thoughts and feelings clearly, leading to misunderstandings in their relationships.
  • They may have a tendency to be indecisive or wishy-washy, which can frustrate their partners or friends who are looking for clear direction.
  • Confused individuals may seek validation and approval from others, which can make them susceptible to being manipulated or controlled.
  • They may struggle to set boundaries, which can lead to them being taken advantage of or feeling overwhelmed.

Examples from books of characters who are confused

  • Ignatius J. Reilly from "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole
  • Meursault from "The Stranger" by Albert Camus
  • Oedipus from "Oedipus Rex" by Sophocles
  • Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
  • Alice from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll
  • Hamlet from "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare
  • Gregor Samsa from "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka
  • Winston Smith from "1984" by George Orwell
  • Esther Greenwood from "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath

Writing exercises for writing confused characters

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

  • Write a scene where the confused character is trying to follow a complicated set of instructions.
  • Write a scene where the confused character is struggling to understand a complex concept or idea.
  • Write a scene where the confused character is trying to make a decision but is unsure of what to do.
  • Write a scene where the confused character is lost and trying to find their way.
  • Write a scene where the confused character is trying to communicate with someone who speaks a different language or has a different perspective.
  • Write a scene where the confused character is confronted with conflicting information or opinions.
  • Write a scene where the confused character is dealing with a sudden change or unexpected turn of events.
  • Write a scene where the confused character is questioning their own beliefs or values.
  • Write a scene where the confused character is overwhelmed with too many options or possibilities.
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