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Inspiration Decks Character Traits 2023-12-06 00:00

Character Trait: Fickle

Character Trait Fickle

To engage your reader, it's important to always show not tell the traits of your characters. The character trait "fickle" refers to a person who is inconsistent or unreliable in their thoughts, feelings, or actions. A fickle character may change their mind frequently, act impulsively, or lack commitment to their decisions. They may be easily influenced by external factors or other people's opinions, making it difficult for others to predict their behavior. This trait can add complexity to a character and create tension in a story.

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

Possible causes of being fickle

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

  • Desire for novelty and excitement
  • Insecurity or need for validation from others
  • Fear of commitment or fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • Genetic predisposition or personality trait
  • Lack of self-awareness or self-confidence
  • Traumatic experiences or unstable upbringing
  • Difficulty making decisions or sticking to them

Behaviors associated with being fickle

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

  • Being indecisive and having difficulty making choices
  • Fluctuating emotions and moods, being unpredictable
  • Being inconsistent in behavior and actions
  • Being unfaithful or disloyal in relationships
  • Having a short attention span and quickly losing interest in things
  • Changing one's opinion frequently without a clear reason or explanation
  • Easily swayed by external influences or the opinions of others

Attitudes associated with being fickle

You may be able to show fickle through their attitudes.

  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Unpredictable behavior
  • Lack of commitment
  • Disregard for consequences
  • Impulsive actions
  • Change of opinion frequently
  • Shallow relationships
  • Self-centeredness
  • Lack of trustworthiness

Thoughts and struggles associated with being fickle

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

  • A fickle character may struggle with making decisions and sticking to them
  • They may have a tendency to be superficial or shallow, focusing more on appearances than substance
  • They may struggle with trust issues and have difficulty forming deep relationships
  • They may have a fear of commitment and constantly change their mind about people or things
  • They may lack a sense of direction or purpose, causing them to feel lost or unfulfilled
  • They may feel restless and easily bored, always seeking new experiences or opportunities
  • They may be easily influenced by others and have a hard time standing up for themselves

Emotions associated with being fickle

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

  • Flakiness
  • Lack of commitment
  • Unreliability
  • Superficiality
  • Inconstancy
  • Capriciousness
  • Indecisiveness
  • Shifting loyalties
  • Impulsivity

Facial expressions associated with being fickle

Here are some facial expressions your fickle character may exhibit.

  • Nervous laughter or awkward silence
  • Eyes darting back and forth
  • Shifting gaze or avoiding eye contact
  • Smiling one moment and frowning the next
  • Lips pursed or twisted in a conflicted expression
  • Shrugging shoulders in indecision
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Fidgeting with hands or objects
  • Tilting the head to one side in contemplation

Body language associated with being fickle

Here is some body language your fickle character may exhibit.

  • Constantly changing facial expressions
  • Inconsistent eye contact
  • Restlessness, inability to sit still
  • Rapidly shifting emotions
  • Flitting attention span
  • Frequent shrugging of shoulders
  • Lack of follow-through on plans or commitments
  • Indecisive gestures (e.g. tapping fingers, biting nails)
  • Constantly changing tone of voice

Behaviors associated with being fickle

Here are some behaviors your fickle character may exhibit.

  • Being indecisive and having difficulty making choices
  • Being inconsistent in behavior and actions
  • Easily swayed by external influences or the opinions of others
  • Having a short attention span and quickly losing interest in things
  • Being unfaithful or disloyal in relationships
  • Changing one's opinion frequently without a clear reason or explanation
  • Fluctuating emotions and moods, being unpredictable

Growth and evolution of fickle characters

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

  • Learn to make decisions: Through the course of the story, a fickle character may learn to make decisions with greater confidence and trust in their own judgment.
  • Develop greater self-awareness: A fickle character may come to recognize their tendency to change their mind frequently and begin to understand how this affects themselves and others.
  • Find their passion: A fickle character may struggle with finding a sense of purpose or direction. As they explore their interests and passions, they may become more focused and consistent in their decisions.
  • Overcome fear of commitment: Fear of commitment is often at the root of fickle behavior. As a character faces and overcomes their fears, they may become more stable in their decision-making.
  • Develop empathy: Fickle characters can sometimes be seen as selfish or uncaring. As they learn to understand and appreciate the perspectives of others, they may become more thoughtful and compassionate.

Stereotypes of fickle characters to avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical fickle character like these examples.

  • Avoid portraying the character as shallow or lacking in depth
  • Avoid making the character's fickleness the source of all their conflicts and problems
  • Avoid using the character's fickleness as a cheap plot device
  • Avoid making the character's fickleness their defining characteristic
  • Avoid making the character's fickleness a negative trait without any redeeming qualities or growth potential
  • Avoid making the character's fickleness too extreme or unrealistic

Negatives of being fickle

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

  • Unreliable behavior
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Difficulty in forming deep connections with others
  • Missed opportunities due to indecisiveness
  • Difficulty in building trust with others
  • Lack of commitment to relationships or projects
  • Inconsistent attitudes and beliefs
  • Risk of being seen as insincere or superficial
  • Tendency to change one's mind frequently

Positives of being fickle

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

  • Fickle people can be very charming and charismatic, able to win over others with their enthusiasm and energy.
  • They are often very social and outgoing, enjoying meeting new people and trying new things.
  • They tend to be very resilient, able to bounce back quickly from setbacks or disappointments.
  • Fickle people are often highly adaptable and can easily adjust to new situations and environments.
  • They tend to be open-minded and curious, always seeking out new experiences and perspectives.
  • Fickle individuals are often creative and innovative, constantly coming up with new ideas and approaches.

Verbal expressions of fickle characters

Here are some potential expressions used by fickle characters.

  • "I go back and forth"
  • "I'm torn between two things"
  • "I keep changing my opinion"
  • "I'm flighty"
  • "I'm indecisive"
  • "I can't make up my mind"
  • "I'm unpredictable"
  • "I'm easily swayed"
  • "I'm inconsistent"

Relationships of fickle characters

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

  • In some cases, fickle behavior may lead to a pattern of manipulation or using others for personal gain.
  • Fickle people may struggle with forming deep, meaningful relationships due to their tendency to quickly lose interest or become easily swayed by external factors.
  • They may have a history of short-lived friendships or romantic relationships, often leaving others feeling confused or hurt.
  • Fickle individuals may also struggle to trust others or commit to long-term plans, as they may change their minds frequently.

Examples from books of characters who are fickle

  • Daisy Buchanan from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Catherine Earnshaw from "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte
  • Amy Dunne from "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn
  • Becky Sharp from "Vanity Fair" by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Tom Sawyer from "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain
  • Hamlet from "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare
  • Scarlett O'Hara from "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell
  • Holden Caulfield from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

Writing exercises for writing fickle characters

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

  • Create a backstory for your character that explains why they have trouble sticking to one decision or idea.
  • Write a scene where your character changes their mind about a major decision multiple times.
  • Write a dialogue where your character lies or manipulates others to get what they want, even if it means breaking promises or betraying trust.
  • Create a list of things your character is passionate about and have them abruptly lose interest in one or more of those things.
  • Imagine your character in a situation where they have to make a difficult choice that requires loyalty, but they struggle to remain faithful to one side.
  • Write a dialogue where your character is indecisive and struggles to commit to a plan or idea.
  • Write a scene where your character is easily swayed by others' opinions, even if it contradicts their own beliefs.
  • Write a scene where your character is torn between two love interests and keeps flip-flopping between them.
  • Imagine your character in a situation where they have to choose between two equally appealing options, but keep changing their mind and end up making a decision they regret.
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