Character Trait Entry: Excitable

Since today's character trait is all about getting excited, it's fitting that I should announce our giveaway of The Emotion Thesaurus at Goodreads. If you haven't gotten your hands on a copy yet and you live in the US or Canada, two print versions are up for grabs. Just follow this link and enter to win before June 30th!


And now for this week's Character Trait Entry...
Excitable!!! 
(exclamation points added for emphasis)


Definition: being easily roused into a state of excitement

Causes: curiosity, immaturity, an optimistic outlook, boredom, a need for action or adventure, a desire to perform or prove oneself to others, medication or diet, mental imbalance, a highly intelligence person who is consistently under-stimulated

Characters in Literature: Gilderoy Lockhart (HP and the Chamber of Secrets), Fflewddur Fflam (The Black Cauldron), Tigger

Positives: Excitable characters are passionate. Their zeal is infectious and their exuberance can be the catalyst to spurring fence-sitters into action. Excitables make excellent support characters because they're willing to go along with whatever crazy idea is suggested. Their willingness to do just about anything makes them open-minded and impulsive. If you need someone to do something incredibly brave, dangerous, or stupid, an excitable character will get the job done.

Negatives: Excitables may be passionate, but they rarely think things through. Their lack of common sense and impulsivity often leads to trouble for them and their friends. Because Excitables are delighted by just about everything, they're often viewed by others as childish and simple and aren't taken seriously. They tend to react to opportunities rather than create them for themselves, so it's difficult for an Excitable to be an effective hero.

Common Portrayals: children, sidekicks, crackpots

Clichés to Avoid: the yes man who jumps eagerly into any adventure the hero suggests; the Excitable motivated by curiosity and the thirst for knowledge; the lap-dog-type sidekick who fawns after the hero with no discernible thoughts of his own

Twists on the Traditional Excitable: 
  • Because these characters are often portrayed as mindless followers, give your Excitable a brain. Maybe he can see the foolishness or randomness of his actions, but he is compelled by some other reason to always leap without looking
  • An Excitable hero who doesn't think for himself would make for an interesting journey and a story rife with trouble
  • An Excitable mentor would also create some serious conflict for the hero

Conflicting Characteristics to Make your Excitable Unique or More Interesting: timid, rational, cruel, serious, responsible, obedient

*****
And speaking of being excited, I'm totally chuffed to be interviewed today at Miriam Forster's blog, which might have one of the coolest blog names ever. I'd tell you what it is, but what's the fun in that??

15 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

Tigger is the perfect picture for this! I love the pictures you guys pick out! :)

Robert said...

Oh, this is gonna be very helpful for something I'm writing now! Thank you!

Matthew MacNish said...

A nerdy, calculating type who was otherwise (emotionally) excitable would be an awesome twist. Thanks, Becca!

Traci Kenworth said...

Excitable, excitable, Tigger is that!!

wosushi said...

Tigger is so perfectly excitable! Love it.

Also love that you use the word "chuffed". :)

Victoria Scott said...

Oh, I so want to win the thesaurus. Let us know if you post the giveaway on GR. This could really help me!

Leslie S. Rose said...

Lydia Bennett from Pride and Prejudice popped right into my mind as the poster girl for excitable.

thebookshelfmuse said...

Leslie, Lydia is an AWESOME example of an excitable character. Great addition!

And Victoria, the giveaway is up at Goodreads. Just click on the link to enter :).

Kitty said...

Another great entry. Thanks, ladies!

Susanne Drazic said...

Shared a link to this post on Twitter and Facebook.
: )

Becca Puglisi said...

Thanks Susanne!

Lena said...

Immaturity and boredom causing excitement. True that.

Just a small correction. "a highly intelligence person" should be "a highly intelligent person"

that must have been a typo!

sue frost said...

I would love to win your book, sounds very interesting....

Anne said...

I am looking for a good read for my vacation next month - this is right up my alley! Thanks to my old Girl Scout camp buddy Jane, I must check it out! Thanks, Jane!

debjulienne said...

My editor recommended it and I just love it...fabulous help!

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