Character Trait Entry: Sentimental

Definition: being overly influenced by feelings

Causes: natural predisposition, having an overly sentimental parent, wanting the attention that comes when excess emotion is expressed, an inability to move beyond highly emotional events in one's past, being deeply in tune with one's own emotions and wanting to experience them frequently

Characters in Literature: Anne Shirley, Mrs. Weasley, Cecily (Wither)

Positives: Sentimentals are in touch with their feelings. They don't see the need to hide their emotions, and so are usually transparent and honest in their expressions. Because their emotions are often wrapped up in the people around them, Sentimentals tend to be people-oriented. They are often unselfish and focused on others.

Negatives: Because of the Sentimental's tendency toward emotionality, they often clash with people who are more practical, and are misunderstood as weak, melodramatic, and unrealistic. Their demonstrative nature may make others uncomfortable. Sentimentals can often get so caught up in the past that they neglect the present or the future. Their sentimentality can sometimes lead them to see events how they want to see them instead of how they actually are.

Common Portrayals: women, teenage girls, children

Clichés to Avoid: the nostalgic mother crying over her child's latest milestone; those in declining years constantly reminiscing about the good old days; the hugely pregnant, hormone driven mother-to-be

Twists on the Traditional Sentimental:  
  • Again, in literature, this trait is largely represented by the female gender. What about a sentimental man who's driven more by emotion than logic?
  • Sentimentality and practicality don't usually go together. Try throwing a sentimental into a traditionally practical career field: the sentimental accountant, mathematician, IT professional, mechanic  
Conflicting Characteristics to Make your Sentimental Unique or More Interesting:  precise, negative, cruel, rude, miserable, easygoing, serious

9 comments:

onthehomefrontandbeyond said...

I think it would be nice to have a sentimental mathematician --that gives me an idea........thanks

Marla Rose Brady said...

i like this. If I were a character, this would be my trait. lol

Jemi Fraser said...

A sentimental mathematician would be fun! :)

Traci Kenworth said...

This would be a difficult character to pull off. I would worry about them becoming too overwrought for the reader and thus losing any sympathy.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I have never created an overtly sentimental character (I think the mother of my MC can be called sentimental, she cries when he he gets good grades). But, I think its natural for a mother to feel a little emotional.

Heather said...

I love the twist idea of making the character a man who is driven by emotion. Hmmm...

Wild About Words said...

Love the character trait entries. Can't wait until they become your next book because I would like to own it . . . right now!

Elise Shedd said...

Sentimental characters can be have more dimensions to their personality that make the more real to the reader.In my book I recently published, the guy lives and dwells in the past with a negative and cruel streak to him when people try to get too close especially women.

Elise Shedd said...

Sentimental characters can be have more dimensions to their personality that make the more real to the reader.In my book I recently published, the guy lives and dwells in the past with a negative and cruel streak to him when people try to get too close especially women.

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