Random Positive Trait Creator Success in Excel

As I’ve mentioned before, I purchased Ackerman and Puglisi’s excellent Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes a few weeks ago.

There are a lot of positive traits, I must say.  They have these columns listing them, and then there’s four different categories.

ACHIEVEMENT
IDENTITY
INTERACTIVE
MORAL

So, you pick from each category.
Me, I hate all that choice. There are 80 traits in the interactive category alone. I dunno, I gotta pick one from each?

Enter Excel!
I entered the traits into Excel (I won’t say how, but it’s pretty obvious) and stuck a random number generator at the top in cell A2, which looks like:

=ROUND(RAND()*(44-1)+1+3,0)

That gives me a range from cell A4 to A47, where I have the Achievement traits. Note that the random number generator creates an integer with up to 3 decimal places, so I use the round to round it off. If you don’t have that, when you try to grab the integer later it won’t have a good cell address.

Then for the paydirt, the thing that grabs whatever it is out of the column according to whatever the random number generator created.

In cell A1, I have this:

=INDIRECT(“A”&A2)

I copy the formulas across 4 columns with the numbers adjusted for the stuff in the column.

This gives me the result:

Idealistic Honorable Introverted Obedient

Some of the positive traits aren’t compatible with others, but I haven’t figured out a simple way to tell it “don’t use these results, they’re wrong!” I certainly could program it to do VBA and put in a string after each term with the opposites that may cause conflict, i.e. for Analytical, these traits aren’t usually compatible: adaptable, adventurous, illogical, impulsive, melodramatic, paranoid, sentimental.

Or just eyeball the result and decide on my own without a machine’s help. I can also program it to randomly select the negative traits, as well.  Ultimately, it’s a nice starting point.

Look!

Alert Enthusiastic Whimsical Humble

Don’t mind me, but I couldn’t help but see that you were standing over here with a blog. I love blogs! Maybe you could paint it blue.

Creative Optimistic Flamboyant Responsible

That one doesn’t look real. Creative AND responsible? Doesn’t fit the stereotype.