Monday, August 20, 2012

The Seven Deadly Sins and Your Hero: Wrath

A re-post. Despite the original post I am back and blogging from home.

One delay after another, but now I am back on a limited basis using the library computer. So to retrace what I promised here is the first "deadly sin" and your hero/heroine.


Wrath is over the top anger. I bet you know someone who fits this description. They are unable to control their anger and violence usually results. Your hero or heroine may suffer from wrath. The question you must ask yourself is: What triggers their wrath? How does s/he control it?

Many villains suffer from wrath, but our heroes? Once you make this choice for one of your character's traits, than you must use skill and understanding to weave the scenes where your hero or heroine loses control. Build tension, just as you would with any other crisis. Make sure that their wrath is justifiable. It's my guess that breaking plates, or throwing an object is more acceptable than beating someone. However, much depends on your characters position in life. If they live in current times, stress can be a trigger. They would probably have some psychological training in dealing with their anger so you have a strong tool at your disposal. If they live in Medieval times, or Victorian times, or some other time in the past, I'd recommend a little research on your part to determine what was acceptable behavior back then and make sure that you weave that information into your story in a way that is natural and not a lecture.

Above all, entertain your readers. Make them sit on the edge of their seats. Give them a page turner at the end of every chapter via a strong hook. As you write, enjoy what comes out onto the page, if you don't, it's likely your readers won't either.

More sins are on their way: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.

Critique help? Check my blog schedule to learn more.

I hope this helped.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy - I'm glad access via the library is possible -

Wrath - back in the 1066 era .. as I happen to be reading about that .. having a noble major wobbly was very acceptable ... eg tantrum, exiling your foes, etc .. then in battle just letting loose .. and the writer talks about the hero controlling his anger ..

So you covered it - just the era it happens in ...

Look forward to reading about other sins?! Cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Didn't quite go as far as wrath with my main character. It's a difficult emotion to handle without making the character too unlikeable.

LTM said...

This made me think of Anakin Skywalker in the #3 Star Wars movie. That's a great way I think to show how your hero can turn to a villain b/c of wrath. Great post, Nancy! :o) <3

Carolyn V said...

I never thought about having my hero use wrath. That would be so tricky! But if done well, it bet it would be amazing. ;)

Jamie Gibbs said...

Wrath can be a good one to add ticks and quirks to your character. Like they fidget when they get angry, or blink a lot when they're trying to suppress their anger. That can be a subtle way to indicate to the reader their restraint and struggle rather than 'he felt angry'

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hilary
I bet a lot of women rolled their eyes in by gone days.

Hi Alex
My hero gets mad but I don't think he ever crosses the line and loses control.

Hi Leigh
I thought of Anakin Skywalker too.

Hi Carolyn
It is definately tricky.

Hi Jamie
You are so right. Just getting mad, doesn't really cut it in today's fiction.

Yeah...New Adult is what I meant. Sorry you all.

Anonymous said...

Greed defines some of the characters in my books. There is so much you can do with a greedy character. I allow my main characters to skirt the edges of wrath, but they are pulled back to reality by friends as wrath can distort their vision.

DeniseCovey _L_Aussie said...

Hi Nancy. Wrath. I love that word. Great for characters to act out.

Hope all goes well...


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Stephen...greed is a great way to demonstrate motive and opportunity in your characters.

Hi Denise
Love it too.

Thanks everyone for stopping by.

Anna said...

Dear Nancy,
You are always giving me new ideas and insights!

I have been a victim of other people's wrath in real life; so I think I tend to not want any of my characters to loose their temper.

But why not? If it happens in real life, why not include it in a story if it helps the plot?

I don't see a post about a picnic; but maybe that one will come tomorrow or over the weekend. I'll be back to check.

Thanks for sharing.

Best wishes,
RFW No.43 - 'Romantic Picnic'