Monday, August 27, 2012

The Seven Deadly Sins: Greed and your Hero

Today I'm continuing the Seven Deadly Sins and  your Hero with the sin Avarice (Latin) which means Greed. This is one sin that many of us are familiar with. Society is ripe with Greed. Greed drove Wall Street and the Big Banks to ruin our economy and got away with it because (in America) the government lifted the  restrictions that kept them honest. However, business' are not the only place to find Greed. Every place people are, there are those who are Greedy. Not just in our time but throughout history Greed drove many to do terrible things in order to better themselves and those they loved. With this kind of character flaw inhabiting  your hero how do you handle the changes that must happen for your character to see the error of their ways and become a hero/heroine?

Whatever you decide it must be Big. No small event can change such a person. Do they have a near death experience? Do they or a loved one have health issues. Does your character climb a mountain to prove their worth and have an epiphany? You get the picture.

In the beginning of your story you must invest some time establishing their Greedy nature and perhaps all the luxury they have because of it. I'd say no more than one chapter. Then bang, perhaps their investments go south (slang for they lose everything) or perhaps they realize that the homeless woman on the corner is suffering do to circumstances beyond her control.Thus they get involved with charities and take their business savvy into a different arena.

An alternative to this situation is when another character or a group of characters perceive your hero/heroine to be Greedy when they are not. You are still dealing with the same character flaw and  you must establish the reasons others think this. Once again, you go Big with your logic to  paint a  picture that is false. Then you must go Big to change the minds of those around  your hero/heroine.

In every example I used you will find books, movies and television shows. However, only you can write your story, in your voice and make it original.

Any thoughts? I a movie, book or television show come to mind? I hope this was a little help to you.

Picture Link: Wikipedia


Jamie Gibbs said...

The first example that sprung to mind was the Addams family movie, where Uncle Fester attempts to fleece the family for their wealth and then realises that he's one of the Addams clan and has a change of heart. Not sure why that was the first thing that came to mind though...

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Jamie
That's a good example, though I agree, can't imagine why it was first. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Greed can involve wanting to be the best and on top as well as money.

Carolyn V said...

Ohhh, now I have so many ideas for my wip! ;) Thanks Nancy! I hope you had a great summer!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Alex
Your right about that.

Hi Carolyn
I'm so glad I helped you out. That's the idea of these post.

Thank you both for coming by and leaving a comment.

LTM said...

Well, of course, I'm thinking of WALL STREET now! "Greed is good"... :D

I think this is a fantastic "deadly sin" for writers to think about these days. It seems to be everywhere, yes? :o) <3

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Leigh
You're absolutely right about that. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Ciara said...

My mind is blank at the moment, but it's been a long day. I might have to sleep on it. Great post, though.

Donna Hole said...

Well, I'm thinking of a couple of my characters - villain types - that I could enhance this quality to possibly make the plot thicker.

Lex Luther comes to mind for me. Maybe his character is what gave me my love of villains :)


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Ciara
I've had many a day like that.

Hi Donna
Oh Lex was a great character and Gene Hackman did such a fabulous job.

Thank you both for coming by.

Southpaw said...

Nothing comes to mind. Would you lump greed for power in there too?

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Holly
Often the desire for Power is the reason for Greed. Good observation.