We've all been warned. 'Do not covet thy neighbors,' (select something they have and insert it) here.
Envy is a negative force. Or in recent years it has been attached to a good motivational skill that causes a person to achieve above what they would normally do. For more on this go here.
For our purposes though, we will look at the negative and discuss how this energy, envy, can taint your hero.
Your hero is so jealous of his (friend, sibling, parent, acquittance) that s/he can't see beyond what that character has to become a happy and fulfilled person in their own right. They are miserable. Perhaps then you will send your hero on a quest, to discover their own abilities and overcome this jealousy. Or perhaps, some tragedy happens to the other character and compassion wells up within your hero motivating them to act for the other characters good. The story lies within the actions of your hero overcoming their envy. If this is a secondary plot in your novel, creating a 3-dimensional character development, then less time will be spent on their envy and how they overcome it, but you still must address it. Leave no unanswered questions.
Envy is a good tool to use to create a villain. Your villain will either get revenge or grow into a hero depending on your story line. It would be thrilling to write such a character.
One thing is for certain, envy is a mighty strong emotion for us writers.
I hope this helps. For more on this Seven Deadly Sin or others go to Wikipedia.
Picture link: Wikipedia
I have two openings for a critique partner at this time. If your interested leave your email in the comments.
Next week: Gluttony
After next week's post I will start a new series on Short Stories that will include Flash Fiction.