Envy and Kindness

I hope everyone is in a gluttony-induced haze of laziness for Boxing Day, having spent the previous day with their loved ones.  This week marks the true start of summer in my humble corner of the universe, with the daily maxima of 38 degrees C (100 degrees F) or above for the next week.  Thankfully, a ‘cool change’ of 34 degrees C (93 degrees F) will come next Wednesday.

Other than that, I have been throwing around some short story ideas.  A particular one that has gained traction is a science fiction story based in the closest earth-like atmospheric conditions in our Solar System.  I will just need to flesh the main idea out some more to see if it can work.

 

ENVY

1)                   (n) a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.

2)            (n) an object of envious feeling.

3)            (n) (obsolete)  Ill will.

 

This vice is one that many would feel at this time of the year.  No matter how much some people have, it seems like all they want is more, even though they don’t need it. Then there are others who only want an opportunity to earn some for themselves, yet circumstances prevent them from doing so.  Being in a poor area of the world, not having opportunities available, or even just having no motivation to put in the hard yards would be instances of this.

The character with this vice against shall be introduced very early in Book 2 (PoK), and be the focus of the main story in Book 3 (PoD).  Their embracing of envy will come through a long period of forced deprivation of liberty, which will mix with their sense of entitlement to create a understated yet formidable threat.

The one thing I am finding with my antagonists is that there has to be something likeable about them, as an unrelatable antagonist is just as bad to a story as the perfect protagonist.  Though people make it hard to believe sometimes, I do not believe people are born evil.  We are blank slates, who are continuously shaped by the chaos of events that make up our public and private lives.

Do you prefer your antagonists despicable, unpredictable and unlikeable?  Or as good people corrupted by the events of their lives?

 

KINDNESS

1)            (n) the state or quality of being kind.

2)            (n) a kind act; favour: his many kindnesses to me.

3)            (n) kind behaviour.

4)            (n) friendly feeling; liking.

 

With this virtue, is proved to be a difficult one to implement.  This is due to the fact that kindness is the basis of almost every good action a person performs.  Due to this, I altered it slightly to the term ‘contentment’.  It seemed a more natural antithesis to envy, since being happy with what you have is the opposite of never being happy with what you have.

The character with this virtue will be introduced in the later portion of Book 1 (PoP).  They will have a very strong historical link to the Lust character.  The issue will be that they were content with their life and had finally found peace with the raw deal life had presented them.  But the Lust character shows up, and everything will change drastically for them.

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6 thoughts on “Envy and Kindness

    • Greetings Doc =)

      That is very likely. Challenges are what we look for in our writing efforts, isn’t it? =)

      I am building up my file of character questionnaires (kindly provided by Emma McCoy) for the main characters of the ‘big project’. I have done them for six of the seven antagonists, then it is on to the protagonists. After that, there may be a need to do the same for the supporting characters. Supposedly, the path to an engaging story world is that supporting characters have their own lives outside the trials and tribulations of the main characters. One can only hope they are imaginative enough to make so many distinctive characters =P

      I hope your Holidays are going relaxingly well for you =)

      • My holidays are going well (so far as playing with time goes, and goofing off, and etc.), but as you may have noticed, I’m way off my regular posting schedule for about the last month or so. I have to get back on track somehow, and I’m not sure how, but my stats have dropped way, way, down. As the “good book” says, “Be sure your sins will find you out.”

      • It is true that you get as much out as you put in, but it is difficult when motivation is not at the ready.

        As it is the week between Christmas and New Years, everyone is sure to give you leeway =)

  1. I prefer antagonists that are more human, that aren’t completely evil. People turn bad because of a mixture of events in their lives and their own personality traits. Most of the time the antagonists are just plain evil, with no reason for it, and this isn’t realistic. I like a bad character that I can see why they turned bad and one I can relate to and maybe even sympathize with at times. Many times, the bad characters are flat and cliche, and I think the most interesting stories are those with interesting good and bad characters. I tried to make sure in my more complicated comic that the villains seem human and have reasons for what they do and even feel justified for it. Some are more vile than others, but they all have enough motivation, I think, for everything they do.

    • It seems the biggest thing in characterisation these days is the idea of relateability. Considering that reading a book is usually to escape reality, that a person can be so virtuous is part of that suspension of disbelief.

      The hardest part is making the good guys relateable. It is a bit difficult when you are working with a travelling monk, a somewhat evil Robin Hood-type, two people displaced by a centuries-long war who don’t trust each other, an obsessed former admirer, and two drastically out-of-place characters who get revealed in later books. But hey, writing is supposed to be a challenge =)

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