Episode 151: It Goeth Before the Fall

On July 10, 2021, Kasie and Rex started a series on the Seven Deadly Sins. Here are the show notes:

Theme for the day(s)

The Seven Deadly Sins

Agenda

  • Summer project update
  • SCWA Upcoming events and goings-on
  • The 7 Deadly Sins introduction
  • Focus on the first
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Link to the podcast

Segment 1

This summer we’re working on serialization projects. You can review the show where we covered the benefits and opportunities of serialization here. My work is on Wattpad and it’s called The Full Moon in Neverland. It’s nine full chapters, 36 parts, and clocks in at 4 hour and 22 minute read (phew!) already and about one chapter from the climax. I think it’ll end up being between 12 and 14 chapters. So a lot of work and I’m giving it away.  

Rex is working with Vella and has this epic cover for his vampire novel. I know, copycat (ha). So he’s going to go live after he gets six chapters loaded. Vella is a service of Amazon.

The SCWA invites you to participate in Writing Conversations every Tuesday at noon via zoom. Click here to register. This upcoming Tuesday, July 13th, is “The Evolution of a Work” with Jodie Cain Smith, whom we interviewed for Write On SC YouTube here and who’s launching two books in July. 

Jodie and I both did this online (livestream) critique session yesterday with our publisher, Alexa, so that was fun. You can hear clips from my upcoming novel, Before Pittsburgh, and Jodie’s Bayou Cresting: The Wanting Women of Huet’s Pointe among others. You’ll also hear Jodie and I give feedback to the other readers.

Last little bit of housekeeping. SCWA is piloting a new monthly feature called Authors’ Corner that streams live on their YouTube and Facebook. This week was the first one and it was me talking to romance author Bettie Williams and middle grade author Lis Anna-Langston. Catch the whole video here.

In my post for the Columbia II chapter this week, I talked about “doing all the things” associated with building this writing life. Certainly this show is part of it, but also the livestreams, the YouTube, the Patreon, the interviews with other communities and providing support and visibility. I’m actually recording a podcast with Alexa tomorrow on the effort to get reviewers interested in reading my book and writing reviews. It’s a whole thing and the building of the platform can be so overwhelming.

Segment 2

Let’s get to the fun stuff. Sin. From the Wikipedia page:

The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices, or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings,[1] although they are not mentioned in the Bible. Behaviours or habits are classified under this category if they directly give rise to other immoralities.[2] According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth,[2] which are contrary to the seven heavenly virtues.

So two things stick out to me — they’re part of Christian teachings, which means they’re probably irrelevant to non-Christians. And they’re not in the Bible. So they’re from Biblical scholarship and religious doctrine but not the Bible itself.

We’re going to run a series here and dedicate each of the subsequent weeks to one sin and how it manifests in literature and how you can leverage it. 

This week, then is “pride” which is a particular focus. From Wikipedia again:

Teachers especially focused on pride, thought to be the sin that severs the soul from grace[5] and which is the very essence of evil, as well as greed, with these two underlying all other sins. 

What is it about pride that just wears us out? Makes us want to correct others who show it? Makes us dislike them? Avoid them? Put them down?

Britannica defines this this way:

According to Roman Catholic theology, the seven deadly sins are the seven behaviours or feelings that inspire further sin. They are typically ordered as: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.

This blog gives some examples for each sin so we’ll probably revisit it throughout the series. First, though, let’s talk through Pride and what it is and is not and then we’ll go into some examples.

According to DeadlySins.com Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities. It interferes with the acceptance of God’s grace and is the sin from which all others are born. It’s also called vanity. So let’s unpack that.

Segment 3

Why can’t one be proud of one’s own abilities?

What does the church gain by forcing us to be humble?

How do others react to the acts that demonstrate pride?

When we consider the role pride can play for a character — does it alienate others? How much pride is too much?

Is your character made to feel bad about the amount of pride s/he has or exhibits?

What about this acceptance of God’s grace? Is there a social equivalent for that?

We did a whole series on motivation, so I’d like to talk about whether pride is a motivation? If so, is the character aware of it? What kinds of things are we too proud over?

Examples in literature (some from this link)(some from this list on Goodreads):

  • Icarus — to whom Faustus is likened
  • Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett in Pride & Prejudice
  • The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Hamilton
  • Moby Dick 
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
  • The Devil’s Advocate by L.E. Parker

For what it’s worth, the punishment in hell for those guilty of the sin of pride is to be broken on the wheel. Ouch.

Segment 4

Okay, so how do you leverage it? You can use pride as the thing that keeps the secrets, prolongs the misunderstanding.

This psychology blog talks about the differences between healthy and unhealthy pride. So let’s leverage that for this “how to”

  • Healthy pride:
    • Can-do attitude, optimism, resilience and self-reliance
  • Unhealthy: 
    • Driven to succeed, but likely extrinsically and without any real connection to the work or the achievement
  • Healthy pride:
    • Positive notion of self worth and what you will and will not accept or put up with
  • Unhealthy pride:
    • Overly favorable evaluation of one’s capabilities; delusion
  • Healthy pride:
    • Assertive but implicit, understated and respected
  • Unhealthy pride:
    • Aggressive, a sense of superiority and putting down others
  • Healthy Pride:
    • Achieves for one’s own benefit and accomplishment
  • Unhealthy Pride:
    • Aggressively compares to others
  • Healthy Pride:
    • Authentic, rooted in the outcomes of real work and the resulting achievement
  • Unhealthy Pride:
    • False, distorted claims of one’s accomplishments
  • Healthy Pride:
    • Pro social — encourages others, lifts them up, shows them how
  • Unhealthy Pride:
    • Authoritarian, competitive, antagonistic or rule-breaking behavior; outright proclaiming that only they could have done such a thing and others should be in awe
  • Healthy Pride:
    • Shares success with others, is grateful for the help and collaboration
  • Unhealthy pride:
    • “Lord” it over others, don’t want anyone to trespass on their spotlight or victories

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