Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Hubris=excessive ambition: the excessive pride and ambition that usually leads to the downfall of a hero in classical tragedy

I have taken overweening  pride in the fact my teeth are near-perfect.  No cavities, no braces, good gums.  So according to the concept of hubris, I was destined for a fall.  Sure enough, my last dental appointment the dentist decided the slight cavity should be taken care of.  Yesterday I got my first filling.  It wasn’t particularly painful except the dentist said my mouth was too small (HA!) and my jaw hurt from the manipulations they did to get to the tooth.   But I have been deflated.  My arrogance in my dental health has a big hole punched in it.  

Anyway, that’s just an example about how hubris can play a part in our lives.  But it is a useful tool in character development.  When I’m developing my hero and heroines, I love to sneak in some hubris.  And the downfall for my characters is the black moment.  The result of their excessive pride directly relates to the losses they suffer.  I want it clear to them that if they had not been so prideful, they would have been able to achieve their goals and lived happily ever after.  But because I am a romance writer, my characters get to redeem themselves and gain that which they’ve lost, a far cry from the classical and Shakespearean heroes we read about.

If you are stuck with character development, reach back into those high school English classes and pick up on the classics.  The concepts can be a good guide to writing a compelling character.