When you thought we got deep last week with complex and focus characters, we are going to get even deeper with your character’s personality.  Many great characters are known for  his virtues and his innate flaws or sins. The main difference between Sins and Virtues is that a person is born prone to sin. Virtues must be realized and practiced; this is the secret of their strength.

All people, and thus characters have a weakness to at least 2 sins in which one is more powerful than the other. No one is promised or guaranteed virtue. This is what defines a good person and a bad person. The bad embrace sin and strengthens it while crossing over into other sins. The good strives to establish one of more Virtues and practices that to balance their sins. How a character deals with their sins and virtues depends on their character components, which we talked about last week.

Here seven cardinal sins and virtues that can help add depth and purpose to your story’s characters.

Deadly Sins:

1.       Pride

2.       Covetousness

3.       Lust

4.       Anger

5.       Gluttony

6.       Envy

7.       Sloth

Cardinal Virtues:

1.       Wisdom

2.       Temperance

3.       Courage

4.       Justice

5.       Faith

6.       Hope

7.       Charity

Can you think of a fictional character that had some standout sins and virtues that made him/her a great character to read about?


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  • Red Mage

    November 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    No one ever mentions the virtues. They just focus on the sins.
    It’s great to consider both when thinking about a character.