As people we all have pride.  We have it in ourselves for our accomplishments.  We have pride in other people for whom we're happy for.  Pride is what helps us to stand up for ourselves, and have self-confidence.  But pride can also be a tricky backstabber if we're not careful.

Pride can tear existing relationships apart, and prevent new ones from beginning.  Pride can make us do something contrary to an action we'd normally take just to "save face".  Pride can make us lie about our true feelings because we don't want other people to witness any vulnerabilities.

So, how can we use this in our writing?

For our characters to be fleshed out, they would exhibit pride throughout our novel.  It could be they're adamantly insisting they're right even when they might not be.  It could be in the case of a romantic relationship - one character loves another but is too proud to admit it.

Have a character who refuses to apologize.

Have a romantic relationship experience conflict because one it too proud to admit to any wrongdoing, or admit their true feelings.

Make a character experience pain caused from a prideful rejection.

Maybe you have a detective who refuses to see a case from any other angle than his or her own.

Pride can be a close relative of stubborn (in my opinion).  Have a person insist they are right in dialogue, but have their internal narrative show the reader otherwise.

These are just some ways to utilize pride in our writing.  What about you?  How have you used it, or plan to incorporate it?


  1. I love how your posts make me break down some emotions and feelings I don't really think about while I'm writing.

    Pride...well one of my manuscripts is about a 19-year old girl who's been raped, and her pride takes her far away from the town in which the rape occured and forces her to start her life anew.

    In my current story, it's not as blatant as that. The MC is proud of her daughter. That's plain. As far as pride in herself...not yet. But she's getting there. Though she is too proud to try a relationship with her mother, after years of being the odd one out in her family. Too proud to become friends with her sister. Too proud of how different she's always been from them to see that now that they're all grown, maybe they aren't so different.

    Wow...see? I didn't think about all that, but now I will! Thank you!

  2. I feel we always ought to use one of the deadly sins in our stories, don't you think? And pride can lead to such delicious plotlines! Great for conflict both internal and external.

  3. Thank you April :) I find it helps breaking it down a lot too. It makes you tap into emotions more as a writer, and there can never be too much of that.

    And Pat, so totally agree :)

  4. Great topic. Thanks for posting. In my WIP, I find that pride can be both constructive and destructive. It makes characters foolish in some situations, yet also sometimes helps them fight through a roadblock because they're too proud to give up.

  5. Welcome to my blog Anne, and thank you for your comment :)


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