Monday, August 1, 2016

Tempting Matters

Temptation is so much a part of daily life. It started in the Garden of Eden and is constantly being dealt with by every person today.

Never been tempted, you say? Think more deeply and you'll come up with more than a handful of times you were tempted.

Temptation doesn't have to have the magnitude of a nuclear bomb. It can be a teaspoon of ice cream for a diabetic, a sip of beer for a 14-year old who's under peer pressure, a love affair with a married man/woman.

Temptation is a desire, a feeling. In Ronald Tobias' book, Twenty Master Plots, to be tempted is "to be induced or persuaded to do something that is either unwise, wrong or immoral."

There are 3 ways we can handle temptation:

- indulge it (and regret giving in to it later)
- resist it (and give in to it eventually)
- think deeply about why we shouldn't do it (and come to the conclusion that it's either something we really want or really don't want anyway)

However way we choose to handle a temptation, there is always a consequence.

Based on what you've read above, create 3 versions for any (or all) of the given situations below -- one where the character gives in to the temptation, one where he/she resists it, and one where he/she thinks deeply about why he/she shouldn't give in to it. What happens? How does each story version go?

a. A woman is promoted to manager. On her first top-level meeting, the owner wants his pet project approved. The other managers agree, but the new manager has reservations. She thinks it will cause the company financial problems in the long run. She is pressured by the other managers to "go with the flow," approve the project and deal with any consequences later.

b. A college student crams for a crucial exam. He is tempted to cheat on examination day. He cannot afford to fail the exam because his scholarship depends on it.

c. A 10-year old is tempted to "invent" a best friend she left in her old school when she goes to a new school. She thinks she'll fit in more quickly if she tells stories about the "cool" things she and her best friend did.

d. A father, after his wife dies from giving birth, is lost and doesn't know how he'll take care of his child. He is tempted to leave the baby in an orphanage.

e. A coach conducts a trial for new team members. One of them is the son/daughter of the coach's long-time enemy. The coach sees this opportunity to get back at his/her enemy by rejecting the son/daughter even if he/she is one of the best among those who tried out.

If fiction isn't your style, try listing 5-7 temptations you faced last month. Explore what might have happened if you did the opposite. (If you gave in to the temptation, what might have happened if you had resisted it?)

Copyright (c) 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

Shery created WriteSparks! - a software that generates over 10*million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks! Lite for fr*e -

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