Part I: The Heiress (Gluttony)
The second deadly sin is “gluttony.” I initially thought of having a model as the protagonist. I considered having a male model as the protagonist too. Eating disorders came into the picture — but then I took a step back, and remembered the theme/concept I initially had in mind for this entire Sins07 “seven deadly sins” series.
–> Image from Julie Morstad / Tiny Showcase
Right from the start, I’d always wanted an element of fun and light-heartedness throughout the books (“light-hearted” in the “cheerfully optimistic and hopeful” sense — not in a completely carefree, frivolous sense). The whole aspect of eating disorders just wasn’t right, with regards to the concept/vision for the series. I watched almost all the episodes of What’s Eating You? on E! Online (I love that channel — that, and A&E). I know a few people in real life who have suffered or are currently suffering from some kind of eating disorder. There is nothing fun about eating disorders. Most of the time, it is something very miserable, demoralizing, and anxiety-inducing. While I can understand the inner turmoil and the seriousness of eating disorders, I just didn’t feel that it’d be a good fit for this YA series I am currently working on.
My “Plan B” (if I wasn’t going to cast a model as the protagonist) was to feature an “heiress” (which immediately brought to mind: Paris Hilton!). The character could still do some modeling on the side, but she would have more money, power, and control, than a super-thin model working for a modeling agency / in the fashion industry. It would also allow for more interesting possibilities and various plot twists, than if I’d gone the modeling/staying skinny/eating disorders route.
I have always believed in providing/creating the changes I would like to see in real life (instead of whining and griping about “things I don’t like”). The heiress can have friends who are models, or who suffer from quite-severe eating disorders (to up the book’s “relevance”)…but this would not be a “defining trait” of the protagonist herself. If it was (which would be the case, if she were a model who binged and purged on a consistent basis in order to “eat all she wanted” but “still remain thin”)…I would have to compromise a lot of the “fun” element in the plot.
One thing remains the same: the focus on wastage. I believe that is the sinful aspect of gluttony — the actual wastage of food and consumption of too much, when others are literally dying because they don’t have enough.
Part II: Gender Balance
I think the third book will feature a lead male protagonist. To even things out, maybe I’ll have 3 females and 3 males (from Book01 to Book06), and a girl and guy for Book07 (I’m very “diplomatic” that way). I think I was thinking of a bisexual best friend for the lead male in Book03 (Sloth) too — though the protagonist is likely to be more heterosexual than heteroflexible. But I thought it’d be more interesting if his best friend were bi/gay/sexually ambiguous.
It might go along these lines (with regards to the gender of the protagonists):
Book01 (Lust) — The Intern / Suzie Q (17, Female)
Book02 (Gluttony) — The Heiress / Female
Book03 (Sloth) — The (Gamer; tentative) / Male
Book04 (Envy) — Female
Book05 (Greed) — Male (something to do with banking/finance, presumably)
Book06 (Anger) — Male
Book07 (Pride) — Male & Female