How to Write a Temptation Scene


When Writing, keep in mind the hierarchy of needs:

  • Physiological.
  • Safety and Security.
  • Love and Belonging.
  • Esteem and Recognition.
  • Self-Actualization.


Part One

  1. Temptation examines the motives, needs, and impulses of a character.

    »A.Focus on the morality and the effects of temptation. By the end of the story, the character should have advanced from a lower moral plane to a higher one by learning the harsh lessons of giving in to temptation.

I. Conflict from the protagonist’s inner turmoil from knowing what he should do and then not doing it. Establish the nature of the protagonist. If stealing goes against your protagonist’s character, then you need to give him a reason to really, really want/need what it may be, enough to override his sense of morality. Does he need to give in to save lives? Has he wanted this item desperately for ages, but has been thwarted by seemingly unfair circumstances?

II. Show how the protagonist struggles over his decision. The protagonist then gives into the temptation with short-term gratification. Soon after short-term benefits diminish and the negative sides emerge.

III The protagonist may rationalize their decision to yield to temptation. The protagonist might go through a period of denial afterward.Temptation can reveal a wide range of emotions in your character.

IV Reflect the effects of yielding to the temptation. The protagonist should try to find a way to escape responsibility and punishment for his act.

V The negative effects should increase with intensity.

Suggest YOUR Scene Idea


Example 1: coming soon



Part Two

  1. The Contagonist and Structure-

    »A.Contagonist represents temptation and hinder

I. A story’s antagonist is the opponent that stands in the way of the protagonist attaining their goal. The contagonist serves to tempt the protagonist away from their goals.

II. The contagonist might not even know they’re inadvertently preventing the protagonist from attaining their goal.

IIII. Show the protagonist succumbing to it with some resistance, rationalization, and lots of opportunity for denial. [You can have anything, but don’t touch those jewels…]

IV. Show the ripple effects of giving in. Denial, lying, etc. are all
and how the protagonist tries to deal, but the more they attempt to get free, the more oppressive it becomes.

V. What internal struggle is raging inside the character?
Is it guilt? If so, how does that guilt manifest in the exterior actions? The result of all the turmoil will be a realization about themselves.

Example 2:

Coming Soon



Part Three

  1. Creating Character Depth-

    »A. What are the motives, needs, and impulses of the character?

I. Where does your character start in terms of morality? What are the changes in morality and the effects of giving in to temptation that drive those changes in your story?

II. What is the inner turmoil of the protagonist? What do they know they should do, and what do they do instead?

Example 3:

Coming Soon


Part Four

  1. Does your protagonist clearly give in? Or is it a struggle?

    »A.Does your protagonist rationalize giving inor deny the whole thing, refusing to admit that they yielded?

I. Is it clear that this was the wrong decision? Does the second dramatic phase clearly reflect the effects of yielding? Do you show how the real drawbacks start to become apparent? How soon?

II. Go into detail about the negative effects increasing, involving more and more of the protagonist’s life. Almost like it seems endless and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Suggest YOUR Scene Idea

Example 4:

Coming Soon.


Part Five

  1. Bring the scene to a Close.

    »A.What now? What is done is done.

I. Resolve the internal conflicts. They will reach a conclusion about giving in to temptation. What is the lesson learned, and how has your character matured?

II. Crisis. Is there atonement, reconciliation and forgiveness? The effects are unbearable, the conflict has risen, the stakes are high. Will our protagonist continue to
agonize or confess? Repent and be forgiven?

Example 5:

Coming Soon.


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