What is your moral stance on…everything? To answer this question, you would have a multitude of answers. I offer this as an example for your story. You do not have to limit your moral argument to just one. It can be risky if done poorly. But done right, gold.
Example: Say your plotline is about…a woman in a male dominated career field. Your morals could cover everything from business ethics, racism (depending on her color or the ethnicity of any other character), and of course, sexism. These are very powerful moral arguments. I would pick one to go heavy into but could easily touch on the other two to deepen my storyline.
** Don’t limit yourself if you can work with more details to deepen your story.
Hello, friends. How are we all doing this fine day? I am forcing myself to be positive. I found I have been cranky lately and need a better outlook. So, here I am being chipper. Trying to see if the ‘fake it till you make it’ thing works. I’ll let you know. To brighten my day further, let’s go refill those empty cuppas and find something to nibble. Yes, I am eating something healthy, but you don’t have to. You are welcome to root through those wonderfully full lunches in the communal fridge. Who brings the best yummies? Take a look. Just don’t get caught and watch out for those whistle blowers. While you use your best ninja skills to steal a cookie, I will go roll out the reading rug. Meet me out there when you have your snack and don’t forget your copy of The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. There is still time to buy yourself a copy today. We are far from done with the few chapters I am covering. You can also read the entire book all on your own. Shocking, I know. Let’s get to it!
This is the common format. Good guy battles bad guy in a simple moral tale with recognizable characters. Here’s how it goes:
- The hero has a weakness but is essentially good.
- The opponent is flawed morally and might be bad.
- As the story progresses, the hero makes mistakes but remains moral in their choices.
- The opponent, throughout the story, executes multiple immoral acts.
- The hero wins because he is good.
Um, okay. Don’t get me wrong, some good guy/bad guy stories are okay, but they can fall into boring very easily. If you choose this path, ensure your story is strong enough to pull in and keep a reader.
This is the moral argument but twisted at the end. We start with a flawed hero, as we should, but the hero’s self-revelation comes too late at the end.
- The town is in trouble.
- The hero has potential but is also flawed.
- The hero enters into conflict with the powerful opponent causing trouble for the town.
- The hero is obsessed with winning. So much so that they are willing to skate the line of good and evil.
- The conflict highlights the hero’s flaws further and shows them getting worse.
- The hero sees his flaws but too late to save the town from the opponent.
** The hero has a gambling problem. A local businessman wants to bring a big casino to town. The hero wants to stop them from coming in. The businessman bets him for the rights to the land- this causes the hero to fall back into bad habits of gambling. It causes him to lose the bet and the town becomes the new home of the casino…blah blah blah- Bad example, but you get the idea.
As we have read before, our audience gets caught up in the struggle and this can have a strong emotional reaction for them. It’s sadness in the loss of potential of the hero. Is this a bad thing? Nope. Not all stories end in the happily ever after format.
This is the journey of endurance of the lost cause. The MC will not have a self-revelation because they aren’t capable of one. But they fight all the way until the end.
- The hero has beliefs that are far out of date/rigid.
- Your hero has a moral need; he is not a victim.
- His goal is outside his grasp, but he doesn’t see it.
- This is where the opponent is far too powerful that the hero cannot comprehend.
- The hero willingly steps outside of good moral choices against the warnings of their allies.
- The hero fails. The opponent wins by an overwhelming amount. It is seen as an unfair fight.
- This is where it can get dark: the hero could die of a broken heart or take his own life due to the failure.
- This can cause your audience to feel deep injustice and sadness for the character. They can also admire the willingness of the character to fight even when the odds where against them.
I love a good tearjerker. A fight to the end kinda journey.
Up next, we will learn more about Satire and Irony, Black Comedy, and How to Combine Moral Arguments.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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Universal Code for O-B*tch-uary: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
Universal Code for Sin Full: http://books2read.com/u/m2Vdqd
Author Page: amazon.com/author/nellawarrent