character morals

The Morals of Your Characters

The Morals of your characters will hold meaning for the story you’ll write. Just like how your morals guide your decisions, your characters will be driven by theirs.

Character morals

In fact, the moral of your characters could be the difference between creating conflict and creating resolution – which is what every story is made up of. Without these two elements, a story would be very uninteresting.

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What’s the Big Deal?

As readers, we want to see how a character fights the odds and sees their way through diversity. We want to see ourselves reflected back through the characters we invest so much of our time in.

The way they speak, the way they think, the choices that they’re presented with and how they react, are all signs of what guides them morally.

If a character holds back from speaking the truth because they know it will hurt the one seeking it, this is because they are morally coded to not hurt intentionally. They might not be making the right decision – but they are acting on their own moral code. This will either create conflict or resolution depending on the story elements.

If a character is behaving awkwardly around someone who’d just been arrested for shoplifting, it’s because they’re standing by a moral code of ‘thou shalt not steel’.

Our Character Morals Should be Relatable

Our morals are what sets us against others differently (or the same), and it’s this moral compass that is likely to sway a character’s decision process and behaviour in a certain way – again, either creating resolution, or more likely, creating conflict.

A character’s moral code can be used as a plot device to ensure that other characters within a story grow and shift in the way they need to in order for the plot to move on.

All in all, a character’s morals should reflect our own in some way along with a back story that supports them. This way, when you choose to reveal that backstory, the reader can relate to the steps the character has taken and believe in them as true to life.

Keep it Simple

It’s not so much about a fireball of activity, in many cases with story writing, it’s about the little things, the human interactions and the human dilemma that give a story a true depth to real life situations.

If you keep the detail sharp so that character interaction through dialogue and body language tell their own story of the morals within any character, you’ll find the plot itself doesn’t have to work so hard – and you the author – can let the story unfold naturally.

Respectfully your guide,

Cheryl x