Character character is my fun way of saying that, in fiction, your characters have to possess some sense of morality. There has to be a standard. Nonfiction is different, because whenever we read nonfiction, we filter it through our own morality.

If I read a book about Adolf Hitler, I don’t have to tug on my mother’s coat tail and say: “Mommy, why is he a bad man?” No. It’s because we judge him by our own standards. But in fiction, we have to give our characters a moral right and a moral wrong. This is not the time for postmodernism, because from my research, postmodernism doesn’t work in fiction. It may be a common belief in today’s society, but it’s one of the best ways to be forced to self-publish because no editor will accept your work.


He went through the town blowing the brains out of all the little boys and girls under the age of seven. But no one cared, because it was right for him. And since it was right for him, the town did nothing.

Yeah….that definitely doesn’t fly. This could work if the point is to show how apathetic the town had become only to show that your hero steps in to stop this. Now the reader will feel a surge of justice against the villain’s injustice.

Here’s an example of why morality matters in fiction. I’m going with the fantasy genre.


She waved her hand around in the mystic pool. The people scoffed at her.
“What kind of wickedness is this?” she heard some of them say.

The morality that you see in the above text is that she is placing her hand in this pool that the people believe to be off-limits. So this ethical issue should be addressed and accentuated if you want to make a better novel. Think about what makes her actions so wrong, and how her actions affect the people around her. What inside of her makes her want to fight against the societal norm? Now you’ve got some character friction happening.

Remember, every ethical decision that a person makes has the potential of affecting those around them. Maintaining this principle in your novel will help you to be as successful as both you and I know you can be.


    1. stadlerstyle Post author

      Thanks Stephanie. Finding time to right is so difficult, but the payoff is worth every minute of it. My first writing venture started before Thanksgiving of last year (2011), and ever since then, I can’t stop. But just getting started is tough. If you do decide to start writing, feel free to forward me some of your work. I do style, grammar, and content edits. And until I get my writing off the ground, I will be offering this service to all of my blog followers for free.
      Thanks again.

  1. Pingback: CALCULATED RISKS « Stadler Style

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