Introduction to the Moral Sphere

At its heart, a story about consequences is a story about a moral truth. Morals are the apparatus of human character, fueling the behavior that gives rise to drama. Stories are the judgement of that behavior in action.

The emotions, the ethical principles and the range of values involved can be very complex, but the moral truth is simple. It is the author’s statement about the way the world works: given these characters, their respective values, their changing circumstances and the choices they make as they try to deal with their situation, this is how things are fated to end up. The author’s statement is as much about the inner qualities of each character as it is about the state of the world in which they exist. The story is destined to reveal the moral truth about these characters and their world. And, in effect, make the ending inevitable.

This section is about the role of human character in the storyworld and how behavior is generated, elicited and incorporated into the mechanics for drama. From a larger perspective, it considers what the certainty of the author’s statement looks like when faced with an environment that defies inevitability. In an interactive story is there such a thing as “moral truth” playing the puppeteer?