Wednesday, March 6, 2013

STAR WARS Moral Premise and Nicomachean Value Chart

REVISED 3-14-2013

Dear Story Writers and Story Fans:

Here is a chart that a reader egged me into doing. Some of these classics should have been done years ago, but time is of an essence, as it is now.... and I don't have time to write much of an explanation. But if you read my KITE RUNNER blog I think you'll be able to understand this. Feel free to challenge and suggest other ways to express this.

I think this is the first time I've used the virtue MEEKNESS in a moral premise analysis. That's probably because I've never understood the term until recently. Culturally it has a pansy reputation, but when the Godfather says, "Let me make you an offer..." that's meekness, although a frightful kind.


David M. said...

You suggest in your book and your blog to use a single value (Vice & Virtue), but in this post, you show a primary and two secondary values. When can we use multiple values​​? And if several values ​​are used, the characters should be positioned on each value. In the example, Luke is well positioned on three values, but not the other characters. Can you enlighten me?
(I'm drafting a novel and trying to apply principles of moral premise; but I have currently 3 related values on which I positionned every characters, and not 1. I wonder if it's bad or not)

Stanley D. Williams said...

David, that's a logical question that I've dealt with in other blog posts and in my workshops. The answer is that the secondary value sets are "nested" or "related" to the primary set. Thus Skepticism, and Submissive Paranoia are essentially synonyms of Disabling Fear, but particular kinds of disabling fear that fits naturally with a particular set of character traits. Does this help?

In the third bullet under my KITE RUNNER chart I write: "A successful movie will layer character motivations so that they're related. Notice that Paranoia, Courage and Arrogance are on the top Nicomachean scale, but that COURAGE can be defined as (a) the "Courage to Forgive," and (b) "Courage to pursue Justice." That allows you to break down Forgiveness and Justice for additional value layers. It's important that you can relate all these values in some way, so the story organically seems "right." Notice how I have Rahim moving from half-way between Forgiveness and Tolerance of Evil TOWARD Justice. I suspect there are more of those "diagonal relationships" but this is the only one I saw tonight. " See:

David M. said...

Yes it helps! As you suggested, I re-read the kite-runner post and finally I understood the relation between primary value and secondary-nested values. It give me a guideline to fix my values tri-poles and characters arcs. Thanks a lot.