How to Write a Story With a Moral (And Keep it From Being Too Preachy!)


Among the countless reasons people write stories, getting a moral across ranks near the top. Unfortunately, getting a moral across also ranks near the top of reason people write terrible stories. The danger lies in an incorrect balance of moral and other story elements (plot, pace, character development, voice, tension etc.) resulting in a preachy story.

Follow these guidelines and you will end up with a story that entertains your readers and effectively communicates your moral and message without being preachy 홈타이.

Story Is King:

This is the first and crucial understanding. No matter how important the moral is, no matter how intensely a writer feels about the moral, focusing on story elements always benefits the story (and moral) more than focusing on the moral. When the plot is entertaining and the characters are well developed, when the writing is crisp and eloquent, the reader cares more about the story world and is more likely to consider the moral.

Morals Are Output:

The desired effect is for a reader to finish your story, consider the story elements and arrive at a conclusion equal or similar to your moral. The moral itself is never an explicit part of the story elements, it is not spoken in dialog nor is it narrated by the narrator. Resist all urges to have one of your characters give a lengthy speech on the moral. Think of your moral as a completed jigsaw puzzle, only when all the pieces are considered does one see the picture.

Make Morals Sexy:

Readers can spot morals from a hundred pages away because most people are familiar with popular morals and don’t want to read several thousand words just to find out something they already know. A writer can infuse morals with new life by using an unfamiliar variation of popular morals or by picking uncommon morals. Even if a moral is as familiar as “children should obey your parents,” writers can still excite and surprise the reader by arriving at the moral in an unfamiliar way.

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