Character Morality

How can you make your characters more interesting via their morality? How do you define the morality of your character? And how can you play with moral status and use it to tell a good story?

Cheryl and James look at Harry Potter and his virtues and flaws, the moral grey of Severus Snape, Katniss from The Hunger Games, Artemis Fowl and his criminality, Dexter, Breaking Bad, The Shawshank Redemption, Clint Eastwood in The Dollar Trilogy, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, an Academy-nominated short film called The Confession , Source Code, Scooby Doo, Baltar in Battlestar Galactica, and Six Feet Under.

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2 Responses to “Character Morality”

  1. Brad Betts February 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Hey there!

    great podast! i just started listening and it is very helpful. I am in the process of writing a story which i hope to develop into a screenplay for a sci fi series ( aren’t we ALL writing a screenplay? 😉 ). I just listened to your episode on character morality and the last one on foils. Cheryl – you mentioned that the examples of antiheroes you had were all male, and you couldn’t think of many female anti-heroes. Well, a few popped into my head; Firstly – Faith in Buffy the vampire slayer serves initially to act as a foil for Buffy, but goes on to be a bit of a likeable villian / antihero in her own right. Also, Nicole Kidman’s character in the Lars Von Trier film ‘Dogville’ takes her own sort of ‘Anti-heroin’ journey as the film progresses from a story of redemption to one of revenge. But perhaps my favourite Female character in this vein is Elphaba – the central character of the Novel ‘Wicked’. The novel is quite a lot darker than the musical that it spawned and I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it already. Elphaba struggles with her own alienation for her whole life, due in no small part to the shade of her skin. This social ostracising leads her toward fairly misanthropic tendencies, yet she is still highly likeable yet conflicted Character. Anyway, that’s enough from me, but just wanted to say , great podcast and thank for the inspiring ideas! keep up the great work!

    • James March 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Thanks Brad!

      Those are some great examples. Cheryl is a huge Buffy fan. James still needs to see Dogville but he loves Von Trier. And we both like Wicked.

      More episodes soon…

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