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The Moral of the Tale

Apr 28, 2018
 

A tale of any kind told to humans by humans is and has ever been a morality tale.

'There was a man who... ' This person has a flaw, a failing, either moral (a tendency that will bring them and others misery) or cosmic (a hole in his or her fortune). They can't see it. Well, I can't see mine, but Robbie Burns was right to bemoan the fact that we cannot see ourselves as others see us. It would save us a lot of grief. But a tale is the closest we ever come, like Narcissus, to gazing at our own reflection.

The action of the book sets the flaw straight, or shows it in dreadful relief.

At the denouement the protagonist takes one of two paths - he sees it and corrects it or stands corrected, or - and perhaps wonderfully, embraces it. This latter is a very rare outcome (The Godfather is much quoted as one of these, and I do rather like the idea of playing with the usual form.) 

So your hook must posit - person with flaw, and the outcome of this flaw being corrected. That my darlings is...

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