• Member Since 17th Apr, 2012
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The reason I write is because I want to read a story written for myself. One day, I want to read one of my own stories and say to myself "That is the best story I have ever read."

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  • 45 weeks
    A Fractured Song Book 1 is OUT!

    So you may have seen this:

    Well I have some news! My first self-published book A Fractured Song: The Broken Melody is now out on Amazon! for $3.99 USD.

    What's it about? Well...

    Just because you’re transported to another world, doesn’t mean you’ll escape from your pain.

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  • 78 weeks
    Vren55's current Original Fiction Project A Fractured Song, Plug

    So you all may not be aware, but aside from working on Princess Celestia: The Changeling Queen print novel, the majority of my time has been spent hammering away at an original fiction serial that I'm very proud of and am on my way into turning into a self-published book. I've plugged it on my blog here a few times before, but now I have moar art and art gets views sooooo here's the

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    6 comments · 3,282 views
  • 78 weeks
    Princess Celestia: The Changeling Queen Print Book LIVEEE!!!

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  • 86 weeks
    Princess Celestia the Changeling Queen Print Book Announcement

    Hey all, it's been a while.

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    17 comments · 1,557 views
  • 138 weeks
    Late Night frazzlement

    Sorry all who were watching Samudra's Journal. Made a bit of a copy-paste error last night and the two chapters had the SAME text. There was a death in the extended family, not feeling great. Thanks for pointing it out. It's now fixed.

    4 comments · 561 views

Writing in Aesops (mind blowing moral lessons) into your story: Part 1: What not to Do · 4:45am Jul 17th, 2017

So, you want to make your story have a bit more oomph. You don't want to simply make it about characters resolving a conflict in a setting of your choice. Instead, you want to make it leave an impression on the viewers, teach the reader a mind-blowing lesson that will stick with them for their entire life.

*vren55 sighs, gets up and screams*

*Stand-in Straw Man Oblivious Reader For My Convenience*: Vren55, what's wrong?

Me: Because putting aesops or big ideas that you want to slap your reader with is a huge risk in any story and why I try my best not to do it... Okay yes I sometimes am guilty of it too, but it is a risk that you might not want to take.

*Oblivious Reader*: But Aesop's fable and fairy tales do that all the time and they're called classic and well-loved by all! Cinderella is about the importance of kindness. You got Aesop's "The Tortoise and the Hare" story that teaches readers the importance of determination and not underestimating your opponent. Why, you got all those Disney Remakes that basically put moral lessons at the middle of their movies, and MLP loves to teach us friendship lessons.

*vren55 nods*: Yes, writing fables and lessons into your story also sounds terribly bloody pretentious. Aka. Stuck up and lectury.

*Oblivious reader*: Like you right now?

*vren55* NOT NOW!


vren55: Alright, when done right, putting in some moral lessons into your story can effectively move it forward and make it memorable, done incorrectly though, and you will end up alienating your audience.

Granted, I'm not an expert at doing this, but I've seen good and bad examples and hopefully my tips here will show you prospective writers what to avoid.

Let's start off with the bad for this first part:

How to Suck at Writing in Aesops or Moral Lessons:

1. Contradict the Lesson:
It's fine to introduce a lesson or a moral revelation, but there is always a chance the story itself might contradict itself on that lesson. If the story contradicts that lesson, it'll simply infuriate the reader.

The most recent example in MLP I can think of is in "The Royal Problem" When for some godforsaken reason, RIGHT AFTER Celestia and Luna agree to try to communicate to each other more effectively and help each other, Luna just dumps all the problems she caused while taking over for Celestia in the day onto Celestia's hooves, and smile as she flies off into the sunrise.

That is annoying. That seems to suggest that the lesson somehow doesn't even apply to the characters of your story, so why should the readers follow it?

Fairy Tales and Aesops work b/c they are quite short, and consistent about the moral lesson, and so don't contradict themselves. These lessons also are often very simple, allowing for a story to effectively communicate the lesson without too much confusion. If you want to devote your story to teaching a lesson of some kind, devote it to it, don't contradict yourself.

2. Beat Someone over the Head with the lesson
Of course, that also means you shouldn't beat the lesson over the head of the readers. Too much repetition will frustrate the reader. Hell, this doesn't even just apply to aesops or moral lessons. It applies to any overused tropes or character traits in a story.

Repeat something too much and the lesson or the aesop becomes meaningless because of how often it's repeated. Sometimes repetition is good to keep it in one's head, but repeating it too much will bore the reader to death.

A good example ... well, bad example, is the new Cinderella movie, which repeats the phrase "have courage and be kind" way too many times to the point you don't want to remember that moral lesson/phrase.

Of course, you want the lesson to stick though, but the thing is, how the Aesops and other fables and fairy tales tended to get a lesson into one's head but without repeating it too much was through a lot of very good foreshadowing. You could tell that when the Shepherd Cried Wolf the third time was not going to have anybody coming to help him because the fable included how pissed the villagers got.

So seriously, say it once, maybe twice, three times is stretching it and four you'll put your readers to sleep.

This could also apply to obvious symbolism is obvious. E.g Chronicles of Narnia. It's a classic series with some pretty good imagery, but some of the stuff is so biblical it practically is ripped from the bible. Which makes it very pretentious and bloody aggravating to read at times. I mean, who recalls the weird Silver Chair, the weirder The Last battle and just recalls the simple allegory of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe? that's b/c the later books got ridiculously biblically repetitive whilst The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe had enough elements that made it original enough. Yes I know Aslan = Jesus is screamed at the Stone Table, but it's less screamed than "REVELATION" "REVELATION" "REVELATION" in The Last Battle.

3. Be deliberately confusing about the lesson you want to teach:
One of my most hated books, which I had to read as part of English class in first year was Foe by J.M. Coetzeee... a Sortof "true story" of Robinson Crusoe that was also a critique on colonialism.

It really made no sense and frankly wasn't entertaining to read. It didn't spell the lesson out, but it was just a weird, whacky story that had strange sections to it. Basically "colonialism exploits and leaves nothing" was the basic moral.

But I was so confused reading it and thrown for such a loop that it simply wasn't entertaining to read the story. I found it boring, aggravating, and confusing, and impossible to grasp why this moral was important.

So yes, you don't want to necessarily repeat your moral lesson too many times, but saying it in a confusing fashion won't help you.

4. Try to teach too many lessons:
Eragon is the classic example of a series that tried to do way too much. As much as I admire how entertaining it was and how much worldbuilding Paolini tried to do, he also kind of tried to insert a lot of discussion about religion, beliefs and how to negotiate between all three in the later books that while interesting... never led anywhere b/c Eragon, the main character, couldn't always follow up on it... probably b/c Paolini, the author, realized it would deviate like hell from the story itself.

Teach too many lessons in a single book, or hell, even series and the themes get seriously confused. Just choose a couple and roll with it.

That's part 1, part 2, we perhaps look at a few other "what not to do" that I may have missed and "How to actually write moral lessons into your stories."


Comments ( 3 )

Eragon the film was even more guilty of that then the book one of the reasons why it failed.

I remember when that movie came out. My brother asked me how close it was to the book. My answer was, "Well, they got the names right..."

Ah yes. Eragon. Fucking hated that series. Pretty much from day 1. Eldest also stands as the one book that I've intentionally destroyed, it was that bad.

As for the last battle, I actually like it, but mainly because it turned Eustace from the the kinda redeemed ponce from the Voyage of the Dawn Treader into someone who could be legitimately helpful. Also big ass battles and a unicorn (an actual lore accurate (for the most part) one, not the shitty knockoffs from MLP) that goes into battle.

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