The Moral Premise

By Stanley D. Williams,

Book cover of The Moral Premise: Harnessing Virtue & Vice for Box Office Success

Book description

The Moral Premise reveals the foundational concept at the heart of all storytelling and successful box office movies. In concrete terms it explains how you can create your own success and, in the process, entertain, delight, challenge, and uplift this generation and the ones to come.

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Moral Premise as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

As the title suggests, Williams’ book focuses on identifying the Moral Premise at the heart of your story idea and building around it. It’s a very thematic approach to storytelling. This Moral Premise essentially breaks the story into four components: a positive “virtue”, a negative “vice”, desirable consequences (success), and undesirable consequences (defeat). You can use this to create a simple structure of “Vice leads to undesirable consequences (defeat), while Virtue leads to desirable consequences (success)”. I'm admittedly oversimplifying it, but it's a great tactic to get to the heart of your story's theme and strengthen your narrative. 

From Marshall's list on story structure.

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