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Ethics and conflict (1 Viewer)

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
First off I am starting a new way of plotting. This may seem like a strange approach, but a filmmaker suggested it in a craft book (15 conflicts found in all of ficiton and film). She suggested a lot of novels use the ethics versus value to write a story's conflict.

First we need a conflict. When we do that we can ask what the character has to gain in the situation or to lose.

My brother is a hardworker. I looked up some of the unethical things people who hire people to overwork do. As in what are the consequences?

I'll show the first plot point only. The inciting incident. Pretend there is a treasure. The man is getting his dream job. So the person can have the treasure all to themselves they get them the dream job. Now that happens, it's only a matter of time they discover it. The sister wants to keep him away from finding the treasure that is somewhere in someone's mansion. She and him are realtors.

So you see action+motivation for me seems to be plot. I have planned more events by looking up the controversy of working too hard.

Each time the character takes an action. That is the person in the job reacts with their own action.

For this I researched what are the ethics of overworking.

If you are curious here is the book I was referring to:

How to Write a Truly Great Novel: The Writers’ Desk Book

Lindsay Grier Arthur

There is an ethics to overworking, truth, and any value in fiction. You can do a web search, and you'll get an idea for a conflict. For instance what are the ethics of lying? Do a google search and you will find it. That is you will find some potential sources to start your story in web results. Lots of people write articles on the controversies of our time and ethics. I am sure this would be a decent way to outline a story or brainstorm conflict.

A famous example is Never let me Go with cloning being an ethical debate.

Do you plot spontaneously or like this? I know I presented this as advice. As a discovery draft writer I find it difficult to write as engaging as this. Sure it is not science fiction. But it has more emotion.
 
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Kimoco

Senior Member
I do everything spontaneously (or almost) but I find this valuable advice.
I just don't really understand your example, the girl wants the treasure so she sends her hardworking brother to go get it, by giving him his dream job? Isn't that like, a win-win situation? I'm a bit confused. But I get the motivation+action concept anyhow.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
I do everything spontaneously (or almost) but I find this valuable advice.
I just don't really understand your example, the girl wants the treasure so she sends her hardworking brother to go get it, by giving him his dream job? Isn't that like, a win-win situation? I'm a bit confused. But I get the motivation+action concept anyhow.
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Actually the dream job is a distraction to get the treasure since he is overworking because of his dream job ( she does this on purpose; takes an action because of a motive). I hope now that you see why I wrote the example. His dream job is a plan to separate him or frustrate his desire to get the treasure when he finds out by finding maybe a map or some valuable information. Her motivation is when she finds out there is a treasure her want or goal for the scene is to make him a workaholic. So he can work with no free time under a contract so that she searches for the treasure. If I were to make this more urgent it is the fact he endangers his family by not working and endangers his freedom. He could go to jail with a debt after having not worked for a month.


Well the whole purpose of the example was to create a conflicting situation with ethics providing the source of inspiration for the conflict. But you are correct in saying that doesn't sound like trouble. In the next segment of the story I plan for him to get sick on purpose. Overworking should make him not want the job and now he wants the treasure. When they discover he got sick on purpose since he took an action I planned for a reaction from the antagonist who is his sister. Who then reacts that he might have a contagious illness. And who is not taking his medicine when she finds the medicine tablets at home.
 
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Kimoco

Senior Member
Ok, so your example needed just a little more context in my case haha.
That article is very interesting as well. I would personally do something immoral to achieve something morally great; i.e.; kill a pedophile. Get rid of a dictator; etc. So if I was to write that in a character; I would also give them the respective trauma that goes along with violating our moral.
 
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