Moral Message vs. Saying Something

I recently had someone tell me they agreed with me that every story should “say something” but opposed my use of “moral message” on page 13 of the book (when discussing theme).

I had to chew on this for quite some time.

My conclusion is that “Saying Something” and delivering a “Moral Message” are exactly the same thing.

The difference is not fundamentally in the terms themselves, but in their execution.

I expect that said someone (as well as many others) immediately associate “Moral Message” with a heavy handed, preachy EXECUTION—where the moral message hits you in the face at every turn or collides with the natural flow of the story.

Clearly this is not how I advocate writing a comic (unless you’re specifically going for that).

My usage of “Morale Message” in the book, was to specify, you should always have some underlying distinct message which you are putting forth as truth.

This truth can be anything.

If you want to write a comic with your message about the pitfalls of eating spicey food, go for it.

But keep in mind, the deeper, more meaningful the message, the closer it is to the human condition—the more it will connect with the audience and stand up over time.

Love conquers all,
Money can’t buy happiness,
Two wrongs don’t make a right,
Be careful you don’t become the very monster you fight…

Make a Message like one of those the moral center of your story and you’re on the path to writing a comic the audience won’t soon forget.

Now, why am I craving some Pad Gra Prow? ▪

About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S.  Visit NickMacari.com for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.


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