Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day Five: Ethics by Tara Hall Fox

 Congratulations to Lisa Markson! 
You will be contacted by Jenny or Tara.

Lets look forward to FRIDAY!!!! 

Put those emails down!!!

Join me today as we look into each author's contribution to their release of 
Bedtime Shadows

To keep up with what's going on in the tour, 
please check out this tour's Facebook page!

Take it away Tara!


No, this is not a post about when it’s safe to promote yourself as a writer and when you should not. I’ll leave that to group hosts to do. This blog is about character ethics, and how they affect a work. ;)

The word ethics means, according to Wikipedia, “moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior” or “the moral correctness of specified conduct.” Loosely defined, it just means morals. Further synonyms are beliefs, integrities, consciences, principles, and values.
            Every fictional character comes with his or her own belief system, whether simply defined for a briefly appearing secondary character or an elaborate system for a major character in a book series. This can be a religious faith, a non-religious system of how justice is defined and other characters are judged, or anything in between. Half the fun of plotting out a new main character is what kinds of beliefs to give them. What code of ethics will they live by, or be provoked into action on behalf of?
            In more than a few books, the heroes and villains are easy to determine from their respective code of ethics. Those with just systems and a love for doing what is right are good, while those that have no moral center are clearly bad. But a truly well done character doesn’t have a black or a white code of ethics, but some shade of grey, whether good guy or bad guy. My characters run the spectrum on ethics, from my steadfast Promise Me heroine Sar to my oft times crude and brutal antihero Lash. But even in those works, it’s easy to know with whom I, as the writer, am hoping the reader will identify. So what are some key important character ethics to have?

Sense of Right and Wrong 

Whether villain or hero, secondary character or main character, it’s important that each new being that I create is able to recognize right from wrong, even if they all don’t necessarily draw the line the same place. That sense can be skewed, sure, or even opposite what it should be, if the character in question is a villain. But a character that views good and evil exactly the same is either insane, or poorly done. Even Lady Macbeth, the Shakespearean murderess, had the moral sense to be guilty over her “damned spot.”

At Least One Character Flaw 

How many people in real life are absolutely perfect? Close to none. Even the heroines Sleeping Beauty and Snow White had character flaws, and Superman had his kryptonite and his inability to lie. For a heroine in a work of fiction, readers will be better able to identify with a woman who has some weaknesses, and doesn’t always do everything right. Flaws give a feeling of reality and depth to a character, as well as help drive plot twists within a work. In my Promise Me series, Danial the vampire has arrogance and lack of self-control, Theo the werecougar has wrath and naivety, and Sar has both vanity and an overdeveloped urge to save people in trouble, often endangering herself.
For a villain, several character flaws are definitely a good idea. Evil behavior is much more horrifying if we can see the dark weaknesses that brought it out. Lash has many flaws in his psyche; insecurity, bluntness, rashness, violent tendencies, among others. Readers identify with him because they understand where he is coming from, even if they can’t condone his actions.

At Least One Character Strength 

Every character needs strengths, something positive that the reader can cheer for during the story. While bravery, steadfastness, and honor are all good, it’s that much more satisfying when a character puts a singular talent or attribute into play to stop the forces coming against them. Who didn’t feel a deep satisfaction when Katniss finally gets a bow in the Hunger Games and puts it to use in her defense? Who didn’t cheer Harry Potter when he was able to use magic to fend off Dementors with his father’s patronus?  

Believable Past  

 Ideally, this past is also a source of empathy for the reader and creates interest in the character. In a novel, this past can be pages long. In a short story, this can be summed up in a sentence. For example, take “She loved her mother, even if the woman had abandoned her to the streets when she was twelve, and the fate she had met there had been a cruel one.” At once, we are sorry for the protagonist, angry at her mother for being cruel to her child, and eager to see not only what kind of hardship the girl endured, but also what that damage has made her into as an adult.

 Some recent book by Tara 

Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Tara's Blog:

Tara's Facebook Page:


For info on my recently published books Lash and Promise Me, click here: and here

For my latest interview, click here:
Book Title: Broken Promise (Promise Me Series #2) – Vampire romance
Date Released: September 2012

Amazon Link:

Blurb: Shocked at Danial’s betrayal, Sarelle returns to her old home to consider her options. Yet even as Sar plans a reconciliation with Danial, Terian arrives, confessing his desire. When Theo witnesses Terian and Sar kiss, he angrily confronts Sar, leading to startling consequences. Will Sar’s heart choose Danial, Terian,…or Theo?


Book Title: The Chalet – Gothic Romance novella
Date Released: September 2012

Amazon Link:

Blurb:  When Madeline honors her mother's dying wish and returns to The Chalet, she discovers the true secret of the old mansion; a seductive spirit whose undying love has waited decades to claim her for its own


Jenny Twist said...

Excellent post, Tara. Well-analysed and succinctly put. You did it again!

Tara Fox Hall said...

Thank you, Jenny. I could not have done it without you! :)

Jessica Sawa said...

Awesome post. IO have heard before that "authors have it easy" but I am sorry I have to disagree. your brains are going a million miles an hour, all day every day, imagination flowing no matter the time of day or night. I have mad respect the deeper I delve into an authors brain such as yours. the imaginative juices it takes to come up with the things you do such as werecougars, were foxes, weresnakes, and so on well I could NEVER do it, I could NEVER transport someone from their reality to a seductive, dangerous, wonderful dream type state. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!! xoxoxo

Jessica Sawa said...

let me also say I cannot WAIT to get more in depth on these characters in Promise me series and Lash series..

My email is

Lisa Markson said...

Yes good code also for real life

Tara Fox Hall said...

You are so sweet, Jessica. Thank you and I'll do my best to live up to all that wonderful praise! :)

Yes, I agree Lisa. Hugs to you! :)

hotcha12 said...


Shadow said...

Tara, you definitely live up to it! :) Im always excited when i see a new book by you. You write wonderful books! And im so excited to try Jennys books! Ive checked them out. So looking forward to digging in. You know one of my favorite things about meeting authors? All there books! Im an addict. lol Thanks ladies! Best wishes and many blessings to you!