Question about Maniuplation as a Throughline Choice

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senlewis

Question about Maniuplation as a Throughline Choice

Postby senlewis » Dec 24, 2008 12:12 pm

I've used the demo of Dramatica on and off and read most of the book so i have a basic understanding of the classes.
Situation refers to a certain state of affairs.
Activitity is something changing from one state to another.
Fixed attitudes is a set frame of mind.

Manipulation is still a little vague to me.

example
MC vs. IC Throughline is Manipulation. Does that mean the characters are trying to change each others minds.

i have a two stories where the interaction between the MC and the IC happens to be that choice thanks to the storyguide.

First story. MC is merchant and wants to stay out of trouble. The IC's are two men who routinely helped him in the past, best friends. One of the IC's dies and the other one helps the MC. The MC wants to investigate the attack but just wants to get the evidence and leave. The surviving IC wants the MC to do more than that and feels that this attack was the beginning. Would that fit in with Manipulation Class for the MC vs IC throughline.

Second Story. MC (male) is hunting down the IC (female). The MC after a few pitfalls thanks to the IC finally obtains the goal. Capture the IC. however, they get trapped in a cursed town and now he has to help the IC. IC tries to convince the MC that taking her back is wrong and they could help each other. Ends up falling for the IC and does not take IC back to the person who sent the MC on the mission. winds up marrying the IC in another story. Would that fit in the same category also?

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Re: Question about Maniuplation as a Throughline Choice

Postby Chris Huntley » Dec 29, 2008 3:12 pm

Another way to think of Manipulation is to think of it as Psychology. When dealing with the MC/IC relationship throughline, this is often seen as dysfunctional relationships (one type of which is a relationship suffering from manipluation by one or both of the parties).

Story 1: What is the relationship between the MC and IC? How is that relationship explored in terms of planning, role playing, attempts at transforming it or reconceiving it? How are aspects of the relationship DIFFERENT from the activies of the Overall Story and the attempts to reach the Story Goal? I don't see sufficient clarity in the distinction between the MC/IC Relationship and the activies in the Overall Story throughline. Clarifying those differences should help you distinguish between.

Story 2. I'm a bit confused by your use of MC and IC in your description of what appears to be the Overall Story thoughline. The players that represent the MC and IC participate in the OS, but not as MC and IC (more like protagonist and antagonist from the sounds of it). The reason I make this distinction is that your examples do not make a distinction, therefore I can't really answer. As yourself the same questions I wrote for Story 1.

Side note: I find the plotting of your second story a tad confusing. If the goal is to capture the IC, why is it completed so early in the story? This implies it is not the actual goal, but perhaps only a requirement, or even possibly the inciting event. What then IS the Story Goal in Story 2?
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senlewis

Re: Question about Maniuplation as a Throughline Choice

Postby senlewis » Dec 30, 2008 2:03 pm

I'm sorry that i wasn't being very specific in the descriptions for both stories. I wanted to describe them without getting to involved with telling the story instead of describing the relationships.

Basically story one (sci-fi setting) revolves around a merchant captain named Eathann. He is the MC. THe ICs are his two friends. One of them is a mercenary, Eric, and the other simply wanders from place to place gathering information, Malan, and selling it off. He also gives some of those leads to Eathann and Eric.
Early in the story Eric calls them together becuase of some plot he found by accident. He was orginally investigating the theft of confiscated ships. Eric finds Eathann, gives him some of the information and asks him to help out. Eathann refuses but takes the data. There is a battle and Eric is killed and Eathann almost dies when his ship is damaged and heat/radiation floods it.

The goal is basically Eathann wants to find out why was Eric up to and how did this data relate to that attack and the theft. Malan, since he is Eric and Eathan's friend want to know and tries to convince Eathann that he shouldn't just get the information and dump it on someone else's lap but get involved.

Eathann wants to act but rather sit on the sidelines. Malan/Eric are the type to investigate and get involves since nothing is ever that simple.


Story two (fantasy) sounds convoulted but it is basically this
There is revolt/coup in this fortress and Selene (MC) is fleeing from it. The final fight was ending when she fled from Atros. THe leader of that coup, Atros, wants her captured. He is trying to gain power by looking for special artifacts and want to make sure no one can stop him. Selene knows what he's planning. He sends Aroakon (IC) to do it beause he is the best and Atros has to consolidate power. Selene tricks Aroakon at first to keep herself on the run. He finally captures her. Selene tries talking to him to tell him that Atros is mad and to let her go.

Aroakon originally only cared about her capture while Selene is using every trick to avoid it. In the end he does capture her but winds up falling for her. I haven't cleared up how it happens but one of two things do happen. Aroakon is losing faith in Atros because of the mission, Selene convinces him that she is not some montrous rebel but something more human, or obsession turning to desire.

The goal is Selene's live capture and to bring her back to Atros.

To me, it sounds like manipulation because the views of the main character change over time thanks to the impact characters influence.

Thank you for helping.

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Re: Question about Maniuplation as a Throughline Choice

Postby Chris Huntley » Jan 03, 2009 6:47 pm

Describe your relationships in one phrase or sentence each. For example, Unlikely lovers, Cat and Mouse, Partners in Crime, etc. The idea is to establish the type of relationship the throughline explores so you can understand how it is separate from the Overall Story throughline. Then, determine how that relationship is explored through manipulation. For example, unlikely lovers pretend to be a couple which creates trouble for them when they fall in love with each other; a friendship is threatened when one of the two friends changes his political affiliation.

It is unclear what the nature of the relationships are in your story examples. In the first story, most everything described sounds as if it is part of the Overall Story throughline, which involves discovering what happened to Eric and why. The second story sounds like the MC/IC throughline is your basic developing love relationship. The question is, how is it explored through manipulation/psychology. This is different than the activities of the OS throughline (bring Selene back alive).

The other thing to keep in mind are the remaining two throughlines: that of the Main Character and the Impact Character. By identifying the personal issue(s) of the Main Character throughline, and the nature of the influences on the Main Character by the Impact Character throughline, you can help see the difference between the Overall Story throughline and the MC/IC relationship throughline (hopefully).
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