Story Goal

Come here to ask questions or give advice about the theory that forms the basis of Dramatica.
VTFischwire
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Story Goal

Postby VTFischwire » May 11, 2009 9:07 pm

According the the book, the most important throughline, the one in which you want to give the most emphases contains the story's goal. I understand this point and wish the MC throughline to contain the stories goal on a short piece I am working on, but the software only lets the OS goal be selected for the story's goal. I read that this was to simplify the software and I understand not wishing to make it more complicated than it already is and am appreciative of this, but if I do want to make another throughline the focus of my story and to contain the goal, can I just highlight it more in my story. Or does it change other factors of the story if I switch the goal from the OS to the MC or even the MC/IC throughline?
For example it says my goal is doing, when actually the MC goal which I want to focus the goal is How Things are Changing. So if I mentally say the story's goal is HTAC then does the consiquences and all the rest shift respectively?
Just thinking about it I can understand the decision to leave it out of the software, it makes my brain go numb, but at the same time I feel it is very important to the story I wish to tell.

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Story Goal

Postby Chris Huntley » Jun 17, 2009 1:55 pm

I don't recommend playing this "game" of mentally swapping around the elements of the storyform. Here's an alternative way to approach it:

1. Emphasize whichever throughline is most important to you. The Concern for that throughline will be emphasized naturally, and the audience will understand its relative importance in the story.

2. Treat the "Story Goal" as the "Overall Story Goal." This means keep the goal in the Overall Story throughline, even if you underplay it comparitively to other throughlines. The other static plot points (e.g. Consequence, Costs, Dividends, etc.) are ONLY in relation to the Overall Story Goal, even if you emphasize the other throughlines more.

3. The OS throughline is the "logistical and objective" perspective in your story. That's why plot seems more "mechanical" from that perspective. When emphasizing the MC throughline, the MC Concern will seem like a goal of sorts, though it will be of interest primarily to the MC and those who have concern with the MC's personal issues (not the efforts of the protagonist). The concepts of the other static plot points do not translate to the MC, IC, or MC/IC Relationship throughlines well. We haven't developed what those concepts would look like from the non-OS perspectives.
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dietelco
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Re: Story Goal analysis - Joan of Arc

Postby dietelco » Jun 18, 2009 4:00 am

hi Chris,

I was watching this movie on tv last night, Joan of Arc (with Milla Jojovic in it).

Here's the storyform I devised, using my Writer's Dreamkit 4.0. Please correct me where you see fit (by all means, I'm still a newbie) : -

Main Character
=============
Throughline : Situation
Concern : The Present
Problem ; Non-acceptance
Approach : Do-er
PS Style : Intuitive
Resolve : Steadfast
Judgement : Bad
Growth : Stop

Overall Story
===========
Throughline : Activity
Concern : Gatherine Information
Driver ; Decisino
Limit ; Optionlock
Outcome ; Success

Impact Character
==============
Throughline : Fixed Attitude
Concern ; Contemplation
Here are some thoughts :

[*] The movie has 2 parts, just like the A-side & B-side of a cassette tape.
The A-side is in the activity throughline which carries the story goal of ridding the English from France. Which also marries the Dauphin's (Protagonist) objective crowning himself King of France (albeit with the Duchy of Burgundy - who upsurped the English throne - as the thorn on their side).

Joan is all about faith while her best friend & the knights act as sidekicks who carry the element of reason - which works out when the English leave.

[*]The B-side happens after the English have gone and the Dauphin is crowned. Stoy Goal achieved. Joan learns that the Dauphin is only interested in the crown and does not support the campaign to free Paris - which turns out to be a failure.

The Dauphin exists in the overall story - all he does is sits there in his court and learns about Joan's progress in kicking English butt. He main drive is all about scheming and making back-alley deals with the other nobles from whom he needs their support to survive as King. He is only limited by his options - he even tell Joan that the civilised, and cheaper thing to do is to negotiate with the English - not follow through and annihiliate them.

The Dauphin is surrounded ay aides in his court who basically tell him what to do - even his mother, Yolanda of Aragon. They unanimously agree that Joan is a political liability and scheme to betray her.

The Dauphin's success is a double-deal - getting crowned King of France and well as washing his hands of Joan.

[*]On hindsight, gettint the story goal accomplished in the middle of the movie is a delibrate move by Luc Besson - the audience then shares Joan's feelings of hopelssness and being made to feel obsolete throughline the rest of the movie. In one scene, Joan throws a bunch of letters to the King and tells him that France does not belong to him but to God.

Joan is eventually betrayed and sold to the Burgundians.

[*] I felt the B-side of the movie is all on the psychological realm. The diocese of Burgundy arrest her on charges of heresy and they argue about Church Canon laws in court. One of the judges, Father Vincenzo, is revealed as the representative of the Pope. He dismisses the whole affair as a kangaroo court, saying to the effect that "a person is guilty after the hearing, not before it". Unfortunately, the Burgundian bailiffs arrest him before the Pope ever gets to hear about it.

All this leads to the finale in the cell scene where Joan comes to terms with her own conscience (played by Dustin Hoffman. Really, imdb lists his character as "Conscience").

Joan is steadfast about her faith while her conscience is contagonistic - constantly tripping up her faith and second guessing all her past deeds. This time, faith & reason clash, and not in a good way. I like the whole argument about how she found a sword in the field and they fence over the interpretation of it's meaning.

I put Dustin Hoffman in the Fixed Attitude throughline with the concern of comtemplation.

In the B-side, Joan is also steadfastly concerned about getting her confession heard. Joan even tells the Bishop of Burgundy she is more concerned about saving her soul than her body. The movie ends with her own confession absolving her sins while her mortal body is burnt as a witch and heretic.

I would put the story as a mixed bag of outcome success - judgement bad. On the surface of it, the Dauphin wins while Joan fails. On the spiritual realm, however, Joan wins. The movie close captions with the words, "Five hundred years later, Joan is canonized as a Saint by the Vatican."

PS Does Joan Of Arc share the same structure as "Braveheart" ?

dietelco
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Re: Story Goal

Postby dietelco » Jun 18, 2009 4:18 am

hi again,

In the thread starter's oringinal question, could we just have two storyforms (and hence two story goals) and storyweave them somehow? Would that work?

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Story Goal

Postby Chris Huntley » Jun 30, 2009 2:22 pm

It has been a long time since I have seen Joan. My guess is that there are two (incomplete) stories placed end to end. The first is the Rise of Joan of Arc story. The second is the Fall of Joan of Arc story. The goal of OS Story 1 is to get the Dauphin put on the throne. The goal of OS Story 2 is to put an end to the war, mainly through manipulation and politics.

Are there really Impact Characters in the two halves of the movie? Joan seems to be steadfast in both stories.

My sense is that the story is incomplete. My recollection of the film, at the time, was that it didn't quite work as successfully as it could have.
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dietelco
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Re: Story Goal

Postby dietelco » Jul 01, 2009 7:03 am

In introspection, I guess my analysis of the movie is very much coloured by what I know of the Catholic history of the Saint, Joan of Arc.

Talking about two incomplete halves of 2 stories, would it be correct to call it a bump- where the first story ends and the second story continues? That's the feeling I get out of it :?:

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Story Goal

Postby Chris Huntley » Jul 01, 2009 10:02 am

The transition is noticeable, but not the "bump" we use to describe act transitions. It is the sense of an ending and then a new beginning, I believe.
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