Playing a Role

Come here to ask questions or give advice about the theory that forms the basis of Dramatica.
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Playing a Role

Postby Farnsworth » Aug 27, 2010 12:55 pm

I'm confused about "Playing a Role" as an OS consequence. It seems like a great many stories have an OS throughline of "Activity" and an OS concern of "Doing". This automatically forces the consequence of "Playing a Role", but it never seems right to me. If the OS is about attempting to do something (say, for example, inventing something) and the characters fail to do it, how does "Playing a Role" apply? One could argue that they would have to play the role of someone who didn't need or want that invention, but that seems like a stretch.

Is there a broader definition of "Playing a Role" that I'm not seeing that would make it apply to these stories?

Thanks for any help!

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Playing a Role

Postby Chris Huntley » Aug 27, 2010 2:40 pm

Look to the definitions and synonyms for clarification.

For example, you might have an example where if the characters are not able to do something (Goal of Doing), they may be condemned to play along with the winners by pretending to be something they are not, even though it is against their nature (Consequence of Playing a Role).
Chris Huntley
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Re: Playing a Role

Postby ogdencl » Sep 21, 2010 1:50 pm

Farnsworth, if you look closely at all the other possibilities for the Consequence of failure to Do, I think you'll agree that none of them fit. Under the Dramatica rules, the Goal has to be dynamically opposed to the Consequence from the "genre" perspective, but of the same nature from a "plot" perspective. Playing a Role is the only Consequence that fits. Playing a Role is the opposite of Doing from a genre perspective, but the same nature as Doing from a plot perspective.

Here are some other examples where the Consequence of failing to Do is to Play a Role: If an athlete can't play football, he will have to follow his father's wishes of taking over the family business. If the cop can't stop doing drugs, the sergeant will put him in a desk job. If the prisoner can't escape prison, then he will have to be somebody's bitch.

As to the Goal being to invent something, maybe it doesn't seem right to you because you are focusing on the Obtaining or Understanding aspects of invention. Is the inventor trying to "achieve" an invention, or to understand how something works, or he just trying to take part in the physical activity of invention? A Goal of Doing means that his goal is just to take part in the physical activity of invention, without necessarily taking any particular pleasure in what is achieved or invented.

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