Come here to ask questions or give advice about the theory that forms the basis of Dramatica.
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Postby VTFischwire » Oct 14, 2010 10:59 pm

From what I understand the main character judgment of good or bad is determined by whether the main character is in a better place at the end of the story. I believe I have heard Chris say in many podcasts that if the MC is in a better place than the judgment is good and if not then the judgment is bad. I was wondering though, who judges whether they are in a better place or not. My instinct tells me it is the audience that makes the judgment which means that the main character doesn't necessarily have to realize that they are in a better place or not.
For instance an MC with the problem of faith who changes to disbelief. At the end of the story the MC realizes that she can no longer blindly trust people and while the audience has been waiting for her to make this leap and is glad when she does, though the audience is happy for her, she personally doesn't feel better off for it, as now the world seems a scarier place. Of course by changing to disbelief her life will eventually get better, but by the end of the story she might not feel great about it.
So to rephrase it shortly, is judgment based on whether or not the main character's life has changed for the better or whether or not they are happy about the change?

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Postby Chris Huntley » Oct 15, 2010 1:56 pm

The MC Judgment is based on whether or the the MC has resolved the personal issues with which he has struggled over the course of the story.

It does NOT relate to any new or subsequent matters that may come up as a result of the resolution of the story, e.g. stuff that may happen in the epilogue.

For example, Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs is haunted by the screaming of the slaughtered lambs that happened in her backstory. At the end of the story, she is still haunted by the screaming of the lambs, which gives an OBJECTIVE evaluation of her Judgment as BAD. Charlie in Rain Man starts off with Charlie estranged from his father/family. At the end of the story, he is surprised when he realizes that he no longer hates his father and wants to know his brother better, which gives an OBJECTIVE evaluation of his Judgment as GOOD.

Clarice is not consciously aware she still has her problem, whereas Charlie is aware he is over his (though he wasn't aware he had it until it was gone). The MC's awareness of this is not important since ALL of Dramatica's questions are asked from an all-seeing, objective point of view.
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