Main vs. Impact Characters

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Main vs. Impact Characters

Postby bfletch57 » Apr 12, 2012 12:16 pm

I find the concept of Dramatica fascinating, but I have immediately run into what appears to a fundamental barrier that makes it very difficult to apply my story to this system. Hmmm…

Your ideals on solving this are fully welcomed.

Within the first 8 scenes of my story the Main Character expels a very important character into a nearby forest, and it here that the book essentially becomes what appears to be 2 completely different stories. Yet, the book follows both. One story is survivalist based, as the expelled friend drops out of society, out of all social orbits and struggles with survival basics and against nature. The other story is about someone who has over reached financially and in the process alienated her friends and family. The first person alienate is that friend, now living and struggling to survive in the nearby forest. These 2 different characters and storylines don’t merger until the final 5 scenes.

Please correct me on the Main vs. Impact Characters mandate, but Dramatic makes me choose only 1 Main Character and that fundamentally shifts the center of focus and gravity in the story, but my story is essentially 2 stories that share a common theme, universal messages, setting proximity, as well as other vitals that will be revealed at the very end of both story arcs.

The book gives an equal amount of focus on each story as reader sees both stories in real time, a few scenes in one story, then a few in the other story, etc… All woven on the same timeline.

Once I pick one of these 2 as a Main Character, doesn’t that lock in or warp the story focus with this type of story? How will this affect Dramatica’s system effectiveness and the means it uses to point out the wide range of concerns when constructing this story style? The implications seem profound. Yes?

Both of these 2 storylines are of equal importance.

Thank you :)
Bryan Fletcher

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Re: Main vs. Impact Characters

Postby stephenbuck415 » Apr 12, 2012 12:36 pm

I wish I had more time to reply, but briefly, try thinking of the Main Character not as a person (or thing), but a perspective from which the audience views the story.
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Re: Main vs. Impact Characters

Postby Chris Huntley » Apr 12, 2012 2:49 pm

The immediate question that comes to my mind is whether or not these two different characters influence one another over the course of the work? If they do, then they may very well be a main character and an impact character. If they truly go their separate ways, then you may have two separate stories in a single work. If they are separate, what external forces force each to address their own personal issues? If there isn't any identifiable, consistent "influence" confronting them (actively or passively), then you may be weaving to tales together, each making their own points but neither making a consistent, identifiable 'argument' for solving one's personal problems one way or another.
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Re: Main vs. Impact Characters

Postby bfletch57 » Apr 12, 2012 11:26 pm

Once the 2nd story is launched by the 8th scene, neither of the 2 stories have influence over the other, no direct or indirect interactions. The Main Character just ejects that friend for personal reasons, a byproduct of her struggle, and this launches the 2nd storyline.

They are related only in the universal nature of a problem solving arc, those traits, realizations, need for personal adjustments, short and long term implications of the ejection of a person from the social orbit/fabric, as well as other universal truths of how to become a fully realized person. By the story's end, all these truths should become fully apparent to the reader.

This twin story launch is to move away from the stale and predictable classic story model, which has created a well-worn rut in the storyline construction process. Readers are far more sophisticated now a days and need a more rigorous perspective challenge.

Dramatic appears to mandate a once only perspective lock down and a 1 storyline perspective lockdown for it to gain a maximum perspective advantage for the would be writer. So, in my case of a twin story model, I will be unable to gain a full perspective sweep, 360degrees?

Thank you,
Bryan Fletcher :)

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Re: Main vs. Impact Characters

Postby phillybudd » Apr 14, 2012 12:39 pm

I think it is most useful to think of Dramatica as providing a context from which you are telling your stories. It sounds to me, based on your last post, like you might want to treat each story as a separate context from which you are exploring your thematic ideas. So, perhaps creating a separate story form -- that is, creating a separate dramatica file for each -- would be useful.

If you were to create a separate file for each story, you can enter the same thematic topics in each, for example through the story engine, but then answer the other questions in Dramatica in a different way, creating distinct story forms. Your two friends going their separate ways would then be the inciting incident that kicks off the distinct OS throughlines in each story.

If you wish, you can begin one or more of other throughlines -- MC, IC, MC/IC -- prior to the inciting incident, keeping in mind that the two story forms have not separated prior to that point. It would be an interesting challenge to make that work, but clearly you have thought this story through well enough that you're up to the challenge. ;-)

Best wishes,



Re: Main vs. Impact Characters

Postby bfletch57 » Apr 14, 2012 4:42 pm

To Stephen, Chris and Jeff.

Thank you.

I appreciate your comments - quite helpful in fact.


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