Changing by deciding not to change?

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Contagionist
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Changing by deciding not to change?

Postby Contagionist » Apr 26, 2013 10:25 am

So, the setup is thus: main character meets impact character, tells main character to "change course," and the main character does early on, or at least tries. However, something is nagging the main character, like maybe his original course was the correct one. In the end, he goes back to his original course in a "leap of faith." Does this make the main character a Change character or is he Steadfast?

Also, can anyone point me at examples of this scenario? It's sort of turning the Obi Wan/Luke relationship on its head, as if Luke decides the targeting computer is best after all. He didn't need the Force to shoot down all those TIE fighters, and the Force certainly didn't help with the trash compactor...

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Geoff1975
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Re: Changing by deciding not to change?

Postby Geoff1975 » Apr 26, 2013 1:25 pm

Hey... interesting name.

Each character can "sway" between their original course and the unfamiliar course. Basically they'd be conflicted. Ultimately, in the end of the story, when the problem is solved, if the character has solved the problem with the original course, then he's steadfast. If he's used the unfamiliar course, then he's change. Luke keeps testing himself, but Obi-Wan encourages him to use the Force to trust his instincts. Ultimately, he uses his instincts to shoot the Death Star's weakest point ... and solves his own personal problem with trust. This makes him a change character.

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Re: Changing by deciding not to change?

Postby Contagionist » Apr 29, 2013 8:10 am

I am a viral deflector, like when your main character can't solve the story's problem because of an incredibly funny YouTube video. ;)

I am starting to realize how my main character does in fact change. The issue isn't what the impact character is telling the main character to do. It's what the impact character's actual impact on the main character is. So, the main character disobeys the impact character at the end of the story and changes because of it. He's following his heart in the end, but his heart has changed during the course of the story.

I'm also realizing that my impact character is actually the protagonist. She is driving the plot, pulling my main character along until the end, when the main character must change his nature to resolve the problem. It's almost like the Doctor Who episode "Rose", in which Rose is the main character, but the Doctor is driving the plot, pulling Rose along until the end, when she must take action to prevent the end of the world.

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Changing by deciding not to change?

Postby Chris Huntley » May 04, 2013 11:35 am

Often stories start with a character looking at things one way, then the inciting event forces them to reevaluate. That defines the beginning of the story. If the character sticks with the personal path established as of the inciting event through to the end, then it is a steadfast character. If by the end of the story the character has chosen the alternative path as represented by the influence character throughline (not its function in the overall story throughline), then the MC is a change character.

The importance of establishing in YOUR mind where the story starts and stops lets you define the edges of your story accurately. Players can participate in many stories simultaneously, and even main characters may have several personal issues they must work out. A grand argument story, on the other hand, focuses on a SINGLE issue (inequity) and everything that has to do with that issue is part of that character's growth.
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Contagionist
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Re: Changing by deciding not to change?

Postby Contagionist » May 07, 2013 6:33 am

I've been working on my storyform, and have realized that my main character is indeed a Change character. The gist of my story is the main character meets a woman, they fall in love, and then he finds she's involved in something very dangerous. His issue is that he doesn't believe he's important or ever will be, so his inclination is to leave well enough alone, but his love of this woman drives him to try to help. His dangerous girlfriend tries to keep him out trouble because she doesn't want him to get hurt or killed, even though she's aware that he really needs to take a stand to grow as a person. In the end, the main character changes because he realizes she's been protecting him and he has to help her and save her life. He becomes important to her, and thus solves his personal problems.

The flipside of this is the woman who knows she's important in the larger sense, but doesn't believe she's important on a personal level. The main character is the first person she's met that she's had a real connection to, complicated by the fact that she's been lying to him about her identity. When he comes back to save her in the end, she realizes that she's not just a cog in a machine; she's a real person.


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