Sidekick as impact character??

Discuss the practical use of Dramatica. Have questions about how throughlines should be used, how to create Complex Characters or even the various combinations of the 12 Essential Questions and how they will affect your story go here.
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phillybudd
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Sidekick as impact character??

Postby phillybudd » Dec 22, 2009 7:41 am

First, I have to say I love the Dramatica view of things. As a music theorist (originally, anyway) the I love the puzzle of it all. I've read the book and have just started using the software.

My new novel is a fantasy story, told largely from the sidekick POV -- a common enough place to start. I wanted to do this because the Main Character has a huge secret that I want revealed to the reader in bits in pieces over time, as the sidekick learns of it.

However, as I start to map my characters into Dramatica, my MC and SK are looking more and more like Protagonist and Impact Character, respectively. I'm not sure if in the Dramatica definition I'm creating a fascinating, complex situation or a mess.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Jeff

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phillybudd
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Re: Sidekick as impact character??

Postby phillybudd » Dec 23, 2009 2:47 pm

I'd like to amend my earlier post. In fact I think I've "reversed" what I thought was my main character with the impact character.

My current MC, we'll call him John -- the one with the big secret --is part of a large group that is faced with a situation they feel they must change. John is there to help them, and is sorely needed, but what they don't know is that he has the goal of OBTAINING something in the process that pretty directly conflicts with their goal. John is himself conflicted over this, but is carefully manipulating the situation, hoping he can make it all work.

So, my SIDEKICK, who is the primary POV character, probably is my real main character in the Dramatica view. He learns a great deal from John and is profoundly changed by the end of the story by having been with him through all this.

brianeknoll

Re: Sidekick as impact character??

Postby brianeknoll » Dec 23, 2009 3:35 pm

Jeff,

Protagonist and impact character are in different realms. Protag, antag, contag, etc. Are terms used when looking at the objective/overall story, particularly to define their function there. Main character and impact character are both subjective, or POV in Dramatica. Your MC is definitely your sidekick, from how you describe it. Your hero? John?, he may or may not be your impact character.

Hope this helps to clarify.

B

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Sidekick as impact character??

Postby Chris Huntley » Dec 23, 2009 3:48 pm

Make sure you're clear on the Story Goal. The protagonist is for the goal, the antagonist is against it, and everyone else plays their proper roles. I mention this because I don't want you to get mixed up between the REAL goal, the one the audience understands at the end of the story, and any apparent goal John might be throwing out there to confuse everyone (including the audience).
Chris Huntley
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http://dramatica.com/
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phillybudd
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Re: Sidekick as impact character??

Postby phillybudd » Dec 28, 2009 11:42 am

Thanks for the feedback, Chris and Brian.

I spent the entire weekend with the software, going through all the questions -- with the book close at my side -- and I had a "breakthrough" of sorts with both the Dramatica paradigm as well as with my story. What is so interesting to me is that I had the OS characters relationships so clear in my head prior to starting all this, but after struggling with the Dramatica questionnaire for two days, realized they were flawed, from a story-telling point of view. Having now cleared that up, suddenly so much else of what is going to happen in this story became clear to me, it was like a curtain going up! Exciting stuff!!

I do have to say that much of my ongoing difficulty (and I've seen other people discuss this in the forum) has to do with Dramatica's sometimes very subtle definitions, and "dynamic pairs" that sometimes are perplexing. E.g., the dynamic pairs of Hinder<-->Help or Chaos<-->Order are clear enough. But pairs such as Probability<-->Possibility or Certainty<-->Potentiality do not occupy the same kind of polarities, and so I read the definitions of those over and over. I still have many "blank" answers in the software regarding those particular questions. If you can offer a thought or two on this (or direct me to one of the articles or threads on here) I'd appreciate it.

Thanks so much, and Happy New Year.

Jeff


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