Help needed with Subjective Story Theme

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Help needed with Subjective Story Theme

Postby gabriel17 » Feb 12, 2010 9:04 pm

HI Chris, I have a bit of a problem that I could use your help with.

In my story, I'm having trouble getting to grips with the Main vs Impact Character Issue and Counterpoint

The two characters involved are a young arrogant spoiled brat who's something like a prince, and his man servant who has been forced into his current position because of a crime he committed a long time ago. Their relationship is a power struggle with the young noble trying to preserve the status quo while the servant constantly oversteps the boundaries of his position. The young noble wants to keep his servant in his place, while the servant wants to be treated like an equal.

They spend the first act in their homeland before certain events throw them into a foreign land in the middle of a war where they are forced to depend on each other to survive. Additionally, it is that very same war that is responsible for taking them out of their familiar setting. The Objective Story Throughline concerns the specific problems that the war causes for all of the characters, so this is the context in which their relationship takes place.

Now, in my Dramatica Storyform the Domain is Psychology with a Concern of Playing A Role which makes a
lot of sense to me. However, Dramatica has also selected Ability as the Issue with Desire as the
Counterpoint and this is what I'm having trouble wrapping my head around.

I can halfway understand the Counterpoint of Desire. They both want very different things from their relationship and each other, so their desires create conflict between them. Or at least, I hope I'm on the right track. Where I'm completely lost is the Issue of Ability.

I've been racking my brains trying to think of how Ability can be an issue between them and the best that I can come up with is that the servant embraces the new environment with enthusiasm despite its dangers, while the young noble has trouble adapting to it. I have the idea that the servant very quickly realises that his status is no longer rigidly defined by the society around him and starts to express himself in ways that were previously forbidden. But this feels like it fits in more with the Concern of Playing A Role rather than the Issue of Ability.

I could really use some guidance so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Help needed with Subjective Story Theme

Postby Chris Huntley » Feb 13, 2010 9:14 am

I guess SPAM (and its removal) brought this old post to my attention, when I had obviously missed it before. However, Gabriel17 asked a good question that I'll take a moment to reply.

If Ability is the issue in the relationship between the spoiled brat and his manservant, that could show up in several ways. Perhaps the manservant is a highly able survivor, having had a less pampered life than that of the brat. As a butler, he may be able to do things but is not permitted, or because the brat is jealous or envious of him and limits the use of the manservant's abilities out of spite. Once they are thrown out of the familiar environment, the manservant's abilities suddenly become valuable for their survival. It still causes conflict in their relationship because the brat may fear (negative desire) he is more dependent on the manservant and does not want to be left. So, while depending even more on the manservant's abilities, the brat may also be trying to bind the manservant even closer because of his fears, which he may then project on the manservant and try to manipulate the manservant into believing he is nothing without the brat. The realities of the scenario stress that bond and either destroy the relationship, or end up bringing them closer.

Something like that would show how Ability might be an issue in the relationship between these two characters.
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.

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