The question of novels

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.
gabriel17
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The question of novels

Postby gabriel17 » Jul 18, 2010 3:00 pm

Hi Chris. Thanks for the answers you've supplied to my other questions. It's taken me a while to wrap my head around the material, but I'm getting there bit by bit. I'm a month or so away from actually writing my first story after illustrating the various elements of the story form and I've just realised that I've forgotten to ask a fundamental question.

As I understand Dramatica, the general idea is that we get inside the Main Character's head and look out at the world he inhabits. We see the other characters from that point of view with particular reference to the Impact Character. As such we always look at the Impact Character from the outside, never the inside.

To me, this sounds find for plays and movies, but what about novels? What happens when we come to write scenes that involve the Impact Character without the Main Character being present? Whose point of view do we write from? Who is the "I" in these kind of scenes? I imagine that someone has asked this question at one point or another, but I can't find anything in the other posts.

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Chris Huntley
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Re: The question of novels

Postby Chris Huntley » Jul 19, 2010 1:54 pm

There are four throughlines in a story, not just the MC. They represent the I, You, We, and They perspectives. Films tend to emphasize the MC perspective because they can simulate "looking" at something. However, we just as often see things from the bird's eye, Overall Story perspective as that of the personal MC view.

These throughline perspectives are not senses (sight, sound, etc.) per se, but perspectives on understanding and contexts in which some information is visible and some is not.

So the question you must ask yourself is, who's story is this? Who's personal baggage are we exploring? That will be the MC.

It doesn't matter who's head your in while storyencoding and storyweaving your work together, the MC will be the MC because of the MC's personal baggage.

You may choose to expose or explore from anywhere using any player to do so. It is just as OK to have two characters discussing the MC's personal issues as it is let to the audience "hear" the thoughts running through the MC's mind.

This frees you, the author, to tell your story using any voice or combination of voices you want -- so long as you do not confuse your audience to the point it can never figure out what is really going on in your story.

Want to tell your story in the third person? Fine. (e.g. Scott had misgivings about opening himself up to Joanna and paused awkwardly. That was when the enemy attacked.) Want to tell your story in the first person? Go for it. (e.g. I had misgivings about opening up to Joanna and was about to when warning sirens blared. The war had begun.) You can also choose the second person voice, or the first person plural voice if you want. No matter.
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