kfitzgerald60 wrote:Started using Dramatica to help with an existing story/screenplay. Created characters and assigned some archetypes, but not Protagonist or Impact character (guardian). Left these fields blank. Assigned main character/protagonist and guardian/impact character in later fields, but these archetypes keep showing up as blank unassigned fields. I thought of deleting them, but worried that they were tied to the software architecture so didn't.
The Main Character and Obstacle Character are required characters to complete a storyform.
I had to re-learn some common storytelling definitions when I began using Dramatica, and one of the first terms I had to re-learn was "character."
A character such as an archetype, the main character, or the obstacle character is not necessary a single person. Based on my understanding thus far, each is a role of traits that the audience experiences through the art of the story teller.
Melanie begins to describe the difference between players and characters here:
Players vs. Characters
kfitzgerald60 wrote:I did one version where the guardian was the impact character, but found that this led me to a version that dealt with a subplot. I reworked things where the impact character is the contagonist. This is better and makes more sense, but I still have these unassigned fields for main character and impact character. I was not worried until I went to build characters. It's very complicated.
I agree, and admittedly I was so intimidated by it at first that I delayed learning and using it until I had a reasonable command over the other tools... but now I swear I have that window open each time I write.
kfitzgerald60 wrote:The motivation quad is not like the example in the book. I have different archetypes represented. Is this because of choices I have made regarding my characters or a bug in the software?
I'm in alignment with Phillybudd's response. I couldn't describe it better, but agree that Chris could.
kfitzgerald60 wrote:Some of my characters will represent more than one archetype - the contagonist and the antogonist share the emotion archetype, and two characters function as the guardian/sidekick and guardian /skeptic.
My experience when working with others is that Archetypes and Characters are intuitively believed to be individual persons, but that's not the case in Dramatica Theory. To summarize my understanding of archetypes and characters in Dramatica Theory, they are really only a collection of elements that collectively respresent roles... it's an individual Player (yep, another Dramatica term) that acts out the element or element represented by the Archetype/Character, and, more than one Player can act out elements within an Archetype/Character.
However, there is one rule:
Two+ Players in the same scene cannot have the same element. Only one Player per element per scene.
If that rule is broken, the audience may become confused and the integrity of the story will be lessened.
So, all of that means the writer can do what you are doing (to a degree).
kfitzgerald60 wrote:At present I do not have any character assigned to the emotion archetype.
Just out of curiosity, are you building characters from a new, default story file, or have you gone in to the Structural Templates folder and used a Screenplay, Novel, or Short Story template? The reason I ask is because those templates come with pre-populated scenes and character icons. It may be worth your while to check that out. Using the Open Story button may open to the Structural Templates folder, but if not, it's located within the Dramatica installation folder.
kfitzgerald60 wrote:I have not done anything yet about creating these complex characters because I'm not sure if there is a bug.
Yep, Phillybudd is right. It's not a bug.
kfitzgerald60 wrote:Should I replace all the info for my main character/protagonist in the unassigned field? If so, how should I rename it? If I do the same for my impact character, but want them to be the contagonist not guardian how should I proceed? It seems you cannot have more than one file open at a time. How do you transfer previously entered info when making major changes?
Ugh. I'm sorry to say you've experienced one of my frustrations with that tool. I'm afriad that there's no easy way to move things around other than manually cut-and-paste while navigating to the different areas the information needs to go.
Along with being able to open multiple files as Phillybudd described, there are also two sets of vocabulary. Go to the Preferences dialogue box, choose Dramatica Terms, and you may choose between Layman's Terms and Original Dramatica Terms.
kfitzgerald60 wrote:I've learned a lot about my story and my characters by using the software and am very pleased with the results, but I've hit a bit of a snag when it comes to using the software. Would really appreciate any advice.
I'd dare to call that snag your first step onto the learning curve associated with Dramatica.
Here's some additional reading that may be helpful in understanding Dramatica concepts about characters:
Players vs. Characters
Can Two Characters Share the Same Traits?
Q:I need help, I’m trying to assign characteristics to my characters, I have a multitude of characters, and many share the same characteristics but the software seems to only allow one character a set characteristic, example ‘temptation’ if I try to assign it to more than one character, it gets eliminated from the second. This is a severe limitation as my characters are not simple archtypes, but complex beings, is there a way around this?
Q:I'm kind of new to this theory. I was reading the book and tried out the Demo program. I noticed that they mentioned eight archetypes. Are all of them present and needed for a story to be complete?
Illustrating Character Interactions (Build Characters Tool)
Question: It says by highlighting a Character that has been assigned to the grid in character builder [The Build Characters window in the Dramatica Pro and Writer's DreamKit software], you can see a basic description of that characters dramatic relationship.
But if two characters are in a scene and one has hinder and the other as Logic (motivation grid and thus are not adjacent) according to Dramatica there is No character interaction between there character traits or should I say Dramatica can not represent this.
I've been working for some time now on my current script and I have a question that probably only you can answer.
I seem to be having a really hard time getting a handle on the number of elements in the 64 Element Set that should be used in creating my characters .... I would appreciate if you could enlighten me on this. .
"Flavoring" Character Elements
Q: I have a question regarding the character elements. Basically: Is the character representing the elements supposed to already have and utilize them in the story, or is it something they’re supposed to gain?
Weaving Characters Into Scenes
Q: I am wondering which characters may appear in any of the 4 throughlines and which - maybe - must not appear at all. For instance: In scenes of the Main Character/Impact Character throughline: do both of these two characters HAVE TO appear in any of these scenes? Or does at least ONE have to appear? Or, in the Main Character throughline, must the Impact Charactrer not appear at all? (Respectively in the IC throughline: must the MC not appear?)
Impact Character as Protagonist
Q: I'm wondering if you could point me to examples of a stories where the Impact Character is also the Protagonist?