Throughlines for Characters

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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SilentRuse
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Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 24, 2012 2:18 pm

Throughlines for Characters

Postby SilentRuse » Sep 29, 2012 5:00 pm

I've been having a wild time with Dramatica PRO and there's been a lot I've learned since I picked this up about 6 months ago. However now my exploration has reached a point that's piqued my curiosity and I wasn't sure where to go, so I decided to bring my situation here for you all to see, and hopefully the feedback I get is what I need.

I'm somewhat bad with references and technical terms, so I will try to be as clear as humanly possible to avoid any confusion.

The story I have been working on has three main characters, so to speak, but all intertwined in their own unique way. Now when I was starting to learn the Dramatica theory it was shown to me that Overall Story is an aspect that, like many describe, a general on a hilltop looking at the overall scheme of things, getting to see every major detail like where his army is positioned and where the enemy is.

Then they depict the next portion as the Main Character which we zoom in to look at a single individual. We then get to feel what it's like to be in his shoes and feel the explosions, as described.

Then as they continue we see the Impact character who may be friend or foe, but more importantly the person of most impact on the main character.

Lastly there's the relationship between these two, be it teacher and student, partners; love or business, or simply best friends.

What I have now done is taken away from those aspects and changed it to a more... character heavy driven story while still using these throughlines as guidelines for them.

The Overall Story has a focus on a king and his search for his daughter, he is dealing with conditions from his past and is dealing with him now, leaving me to believe he is a Situation Character, and thus the Overall Story is a Situation Throughline.

The Main Character throughline, though I have three (The king being one of them) is an Assassin out to get the king, and he goes on endavours to try and take him down for the misconceptions of his early childhood. He is immediately seen to be a Physics character, so his Throughline is Activity.

The Impact Character throughline, though they all impact one another, is the daughter of the king and a secondary target of the assassin (For leverage purposes). However she is on her own journey of exploration and discovery as she doesn't know her mother, and was subjugated to being locked up in her own castle (The princess) because of her mother's mishaps (Leading up to her desire to escape.) This leads me to believe she is a Manipulation character (As manipulation is steered towards the growth of the human mind, I believe)

Now, even though I have three main characters, I've had a hard time developing a subjective story with three people, and so I have cut it down to the Princess and the Assassin as they help provoke each other to learn the truth in their pasts, but this only happens later in the story as they have fixed attitudes toward one another. This just came naturally and conveniently by chance.

So now the way I've been developing the story is that each throughline I enter, it doesn't focus so much on how the throughline is played out, but the importance of each of those characters. When I swap to the king it's all about him and his situation, but I try my best to keep in mind this is tied in to everyone, so little bits here and there I try to show that his "story" is related to everyone else as well, since it's the "Overall Story"

The Assassin is considered to be the Main Character due to the Throughline choices, but in no way is he significantly more important than the other two, nor does he have any less impact than the princess or the king, so this is where I come here to you guys to get some clarity.

In the methods that I have developed my story, do you believe that using the throughlines to display three different people's journey's (As if each throughline was a Main Character throughline, instead of Impact, Overall, Subjective) will stray away from giving the audience a powerful emotional experience?

Ville
Writer
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 08, 2012 12:54 pm

Re: Throughlines for Characters

Postby Ville » Oct 07, 2012 2:32 am

SilentRuse wrote:In the methods that I have developed my story, do you believe that using the throughlines to display three different people's journey's (As if each throughline was a Main Character throughline, instead of Impact, Overall, Subjective) will stray away from giving the audience a powerful emotional experience?


Most likely yes. The problem with multiple Main Characters is that every complete story is in its core about one inequity. It takes two sides two explore one inequite: the Main and Impact Character. Having multiple Main Characters is like trying to cram multiple stories inside one work of fiction. Every one of those stories is incomplete and thus falls short of its full potential. This forces you to resort to all kinds of storytelling gimmicks to pull the audience's heart strings.


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