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MC/IC Resolve Confusion

Posted: Jun 11, 2008 1:28 pm
by grgwrzbcki
I'm getting confused about character resolve in a Guy (MC) meets Gal (IC) Fixed Attitude OS currently under development.

As things stand at the beginning of the story the two characters are on the same life-path and hit it off physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually -- both appearing to have a steadfast resolve initially (rather un-Dramatica-like, I know). However, after a short while the IC notices something serious missing in the way she and her beau see the world. So she adjusts/grows during the story to venture after this missing ingredient -- struggling throughout to bring her partner, who is a bit slow to see the possibilities, along with her.

What's the IC resolve? Steadfast? And what of the MC? I think he'll come around, but not sure, yet. Does the choice of IC resolve effect the MC resolve? How so?


Re: MC/IC Resolve Confusion

Posted: Jun 12, 2008 3:53 pm
by Chris Huntley
First off, the "story" doesn't really begin until there is an inequity. This shows up as conflict. So the whole beginning, as stated, is just that--the setup. The peace in their relationship should not exist past the first Act turn.

Secondly, you describe the OS to be in Fixed Attitude, but I didn't hear anything that described the Overall Story throughline. You describe a relationship (MC/IC throughline). If the OS is Fixed Attitude, the relationship through would fall in the Situation domain. In what way is their relationship stressed by being stuck (externally)? Are they in a "too small" apartment--with animals, or children, or in-laws? Is there a great disparity in their incomes that causes stress? How is the stress in their relationship situational?

Perhaps the relationship is in the Fixed Attitude domain ("...something seriously missing in the way she and her beau see the world"). Does that make more sense to you? If so, how is the OS a Situation?

You identify an IC and an MC but I don't have any sense which domains you want them in. Assign them domains, then see which approach to resolving issues is the "proper" one (assuming it is a Change/Good story). The Change character will adopt the proper one after struggling through the story with the improper one. NOTE: Proper assumes that adopting that point of reference (domain) resolves the character's inequity. If you have a Change/BAD story, the improper (or innappropriate) one is adopted.

This is a long-winded way of saying that you haven't given me enough information to answer your question about the Main Character's Resolve. Answer some of the questions above and then we'll talk. :wink:

Re: MC/IC Resolve Confusion

Posted: Jun 12, 2008 7:23 pm
by grgwrzbcki
My goal for this story is to dramatize a contemporary account of Plato's allegory of the cave.

In this contemporary account the MC is a reporter and the IC a historian who live in a society composed of a wide range of citizens with varying and limited capacities for perceiving reality (shades of gray, dim colors and bright sunlight in the original allegory). Initially the MC/IC are partners committed to educating others (their audience) to more fully see reality and reach wiser and more just public decisions, by more fully and clearly describing how reality appears from the MC/IC preferred (elitist?) point(s) of view. Their initial idea is that by helping others to see what the MC/IC see, that others will come to their senses and become persuaded to tune in the MC/IC show and read their books and perhaps improve the quality of public policy decisions before it's "too late".

Of course, as is to be expected, the MC/IC meet with great frustration when the vast majority of their potential audience seems not only unwilling and/or unable to grasp much of what our crack MC/IC team reports to them, but actively refute it or ignore it as irrelevant.

On a practical level, before the IC stumbles out of the cave, the MC/IC relationship is focused on their struggle to reach a wider audience in order to find success/recognition in their chosen career field(s), and perhaps advance the capacity of their society to improve the quality/wisdom of their choices. However, subsequent to the IC's epiphany outside the cave, and upon her return to the cave (per Socratic edict), the MC/IC struggle becomes much more challenging and takes on a loftier dimension. Now the MC/IC must confront the challenge of how to reach an understanding and reconciliation of the divergence that has crept into their attitudes/perspectives, and then find a way to bring about the expansion of the perspectives of their fellow citizens. As you properly point out, I think it's at this point that the real "story" begins.

So, as I see things now the IC becomes steadfast in her resolve as she re-enters the cave and assumes the protagonist role to advance the cause to which she and the MC had originally jointly pursued -- illuminating the masses -- albeit from the perspective of a significantly expanded point of view which the MC comes to appreciate during the course of the story, if at all. While the MC and IC begin as partners in a struggle to advance their views in a Fixed Attitude OS world, at the point where the IC discovers the gross inadequacy of her viewpoint she steadfastly resolves to return to the world of her partner hoping to find a way to persuade/manipulate him to "see" that which she can now "see", and eventually enlist his support in the creation of some way to better illuminate/persuade/manipulate the masses of her fellow citizens to an expansion of their perspectives.

Thanks. I think this exercise has helped to clear up my confusion. Make sense? Thoughts/suggestions?

Re: MC/IC Resolve Confusion

Posted: Jun 13, 2008 8:51 am
by Chris Huntley
I suggest stepping out of your story to look at it more objectively. The "reporter" and the "historian" are objective characters in the Overall Story throughline. Those are their roles. Whenever you are dealing with "the masses," you are talking about the Overall Story throughline.

Here's what I think you say about the Story Goal:

...others will come to their senses and become persuaded to tune in the MC/IC show and read their books and perhaps improve the quality of public policy decisions before it's "too late".

First off, It's not the MC/IC show, its the Reporter/Historian show. The Main Character is the "I" perspective of someone dealing with personal issues. They are not likely to be "reporter" issues so much as issues (or an issue) that are deeply personal and troubling (e.g. personal baggage).

Secondly, if one or both the reporter and historian are trying to pursuade the masses to change their way of seeing things (which sounds a bit like Manipulation to me), who is against that? Who represents the force that counters or resists their efforts? That person or group is your antagonist.

You indicate that the player who is the IC is also the protagonist in the OS throughline. What function in the Overall Story throughline is tied to the MC's player? I ask this to clarify that the relationship between a protagonist and another Objective character is NOT the relationship described in the MC/IC throughline.

What kind of relationship do your MC and IC have? (It will NOT be about the reporter/historian roles in the OS.) Is it romantic? Is it familial? Is it parental? Is it as competitors? It can be anything, but it will be a RELATIONSHIP and the MC/IC throughline is about that relationship--not about their job duties or roles in the Overall Story throughline.

One last comment. You say your IC "becomes steadfast in her resolve." That's not quite the way to look at it from a Dramatica perspective. When you look at a story from the "outside," as one does using Dramatica, the issue of Resolve is either Steadfast or Change. Your IC is a Steadfast character because she does not change her resolve. That said, when looking at her development over the course of the story, you can "step into" the story world and see that even being steadfast does not mean she may not waver or grow in her resolve. She necessarily does develop as the story progresses to respond to the changing environment.

I make this distinction because it matters when you answer the Dramatica questions. The Dramatica questions presume you are your story "god" and are all-knowing. The reality is that you likely do not know all the answers ahead of time, but understanding that Dramatica assumes you do frames its questions in a more objective light than you might otherwise consider them. The more accurately you can answer the Dramatica questions for your story, the better fit your Dramatica storyform will describe what you have in mind.