Differance between Lack of Change and Inertia

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Chris Huntley
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Differance between Lack of Change and Inertia

Postby Chris Huntley » May 30, 2008 9:49 am

Mazza13 -- Differance between Lack of Change and Inertia

Can someone please explain the differance between a lack of Change (mc problem) and Inertia (mc solution)?

A lack of change seems to imply continuing with something, but isn't that what Inertia is?

Chris Huntley Context is everything. #1

The difference between lack of change and inertia is the point of reference and the forces employed.

When looking at a problem of change, or specifically a lack of change, we see that conflict is growing out of the effects of changes that are not happening or are not happening quickly enough. The point of reference is how things differ over time (change), not how much they are the same (inertia).

A solution of inertia would entail making an effort to keep things as they are. This might require little effort to let things just "flow naturally," or require great amounts of effort to hold things to their familiar path.

For example, a country is in an economic depression. The country has determined that changes need to be made to achieve an economic recovery. Though well intentioned, it soon becomes apparent that there are insufficient changes being made (or just slow progression) in the efforts toward economic recovery. This lack of change creates unrest and, ultimately, conflict at all levels principally because the promised changes aren't happening quickly enough. As time progresses, the level of conflict rises as the result of the continued lack of change.

After much debate, the country decides it will go back to the "old and familiar" ways of dealing with the economic depression. This may or may not solve the problems with the economy (Story Outcome: Success or Failure), but it resolves the conflict created by the lack of change being made because the results of those changes are no longer expected.

Mazza13 Re: Context is everything. #2

Thanks Chris. You've been most helpfull, that was an excellent example.

I find the relationship between the two parts of a dynamic pair a little confusing. Melanie describes them as being like Mass and Energy - you can change them into each other but at the expense of the other one. I've always had difficulty with how to apply this to stories. Your example really cleared things up for me.

Once again, thanks for your helpful answer.

[b]ReidWrite Re: Context is everything. #3 [/b]

I don't know if this is related and I may well be talking to myself but...

In a lot of big action movies the MC seems to remain steadfast throughout the story, actively changing/manipulating events around them to produce the inevitable success resolution.

What are examples where the MC changed as a result, and IYHO, is this better/worse than steadfast?

IE: Die Hard, Indiana Jones, True Lies, Bond, all these MCs reamained steadfast and indeed we really want them to, in case they need to save the world again.

Does it work as well the other way, where they change their character?

Chris Huntley Re: Context is everything. #4

James Bond in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is a Change character. He decides to throw in the towel and get married (which he does). Unfortunately for him, his wife is killed in the epilogue so he can go on for more sequels.

Luke in Star Wars is a change character. He's a hero.

There's a "cheat" regarding Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark." There are sort of two MC/IC throughlines in the film. One where MC Indy doesn't believe in the supernatural (God et al). He has multiple IC's in that throughline including Marcus, Sala and others. The second is the archeologist/treasure seeker throughline with Belloq as the IC.

In the Belloq throughline, Indy gives up keeping the ark from the Nazi's as his number one priority just so that he can see what's inside the box. Not terribly noble. [Note: They do mitigate his decision by making Marion's life depend on his choice.]

In the "Is there a God or supernatural powers" throughline, Indy goes from disbeliever to enough of a believer to tell Marion to close her eyes while he does the same. It saves their lives. The question is, why doesn't he believe in the supernatural after that? Based on the argument of the story, he should. WE sure do (in the context of the story).

Culturally, we have "conventionalized" a "hero" as being the combination of MC + Protagonist + Steadfast. There are more exceptions than the rule, but that's the clich American version.

Change or Steadfast are neither intrinsically better nor worse than the other. It's the context that puts the positive or negative spin on it.
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.

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