First Person?

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Chris Huntley
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First Person?

Postby Chris Huntley » May 30, 2008 9:59 am

PeterJames -- First Person?


I am a newbie and a newbie writer. I downloaded the demo of Dramatica and I think it can help me. But I have some dumb questions:

I am trying to write a semi-fictional account of something that happened to some friends of mine and weave it into a story that I think will be interesting. However, I can't seem to find out where to place myself as the narrator/character in Dramatica. Am I the Main Character? I think so - as far as the program is concerned - but it doesn't seem to give me a choice for Protagonist. In fact, there is no listing I can find for developing the 'protagonist' character at all, if I am to be the Main Character.

I have a small part to play in the events, so it is important that I write this in the first person (though I know many people say I am not supposed to write a story this way) as kind of like a 'witness to the events'. However, the actual main character is really the leader of those in the group I am writing about, and very important in the events. I am sort of incidental, as it were, yet I need to write it from my perspective.

So this is where I am stuck and can't figure out how to proceed from here. The story is kind of like a 'FGT at the Whistle Stop Cafe' type yarn, so the view point and first person perspective/comment from my character is very important.

Can anyone help?


Unregistered(d) The 3rd Person #1

You can do this Protagonist-MC thingy trick by following the dramatica structure of story. The MC scenes(Narrations) will be separate from the actual OS scenes where your Protagonist (which happens to be you) is found. Try to consider the "Events" that happened and view it in 3rd person. Think as if your some by-stander watching you and your friends do your stuff and write your OS scenes with the Protagonist(which is You). Gets?

hitthosekeys Re: The 3rd Person #2


You can think of what you're trying to do as like telling a well-known story from the point of view of one of the lesser characters. It's perfectly valid way to tell a story.

As for character development, you're right. The program is set up to allow you to develop character FUNCTIONS (the objective characters like the protagonist) and character EMOTIONS, separately. While there is a lot of detail about what all of the objective characters represent, each as a piece of the "argument", there is room only to go into very great depth about two of these characters, in their special capacity as the main and impact characters.

That doesn't mean you can't write about what it feels like to be the protagonist, when you are writing about the protagonist. That's what a good storyteller does. Dramatica just tells you that you also have know that the protagonist carries the goal and to make the "argument" work you have to show him or her thinking about (considering) and doing something about (pursuing) the goal. Beyond that you can make up whatever you want (or remember it or recast it, whatever).

Dramatica also gives you special tools for getting in deep to at least two characters, though.

What you will need to know is how the protagonist/story goal is different from the main character goal. The protagonist might be trying to accomplish something (form a club over the objections of school officials), while the main character is just hoping to be invited to join.

That might have nothing to do with your story, of course, but the idea is to play around with how the protagonist and main character goals are different--and yet in some ways the same or leaning in the same direction, because they are part of the same argument that the story as a whole represents.

Neat, huh? Have confidence in your original intention--it can be done.


PeterJames Thanks #3

OK Now I understand it better. Maybe it's more flexible than I first thought, and I was trying to be too 'rigid' when following the guidelines.

Thanks so much and wish me luck!


Chris Huntley Re: The 3rd Person #4

Excellent description, Lisa.

-- Chris Huntley, Write Brothers, Inc.

hitthosekeys Re: The 3rd Person #5

Excellent description, Lisa.

Thanks, Chris!

Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.

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