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A couple of Questions...

Posted: May 30, 2008 10:19 am
by Chris Huntley
nickwild -- A couple of Questions...

Hi Folks,

I have a story where the Main Character is on the run and has something that other characters are trying to get. The Impact Character will stop at nothing and wants to kill the main character to get the item back.

I have an OS Theme Concern of Obtaining as everyone is concerned with getting the item back. The Main Character Story Point Problem is Pursuit as they are being chased, the Solution is therefore Avoidance. This is logical up to here, however the Story Engine puts the Symptom as Support. Does anyone have any ideas as to the rationale as to how Support could be a symptom?

Also if the OS story throughline is the overview of the story, to whom or based on what, is the Outcome a success or failure does this success or failure relate to the Main Character

Many Thanks

Chris Huntley Re: A couple of Questions... #1

The MC on the run with the IC trying to stop him sounds more like Overall Story stuff between the protagonist and antagonist, not MC and IC.

The Main Character throughline is about the MC's PERSONAL issues--things only important to him personally. Since you describe the Overall Story as everybody concerned with getting the object back, his possession of the item is NOT a personal issue. It describes his function in the Overall Story, not his personal stuff. So, you may want to look at your storyform with that in mind.

An OS Symptom of Support can be many things. The Symptom is what SEEMS to be the source of conflict in the OS. Your OS is about a man who has stolen something and desperately tries to get away with it. Imagine him hiding in a bar. Someone spots him and comes over to congragulate him and tell him they're behind him 100%. This conversation is overheard by a bad guy and the protagonist's cover is blown. Another example of Support as a Symptom might be when a newspaper publishes its support of the protagonist's efforts and includes a picture of the protagonist. This support severly hampers the protagonist's efforts to remain anonymous and causes him more grief.

The Story Outcome is the evaluation of whether the Story Goal is achieved. Success if it is achieved, Failure if it isn't. So, if your story is about getting away with the object and the thief gets away with it, it's a Success story. If the story is about efforts to recover the stolen object and the thief gets away with it, it's a Failure story.

Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.

nickwild Re: A couple of Questions... #2

Hi Chris,

Many thanks for that, that is much clearer now - you're right I was getting confused between the Protagonist and MC.

However, the engine puts the Main Character Symptom not the OS symptom as Suppport; would your same example apply, if the MC problem was also Pursuit but from the context of the MC Throughline.

Would the two different Pusuits (one under the Closure Variation and one under the Self-INterest variation) relate to two different pursuits or different perspectives of the same pusuit?

Also what could some examples be of an MC Symptom of Reconsider.



Chris Huntley Re: A couple of Questions... #3

If you have a Change MC, the MC has the same kind of Problem and Solution as that of the OS. With a Steadfast MC, the MC has the same kind of Symptom and Response as the OS. So, it looks like you have a Steadfast MC since the MC and OS Problem are not of the same nature.

I'm not sure what you mean when you ask if the example would apply. The MC throughline is a different context than that of the OS throughline. A MC Problem of Pursuit would be one where pursuing or being pursued is the source of the MC's motivation (drive)--it's what aggrevates/excites him. For example, Dr. Kimble in The Fugitive is driven by Pursuit (MC PRoblem). Since he is a steadfast MC, he does NOT share this with the OS. An OS Problem of Pursuit would be one in which pursuing or being pursued caused conflict for EVERYONE in the Overall Story throughline.

There are a total of FOUR instances of each element--one in each Class. Even though they are SIMILAR, they are different because of the context(s) within which each is found. Each is under the umbrella of unique Variations, Concerns, and Domains. Not only that, each will be seen in terms of different throughlines. So one Pursuit might be seen in the Context of the Overall Story throughline with reference to Closure, Innermost Desires, and Fixed Attitudes, while Pursuit in the Main Character throughline might be seen in the context of Self-Interest, Obtaining, and Activities.

In an "ideal" instance of the Dramatica model of story structure, we would have DIFFERENT names for all 256 elements instead of repeating the 64 labels four times each. However, we felt that was TOO overwhelming for the minimal return on the clarity it might provide. Plus--the English language isn't nuanced enough to adequately describe the differences.

Here are some examples of a MC Symptom of Reconsider: Sam's thought he was a shoe-in for getting his tenure until he found out his application was being reconsidered which got him worrying; it seemed to Robert that he got aggitated every time he reconsidered wardrobe choices he made the night before; Sheila's inability to make a decision seemed to come from her contant reconsideration of her options; and so on.

nickwild Re: A couple of Questions... #4

Hi Chris,

Many thanks!

The main motivation for the MC to survive the pursuit of the IC and others is to wreak revenge on them - what class, variation and element on the MC throughline could this revenge pan out to?



Chris Huntley Re: A couple of Questions... #5

Anywhere you want. The storyform identifies what you want to say ABOUT (the) revenge.

Chris Huntley
Write Brothers