question re steadfast / abundance -deficiency of MC problem

Read or revive posts that have been copied over from the old message board.
User avatar
Chris Huntley
Site Admin
Posts: 722
Joined: Jan 25, 2008 5:19 pm
Location: Glendale, CA USA
Contact:

question re steadfast / abundance -deficiency of MC problem

Postby Chris Huntley » May 30, 2008 10:30 am

chris taylor -- question re steadfast / abundance -deficiency of MC problem

hi everyone - I'm new.

After weeks of getting to grips with dramatica, I thought I had found the correct structure for my story - 25314. The Four Themes Report for the MC reads "only if he continues to believe that his abundance of logic is not causing all the problems, but just the work he must do ..." which is was what I wanted.

However, then I saw the lack of Audience Appreciation ("Neither") and tweaked it to 27234. It kept all the elements of steadfast character, faith, preconception, reconsider, choice and logic, but rearranged them a bit differently (I know, but I'm still learning ... )

Anyway, the MC theme report for 27324 reads "only if he realizes that his abundance of logic is causing all the problems will he be able to set things right".

I was under the impression that a "steadfast MC character" implies that his personal problem is NOT the OS problem, but effectively the solution - so I assumed he would always need to hold on.

Where am I wrong?

Grateful for any explanations.

Chris Taylor


Chris Huntley Re: question re steadfast / abundance -deficiency of MC prob #1

Hey Chris --

A Steadfast MC does not share the problem and solution elements with the Overall Story throughline. Instead, it shares the symptom and response elements. Keep in mind that what they share is the nature of the element (e.g. Logic or Feeling) but not the same context (MC or OS) so its expression is different. Also, a steadfast MC's problem looks more like the source of his "drive" than the source of personal conflicts--especially if he is in a Success/Good story. The MC symptom seems more like the source of conflict for the MC.

It's hard to know how to respond without a bit more information. What are the settings for the following items in the Story Engine? :

MC Resolve:
MC Growth:
MC Approach:
MC PS-Style:

Story Driver:
Story Limit:
Story Outcome:
Story Judgment:

OS Througline (domain):
OS Problem:

By supplying that information, I can recreate your storyform and then provide a more informed answer to your question.

Best regards,
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers



Graham Re: question re steadfast / abundance -deficiency of MC prob #2

To Chris Taylor,

Welcome, and I hope this example helps (even if I might not have the right storyforms).

Eager for Chris Huntley's reply, I found storyforms #25314 and #27234. (The last reference to the second storyform (#27324) is a typo?)

To Chris Huntley,

Regarding the ten items you listed, both storyforms have the same Story Engine settings for:

MC: Steadfast, Stop, Doer
Story: Decision, Option, Success
OS: Situation, Faith

They differ in two of the ten:

MC PS-Style: Intuitive vs. Logical
Story Judgment: Good vs. Bad

So, remaining Steadfast in storyform #27234 leads to Success in the OS, just as it does in #25314. But in #27234, remaining Steadfast doesn't solve the MC's personal problem. He still needs to "hold on" to solve the OS problem, but this leads to some personal sacrifice, thus the Story Judgment of Bad.

Assuming these are the correct storyforms, I look forward to your expanded analysis, Chris (Huntley).

Graham


chris taylor Re: question re steadfast / abundance -deficiency of MC prob #3

Thank you for both replies. I always considered myself intelligent, but Dramatica is such a feat of intellectual brilliance that I'm struggling to follow.

Chris Huntley writes:

> Also, a steadfast MC's problem looks more like the source of
> his "drive" than the source of personal conflicts--especially
> if he is in a Success/Good story. The MC symptom seems
> more like the source of conflict for the MC.

I never thought of it that way. Then the setting for MC Problem MUST be "logic".


Graham writes:

> Eager for Chris Huntley's reply, I found storyforms #25314 and #27234. (The last reference to the second storyform (#27324) is a typo?)


yes it was a typo - apologies.

> Regarding the ten items you listed, both storyforms have the same Story Engine settings for:

> MC: Steadfast, Stop, Doer
> Story: Decision, Option, Success
> OS: Situation, Faith

> They differ in two of the ten:

> MC PS-Style: Intuitive vs. Logical
> Story Judgment: Good vs. Bad

Correct. I since found that MS PS-style has to be "logical" - it is the only way I can write the story for an audience where the men emphasize and women only sympathize.

Also, if Grahams interpretation that "He still needs to hold on to solve the OS problem, but this leads to some personal sacrifice, thus the Story Judgment of Bad" is correct, then it must be "bad":

My MC does believe very strongly his final action is a personal
sacrifice. In fact that's his inner conflict throughout the story: he starts off with nothing to lose, but with each turn of the events, his personal sacrifice increases and he keeps thinking about it. In the end, he realizes there no amount of thinking is going to tell him what will happen to him personally, so he stops abruptly and just acts. The act of doing teaches him that that belief was wrong.

So it looks as if I need the following story settings (#27234)

MC Steadfast, Stop, Do-er, Logical
DRIVER: Decision, Optionlock, Success, Bad
OS: Situation, The Future, Openness vs. Preconception, Faith

MC PROBLEM / SOLUTION Logic / Feeling
SYMPTOM / RESPONSE Consider / Reconsider

before I commit to that, all comments and words of warning appreciated



Chris Huntley Re: question re steadfast / abundance -deficiency of MC prob #4

Here are a couple of general observations I can make based on your storyform settings:

Logical/Optionlockthis story tends to appeal to both male and female audiences. They should find it equally involving.

Success/Badthis story has a bittersweet ending and might be seen as a personal tragedy in the manner of The Silence of the Lambs and Remains of the Day.

Do-er/Decisionthe Main Character resists involvement in efforts to achieve the Story Goal. This is due to personal frustrations between the way the MC likes to work and the efforts needed to make progress in the OS.

Steadfast/Successthis story shows that hard work and stick-to-itiveness overcome real problems.

Steadfast/Stopthe Main Character feels that hes holding out against an onslaught directed against his personal resolve. He believes that if he holds out long enough it will stop and his life will be better.

Stop/Badthis story has a positive feel to it because the characters chase and close in on the solution (rather than being chased by the problem).

Main Character Problem Quad: Logical/Feeling; Consider/ReconsiderNothing agitates and revs up the Main Character more than something that doesnt make logical sense. Hes driven to make sense of it. If you ask the Main Character what causes him the most personal grief, hed say it happens when things or comments arent given enough consideration before being done or said. Hed suggest comparing those considerations against past (or future) considerations in order to provide the proper context to understand what should be done or said.

If these observations sorta-kinda fit your story, then Id say youve got yourself a storyform. (NOTE: Theres a lot of room for interpretation in a storyform and do not take my generalizations as gospel. They are just a quick assessment.)

Cheers,
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers

chris taylor Re: question re steadfast / abundance -deficiency of MC prob #5

> Logical/Optionlockthis story tends to appeal to both male
> and female audiences. They should find it equally involving.


I've experimented with that and I'll change it to timelock: it gets me the "male only". AFAICS, it also provides me with the proper inciting incident - which has been elusive so far.

> Success/Badthis story has a bittersweet ending


perfect.

> Do-er/Decisionthe Main Character resists involvement in
> efforts to achieve the Story Goal. This is due to personal
> frustrations between the way the MC likes to work and the
> efforts needed to make progress in the OS.


perfect.

> Main Character Problem Quad: Logical/Feeling;
> Consider/ReconsiderNothing agitates and revs up If you
> ask the Main Character what causes him the most personal
> grief, hed say it happens when things or comments arent
> given enough consideration before being done or said.


that's him to a T.

Your comments have also shown up why the middle section of the story never worked. I know how to fix it now.

> If these observations sorta-kinda fit your story, then Id
> say youve got yourself a storyform.


They fit so well that I'm ready to change my approach: anything else that doesn't fit (I'm struggling with approach vs attitude) must be the problem why the story didn't work.

Thank you very very much. I've learnt a lot about story from just using Dramatica.

Chris Taylor.
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.
http://dramatica.com/
http://screenplay.com/

Return to “Classics from the Archives”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest