Saturday, August 13, 2016

Separating Main Character and Objective Story

It can be rather difficult sometimes to separate the Main Character Throughline from the Objective Story Throughline, especially when:

  • the issues the Main Character deal with start with the rest of the story
  • the issues the Main Character deal with are intrinsically linked with he rest of the story
  • part of the Main Character should be personal, but isn't
  • the Main Character doesn't have 'obvious' personal issues
For example, in "The Fugitive," the Dramatica Analysis makes Kimble's Throughline about him tracking down his wife's murderer(s) and the Objective Throughline "A murder in Chicago has taken place.  An innocent man has been accused, tried, and convicted for the crime."

In "Tangled," Rapunzel has that long magical hair, but is that what she's about? Not according to the consensus of the User Group meeting. "Our princess is not in the castle."

In "The Last Unicorn" is her being the last her objective function or her personal problem? It wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the story, and you could argue that the objective story goal is to get the other unicorns 'unstuck,' but is that really the case here? I don't think that this story is a Grand Argument Story, but if it was I would probably argue for an Objective Story Domain of Physics and Concern of Obtaining, because problems exist because of people trying to capture one thing or another. The last unicorn's status as the last has an objective function, but it also brings her personal pain, especially when she is transformed into a woman, and later into a unicorn again, now being the only unicorn who knows regret. (The closest thing to a working story form I found was: Change, Stop, Do-er, Holistic, Action, Optionlock, Success, Good, Physics, Obtaining, Self Interest, Control; but again, I don't think this film is a GAS; I haven't read the book).

When writing your own story, maybe try to make sure that your Main Character is dealing with personal stuff outside of the story, that would be troublesome even in another story or even without anything going on.

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