I will. I needed to develop a foundation of understanding the Main Character Throughline as a perspective, not a character first. Hopefully, that is well established now. Dramatica is so complex and so precise that many take comments and story endings literally, instead of understanding them within the context of the Dramatica model.
Oh, and yes. EVERYTHING I do is within context of Dramatica and its model of narrative. That’s why, I suppose, everyone is here, and therefore what I endeavor to teach and communicate day in and day out. It’s also the reason why I’m so quick to boot those who want to create their own version of Dramatica. The internet is big enough that they can go do it somewhere else—making it easier to communicate what the theory is, rather than what it isn’t.
Reading through your response a few times, I have the sense that you've addressed all my points effectively within the Dramatica model.
Excellent! That’s all I’m here to do.
In other words, if "the filter of the mind" you're referring to is a concept within Dramatica, great, but if it's a statement about how the actual human mind works then I've got to get off the bus, so to speak.
Dramatica is a theory based on how the mind works. If you don’t buy this concept, then you don’t buy the theory. It’s one of the givens of the theory.
In regards to Conscience and Logic not tying in “naturally” with the Preconscious, I mean quite literally that those elements do not fit within the context of problematic Impulsive Responses.
Drunken driving is almost always a problem in the real world
It’s only a problem in narrative if it is specifically made a problem in that story. Stories are not the real world. You could write many stories where drunk driving is a benefit to a society. You might not find a lot of readers, but you can certainly do it.
That’s another great thing about looking at story through the eyes of Dramatica–you’re not beholden to any value systems. You’re free to tell the story you want to tell–as long as you stay consistent.
Conscience is a Dramatica element, but Rationale is not. So I'm not sure how to interpret those terms in this context.
A problem of Logic means there is an element of rational thinking creating conflict. I gist-ed Logic to fit within the context of the concept I was trying to teach.
This again goes back to the idea of using the story appreciations as storytelling, rather than sources of conflict. It’s not that someone is driven by logic to tell people what is right and wrong, it’s that their logical approach, their rationale, creates conflict.
So when it comes to problems of the Preconscious–which is what a Concern of Preconscious, or Impulsive Responses, is all about, Conscience and Logic quite literally do not fit in. “Gagging at the thought of eating oysters” while silly, probably illustrates the problems of the Preconscious best. Someone motivated to do that is not motivated by their Conscience, nor by Logic. That’s why I say those two don’t naturally coincide with a Concern of Impulsive Responses.
Okay, I'm interpreting this as saying that fear of consequences or logic or reason are notions that don't exist within the context of Preconscious or Impulsive responses – they're more like higher-order thought process that require reflection and thus don't fit within the much narrower world of our impulsive reactions.
I'm not sure what you mean by reality here – do you mean the logical interpretation of what's in the movie (ex: "The aliens of Theta 7 don't use teleportation so we can't consider teleporting the bomb away as a solution") or "reality" in terms of our world (ex: "It's not realistic to believe that ISIS would all suddenly convert to Christianity")?
Whether we write stories or analyze stories, where we assume the conflict is or where the consistent arrangement of perspectives lie, often fails to hold up under closer scrutiny. The storyforming process forces us to be objective about what was once a very subjective experience–making up stories in our own heads and interpreting the events of those stories in our own heads.
Dramatica won’t let you make an inconsistent or incoherent argument all around. You can make arguments for one perspective and one concern, but once you try and make them all at once from a consistent and objective point-of-view, those things you thought were there, only looked that way because in your mind you can shift context all the time. That’s how we survive in our day-to-day lives and why we do the things we do (again, this is from Dramatica’s concept of the Storymind–the idea that we use justification and problem-solving throughout our own experience).
In Dramatica, you can’t constantly shift context. You set the context and that’s it.
This is why writers new to Dramatica run into this problem where they can’t fit their story into the program. The storyform tells them there is something wrong with their story (really, something inconsistent), the writers don’t like the idea that what they thought was awesome in their head doesn’t play out in the final result, so they toss Dramatica aside and decide it’s not for them.
Storyforming with Dramatica is a process of moving away from the subjective inconsistencies in our own minds towards an objective consistent context so that we can tell a coherent and complete argument.
(And I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to explain that a couple more times, because I’m not sure how I did!)
Would I be correct in paraphrasing this as, "the fact that Kimble cares about who killed his wife is his motivation, but it's not what creates problems for him in the movie – it's the physical activity of tracking down the murderer."
Here's my question: let's say in the Director's Cut of the movie, we have two scenes in which Kimble's lawyer is separately trying to track down the real killer which puts his life in danger. Would that mean the Director's Cut had a different storyform than the theatrical cut because Kimble is no longer "the only one experiencing conflict through this very specific activity of 'finding that man'"?
I guess. But that wasn’t the movie that was presented. If that scene was shot, they likely cut it out because it doesn’t make sense whatsoever given the final storyform of the movie.
Theoretically, people can’t help but write a complete story (a consistent storyform). They write and re-write, shoot and re-shoot, edit and re-edit, until they have something that holds up together (in other words, tells a complete argument from all four perspectives). Sometimes, mistakes slip by–stories aren’t perfect–but for the most part, when a story works, it is held together by the storyform.
One thing I have learned from all this is the language surrounding “Author’s Intent”. Usually, we describe the storyform as indicating Author’s Intent, as if this is exactly what the Author was trying to say.
After this discussion, I think it’s more accurate to say that this is the message that was presented–whether the Author meant it or not.
Take my reference above to “shipping Steve and Bucky.” For those who don’t know (and I didn’t until a year or two ago), “shipping” is apparently the process of creating a realtion-SHIP between two characters that the original text failed to address.
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the Russo’s intention to motivate a segment of the Internet population to write and draw various romantic encounters between Steve and Bucky, yet for some reason these fans were motivated to do so.
I would say this is because of the Influence Character Problem of Feeling. The storyform of the film–the storyform that ended up on-screen and presented to the Audience–places Steve in a place where his attitude his motivated specifically by Feelings. Whether or not they meant to or not, this is the message communicated and one many took too. You can Google “shipping Steve and Bucky” and see all kinds of interesting things. If you Google “Iron Man’s logic” or “Tony’s rationale” you won’t find anything close in number.
I’ve worked on productions where the Audience “ships” characters that were never intended to be that way, and if I recall correctly you, Sebastien, might have had the same experience. This was never their or your intent, but the storyform of the film, the message of the film is there once a mind (a Storymind) begins to put the pieces together.
So, I think no longer thinking of the storyform as representing Author’s Intent and instead thinking of it as the actual storyform communicated makes more sense.
So is this a quantity/proportion issue? Because I'm sure we could find a scene in the Fugitive where, let's say, Kimble's activity in trying to hunt down the murderer ends up adversely affecting someone else. I'm not quibbling with your assessment, just wondering if this idea of only the main character having problems caused by the MC domain must be absolutely true or just broadly true.
Theoretically the entire story happens all at once (because it all happens in the mind). So the idea is yes, you have a holistic understanding of the entire Throughline all at once. I believe it’s both a quantity and proportion issues as much as it is a qualitative issue. No story is perfect–but there will be enough of something that the Audience will naturally begin to put pieces together into a storyform (assuming you buy the Storymind concept).
Why wouldn't his loyalty to Bucky be enough to justify his actions? It's clear in the movie that in their backstory, Bucky died saving Cap, and would have done so again and again. These guys aren't just fellow soldiers with a crush on each other – all through Steve's troubled youth Bucky stuck up for him, and Cap will always stick up for Bucky now.
I get all of that, but see that as playing out through his Influence Character Throughline of Fixed Attitude (sticking up for Bucky), Innermost Desires (loyalty), Hope (his whole 50’s mentality), and Feeling (the crush).
By personal justification, I mean some kind of personal problem there, some personal conflict. I don’t see how that stands out from what everyone else is doing.
Seb. Says: The people opposing cap aren't concerned with protecting Bucky either. They're concerned with enforcing the law.
Jim Says: Enforcing the law is an Activity.
Seb. Says: I agree with the last line, but I'm not sure what your point is here? Why does Enforcing the Law being an Activity negate what I wrote?
Just trying to show how everyone is involved with problematic activities, not just Steve. Steve protects Bucky, others enforce the law - those are forces on both sides of the same kind of problematic Activity, within the context of this story.
Just to be clear, I brought up the MC domain as being applicable to other stories specifically because in your previous post you said that for the MC throughline to be correct (e.g. "Cap is trying to protect his oldest friend") it would have to be possible to pull it out of the current movie and put it in a different one. That's why I wrote that: The Fugitive's MC domain of activities being "Dr. Kimble is tracking down the murderer(s) of his wife." wouldn't carry over into another story unless it was another story in which his wife is murdered.
Right, because “tracking down the murderer of his wife” requires his wife to be dead. That is his personal baggage as defined within the context of his Main Character Throughline.
I was responding directly to your earlier point, not trying to deviate into concocting other stories.
I was just trying to point out that it’s important to focus on the story told, or presented, when trying to figure out the storyform. Also, when it comes to writing, figuring out the storyform you’re presenting, rather than the one you hope you’re presenting.
Can save you a lot of grief when it comes to shipping!
This movie is Captain America 3. It's not just a random sit-com style episode of the Cap show – it's presumed (I think, anyway) that the audience has seen the first and second in the same way that people watching Spider-Man 2 were assumed to have seen the first one.
A Dramatica storyform is an objectified meaning of the story as presented from beginning to end. Where you start and end that story matters. The storyform for an entire series is different than the storyform for a season in that series and is different for storyform for an episode within that season.
You set the scope of a narrative by determining the start point and end point (Drivers) and a limit for the events within (Story Limit).
Return of the King has several different storyforms going on–different MC/IC, etc. Overall I’m sure there is one storyform to rule them all (the entire trilogy) but that will be a project for another day...
Could you tease this paragraph out a bit? I'm not quite able to parse it. Specifically, why is the idea that one has a problem of relying on the logic of the Accords not the same thing as having a problem of Logic?
And are you saying that the Appreciation needs to be an indicator of an inequity requiring resolution?
Every single appreciation is an indicator of inequity requiring resolution. Domain, Concern, Issue, and Problem are all really just inequities with fancy names to indicate their “size” within a narrative.
Contrast these two in terms of Logic:
- the logic behind building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico doesn’t make sense. It will just cause more problems
- Some think that if you build a wall tall enough and long enough then you’ll protect innocent civilians from the terrorists
The latter introduces an inequity into the conversation requiring some kind of resolution. The former is just a statement, or opinion. One motivates a story, the other just sits there.
A couple of things confuse me in this paragraph: 1) you reference Tony's motivation but I thought character motivation was specifically something that shouldn't be used as the basis for a domain problem. 2) You're saying here that if the OS problem is logic, then the solution would have to be for everyone to stop being logical. But isn't the dynamic pair of Logic, "Feelings"? And isn't "Feelings" different from "not Logic"? In other words, what if the problem/solution is: "Everyone is following the logical course despite the way its creating problems for them, so what they need to do is start listening to their feelings instead."
Hopefully, you now see how “following the logical course” is not the same thing as Logic as an indicator of inequity.
And yes, I would agree that if Logic were the Problem then Feeling would be the Solution, but for the sake of the conversation I was focusing on getting rid of the inequity - as in “if they stopped being logical” because being logical would have to be an inequity in a story driven by Logic.
In regards to 1), what I meant was that the Changed character shares the same Problem and Solution as the Overall Story Throughline – that’s what ties them meaningfully into the argument of the narrative. The Problem of a Throughline is the basis for a Domain “Problem” as it describes the finest most precise bit of detail to which one can describe the inequity.
As for Dark Knight and Contender and Serenity, I haven’t seen the last so I’m not sure but as far as the others go–
The biggest problem here is taking statements literally instead of understanding the comments within the context of the Dramatica narrative model. This is why I wanted to make sure there was an understanding of the Main Character as a perspective, and a perspective towards an inequity. Anything that supports that inequity functions as a means of better telling that point-of-view.
When I say, from a Main Character Throughline perspective, I know what I know–this is within the context of the Throughline. I’ve already written about it in my Throughline analysis of the Civil War which I will publish next week, but in short:
Steve Rogers, Captain America, withholds key information that pertains directly to Tony’s personal issues. I know everything I need to know to generate my personal perspective of I. Tony’s personal issues of guilt shift with knowledge of the secret, making his unawareness of this information key to understanding the meaning of his point-of-view.
In other words, the fact that he doesn’t know something that could alleviate his guilt is why he represents the I point-of-view.
In The Dark Knight, Batman struggles between being the hero or being the villain. Illegally tapping cellphones supports this perspective of doing something wrong. In other words, there are plenty of things that I have done in my life that I don’t want anyone to know about, and I will do anything to keep them secret–including keeping them from myself–because they’re “bad”.
The film supports this perspective. Instead of watching Batman setup the cellphones and the listening devices which might encourage an acceptance of such actions, he does them off screen and there’s a bit of shame felt when Fox calls him out for it. This plays into the whole issue over doing things a hero or villain would do.
It plays into the perspective of inequity as seen from the Main Character point-of-view.
The Contender works the same way. She’s withholding that information on principle because that’s what Be-ers do. The Be-er aspect is part of her perspective. The idea that anyone would even conceive of her doing these things is so offensive that she won’t even do the one thing that could end it all. Her Issues of Deficiency and that drive of Re-evaluation motivates the holding of that secret and her refusal to address the allegations. The reveal supports that first-person perspective of dealing with conflict like this. As far as she is concerned–from her perspective–she shouldn’t have to face these questions in the first place.
So it’s not a literal interpretation of I, but rather an understanding of I as a point-of-view on inequity and conflict resolution. I know what I know–in order to communicate my inequitable perspective.