A Beginner's Character Memorability Question

I’m going to start reading the Dramatica Theory book this weekend, but as I was browsing my rainy day TV series collection, something interesting occurred to me. Although I enjoyed all these series the first run through, I noticed something that separated them into two very distinct groups - and when I thought about novels and movies, I realized the same situation definitively applied.

For the first group, I instantly remembered the names of 10 - 20 characters. For the second, I only remembered the main character’s name or none. Given a bit of time, I could scrounge up a name or two from the mind palace and I definitely remembered bits and pieces of the characters and plots - but something instructive is going on here.

As I read through the Dramatica Theory, I am going to see if the memorable characters are the archetype or complex ones. I will also try to figure out what it is that separates these two categories of story in my mind.

Do any of you have the same experience as me? Your thoughts are both welcome and will surely be instructive.


Very interesting.

I imagine part of it has to do with whether or not they’re well-developed characters, but it could also have to do with some filmmaking techniques, like finding ways for players in the story to naturally keep saying their name over and over until you remember it.

The original Star Wars characters aren’t exactly the deepest of characters, tbh. Pretty archetypal. But Lucas did a great job having everyone say “Luke!” and “Han!” and “Threepio!” over and over again.