About Demotivator

I had an “AHA” moment, momentarily, when I considered the “solution” for my Steadfast MC as being the real solution, internally. THEN, I saw the solution is technically called the Demotivator, meaning the MC doesn’t get there.

I’m curious at why it doesn’t become the point of technical catharsis after the story is over. The “now I can sit down and put my feet up.”

My MC Problem is Inaction and Solution is Protection.

I swapped the order, (Prob-Protection) to find the story warps enough to not be focused correctly. So does Inaction lead to Protection? Or must Inaction remain Inaction even during Judgment? (This is in the context of Proaction Focus).

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The idea is that the Steadfast MC is driven by their MC Problem element and sticks with it in the end. (They can waver or not during the story; what matters is their perspective at the end of the story.)

The fact that they stick with that drive/perspective, despite all the pressure to change, is part of your story’s message. But anything can happen after the story is done. For example, after The Fugitive is over, Dr. Kimble (Harrison Ford) might avoid the media for a while, maybe he even retires to live a quiet life in the country. That doesn’t mean he’s changing his perspective on his wife’s murder or anything. The story’s done and avoiding isn’t really Avoiding any more.

Where you get into problems in a sequel is if you completely abandon the message of the original, or act as if it didn’t happen. Some folks complained about this with The Incredibles 2.


This is an interesting idea. I was considering that MC-Solution element of Protection being more of a thematic element in the final book of the trilogy. I’ll consider what you say.

If a MC is steadfast in once circumstance, in another context, they might change. But more than likely it’s necessary to change the Issue so it doesn’t become a problem.

So far:

Book One: MC Concern Progress MC Issue. Security MC Problem Effect MC Solution/IC CE Cause (change)
Book Two: MC Concern Learning MC Issue. Strategy MC Problem Inaction (steadfast) vs IC CE Reaction [MC Solution Protection]

Alternately, maybe it would be better for the OS Solution to be Protection. I"ll investigate that.

But would you say the DOer BEer change has to remain consistent? If in book one, they become a BEer because of the IC, I can see they don’t have to STILL be a BEer in the book two. I know there’s not a lot of work on trilogies here…but I suppose it’s like wavering over the crucial issue INSIDE a signpost. End of Book one is like end of a signpost, where for the moment they’ve changed their mind. The final point, at the end of the series is what makes the most difference. Do you agree?

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Honestly I wouldn’t worry about any of that stuff. I was mostly speaking academically (and probably should have kept my mouth shut :slight_smile: ). There’s no rules about whether a Do-er who changes to Be-er can then start the next installment as a Do-er. Like you hinted at, it’s all about context. And I think your writer’s intuition would scream at you if you tried to do something wrong here.

I see what you mean, and partially agree. But don’t forget the series has a different context from the individual episodes. So the MC’s moment of truth and Resolve in Book One may have a lot to do with his MC throughline in the series, or little, or nothing at all. (And that’s assuming the MC for the series is even the same player!)


Right. Because my MC for the trilogy is a different character. Thanks for your input. It’s been very helpful.


Inaction is my Problem, Protection is my Solution.

Would it make sense for the Steadfast character to try to backpedal away from the Solution to stay at the Problem? Like an undertow or current trying to pull her?

Protection (self-defense, protecting oneself, staying safe) is the inertia/solution. But the “Inaction” element, as I’ve defined it in the story, is what is pushing her forward/problem. When she keeps up her Inaction, the story moves forward. So the IC is using her influence to try to get the MC to give in to Solution. Have you seen it used like that? It almost seems as a steadfast MC inhibitor. (:confused: ??)

Complication, in a Steadfast story, the MC Issue is the same as the OS Inhibitor, and Growth is STOP, hinting that to stay steadfast and to move toward the story goal, one needs to stop the MC Issue…which she’s been focusing on all along.

Why is the MC “thematic focus or topic” the thing that impedes the story? Because the MC Problem/ Solution/ Focus/ Direction are all a subset of the Issue. @jhull ??

Sure. The character already sees the Problem as a solution. That’s why they keep engaging in it despite the conflict it creates. They’ve built up a justification for trying to solve problems this way, so when the opportunity to switch comes along they won’t take it if those justifications haven’t been sufficiently torn down or replaced.

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So ultimately, it seems (for Protag/MC) it’s a fight inside between MC Solution vs OS Solution. In order to accomplish the larger goal, the MC must keep doing/focusing on Problem and thus accomplish OS Solution.