Companion & Dependent Pairs in practice

I want to get to the bottom of how to put Companion and Dependent pairs to use the best way possible, and I’d like to start with these two pairs because selfishly they will help my project, mwahhahaha.

Bear with me that these are a bit out-of-sync with the book, but trust that this is not relevant.

My Protagonist is motivated by DEDUCTION.
Her husband and the Skeptic is motivated by CERTAINTY
These are Companion Pairs.

The Protagonist sees things and her thinking leads her to suspect she and her friends are getting conned. The Skeptic is certain (by design) that they are not. I can see this turning into an argument that amplifies both their positions by forcing them back into their corners and digging in their heels.

I there another way take this?

Next Pair:
The Protagonist evaluates how things are going by how many people are CONSIDERING what she is saying.
The Skeptic evaluates by DISBELIEF. He refuses to think things have changed once the con artist has come into their lives.
These are Dependent Pairs.

I can see how these contrast because they feel like any argument would lead to a stalemate rather than making these feelings blow up. (As opposed to the FAITH character, to whom the Protagonist might say – open your eyes you dolt!!)

Is there another way to take this?

1 Like

I’d love to understand this better too.

But isn’t an argument kind of by definition conflict i.e. something you would expect between dynamic pairs? Or maybe I’m being too literal with the definitions? (This is where I always have trouble).

Just to play with it – maybe the husband is so sure of himself (cocky) that he doesn’t take his wife’s Deductions seriously; she makes her case, and he kind of yes-es her. She senses that he’s doing this, but instead of shutting her up, it eggs her on.

Or (to change your story completely), she deduces that her friends are getting conned. To the husband, this just reinforces what he always knew – that the friends are gullible idiots. He says “see, I told you so!” which in turn amplifies her belief that she has reached the correct conclusion. (Meanwhile, they’re both wrong).

Or what if she knows that her husband will never believe the friends are being conned, so she keeps her conclusions to herself. This doesn’t cause direct conflict with him, but causes problems for her as she feels she needs to take action to help these friends without revealing what she thinks to her husband (i.e. she’s on her own in dealing with this).


Along those lines, she could know he’s so certain that they don’t talk and it diminishes because… how important can it be if they don’t talk?


This sounds like they are both certainty. Is the husband both the contagonist and skeptic? Adding hindering to the mix sounds fun. But it sounds like the con artist might be the contagonist. The con artist could be the antagonist, though, leaving the contagonist slot open. Maybe, the husband skeptic is absorbed in some kind of activity with the con artist, focusing on that because he trusts him/her, while she is working to get many other people on board that con artist is a bad 'un. So, maybe this is a case where the skeptic is a sidekick to the antagonist? (maybe until he sees the truth)

1 Like

I can see why you say that, so I’ll be careful to have her clarify her thinking more than just dig in her heels.

The story itself in worked out in a fair amount of detail. I’m trying to only work on the quad relationships now.

1 Like

The disbelief character cannot be persuaded according to the Dramatica dictionary. “unpersuadability” does indicate an action and rebuff. Are you looking for things your characters can do? I’m unclear about your stalemate use. Do you want that or are you asking us for possible action alternatives?

1 Like

I want to understand the many ways we can use the quad relationships.

Eventually, this means understanding how the three pairings work (dynamic, dependent, companion) in both the positive and the negative sense. It means understanding how each pair of pairings works (one is positive, one is negative… always?). It means understanding how the quad functions. And, honestly, it probably means a deeper understanding of each element on its own, but I’m going to leave that one out of it unless it comes up naturally.

I don’t know a better way to explore this than to throw out examples and ask, “So… what can we do with this one?” and seek knowledge through practical application.


As a married man, not being persuaded would be a dialogue reality. Eventually, there might be silence on the wife’s part, but only words silence. She would be looking for a way to move them across the world away from the con. Proximity is everything.

1 Like

Currently I have this married couple in the story. I’m going through putting them where i think they belong, and I think this is the best placement. But here’s thing: they are not at all at odds with each other. If anything, they find nothing but joy in each other. So this design surprises me. (It may be wrong.)

Screen Shot 2020-07-26 at 4.55.19 PM


As companion pairs, they’re supposed to be compatible, right? In that one offers the other what they have or uses up what the other needs.

In the example you offer, the wife deduces that she is being conned. But it’s not just that she has deduced this, right? To satisfy the storyform, its actually that she’s motivated by the process of deductions. At least as far as she represents Deduction.

The husband is certain they are not being conned. But again, it’s not just that he’s arrived at a certainty, but that he is driven by the process of Certainty.

So when the wife deduces that she’s being conned, she needs to find some Certainty. So the husband, driven by certainty, produces the certainty that they are not being conned and offers this certainty to his wife in a positive relationship which allows her to set her mind at ease, OR in a negative relationship, he uses up all the certainty by being driven to point out how he’s certain they are not being conned when she, despite her flawless deductions, actually needs some certainty that they are being conned before she can act.


To clarify this, the wife deduces they are ALL being conned, husband and neighbors in the building included.

This is the kind of clarity I am looking for!

(Though, this actually isn’t how it plays out, since she acts now without having gotten through to him, because he’s certain she’s wrong. I can’t tell how that involves using up or offering what the other needs… or if that is something that only happens over the duration of the movie.)

Taking a step back:

In my head, she’s done the deduction and her conclusion is motivating her to act. I this the same as what you are saying?

1 Like

Mmm…not quite. But I was pointing to the motivating process just to get to the point that the husband isn’t just sitting there being certain, but that he is actively trying to provide certainty to his wife, or actively keeping that certainty from her in order to produce that relationship of compatibility.

1 Like

Is it just to the protag wife, or is his certainty element giving certainty to the con man also?

1 Like

Okay, cool. He is certainly trying to provide Certainty to his wife—he’s just certain that she’s wrong.

I’m only worried about the actual pairs right now. Certainty <–> Deduction

1 Like

Maybe she’s offering up or holding back deductions from him?

Maybe this works fine, but in my mind, this sounds like being driven by the process of holding this conclusion rather than being driven by the actual process of deduction.

1 Like

You’ve nailed that one! That would motivate her to keep deducing to find just the right point that will make him shift to being certain she’s right. It would make sense for her to keep deducing with others in that search,.

1 Like

It’s possible I’ve overstated. She has “limited out what cannot be” to a satisfactory threshold. Are there more pieces of information that she wants, and will she be able to clear a higher bar at that point? Yes. So now she’s after that higher information. [ETA: “Reduction” is the process of comparing several different incomplete deductions, so that is around here somewhere.]

Maybe she thought she’d cleared a high enough bar, but her husband is Certain she’s wrong, so that pushes the bar a bit higher…

I don’t know… but that’s why I’m doing this.

This is exactly what I’m going for.

1 Like

It came to me that he might be certain she will see it his way, so he doesn’t say anything and keeps living life, and since he is silent she keeps having to deduce where he’s at on it, at a current time.

Ongoing deducing if any of their finances are being affected, might be at play.


So, when the Protagonist pursues we don’t see them motivated by Pursuing. We just see them pursuing. When someone is motivated by Certainty then they’re just really certain?


What’s a good example to look at, do you think?