How active does an antagonist have to be?

@jhull has done some cool work on A Christmas Carol.

@chuntley has said that the order of the signposts is not possible.

That’s about all I know.


This topic is a great discussion about the IC signposts for A Christmas Carol. The impossible signpost progression mentioned was the IC signpost order of Progress -> Past -> Present -> Future (Jacob Marley, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future). Assuming that this is in fact the actual order illustrated in A Christmas Carol, then the storyform would be inevitably broken because there is no storyform that can match that order. However, @mlucas mentions in the above topic this about the signpost order:

So if the MC’s personal problem is raging anxiety and getting his other half back gets rid of that anxiety (assuming I am understanding correctly), then that means that getting his other half back has to do with the MC throughline. That would therefore leave everyone wanting a better life to fall under the Overall Story Goal. This also sounds consistent with your working narrative argument, “learning to face fears leads to a better life.”

Does that sound right to you, @SharkCat?

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He doesn’t get his half back, but he does think doing so would cure his anxiety. My idea was that MC learns courage while trying to impress the antagonist and for some reason, gets the opportunity to rejoin at the end (only way I can think of is that the Antagonist’s resistance to the idea gets eroded, which I’m not even sure an antagonist is allowed to do-- to have doubts and change their mind about something like that unless that counts as Reconsider), but has learned something about courage or worth that makes MC change his mind and turn down the offer, giving up on that goal. He, for some reason, finds contentment in the way he is, knowing that he does have the capability to change for the better.

But, yeah, the narrative argument sounds right.

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Sorry for the late response!

If all of this is at (or near) the end of the story, that would help explain why it can be hard to separate the OS and MC throughlines. In a story, the throughlines naturally become more closely knit as the story approaches the end. When trying to separate the throughlines, it’s best to look at the whole story, beginning through the end.

Great! Then you’re off to a great start.

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