Have run into something quite confusing here regarding the Story Judgment! I realize this is similar to other threads, but I tried discussing it in another thread and didn’t seem to get any answers. Something I’ve noticed is some people are saying the Judgment is an objective Author judging whether the MC made the right decision in their Resolve…(why is it called Story Judgment instead of MC Judgment, in that case? Might be a case of trying to use new terminology vs old but it’s difficult to look into and find anything conclusive.) I’ve also seen in Jim’s article Decoding the Structure of a Personal Tragedy, that it’s more about the Author’s proof of the story’s central argument, which makes more sense to me since it is called Story Judgment. However, to throw a wrench in thing we have Melanie’s article on Story Judgment: http://dramaticapedia.com/2010/03/07/story-judgment-good-or-bad/ Here she says that essentially, the Outcome is an objective look at the story (Did the characters achieve the Story Goal or not?) and the Judgment is a subjective look at the story:
Because Success and Failure are measurements of how well specific requirements have been met, they are by nature objective. In contrast, Good and Bad are subjective value Judgments based on an appreciation of the Main Character’s personal fulfillment.
At risk of making this opening post way too long, I want to give context as to why this has thrown me for a bit of a loop. I have a story I have long assumed was a Success/Bad story, because it fits this description in the same article by Melanie:
A Success/Bad story might end with a Main Character achieving his dreams only to find they are meaningless, or Main Character who makes a sacrifice for the success of others but ends up bitter and vindictive. Each of these would be a “personal tragedy.”
However, I, as the Author, Judge that my MC changing his resolve (from Faith to Disbelief for anyone wondering) is a good and necessary thing in this story. I feel that this is a pretty important concept to nail down, as it really changes a lot within the storyform. Is Judgment the objective pov of the Author looking down at the story and judging it from there (were the problems resolved and thus “satisified”), or is it subjective, is my MC “fulfilled at the end”? I am seeing some contradictions here and would really like some clarification!
Sidenote: Someone brought up in a different thread that my story could be a case of good judgment, at a high cost. I don’t necessarily disagree, but this disparity between what Judgment actually is has kind of gotten me distracted and I feel it needs resolving