Main Character and character arc

Can the Main Character (who is not the protagonist in the OS) and the Antagonist share the exact same character arc (problem/solution/symptom/response) but in the end the main character changes, and the Antagonist remains steadfast. The MC change would show the benefits of taking that leap of faith and the Antagonist would show the consequences of not taking that leap.

I’m assuming that your hypothetical Antagonist is also the Influence Character (IC), right? Because the Antagonist on its own does not have a personal “arc” – it has the same prob/sol/sym/resp as the Overall Story Throughline because it is merely a fragment of that throughline.

The MC and IC never have identical throughline elements. The cross-throughline congruencies are typically:

  • Problem & Solution: Change MC or IC matches OS. (Also matches RS if Judgment = Bad)
  • Symptom & Response: Steadfast MC or IC matches OS. (Also matches RS if Judgment = Good)

Tinker around with the software and you’ll see how the cards fall.

I know it is a popular notion to have the villain ‘mirror’ the hero. Pixar artists say as much in The Art of UP: they intended Muntz to be a forewarning to Karl, as in, “this is the kind of crazy old man you could become if you don’t change your ways!”

I think this idea just sort of emerged out of an unconscious recognition for something like an Influence Character in stories, but latched onto the “Villain” because that’s the popular lingo. Even if there is a consistent IC in UP, it’s certainly not Muntz, and so this bit of storyweaving doesn’t really feel impactful.

1 Like

Thanks for your response!! It really does lend to my overall understanding. I was thinking of having the Antagonist mirror the MC for the reasons they used in UP, while having an entirely different character serve as the IC in dynamic pair with the MC. Instead of saying the Antagonist’s character arc, I should say that while the Antagonist mirrors the MC, he faces the consequences of not having the growth that the MC has or partaking in the solution that the other OS characters benefit from. Does that make better sense? And would this break Dramatica rules for creating a grand argument story?

I don’t think it would break any rules, per se, it seems to be a matter of encoding and weaving, i.e. entirely up to you :slight_smile:

If you want any Dramatica assistance with this aspect, I’d look to the OS character functions (the 64 elements). Yes, everyone is under the umbrella of the Overall Story Throughline, but each OS character also has its own functions. Other than Protagonist = Pursuit and Antagonist = Avoid, you can divvy them up how you choose (except that a dynamic pair can’t be contained in one character. So someone can’t be both ‘Faith’ and ‘Disbelief’)

A useful discussion on how OS character functions work can be found here

1 Like

Thank you again. This and the link you shared do expand my understanding and creativity too :slight_smile: