On the Scope of Becoming

If the main or influence character has a personal concern of Becoming, does that mean the concern must focus on themselves specifically or does it only mean that they alone are worried about it.

Say, for example, I have a female main who’s concern of Becoming is her worry about her family losing its place in high society. Is that valid, or must the concern manifest only as something that affects her personally?

(Caveat: not a Dramatica expert)
First of all, I’d say it doesn’t have to focus on them specifically; it just has to be something that is part of their personal issues and generating conflict for them. (And for an IC, even more important is how this conflict impacts others.) It could even be as broad as “this country is truly Becoming a fascist state” or something like that.

For your second question about whether the MC/IC is the only one worried about it … When you say “it” do you mean Becoming in general? Or do you mean the specific thing that is part of the MC/IC’s personal issues, like “the transformation of core nature that my family will go through if we lose our place in society”?

I think in both cases the answer is no, they don’t have to be the only worried about it:

  • If you’re talking about Becoming in general, if you set the IC Concern to that it becomes the Story Cost, so a bunch of overall story characters will be worried about or impacted by the cost they bear in terms of Becoming.
  • If you’re talking about the specific instance like “her family losing its place in high society”, others could be concerned with that too but from their perspective it might look like something else – The Future for example.

Anyway, I do think your example works, as long as her concern is really to do with Becoming – the transformation of nature that her family will undergo or fail to undergo (rather than just external appearances). And as long as it really causes conflict for her, not just something she’s worried about.

What are the other concerns in you story?

It is likely that you’re confusing the MC’s concern of Becoming with another Throughline. If she’s the only one concerned with it, but it involves others that often means you’re looking at a Protagonist in an OS Concern of Becoming.

You want the MC Concern to be something so personal, she can take it with her into a completely different story…

If it’s the OS Concern, wouldn’t everyone be concerned with it? If she’s the only one concerned with it, seems like it would be the MC Concern.

An example I can use is the story I’m currently working on. My MC’s Concern is The Future (of mankind). He would take this Concern into any other story, since it’s part of his personality to be concerned for the welfare of others.

Everyone else in the story is Concerned with Obtaining. Everybody’s after something. My MC (also Protagonist) fulfills his OS responsibility by employing his Response (Help), being concerned with sharing (Obtaining) his discovery with the world. Unfortunately he learns along the way that he’s become too frenzied (Problem of Uncontrolled) and ends up abandoning the Symptom/Response of Hinder/Help for the Solution of Control… resulting in Failure.

Allow me to clarify. She’s specifically worried about causing her family’s downfall due to some unforeseen or potential consequences of her behavior and overcompensates by imposing strict restraints on herself… which really bites whenever she sees someone who enjoys her hobbies or otherwise enjoying something that looks fun.

So Psychology-Becoming-Responsibility-Conscience.

Oh. Well when you put it that way it sounds 100% correct.

Sorry. I was trying to unburden the conversation but skimping on details as I tend to be verbose. I only wanted to know if a main or influence character’s Becoming throughlines had to be centered on their own person specifically.

Good stuff, Jaybird. BTW Chris Huntley had a really good post that covers your question:

His answer really shows how flexible Dramatica can be for any story point.