One more crucial element

It seems like crucial element deserves own book, at least taking under consideration number of articles and threads with ‘so simple’ explanations :wink:
Last two weeks I did try to be ‘as smart as Armando’s book’ and… well… I’m not.
I did try to make own ‘instatnt’ story. Plot progression was easy but character arc crushed at the very first step.
I wasn’t sure where my steadfast character starts and where she ends so I decided to get a PhD in CEs… and than again. I feel like Failure/Bad/Stop. Better get real job, Mr wannabe :frowning:
To make it short here is the thing.

And there is a part I did try to start with:
In Change/Start stories (regardless of the outcome) the Main Character’s “hole in the heart” is the lack of the Influence Character’s Crucial Element, so the story is all about that character’s “internal quest” for that element (the outcome works like this: in a Success story, she will win a Solution, in a Failure story, she will win a Problem).
Plain and simple, isn’t it?
I found two nice stories to explore this case and both share similar storyform.
Casablanca and Blade Runner.
So, ‘hole in the heart’ story.
MC CE is OS Solution: Uncontrolled.
We are in Control/Avoid/Pursuit/Uncontrolled quad.
The problem is Nazis have a control more or less. Now it is less but heads toward more.
People focus on Avoiding control, and here is Rick acting as Switzerland. I’m neither Nazi nor Resistance. “I stick my neck out for nobody”.
As time goes by Rick starts to pursuit and finaly removes control of Strasser (climax) and have a plan to resist (aftermath).
He won the solution.
Got it.
Blade Runner
Again ‘hole in the heart’.
MC CE is OS Problem: Control
The quad is the same: Control/Avoid/Pursuit/Uncontrolled.
The probem is everyon is under some kind of control. Especially lifespan of replicants is defined and well known. Moreover Deckard has to rejoin the business.
This time it is not Switzerland, he has to work on a side. He controls - but not happy with.
Deckard declares:
They can be
a benefit or a hazard. If it’s a benefit, it’s not my problem.
He accepts the world this way. Accepts the control.
Now replicants decide to avoid the limitation. LAPD avoids the replicants activity. And both sides pursue own lifetime reducing lifetime of others.
Batty fails. He accepts mortality (lifetime control) and it makes him more human. This way I understand ‘win the problem’. Perfect.
But Deckard? He is MC and his choice is to be uncontrolled - go north with Rachel. Moreover Gaff let them go - again seems like uncontrolled.
So… where we are?
What does this ‘win the problem’ means?
Help me, please, to get back into my mind.

I guess I have outsmarted myself. To much consideration reconsideration.
But I still have a question here.
Both characters (Rick and Deckard) change. Rick to succeed, Deckard to fail.
But what about the Crucial Element.
What does it mean for success story MC wins a solution and for failure wins the problem.
I think I understand it for success story.
But what does it mean in case of Blade Runner to win a Problem?
Do you have any ideas?

I remember hearing years ago that the crucial element was not that important. Something to do with not in writing a story. It’s been decades, so the memory is very hazy.

Yes, I know this article on narrative first.
I also saw some thread here, where Armando and Jim virtually stand on the opposite site of the argument regarding Crucial Element and ‘Win the problem/solution’ explanation.
Maybe I’m wasting time exploring it but there is a reason.
According to Armando’s Instant Dramatica the first act of ‘Character Arc’ is Main Character Crucial Element vs Impact Character Crucial Element.
I have a kind of kindergarten for my ideas, a set of incomplete stories growing up to be mature.
I’m just wondering if Crucial Element may help to develop something interesting an valuable.
Speaking of Character Arc, there are some well known lines that represents Crucial element - I guess.
Change characters:
Rick Blaine: I stick my neck for nobody.
At the end he ‘stick’ - change.
Rick Deckard: Replicants are like any other machine. They’re either a benefit or a hazard. If they’re a benefit, it’s not my problem.
At the end they are not like any other machine and it is also his problem - change.
Michael Corleone: That’s my family, Kay. It’s not me.
At the end he is head of the ‘family’.
Digging a little dipper:
Resolve/Growth/Outcome/CrucialElement/Armando’s interpretation
Casablanca: Change/Start/Success/Problem/Win a Solution
Blade Runner: Change/Start/Failure/Solution/Win a Problem
The Godfather: Change/Stop/Success/Problem/Lose a Problem

For success stories I think I have some basic understanding.
Start story is about hole in a heart. I need a solution to fill this hole.
Stop story is about chip on shoulder. I need to lose this chip/ I need to lose a problem.
For failure stories I’m a little bit confused.
For steadfast stories that’s even worse.

If you have any ideas, feel free to share.

FWIW, I found the Crucial Element to be UNhelpful when I was starting, but now find it to be VERY helpful.

It can be a tricky place to start if your goal is to understand the theory behind Dramatica, since it doesn’t help choosing things like the Domain or to think about Limits.

Nothing is ever a waste of time when learning something. What’s fun for the brain is good food … haha … imho of course.