Reluctant Do-er

As I’m writing my NanowriMo story, the action-do-er-linear MC is turning out to be either
holistic or
a be-er.

He’s putting together a Christmas pageant while dealing with a personal tragedy. He goes back and forth with his commitment to the pageant. Trying to get his mind around the tragedy.

But he’s not very aggressively pursuing his goal, either personal or OS.

He’s reluctant and almost passive, just wanting to hang back. Hide his head. The world keeps moving forward, insisting on him doing what he needs to.

So, my question is, is this a be-er?

Normally he’s an action-taking man, but he’s stuck because of his Issues/Problem/Tragedy he’s dealing with. And he’s in a bout of passivity, stuck-ness. Is this be-er? Is this holistic?

Or is it MC in mind?

OS (pageant) Universe
MC Physics
IC Psychology
RS Mind (dealing with problem together)

Maybe instead this:
OS Physics (pageant)
MC Mind
IC Universe
RS Psychology (dealing w/loss)

And, I might say, the subgenre quad is Future/Obtaining/Becoming/Subconscious and Goal of Obtaining (security story/death consequence)

Quick question:

Are you writing to a storyform or storyforming as you go?

If you’re writing to a storyform, but are happy with how the story is working, then I’d say accept that your storyform is off and just finish the story.

Then you’ll have a finished draft you can analyze that came directly from you and your muse.

If you aren’t writing from a storyform and are happy with how the story is working then I’d do the same.

There’s only 13 days left. Plow ahead and write something meaningful to you. Dramatica isn’t going anywhere and stopping to storyform is probably going to bring your writing to a standstill.

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Soooo… I wrote a storyform, Instant Dramatica, 40 scenes, started writing the scenes.

and I realize halfway through that he’s reluctant.

So, it seems I’m pretty dyslexic about the domains…

Yes, I’m happy with how the story is working. But for it to feel complete at the END, I have to go back through and make sure it’s tightened up.

I’m wondering if what is going on is the APPROACH related, Problem-Solving related, or (and this is possible) GROWTH related.

I have 3 days to finish Nano, since we’re having 19 people coming to stay with us (on the 20th) for two weeks. So I’m cramming to finish the last third. But I am STUCK on how third SP shold be, because of the MC’s whole passive-reluctance. I feel like I’m asking for parenting advice.

One thing you could try is to look at the IC throughline for clues. What’s happening there? Is the IC’s influence pushing the MC more toward Do-ing or Be-ing?

How does that play out, then. She’s pushing him toward Doing when he wants to just be in his thoughts.

At the end of the day, all parenting advice is hit or miss because only you really know your child, right?

Growth and Approach are related. I don’t know enough about your story to comment on problem solving style. Changing from Do-er to Be-er will flip growth if they other domains don’t change.

Yikes! :scream:

I know I always find it hardest to write as I get toward the end. With the time you have, I’d still say it’s best to not worry about the storyform and push to complete it. If you got the right storyform now, you’d still have to go through and revise everything you’ve written. You can do that after you complete your draft too.

Personally, I’d finish and then take that two weeks to completely remove yourself from the story so you can come back with fresh eyes.

You now suspect you have a Be-er MC. The signposts will be different, but I think you can intuit where the story needs to go to feel satisfying to you. He’ll keep internalizing or start doing to deal with his angst. The goal will be achieved or it won’t. That will be a good thing or a bad thing.

Focus on the big pieces. Give yourself permission to write the worst story in the history of the world.

You can do this! :heart:

Can you share how you are encoding OS and MC Concerns?

Not exactly sure what encoding actually means in Dramatica, but OS Concern is Obtaining (Completing the Pageant, Recovering Family Honor) and MC Concern is Subconscious (Loving someone), he’s dealing with the death of a sister just before the holidays, and the spiritual implications of her death, plus his grief, sorrow, loss, denial, bargaining, etc. It’s a very passionate story.

If the MC Concern is Subconscious, the MC Approach should be forced to Be-er, shouldn’t it?

She proposes two possible storyforms in her first post – one with MC in Physics, the other in Mind.

Wow, i clearly didn’t pay enough attention. Oops.

That said, without the full context of the story, @didomachiatto, it would be extremely difficult for us to tell you your MC’s approach. The best thing you can do is to pick a perspective and do whatever it takes to never waiver from that perspective. My advice for how to do that is this.

Decide which story point is the most important to you. That is, is it important to you that this character be a be-er or do-er, or is it more important to you that this character have a particular Concern?

Let’s assume for now that Concern is the most important. Now list the two possibilities. The MC has a Concern of Subconscious, or the MC has a Concern of Future. Write out what those mean to this story without worrying about Dramatica terms. For instance, “Bob’s love for his deceased sister prevents him from focusing on other family matters” or “After his sister dies, Bob is haunted by all the family Christmases that will never be”. Now pick which one best exemplifies the message you want the story to have.

Let’s assume you chose Subconscious. Now just make sure that whenever you have a question about how anything else applies that you look first at what it means to Subconscious. If it starts to look like all the Christmases that will never be are causing conflict, remind yourself that, no, it’s the love for his sister that is causing conflict and adjust accordingly. If you are afraid your MC is going around do-ing things about his problem, don’t start thinking about changing Subconscious because you’ve already pinned it. Instead ask yourself if what the MC is doing is related to how he’s adapting himself to his environment, or if there’s a way the MC could react differently to what’s going on in the scene. For instance, if Bob rejects a promotion, is it that he’s Do-ing something, or is it that he’s adapted himself to his environment by falling into a deep depression and he no longer cares about his career? If he just simply is do-ing when he rejects the promotion, can he react more internally? Maybe he refuses to feel pride in being promoted or something.

And finally, if you feel like the character is too much of a Do-er and you just can’t figure out how to make him more of a be-er, just don’t worry about it. Trust the human problem solving process and get through your first draft. You’ll be left with the bad news that your form could be stronger, but you’ll be left with the good news that you’ve completed your story and can always go back and edit.

If this is what Be-er means, then I called it right. I get mixed between holistic and be-er. Yes, he “informed me” that he was a be-er in mind, not a do-er in physics. Which means, subconscious gets him from point a to b to c to d.

Wonderful advice. I appreciate your answer a lot.

The problem was the opposite. He was “supposed” to be a Do-er, because I had pegged the domains wrong. I’m very dyslexic with regard to domain-tagging. This discussion has narrowed down my future problems in this immensely. Since I can recognize Be-er (adapting) now, I’ll only have to choose between Mind and Universe in the future. Wonderful. Very profitable discussion. Thanks everyone for your assistance.

Now, to finish 20,000 words in 1.5 days.

This is another good sign that the MC is a Be-er. When the MC is a Be-er the IC will be a Do-er, and their influence will tend to push the MC toward Do-ing.

EDIT: P.S. Good luck on finishing those last 20K!!


Which is what I need to do. The MC is a Do-er, stuck in Being. But he needs to get back in sync with himself, which is existing as a Doer. So this is where I need to head.

Gotta go, because see below…

(Re NanoWrimo and DiscussDramatica: My daughter asks, is that a forum where you all procrastinate instead of writing?)


Another way to check your options in this case is to look at whether the consequence is in place at the beginning or if it will only come to be in the case of an OS Failure. If you go with an OS/MC combo of Physics and Mind, the consequence will be seen as occurring if the goal is not achieved. If you go with a Universe and Physics combo, the consequence will already be in place at the beginning.

This is not true for all stories:

The Story Consequence

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Can we get a forum banner that says this?


Switching it to Mind made it all come together. Thanks, everyone for your help.

Now to finish getting ready for our 19 guests who arrive at 1am.