Story within a story (The Bridges Of Madison County)

I am busy writing a story in which I feel the need to “encapsulate” a main story within a B story that would relate it to present time.
I believe that is exactly what is used in either “the bridges of Madison County” or in “Titanic”.
Now, how does it work, Dramatica-ly speaking ?
Does it work with 2 separate storyforms and 2 different plots, with 2 different MC’s and IC’s ?
Let’s take “Madison County” for example.
The main story is obviously the love story between Francesca (MC) and Robert (IC), right ?
She changed, but he remains steadfast. She fails to live her romantic dreamed life and it feels wrong.

For the “present-time” story, it is less clear to me who’s the MC, and who’s the IC.
My idea is that the children are the MC (both of them) and the mother (Francesca) is the IC.

They change, she remains steadfast. They succeed in putting their love lives at the right places and it feels good because they reconcile with their mother and reunite the lovers in death (I always have a gasp of emotion when the empty the jar in the river !)

I would love to have a more detailed analysis of this film. Has anybody already worked on it ?

I haven’t seen those movies in a long time (or ever?) but I think you have the right idea: you can have two storyforms with different MCs, ICs, etc. One of the stories can serve as a backstory to another. I think Season One of The Sinner does this but I haven’t done an analysis.

Something else you see sometimes – if the MC is the same, they may change in the first story, and then remain steadfast in the second. This happens in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and the first Iron Man movie.

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I don’t know if we can talk of the backstory in the case of “Madison County”, because it’s 90% of the film. I suppose it would rather be 10% being the “future story”.
Same as in “Titanic”, the old Rose is telling the story (the backstory then) of the young Rose. Doing so, she is the IC of Lovett, the treasure hunter who search for the diamond.
There again, Rose remains steadfast in the present time but she changed in the Backstory.

I haven’t seen Madison county, but if it is anything like Titanic, the present day stuff is just a framing device - I would be very surprised if it had a seperate story form. It’s not that Rose remains steadfast in the present time, it’s that she is a result of the change in the past story.


Might also be that she’s still working on her problem even though the Os problem has been wrapped up for years? I haven’t seen it in years, so also maybe not. Just tossing out a thought.


Yeah, at the end she returns the necklace to the sea, so gets some kind of closure. I just think the framing parts of the story will be part of the same overall storyform. i.e the film has one storyform rather than two.


In the present time, the MC is Lovett, it is through his point of view that we see the story and that is the very reason of this frame. I think that it is a way to connect us, the 1997 audience, to this 1912 drama. When we sit in our chair to watch the movie, what we know of the tragedy is very schematic and it is not really connected to any human experience. This is the proposition of the film and its what is experiencing the MC. His point of view (and ours) faces the reality when earing the story told by one of the survivor (Rose, the IC) and going through the experience of listening to her story made him (and us) suddenly realise the profound tragedy beyond the myth.
So for me, that’s typical of a story in the Dramatica definition.
Now, probably the storyforms is not explored in it’s integrality, there is not much of a RS for example, but I am pretty sure a lot of story points are ticked. The question is which ones ?

As for “The Bridges Of Madison County”, I highly recommend it to anybody who hasn’t seen it (you lucky b*** !). It’s a wonderfull film and I am sure that Dramatica has a lot to say about it.
I don’t know how to suggest it for a formal analysis from the Dramatica Group, maybe @jhull could think about it for a future group discussion.

So anybody has an idea of how I should organise my “future-framing b-story” ?
ShalI I imagine a complete storyforms and only use part of it ? Or shall I use the same storyform as my A-story ? Or what ?