The Protagonist and Antagonist of Wolfwalkers/Terminator

It’s not as rigid as that, though those combinations are more conventional than not.

Much like how the Dramatica item labels are placeholders for their definitions, character archetype labels are place holders for the elements from which they are built. Archetypes provide simplicity while sacrificing nuance, which is why character archetype’s associations with other archetypes reflect storytelling conventions, not underlying structural basis.

Objective characters, i.e. archetypes and complex characters in the Overall Story throughline, represent approaches to resolving problems. For example, a simple Contagonist is a tempting hinderer. While contagonists are often associated antagonists, they can just as easily be with the protagonist or acting independently of both groups.


Totally agree about any film with Pursuit or Avoid as the Objective Story Problem to be problematic in this kind of conversation. That’s why I took some time this week to work on examples of how those specific ones work. I’ll likely have more on this next week.

But the definite key is getting away from the Protagonist “driving the action”, because yes, it does cause writers to get confused over Objective Story concerns and Main Character concerns. Anytime I work with a writer who has the “Protagonist drives the action” as their mantra, I always have to wean them off of it by showing the difference between objective and subjective points-of-views.

And every time they learn about, the reaction is “Ohhhh, that makes total sense!”

Lastly, the real key (and this will sound like a promotion for Subtxt (p.s. it is)) is to think of what the Dramatica Storyform MEANS–what is it actually saying by having a Changed Main Character and a Story Outcome of Success and a Story Judgment of Bad. What do those things mean when combined with an Objective Story perspective of the inequity in the story that looks like Pursuit?

This was the big a-ha for me when working on putting that Premise into Subtxt. What you see there is a programmatic understanding of the meaning behind all those 75 story points at once - the Author’s Intent (or, their premise).

If you can keep pulling back to see what all 75 mean at once, you can then easily put all the pieces in the right place (instead of trying to deduce by going step by step breaking it all down with a million different examples of the one thing you’re looking at at one time).

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