the reason why I came to Dramatica is that I’m stuck on book 2 of my trilogy. After much deliberation and many different attempts, I decided to write a kind of short story which would bridge books 1 and 2. You could consider it a prologue of sorts for book 2, except it’s longer than usual prologues (7-8K words) and tells a complete little story. Or perhaps tale? That is the whole question.
After reading and reflecting on what the IC and the RS throughlines mean, I realized my first choice for an IC was probably wrong. While he does block the MC’s path to his goal (MC is also protagonist) and force him to react, I figured this is more an effect of his function in the OS (skeptic). The real IC, the one who actually adds a new dimension to the conflict and ultimate choice the MC makes, is a character who is mostly offstage in this episode, and as a result, we do not see his “influence” played out to its resolution (hence my initial mixup).
For the anecdote, one of my beta readers for this short story commented that the MC doesn’t seem like the right guy for the job. At least she couldn’t feel that he was, from what I had written. I decided to give Dramatica a shot because it addresses this necessity very explicitly and precisely: how does the MC relate to the OS? (I’ve been reading up everything on the crucial element.)
Now, my question is: should I treat this short story as a tale? Is it unreasonable to try and fit a grand argument in 7K words?
According to what I’ve read/listened to, it would be more appropriate to pick a single throughline and consider this story as a tale. Maybe the OS throughline, then? It’s the only one that clearly comes to a close at the end.
At the same time, it’s clear to me that the MC, IC and relationship perspectives all play a role, short as the story is (and my personal diagnosis is that they were all underdeveloped and inconsistent in my last version). The story is even told in first person. I can absolutely not ignore them.
An idea I’ve had, is that perhaps this “prologue” only tells the beginning of those throughlines. It sets up the stage for future conflict (the MC “betrays” the IC), but I’m not exploring this conflict per se, much less coming to a definite conclusion, because it’s outside the scope of this short story. We’re supposed to see the fallout in book 2.
So, essentially, I was wondering if you’ve ever had to deal with something like that before, or if you know of an example that successfully achieves what I’ve described. Is it at all possible that throughlines do not map each other? Is the end of those specific throughlines (MC, IC, RS) simply subject to an ellipsis? As in, we’re just not shown their resolution in the text, but book 2 will reveal them as backstory?
(Just writing that up has helped me see the situation more clearly, but I’m still interested in your thoughts.)