When a problem is manipulation caused by another party

Hey guys. I have an MC whose memories are being manipulated by an outside force. The fear this creates is what the MC wants to get rid of. Would you suggest this to be an MC throughline of Manipulation because of the Manipulation, or Activity because of the attack on his memories by an outside force? I’m probably overthinking this one, but I’m interested in how you all would see it. Thanks.

Os situation universe
Mc/Ic. Relationship story manipulation
Ic fixed attitude mind
Mc activity

A couple of questions:

  1. Would your MC be dealing with this even if the Overall Story were different? i.e. does your MC come pre-equipped with this problem, regardless of the rest of the throughlines?

  2. Are the memories themselves the source of trouble, or that he can tell they’re being tampered with?

Welcome @Gregolas!

The first thing to do is make sure that this problematic manipulation of memories is indeed specific to the Main Character Throughline, i.e. that it’s not part of the Overall Story. It sounds like it is specific to your main character, it’s part of his/her own personal issues, but I just wanted to make sure. (e.g. if the same outside force is also manipulating or attacking some other things in your story, it could could be harder to tell.)

I think you’re on the right track that it’s either Manipulation or Activity, since it sounds like you have an ongoing process of his memories being attacked. If the attack was something that happened before, and now he was dealing with the results of it (stuck in his fears, or stuck in whatever situation the attacks put him in) then you might have had Fixed Attitude or Situation.

This might be a case where it’s better to think of Manipulation using the original term of Psychology or a Manner of Thinking. If you removed the problematic psychological issues stemming from or driving the attacks, would the MC’s problems go away? Or would there still be some attack happening?

Another thing that can help with the MC is whether you see him preferring to deal with personal issues as a Be-er or as a Do-er. Just make sure you’re thinking about his personal issues (i.e. the MC throughline) when asking yourself that.

Sorry I just used male pronouns for your MC, I know I might be wrong but it was easier that way.

P.S. Holy cross-posting!

My first question is… why isn’t the MC in Fixed Attitude/Memories?

My second question is… What is the OS Story?

I could imagine a story where some sort of apocalypse has come to earth and people are scrambling to deal with that (OS Activity) and we specifically follow someone whose memories have been messed up (MC Mind). I know this lacks the on-going quality of your story, but wanted to put it out there that I can see this story involving an MC who has this particular problem because of the First Driver (the apocalypse’s arrival) and that it wouldn’t necessarily be something he would be dealing with were he in a different story altogether.

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Sorry by cross-posting (is that even the right term?) I just meant that Prish, LunarDynasty and myself all posted at almost the same time … I thought I was the first responder until I went to hit submit! So just laughing about it, no worries there. :slight_smile:

Have you considered that maybe the MC is in Situation – He lost somebody in the Past and hasn’t gotten over it? The IC is someone who gets people to accept the situation they are in (representing Be-er) and gets him to see that his Memories are something he has to get squared away?


@MWollaeger, I’ve tried putting the IC in Situation before, but decided it didn’t work because there were too many others in situations, as well. But at your suggestion I decided to try it again. This time I found they way I did put the Overall Story in Manipulation, Developing a Plan, and Situation, which seems to have worked out. Thanks for the suggestion!

Excellent. (I assume you mean you put the MC in Situation.)

Also just in case it wasn’t clear to us lesser folks who don’t have Variation level of the Table of Elements memorized, for this part:

Overall Story in Manipulation, Developing a Plan, and Situation

He means the OS Issue is Situation, which falls under the OS Concern of Developing a Plan. (It took me a few reads to realize that!)

yes to both @MWollaeger @mlucas. Should’ve proofread that better, written it clearer. Was probably too excited about reading a new Narrative First article or something to do a proper proofread. For a technical minded person who loves good stories, this Dramatica stuff is like crack, even if I am only breaking the surface as far as how much I understand it!