Where is the Steadfast MC's Answer to their problem?

My brain hurts. Help.

Okay, I know I’ve seen this before in discussions on steadfast vs change characters. And I looked but I can’t find it…if anyone just wants to point me to the right thread, I’d be grateful for that too.

If you have a steadfast MC the issues are external to them, yes? They are either waiting for something external to start or stop (as opposed to a change character who must add or lose a personal trait in order to embrace the story solution)

So if the steadfast character is focused on the Symptom and Response then - a successful resolution lies in the response and failure in ??? what?

Does the problem/solution actually come into play in steadfast story?

Somebody unjumble my mind, pretty please.

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First, I like “holding out” rather than waiting – it implies some difficulty in remaining steadfast, some pressure to change.
Second, I wouldn’t say “the issues are external” necessarily. A Steadfast MC in Mind or Psychology can certainly be seen to have internal issues. Think of a manipulative MC who sticks with that approach through to the end. Or one with a fixed attitude, say a bigot.

A Steadfast characters’ Problem is often best seen as their “drive” (though it is still problematic for them). And their Solution is best seen as their “demotivator”. Here’s a thread on that:

How much you bring the Demotivator into play is up to you. In some stories it might come into it very little.

Motivated by their Problem, a Steadfast character sticks with their Response, continuing to see their Symptom as something that needs to be addressed.
“Successful resolution” depends on your story’s Outcome and Judgment. If you have a Success/Good triumphant ending, you’re saying that the MC was right to remain steadfast – they were satisfied in the end (Judgment) and somehow helped bring about Success (even if they weren’t the Protagonist, they should have some impact on achieving the Goal).

Other types of endings you’re saying something else, like a Failure/Good might be “it was good for the MC personally to remain steadfast, but perhaps they could have helped achieve the Goal if they’d changed their perspective”.

Does that make sense? If you let us know your Outcome and Judgment we could see how those fit in.


Is this what you’re looking for?
What is the Main Character Growth?

If the story concerns a Main Character who Remains Steadfast, something in the world around him will appear to be the cause of his troubles. If he tries to hold out long enough for something to stop bothering him, then he is a Stop character. If he tries to hold out long enough for something to begin, then he is a Start character. If you want the emphasis in your story to be on the source of the troubles which has to stop, choose “Stop.” If you want to emphasize that the remedy to the problems has to begin, choose “Start.”

The way I understand it is that the MC never abandons being driven by the problem element, so they remain steadfast. But the solution element still gets rid of the problem if it’s ever used. In this since, it “saps the MC of their drive” because there’s no longer a problem.

But since the MC never abandons embracing the problem element, their “solution” comes from their response. I don’t know what elements you may be working with, but I have a storyform with a Steadfast MC problem of Reaction and a Symptom of Potentiality. I don’t know that I’m doing it right, but I’ve kind of thought of the problem within the story as the MC having a reaction to Potentiality and the problem goes away when she starts having a reaction from Certainty, if that makes sense.


You can sprinkle in a Steadfast character’s Solution/demotivator in small bits, sapping only some of their drive (or sapping all of it temporarily) without getting rid of it completely.

As far as how their Response works – they will respond with that element (e.g. Certainty) throughout the whole story. The Response doesn’t make the problem go away initially; their Problem/drive will still cause trouble for them. But in the end sticking with that drive and Response will resolve their issues (Judgment: Good) or not (Bad).


Thank you both! I wasn’t working with a specific storyform my question was … philosophical isn’t the right word… I was trying to understand what happened with steadfast.

It’s weird for me, when I’m playing with storyforms frequently my characters turn out to be steadfast (I think that says something about my own stubbornness) and I understood that with a change character with the symptom/response they were looking at the problem the wrong way. And I thought I remembered Jim (I think) say that with a steadfast character the response became their story solution (for good or bad/ failure or success). But then what happened to the actual solution? It makes sense that it becomes a demotivator or in Diane brain–a distraction (Oh, shiny).

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Steadfast Characters and the Crucial Element.

They focus on doing the Work, instead of working dilemma. So it’s not about solving their personal problems.


The link isn’t working anymore, I a trying to read that article article again, but it is not there, and most of your articles are gone, and this is really sad :slight_smile: someone should do something about that.

it keeps saying:

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