History of Success

The Main Character came into the story with a tried and true method for dealing with the kind of problem featured in the story. That method has always worked for the Main Character before: it has a long history. Suddenly, a situation arises where that standard approach doesn't work, perhaps for the first time ever. This marks the beginning of the story's argument. As the story develops, the Main Character tries everything to find a way to make it work anyway, holding out in the hope that the problem will eventually go away, or work itself out, or be resolved by the tried and true method.

Along the way, the Obstacle Character comes into the picture. He tells the Main Character there is a better way, a more effective approach that not only solves the same problems the Main Character's tried and true method did, but solves this new one as well. It sounds a lot like pie in the sky, and the Main Character sees it that way. Why give up the old standby just because of a little flak?

As the story develops, the Obstacle Character makes his case. Slowly, an alternative paradigm is built up that becomes rather convincing. By the moment of truth, the long-term success of the old view is perfectly balanced by the larger, but as of yet untried, new view. There is no clear winner, and that is why it is a leap of faith for the Main Character to choose one over the other.

Main Character Resolve: Does the Main Character ultimately Change or Remain Steadfast?

In completely empathizing with the Main Character of a story, we practically become this person. There are certain dynamics we expect to be able to determine about a Main Character as part of experiencing things from his point of view. One of these is called Main Character Resolve.

Main Character Resolve answers the question "Does the Main Character ultimately Change or Remain Steadfast?" At the beginning of the story the Main Character is driven by a particular motivation. When the story ends, he will either still be driven by the same motivation (Steadfast) or have a new motivation (Change).

Main Character Resolve really describes the relationship between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character. The impact of the Obstacle Character is what forces the Main Character to even consider changing. If the Main Character ultimately does change, it is the result of the Obstacle Character's effect on the Main Character's perspective. If, on the other hand, the Main Character remains steadfast, then his impact on the Obstacle Character will force the Obstacle Character to change.

Some Examples:

Star Wars: Main Character: Luke Skywalker (Change) Obstacle Character: Obi Wan Kenobi (Steadfast)

The Story of Job: Main Character: Job (Steadfast) Obstacle Character: The Devil (Change)

To Kill A Mockingbird: Main Character: Scout (Change) Obstacle Character: Boo Radley (Steadfast)

The Fugitive: Main Character: Dr. Richard Kimble (Steadfast) Obstacle Character: Agent Sam Gerard (Change)

It should be noted that the Obstacle Character need not even know he is having that kind of effect on the Main Character. He may know, but he may easily not even be aware. Main Characters are defined by the point of view, Obstacle Characters by the impact on that point of view.

0 0

Post a comment