Its Elemental

Finally, we have arrived at the most basic and precise level of understanding in regard to a story's problem: the Element level. It is here that the source of difficulties experienced in each throughline can be found. The Objective Story Problem is something that will affect all of the characters and all that they do.

In contrast, the Main Character's Problem will be the source of his drive. Ultimately, it may turn out to be (or reflect) the Objective Story Problem, or have the potential to solve the Objective Story Problem, if only the Main Character can bring himself to apply it.

The Obstacle Character Problem is the source of his drive as well, but rather than being experienced by the audience as to what is driving them it will be examined from the outside, "What is driving him or her."

Lastly, let's examine the Subjective Story Problem. Unlike the Problems in each of the other throughlines, this one is not about an item, but a relationship - the relationship between Main and Obstacle. What is at the heart of their disagreements? What is the most essential issue from which all their conflict grows? The Subjective Story Problem describes the most refined view of what drives (or pulls) the Main and Obstacle Characters apart.

At this point we have defined all of the principal thematic perspectives in a story. We have determined that any Problem might be understood in terms of its Class, Type, Variation, and Element. We have further described that the story's central Problem itself can never be seen directly, but will be approximated by exploring how it appears from four different points of view. Each view will provide its own understanding of the nature of the Problem's Class, Type, Variation, and Element. Each of these is called an appreciation. When all the appreciations are considered together in the mind of the audience, the author's bias on the issues at the heart of a story is established.

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