Dramatica Definition: Growth (Character)

Growth • [Character Dynamic] • The development of a Main Character toward something starting or stopping • The meaning of Growth is different for Change and Steadfast Main Characters. Change Characters grow by starting or stopping some quality they lack or possess. Steadfast Characters grow by redoubling their resolve while working toward or holding out for something to start or stop.

A Change Main Character who Starts adds a quality he previously did not possess. A Change Main Character who Stops eliminates a quality he originally possessed. At first it might seem as if the Start Character has a hole in his heart and the Stop Character has a chip on his shoulder, but just because a Character Changes doesn’t mean he should have. It may well be that if a Change Character Starts, he adds a bad quality that will undermine his efforts, or if he Changes by Stopping, he will lose a quality that was essential. For a Change Main Character, Start and Stop merely describes how his character is altered, not whether or not it was a positive growth.

A Steadfast Main Character sticks with his guns and tries to outlast the problems he encounters. If he is at odds with current troubles which he would like to stop, then he is a Steadfast Stop Character. On the other hand, if he is trying to hold out until something positive begins, he is a Steadfast Start Character. As with the Change Character, the Steadfast Character may or may not be correct in his appraisal that he can outlast or even should try to outlast his problems. It may well be that the problems can only be resolve if the Main Character Changes, in which case holding out for either Start or Stop is fruitless.

Of course, whenever something begins, it can be seen that something else has ended. The real question for an author is, how do you want your audience to see things, as half full or half empty?

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