Characters’ Internal Paradigms

Characters hold onto outmoded views because they have built other views upon the outmoded ones. In fact, this is how we learn. We see something as an unerring truth, stop considering it every time we see it and accept it as a given. Then, we assemble our givens, look for patterns and accept the relationships between givens as being givens in their own right. Layer upon layer we weave an intricate web of interconnections, some based on the order in which things are expected to occur, some based on items or activities we associate as always occurring together.

Strength in Paradigms

When we encounter something at the top level of the most recently determined givens, it can be a relatively small feat to rethink our conclusions. If one of our base assumptions was wrong, however, there may be no way to reconcile the occurrence with our understanding without completely dismantling the foundations of our whole belief system. Not an easy task! It is much easier to discount the variance as an exception. Even more important, because we have not added the unusual incident to our knowledge base, but simply let it bounce off, the next occurrence of the same “new” truth will meet with the same strength of resistance as the first. We can hold onto our old paradigm unless so many different new truths hit us all at once that it becomes easier to create a new paradigm than to try and dismiss them all.

From the Dramatica Theory Book

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