Four Dimensional Characters

All characters, Archetypal or Complex, have four levels or Dimensions in which they may contain characteristics. These are:

1. Motivations
2. Methodologies
3. Means of Evaluation
4. Purposes

Archetypal Characters contain one characteristic in each of these areas that describes how they deal with external problems. They also contain one each that describes how they deal with internal problems. Altogether they possess eight characteristics.

Swap Meet

The easiest way to create Complex Characters is to simply swap a few Elements between one Archetypal Character and another at the same level. This results in evenly-balanced characters who aren’t nearly as predictable as Archetypes. When the points of view are mixed so that the focus of a scene or act changes from Methodologies to Motivations, for example, the manner in which a character responds might also shift dramatically.

Even more Complex Characters can be built by giving more characteristics to some and fewer to others. For example, one character might have two Motivations, three Methodologies and so on. Another character might only have Purposes but no Motivations or any of the others. Those characters having the most characteristics will be called upon more frequently to appear, thereby strengthening their presence with an audience.

A Character Cannot Serve Two Masters

An author can create characters for any purpose, to be played like cards at particular points in the hand. The only “rules” of character construction caution against any character containing more than one Element of a dynamic pair. In addition, it is best to avoid assigning a character more than one Element from the same quad as the character would then represent conflicting points of view on the same issue.

At first, this might seem desirable as it would create internal conflict. But in the case of Objective Characters, they are seen from the outside. We cannot perceive their internal deliberations. Any internal conflict simple weakens their objective function.

From the Dramatica Theory Book

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