Developing the Main Character’s Plot

By now you should be familiar with the concept that the Main Character represents a point of view for the audience. In fact, the audience stands in the shoes of the Main Character and sees what he sees and feels what he feels.

In the Objective Story Domain, the Plot Progression concentrates on the kinds of activities in which the Objective Characters are involved. In the Main Character Domain, Plot Progression describes the stages of the Main Character’s Growth.

Each Type in the Main Character Domain reflects the Main Character’s primary concern at that point in his development. Eventually, he will grow enough to deal with the issue closest to his heart: the Main Character Concern. Let’s look at an example of how you might encode this by continuing to develop the story we presented for Type Order Plot Progression of the Objective Story.

Example:

In this fictitious story example, the Main Character Domain has been chosen to be Universe. The Type order selected for the Main Character is as follows: Past, Progress, Present, and lastly Future.

SIGNPOST #1

  • Type 1. Past

    The Main Character is a law enforcement agency Department Chief with political aspirations. He has zero tolerance for officers of the law who have accepted payoffs from organized crime. As the story opens, his chief Concern of the moment is the past history of graft in his department.

JOURNEY #1

  • Type 1. Past ——> Type 2. Progress

    The Main Character investigates Past instances of Consortium influences in his department. Using this historical information, he gets closer to infiltrating the Consortium.

SIGNPOST #2

  • Type 2. Progress

    The Main Character decides his agents are too weak to resist stealing money from the Consortium. Therefore, he takes the case himself, going undercover and slowly snaking his way into the heart of the Consortium over a period of some months.

JOURNEY #2

  • Type 2. Progress ——> Type 3. Present

    The more the Main Character gets deeper into the Consortium, the more he is trusted with the Consortium’s funds. Also, he finds himself in something of a Godfather position in which local businesses and organizations come to him for help. For a while, he is able to either deny them or pacify them.

SIGNPOST #3

  • Type 3. Present

    Now, well established in the Consortium, the Main Character is faced with a situation in which an important Children’s Hospital will be closed… unless he uses some of the Consortium’s ill-gotten gains to provide the necessary funding.

JOURNEY #3

  • Type 3. Present ——> Type 4. Future

    The Main Character gives in to the needs of others, violating his own zero tolerance code of ethics because of the serious needs of the children. Still, he is able to get the goods on the Consortium enough to stop some of their local plans, though not enough to damage the consortium at core level. When he is “brought in from the cold” by his agency, they treat him as a hero for his success. In contrast, he is troubled by his own ethical failing. He gave in to the temptation to take the money.

SIGNPOST #4

  • Type 4. Future

    Though he is in a better position than ever to break into the political scene and demand strict adherence to a code of ethics, his grand words about his Future are now just ashes in his mouth, as he sits miserably in his office pondering his shortcomings, drained of ambition.

From the Dramatica Theory Book

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