Story Perspectives

Genre, Theme, Plot and Character: each of them is a different level of appreciation of story structure.  But each one needs to be seen from four different points of view in order to fully explore them.

As described in previous classes, the four essential points of view in any story structure are Main Character (I), Influence or Obstacle Character (You), Subjective Story (We), and Objective Story (They).  These represent the four “voices” we have within ourselves – First Person, Second Person, Second Person Plural, and third Person.

To completely understand any issue or problem, we need to consider it from all four of these points of view.  But what are we really looking at?  Again, as described earlier, there are four primary kinds of subject matter – External States, External Processes, Internal States and Internal Processes.  In Dramatica, we call these Universe (the fixed nature of a situation), Physics (external activities), Mind (a fixed mind set such as an attitude, fixation or prejudice), and Psychology (a manner of thinking or path of thought).

So, when we examine one of these as the potential source of a problem and, therefore, where we might best look for the solution, we are going to see it from one of those four points of view.  In other words, Universe might be the domain of the Main Character or it might be the domain of the Objective story or of the other two points of view.

Essentially, if Universe is the domain of the Main Character in a particular story, it means that we are looking at the external situation through the eyes of the Main Character – the most personal view point, the “I” which represents or provides the audience position within the story.  This means that one of the other three remaining kinds of subject matter will be associated or attached to one of the three remaining points of view.  In any complete story, therefore, all four points of view and all four kinds of subject matter will be explored.

In this way, every angle of the problem can be examined in the hunt for a solution.  But, each point of view will only look at one of the four kinds of subject matter in any given story.  It is this connection between where we are looking from and what we are looking at that creates perspective and therefore defines how the author positions the readers or audience in relation to the issues, thereby establishing the story’s message.

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