Dramatica Definition: Obstacle Character’s Throughline

Obstacle Character’s Throughline • [Dramatica Definition] • The dramatic progression which builds the Obstacle Character’s pressure on the Main Character to change • The Obstacle Character is defined by its relationship to the Main Character. The Main Character represents the audience position in the story which, in a sense, represents our sense of self within our own minds. When we consider changing our outlook in regard to a particular issue, we entertain an alternative viewpoint which we examine thoroughly before either adopting or rejecting. The Obstacle Character represents that alternative point of view. In stories, as in our own minds, this alternative view is seen from where we are positioned currently. After all, when it comes to changing something about who we are, we don’t just make that change without first trying to understand what kind of person we would become and trying to anticipate how it might affect our situation. Over the course of the story, as the Main Character grows, the Obstacle Character must keep pace to provide alternative perspectives on all the key experiences the Main Character encounters. In this way, the best possible argument for adopting the new viewpoint is made, and the current and alternative paradigms can be judged fully against each other. This is how we arrive within ourselves to a point of change, and how the Obstacle Character drives the Main Character to the same point. For the author, the Obstacle Character Throughline is the progression through all of the issues which come up while providing alternative perspectives to the Main Character’s currently held views. For an audience, the Obstacle Character Throughline simply describes the kinds of activities and concerns addressed by the Obstacle Character as he or she moves through the plot.

From the Dramatica Dictionary