Dramatica Class: Character Growth – Start or Stop?

The following is excerpted from an online class on story structure presented by co-creator of the Dramatica theory of story, Melanie Anne Phillips, signed on as Dramatica:

Dramatica : Question 2: about the Main character: Direction…. Start or Stop? This question means something different depending upon whether you answered change or steadfast. For a change Main Character, the question is: Do they have to grow by Starting something they aren’t doing, or stopping something they shouldn’t be doing? In other words, Do they have a chip on their shoulder or a hole in their heart?

We’ve all seen stories in which the M.C. is causing problem because of what they do, and other stories in which they allow a problem to grow because they don’t do anything! The Direction of character growth is just as important as Change or Steadfast. For a steadfast character, the question is different. Since the character is not changing, the question is, are they working or holding out for something to stop, or something to start?

In other words, is there a problem they are trying to get rid of, or is there something good they want to make happen. A simple question, but one that carries a lot of clout on your dramatics!

Dan Steele : Okay, makes sense.

From the Dramatica Class Transcripts