StoryWeaving Characters

There is a huge difference between weaving a Subjective Character and an Objective Character. In fact, at this juncture the weaving of Subjective Characters is much easier. Just through creating scenes based on the Signposts and Journeys in the Main and Obstacle Character Throughlines, much of their character has been woven into the story. Then, by illustrating these character’s Static Appreciations the job pretty much finishes itself.

Objective Characters, however, are another matter altogether. Objective Characters have functions, and therefore to be woven into a story they must exercise those functions. With archetypes it is a relatively easy affair. There are eight archetypes. Each must be introduced so the audience knows what function they represent. Each must be dismissed so the audience knows how they ended up. And, each must interact to show the audience which problem solving techniques work better than others. Introductions, Interactions, and Dismissals: another Rule of Threes again.

The most obvious and important interactions between archetypal characters occur between dynamic pairs, such as the Protagonist and Antagonist or Reason and Emotion. The two sides of each argument between functions must be played against each other to show which archetype fares better.

In addition, each interaction must go through the three steps of development: set-up, conflict, and resolution. This means that the argument over function between each dynamic pair of archetypes must first be established. Then, the approaches must actually come into conflict. Finally, one of the two opponents must be shown to better the other.

Putting all this together, we have eight introductions, eight dismissals, and four interactions with three steps in each. This amounts to twenty-eight character events that must occur in a story using archetypes. As one might suspect, with twenty-eight character events and twenty-eight Storyweaving scenes, it dovetails nicely to put one character event in each Storyweaving scene.

Now, you don’t have to do this. It’s just one simple way of getting the whole job done. In keeping with this kind of approach, you might choose to touch on theme in each of the scenes, and explore at least one aspect of a Static Appreciation in every scene as well. This would certainly make sure the entire structure was related. But it also runs the risk of creating a monotone feel to your story.

Loading up one scene with many appreciations, then clearing the boards to concentrate on only one, can liven up the party. In addition, all of this has been based on an assumption of one Signpost or Journey per Storyweaving scene. Although that is the simple way to Storyweave, there are many more ways to convey the structure of a story.

From the Dramatica Theory Book