Thread: Fatal Flaw?
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:58 AM   #202
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Default Re: Fatal Flaw?

I would be willing to use the term "Viewpoint Character" if it accurately communicated what is going on inside of stories. I don't think it does.

Every great story has a Main Character through which we the audience experience a story. They are more than simply a Narrator or Viewpoint Character as they have deep personal issues that are tied thematically to the problems everyone in the story deals with.

Along comes another character, the Impact Character, who sees the world differently than them. They argue back and forth throughout the course of a story over the best way to solve the problems affecting everyone -- each thinking their way is the best (more or less). This argument represents the emotional center of the story.

At the end of the story, the Main Character is offered a choice -- either keep doing things the way they always have, or change and adopt the Impact Character's way of doing things. Regardless of what decision they make the Impact Character will do the opposite.

Sometimes this change resolves the greater problems affecting everyone, sometimes it doesn't. Likewise, not changing sometimes resolves the problems, and sometimes not changing leads to horrible failure.

This is where the true meaning of what the author is trying to say lies.

So when I define the Main Character that way, I am simply saying there is more to him than whether or not they are the one telling the story.

I would say your short story example is an incomplete story as I have no idea whether the one telling the story is suffering from the same kind of avoidance issues as Tom. I also have no idea if his relationship with the girl is tied to these issues as well. It is implied but not explicit. This is another reason why loglines are insufficient when it comes to determining a story's true meaning.

Last edited by JimHull : 04-03-2010 at 10:14 AM.
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