Thread: Fatal Flaw?
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:11 PM   #62
JeffLowell
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3,051
Default Re: Fatal Flaw?

Thanks for correcting that, Jim.

I guess the bone I pick with Dramatica (and yes, I bought the software and tried it way back when it came on floppy disks) is its comprehensive nature. I think it wants to be able to analyze every story that can be thrown at it by having a million different options... but when you're trying to use it to write a story, the number of choices becomes counterproductive.

As for Shawshank - Red is certainly a main character in the script. As is the warden. But to call him the main character just seems ultimately confusing to me. No one but devout Dramatica users will know what you're talking about, and it's a collaborative industry where commonality of terms is helpful.

Yes, we empathize with Red. But we also empathize with Andy - I would argue much more so. Andy is a man unjustly convicted of a crime who refuses to give up. When Andy's attacked and raped, we're frightened. When the new con who can prove that Andy didn't do it is killed... it's a pretty powerful moment, because we feel for Andy. When Andy plays that music even though he'll be beaten... same. When Andy finally escapes, it's triumphant.

Red has a story. Red has an arc. But it seems, to me, to be so clearly secondary to what Andy's going through that to call him the "main character" seems like theory dictating reality, not the other way around.
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