the principal symptom of the story problem
When a Main Character is at odds with his surroundings, a problem exists between himself and his environment. The actual nature of this gap between Main Character and environment is described by the Problem Element. The nature of what is required to restore balance is described by the Solution Element. This is the Overall view of the problem. The Main Character, however, is not privy to that view but must work from his personal view instead. From this view, the problem does not appear to be between the Main Character and the Environment, but wholly in one or the other. Sometimes a Main Character is a "Do-er" type and will perceive and first try to solve the problem in the environment. Other times a Main Character is a "Be-er" who will first try to solve the problem by adapting to the environment. A "Do-er" focuses the problem in the environment; a "Be-er" focuses the problem in himself. The Symptom Element describes the nature of how the problem appears to the Main Character when he places it wholly in one area or the other.