the primary dramatic mechanism of a story
The nature of a story will be one of four possibilities: Actual Work Story, Actual Dilemma Story, Apparent Work Story, or Apparent Dilemma Story. A story can be appreciated as a structure in which the beginning, middle, and end can all be seen at the same time. From this point of view, the Overall and Relationship storylines can be compared. The Overall Story Throughline determines if the solution to the problem can be found in the environment or if the problem is actually caused by a character flaw of the Main Character himself. The Relationship storyline determines if the Main Character will remain steadfast in the belief the problem can be solved in the environment or will change in the belief that he himself is the cause of the problem. When the Main Character remains steadfast, he spends the entire story doing work to try and solve the problem. This is called a Work Story. If the Main Character is correct in believing the solution to the problem lies in the environment it is an Actual Work story. If the steadfast Main Character is wrong and is the true cause of the problem, it is an Apparent Work story since he believes Work is all that is necessary and that is not the case. When the Main Character changes, he has come to believe that he is the real cause of the problem. This is called a Dilemma Story because the Main Character spends the story wrestling with an internal dilemma. If the Main Character is correct in believing that he is the source of the problem, then it is an Actual Dilemma Story. If he is incorrect and changes, even though the problem was truly in the environment, it is an Apparent Dilemma Story. Each of these four combinations creates a different mechanism in order to arrive at the climax with the appropriate match up between the true location of the problem and the Main Character's assessment of where to find the solution.