How can I tell if my script or novel has one story or two stories?

Each complete Grand Argument Story will have four throughlines: the Objective Story, the Relationship Story, the Main Character, and the Influence Character. Each of these throughlines represents a different POINT OF VIEW (there's the POVs in Dramatica I think you were asking about). To non-Dramatica eyes, the Objective and Relationship story throughlines appear to be different stories in the same work -- the Rhett and Scarlett love affair set against the Civil War story in Gone With The Wind, Jake Gittes and Evelyn Mulwray's love affair set against the mystery of early Los Angeles politicking in Chinatown, etc. If your story has two strong points of view, those may be the Main and Influence character points of view. Both the MC and the IC should explore ALL of the elements in their Domain (which includes ALL 64 character elements). This is different from the Objective Characters who must divide the set of 64 elements between themselves. That MIGHT account for the difficulty you were experiencing while assigning objective character elements to your MC and IC. The objective character elements should ONLY pertain to the functions that the MC and IC have in the OBJECTIVE STORY. This is distinctly different than their own points of view and participation in the Relationship Story.

There have been a couple of popular films lately that have TWO stories instead of the traditional one story. Both Jerry Maguire and The English Patient combine separate stories into one work. In Jerry Maguire, there is the love story and the sports story. In the sports story, Jerry is the Main Character who remains steadfast and Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character is the Influence Character that changes. In the love story, Jerry is the Influence Character that changes, and his love interest (the woman with the son) is the Main Character that remains steadfast. Each has their own set of Objective Characters (some of which do double duty between the stories). In The English Patient, there is a pre-war love affair story, and the "post" war story involving the patient, the nurse, the Sikh, etc. I believe the book fleshes out the post-war love story to a greater degree than the movie did, but I haven't read it so I can't say for sure.

The point I'm trying to make is that one story has FOUR throughlines. A work with two stories will have EIGHT throughlines, two of each. This should help you determine which best describes your story.

Dramatica Story Expert

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