Main Character Growth and Resolve

Q: How is a main character’s growth affected by the character’s resolve? A: The answer is simple and significant:
  • Change Main Character Growth: A change main character comes to the story with pre-existing “baggage” in the form of justifications (inner walls) that blind the character to his personal problem. Whether you call the baggage the character’s problem (Dramatica), wound (Hauge), inner problem (Vogler), unconscious desire (McKee), Circle of Being (Field), or Need (Truby), the main character comes to the story “fully loaded” and ripe for change. Each act describes the tearing down of the justifications that hide the main character’s personal problem from his direct awareness. Once the character has grown enough to see beyond the justifications and recognize the true nature of his personal problems can he then fundamentally alter his worldview (change).
  • Steadfast Main Character Growth: A steadfast main character generally starts off at the beginning of the story with everything in balance. An external force disrupts this balance and the main character responds by committing to a method of restoring balance. Each act describes the main character’s efforts to reinforce his commitment as external forces grow and change. Once the character has reached the edge of his breaking point—when the limit of his efforts to reinforce his motivations match that of the maximum external pressure to alter course—he makes one last commitment and forms a justification that blinds him from his initial choice of action. In this way he remains steadfast in his resolve.

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