Reply To: Some notes on Dara Marks' Transformational Arc

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@richardb and @squidge – I don’t think there’s anything wrong in not wanting to use models like these! I have a penchance for graphs, which is probably ~60% of why I love it! No – I like the tie-in between internal and external, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

, yeah you’re totally right, I agree it’s foolish to think that any one model/structure/explanation is going to be universal, or that models like these are set in stone in any way. It would be deathly dull if every person’s brain functioned & responded in the same pattern, and for every model there is, at the most optimistic, a distribution curve around how the population fits to it.

But I think, and this ties in with @alanr’s comment as well, that’s what I like about models like this though – that they start with how the character’s internal state is, then move outwards to their external behaviour, and then further out to the world’s events (including the same internal/external conflict for all the other players in the game). There’s no fixed ‘if x happens externally, then character will respond with y’ or ‘if the character is in x state internally, then their external state will be y’. It just reminds you to think about those things, and make sure your character’s individual mental state is consistent. If you think about it as simply a structured prompt to give your character a fully 3d psychology, then it looked a lot less didactic.

I think (diving off on a tangent) that’s what I like about the concept of keeping your ‘theme’ central as well – it’s not saying that every bit of imagery or motif or sub-plot *has* to match the theme overtly, but it’s a prompt to be aware of where making all those things into thematic mirrors will heighten the power of your story.