Main Character & Overall Plot

by Damar Anzig

1. Does the protagonist (the one who pursues the story goal) own the Main Plot?

Not sure what you mean by "own," but the protagonist is the leading figure in pursuit of the story goal. Most of the other characters will also be concerned with (either for or against) or affected by this endeavour.

2. If the MC needs to make a crucial decision to change (and actually does it at the climax of the story), isn't that a different story altogether? Does that qualify as a subplot?

Dramatica refers to the process whereby the main character comes to and makes the decision of whether to change as the "main character throughline." It is one of four throughlines in a complete story (the others being the overall story throughline, the impact character throughline, and the relationship throughline).

You can think of these as subplots if you like. However, there are important connections between them which may not be true for all subplots. For instance, when main character decides whether or not to change (the crisis of the main character throughline), the choice he/she makes generally determines whether or not the overall story goal is achieved.

3. Can the protagonist serve as the MC's Impact Character and vice versa?

The protagonist can certainly be the impact character, provided he/she is not at the same time the main character. The only way for "vice versa" to happen is if you switch to the protagonist's point of view. When that happens, the protagonist becomes the main character of his/her own story and any other character can be the impact character of that story. Many novels are told from multiple points of view, however not every POV character's story is fully developed. Often only one character makes a crucial decision that determines the outcome of the overall story and is hence the real main character or primary POV.

4. Can you pls. point me to one of your exhaustive discussions on subplots ?

I don't know if I have exhausted this topic, but feel free to search this site for the term "subplot."

Thank you for being there...

You're most welcome.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Plot Invite.

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero