Story Telling: The Character’s journey


Telling a story is old as the development of humanity, from the first cave drawings to the structures of ancient civilizations. It was a means to document the people’s lifestyle and belief, their means of survival to which they where able live by.

This depended on the lifestyle, culture, environment, belief and what influenced or inspired the people of that time all being a part of their survival and a means to communicate and a guideline to live by.

In our contemporary time, we still do the same as we all need to survive, belong to something , have recognition, achieve and also fail. Everyone is a hero in his own story or life makes him the villain. Perhaps there was always this need to communicate, and perhaps this is done best through story form.

Stories all form around the same key elements such as: life, discovery, change, achievement, survival, belief, the unknown, downfalls, pain, love, emotional tribulation and belonging to name a few. Every person on this planet is tasked by such experiences that aids him towards self-development, gaining knowledge and a set of skills to persevere in life. We relate to each other the most through our stories. It is something we constantly share with one another, trading our experiences or living them together and stories are also a means by which we sympathize and empathize with each other.

All stories harness emotional development and knowledge that will make us better at surviving and fitting in, better at reaching that main goal in life.

This is where the guidelines for any story is structured on, because after all, it’s done by beings for beings.  We all feel the need to bond. We are what’s known as social animals and like to be a part of  a social group like various other animals such as dolphins, dogs , you name it!

Through someone else’s journey we reflect towards our own and our likeness to the subject of the story because of our conventional understanding of life, reality, curiosity and emotion. For example emotional trades such as fear or love through which we are able to sympathize and empathize with the subject because of conventionalizes ingrained in our cultural, lifestyle and human understanding.

Stories pull us in to this hyper-realistic world or fantasy landscape that we want to belong to, wish to experience because it is exciting or for the sake of escapism from something that isn’t real or we wouldn’t really do in real life. Stories could also be a means of experiencing how a different life would be. How does a story teller make this believable and effective for the viewer or reader? A way to do it is through characterization and using real life universal censorious implemented in a hyper-realistic environment, space and time blended with the convention of realism.

All good stories follow a formula as a guideline. This formula is set to date back to its first conception during the Greek era used for their theater plays and entertainment. One can use various elements from the  diagram below (formula) to constructively structure an effective story. However, a story can be more complex or less complex than this and can be altered or fragmented depending on the story revolves around (the characterization or objectification stays the same). This means that the center of the story is always the main subject or subjects the story revolves around; the Character Arc.

Most stories use the Dramatica Theory of Story through which a story can be told differently and not in traditional formalities such as the Aristotelian paradigm of story. This is where every story forms around a beginning, a middle and an end. The Dramatica Theory of Story can provide a more complex dynamic narrative rather then a fixed story-form.  


Check out:

check out:

The character arc structure?

culturebrand-wheel-4The Wheel above shows different characteristics generally evident in stories that are most common to Hollywood blog-buster films. Just like in real life, the story makes use of real characteristics. For example in the Hunger Games, the story introduces the main hero (the protagonist of the story (Katniss Everdeen). She is also an explorer, a lover and a care-giver and at the beginning of the film-series is seen as still innocent. Katniss also is a sage learning to fight to survive and later fights and stands for a symbol of freedom. The story later introduces the creator: the creator of the annual games, the Ruler (the villein). Stories can include many characteristics and elements that are part of the key arc of the story’s development.

For a further interesting look into the use of character arc structures, check out the link bellow:



About Ama

A young film and media practitioner with special focus in direction, editing and sound.

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