07:47 am
24 September 2023

Can the protagonist quit?

Yes, of course! He does it by giving up trying to reach the original goal and may or may not substitute it with another goal. The character realizes that reaching his goal won’t bring him the happiness he is looking for and that it may even cause harm to others. He discovers that he was lied to or betrayed, and reaching the original goal does not longer fits his way of thinking, that all was a lie or an illusion. The goal may even be pushed into the background or lack importance.

The last two Basic Story-lines are tailored for non-traditional plot structures and often completely break with the usual three-act organization.

But he may also quit because he does not have a definite goal. You see, when the goal of a character is undefined, the story takes an ethereal quality. One has to see the story from outside of the traditional narrative form. The events are not drastically determined but they flow with a natural rhythm that reflects real life experience. The works of Anton Chekhov fit this type of story-lines.

A story written without a traditional structure and without a defined goal is not a story written without planning, focus, and effort; as some may think. In fact, these stories may require intense craftsmanship, even more so than traditional stories, making them more intellectual and stimulating. The reader or the audiences have to participate in the narrative, following the narrative flow and interpreting the subtext. This is similar to the “Slice of Life” structure, showing a defined window of time to the character’s life, without previous explanations, without outcome and without a moral. This type of Basic Storyline is essentially a plot driven by the character.

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