The Obstacle Character in The Shape of Water

A reminder of perspective

The Shape of Water has always been particularly problematic to me (I always thought it was a cheap comic-book knock-off of Amelié 😄), so I've always resisted putting it into Subtxt. As I'm going through and updating all the Storyforms, it showed up again, and I knew I had to face it one way or another.

I tried and tried to find a Storyform that worked for me (other than the "official" Dramatica one), and was ready to publish it--until I listened to the podcast recording of the original analysis back in October of 2018.

The hilarious part is that you can actually hear me go through the same kind of cognitive dissonance trying to figure out the Obstacle Character perspective, only four years earlier. 😆

Thankfully, screenwriter Mike Wollaeger and Dramatica co-creator Chris Huntley were there to tease things out for me.

I found that moment so insightful and so paradigm-shifting that I wanted to make sure it was preserved and elevated to a position of prominence in all the material we have for Dramatica theory, so...

...I just went through and cleaned up that whole part, identified all the speakers, removed the uhms and ahs, and put it together in a nice bite-sized 5-minute chunk of educational goodness.

I hope this helps you better understand how the Obstacle Character perspective works in Dramatica, but above all--

--I hope I remember this when it pops up again for me five years from now! 😊

Originally published 01-20-2022

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