Complete narratives establish four distinct points of perspective on the story’s central conflict. Correlating with the four different ways our minds perceive inequity, these Throughlines set the areas of exploration for the Author to write and the Audience to experience.
They also set the Genre of the piece.
At its core, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is a Coming of Age story. The character in question is indeed a middle-aged woman, not a troubled teen often found in this Genre, yet their common struggle to establish identity and find their place in the world remains the same.
A Coming of Age story classifies the Main Character’s problems in the area of Universe and the Overall Story’s problem in Psychology. This alignment creates a dynamic of narrative that sees the Main Character growing into a new perspective; the focus on starting something new, rather than stopping something old.
This arrangement also requires the Influence Character perspective to fall under Mind and the Relationship between Main Character and Influence Character to rest under Physics. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women completes this configuration by granting Marston and Olive a perspective based on an ideal and their relationship a challenge of keeping their activities a secret.
The Four Throughlines of a Narrative
Our minds appreciate inequity—or conflict—from four different points-of-view.
- My conflict
- Your conflict
- Our conflict
- Their conflict
Transposing this reality into a narrative requires the use of Throughlines to illustrate each area of conflict:
- the Main Character Throughline shows my conflict
- the Influence Character Throughline renders your conflict
- the Relationship Story Throughline establishes our conflict
- the Overall Story Throughline presents their conflict
Complete stories assign an area of conflict to a Throughline, being careful to establish a dynamic relationship between the Main Character and Influence Character Throughlines, and another dynamic relationship between the Overall Story and Relationship Story Throughlines. The Dramatica theory of story models these dynamic relationships by positioning them diagonally across from one another.
The Professor’s Theory & A Loving Authority
Professor Marston seeks to alter the way the world thinks, engendering the wrath of the Child Study Association of America. The fear of subversive manipulation that leads to book burning and censoring of material finds its home under the
Psychology Domain. As part of the Overall Story Throughline perspective, this battle of ideas—presented as opposing sides over a common table—brings imbalance to everyone.
A personal account of this conflict rests firmly within the Main Character Throughline perspective of Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall). Unpretty and unable to secure the kind of recognition a man with her intelligence and wherewithal enjoys, Elizabeth finds herself trapped within her own physicality—a
Universe of disappointment.
The dynamic duo of Influence Character Throughline perspective offered up by Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcoate) and William Marston (Luke Evans) challenges Elizabeth to grow beyond her own preconceptions. Their undying love and steadfast resolve to stand up against all matters of prejudice and injustice defines the
The Relationship Story Throughline—the heart of every story—completes the narrative. As with most Coming of Age stories the challenge in the relationship is one of problematic activities, of
Physics. Participating and experiencing bondage in a secret meeting, acting out that experience at home and being discovered by the neighbor next-door, and suffering the results of violent beatings at the hands of those who don’t understand illustrates conflict in this area. But there is positive conflict as well: their first encounter as a trio backstage depicts emotional growth at the hands of new and unfamiliar activities.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women succeeds because it effectively encapsulates the four areas of conflict in its four separate and distinct Throughlines. Blended and woven together masterfully in the final product, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women saves the world with its superhero structure.