A tale of two structures

Delta Man contrasts the Gamma novel with the Delta novel at Alpha Game:


Act 1

  • GP (Gamma Protagonist) is awkward, unattractive, and misunderstood, but smart and snarky
  • GP discovers the heart of the misunderstanding is his previously unknown incredible gift
  • GP enters a whirlwind of an adventure of discovering his gift as people are suddenly after him
  • GP defeats some minor foes with his gift but doesn’t know how
  • MV (Male Villain) is introduced, an ass for no reason, is a jock, and good-looking
  • MV has control over seductress Female Villain (FV) The FV is shown not totally responsible for being a villain


Act 1

  • DG (Delta Guy) leads a pretty normal life, but is good at one thing in particular
  • He has a PG (Pretty Girl) who he really likes, and is on again and off again as he chases her
  • PG is pretty, not hot, wholesome, and DG comments he really doesn’t deserve her
  • GE (Great Evil) is introduced and may be led by an evil man but is larger than one person
  • DG cannot ignore the GE and is called to action

It’s very eye-opening to see the way in which socio-sexuality so strongly dictates the very form in which an author’s storytelling takes. It’s not hard to see that one way in which science fiction and fantasy has changed dramatically, even outside the female influence and social justice obsession, is that it is no longer a Delta genre full of stories of challenges to be solved through technical competence and personal maturation, but a Gamma genre of full of stories of effortless success through the intervention of third parties or intrinsic wonderfulness.

Techno-thrillers and military fiction are now the Delta genre; one cannot read the Delta structure without stories such as Saving Private Ryan springing immediately to mind. As a general rule, revenge and the public acknowledgment of the secret king as the true king are Gamma themes, while becoming a man and reluctantly defeating evil then going home are the primary Delta themes.

I haven’t really begun to consciously make use of this socio-sexual theory of literature in my own writing, but I am increasingly aware of the way in which my own perspective tends to affect my writing. As one critic noted, there are few incompetents in my books; even the most evil characters usually have a legitimate point-of-view, and it’s not always clear who is supposed to be good and who is supposed to be bad.