Origins of the Dramatica Theory of Narrative Structure

By Melanie Anne Phillips

Many people have asked how we came up with the Dramatica Theory. Well, it didn’t happen all at once.   In fact, it was a three year full-time effort, 8 hours a day.  In going through my archives, I just discovered four hours of recordings we made in 1991 to document our very first attempt at a “complete” theory – kind of a unified field theory of story.

Of course, the theory continued to evolve for another three years until we finally published our findings.  So, the Dramatica you know today, is quite different in many ways than what you will hear on this recordings.  Still, they provide a checkpoint right in the middle of development – the equivalent of a “paper trail” that documents how we got from our original view of story to the model of narrative structure we ultimately created.

So, here for the curious and/or for posterity are all four hours of audio, unedited, in mp3 format, divided into 8 parts. Enjoy!

Origins of the Dramatica Theory – Part 1 of 8

Origins of the Dramatica Theory – Part 2 of 8

Origins of the Dramatica Theory – Part 3 of 8

Origins of the Dramatica Theory – Part 4 of 8

Origins of the Dramatica Theory – Part 5 of 8

Origins of the Dramatica Theory – Part 6 of 8

Origins of the Dramatica Theory – Part 7 of 8

Origins of the Dramatica Theory – Part 8 of 8

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