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$29.95

A step by step approach to story development, from concept to completed story for your novel or screenplay. More than 200 interactive Story Cards guide you through the entire process.

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$149.95

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The most powerful story structuring software available, Dramatica is driven by a patented "Story Engine" that cross-references your dramatic choices to ensure a perfect structure.

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The most advanced screenwriting software available, Movie Magic is deemed a "preferred file format" by the Writer's Guild. An industry standard, MMS is used by professionals and studios around the world.

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Interactive index cards - Name them, add notes, titles, colors, click and drag to re-arrange, adjust font, save, export and print. An essential tool for every writer.

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Dramatica�s
"New Language" of Story

by Melanie Anne Phillips
creator StoryWeaver, co-creator Dramatica

As co-creator of the Dramatica theory, I�d like to clarify a few things about Dramatica�s "new language" of story. First of all, Dramatica asks you questions like: "By the end of your story, has your Main Character CHANGED or REMAINED STEADFAST?" This is something an author ought to know. Some stories are about characters who become essentially different people by the time their journey is over, like Scrooge, or Luke Skywalker, who has learned to trust in the force and in himself. Other stories explore characters who stick with their guns against all odds, like Dr. Richard Kimble in "The Fugitive", Anthony Hopkins in "Remains of the Day", or James Bond (in almost all of the films). Determining which kind of character you want to end up with when all is said and done is essential to fashioning a story that brings them to that point.

The "old language" of story often has it that a character must CHANGE in order to grow. Not true. As a well-known example, look at Job in the Bible story. Job NEVER changes his mind about keeping his faith in (and refusing to renounce) God. He is absolutely STEADFAST to the end. But does he grow? Of course! He grows in his RESOLVE.

That is the nature of obstacles that a Main Character faces in a story. They cannot tell if the obstacles are indications they are on the wrong path, or just hurdles that they must overcome on the best path available. By separating Change/Steadfast from the concept of "growth", Dramatica helps an author clarify what they want to achieve with their audience.

Dramatica then deals with growth. It asks, "Does your Main Character need to grow by STARTING something, or STOPPING something. Start means adding a new trait they lack, Stop means dropping an old trait they must outgrow. Another way of looking at this question is to ask, "Does my Main Character need to grow INTO something or OUT of something? Do they have a chip on their shoulder, or a hole in their heart? Are their problems caused by what they DO or what they FAIL to do?" You get the idea. And if you answer this question, both you AND the Dramatica software will know more about your story.

But there are other kinds of questions as well. Dramatica will ask you, "What is the principal Concern of your story?" Unlike other systems, this is not a "fill in the blank" question that leaves you without guidance. Dramatica provides a palette of alternatives to choose from. You might select "Obtaining" as the principal Concern, or "Becoming". Clearly a story about "Obtaining" something is a whole different animal than one about "Becoming" something.

Of course, these aren�t the words you would use to pitch your idea to a producer, and in fact, these words might not directly show up in your story at all. But their meaning will. For example, you are doing a story about the first woman president. If your Concern was "Obtaining", it might be about trying to win the presidency. If your Concern was "Becoming", it might be about a woman who has already won the office, trying to grow to become "presidential" in her handling of the office. Not the same thing at all. And by making these sometimes difficult choices, you come to know your story so much the better.

Because these choices all revolve around a central "Argument" in a sense (which simply means they have to be consistent with one another to support some overall meaning), Dramatica can actually "predict" what some of the remaining choices "ought" to be, when the author has already made a number of choices themselves. This really helps keep you from missing important dramatic statements that are essential to the purpose of your story.

But what about taking all this information and creating a story-line out of it? Well, the Dramatica theory recognizes that slap in the face FOLLOWED by a scream does not have the same dramatic meaning as a scream FOLLOWED by a slap in the face. The order in which events occur, changes their context, and therefore their meaning. One of Dramatica�s greatest strengths is that it can take an author�s answers to questions like those above, and then put dramatic elements in a throughline order that would support the author�s choices. What happens in Act Two? Dramatica can tell you. Not by writing your story for you, but buy lining out a progress in terms like those above. For example, a Main Character�s growth throughline might read, "In Act One, your Main Character will be primarily concerned with �learning�, in Act Two with �understanding�, in Act Three with �obtaining�", and so on. In other words, based on your choices, Dramatica will suggest the order of a story�s progression.

I hope this short article helps explain why Dramatica uses a "new language" of story, and why the "old language" is not always up to the task.

  


$149.95                       $29.95          

*Try either or both for 90 days.  Not working for you?  Return for a full refund of your purchase price!

About Dramatica and StoryWeaver

What They Do

Dramatica is a tool to help you build a perfect story structure.  StoryWeaver is a tool to help you build your story's world.

Dramatica focuses on the underlying logic of your story, making sure there are no holes or inconsistencies. 

StoryWeaver focuses on the creative process, boosting your inspiration and guiding it to add depth, detail and passion  to your story.

How They Do It

Dramatica has the world's only patented interactive Story Engine� which cross-references your answers to questions about your dramatic intent, then finds any weaknesses in your structure and even suggests the best ways to strengthen them.

StoryWeaver uses a revolutionary new creative format as you follow more than 200 Story Cards� step by step through the story development process.  You'll design the people who'll inhabit your story's world, what happens to them, and what it all means.

How They Work Alone

By itself Dramatica appeals to structural writers who like to work out all the details of their stories logically before they write a word.

By itself, StoryWeaver appeals to intuitive writers who like to follow their Muse and develop their stories as they go.

How They Work Together

But, the finished work of a structural writer can often lack passion, which is where StoryWeaver can help.  And the finished work of an intuitive writer can often lack direction, which is where Dramatica can help.

So, while each kind of writer will find one program or the other the most initially appealing, both kinds of writers can benefit from both programs.

Try Either Program Risk Free!

We have a 90 Day Return Policy here at Storymind.  Try either or both of these products and if you aren't completely satisfied we'll cheerfully refund your purchase price.

 
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