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.
powerful story structuring software available, Dramatica is driven by a
patented "Story Engine" that cross-references your dramatic
choices to ensure a perfect structure.
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.
index cards - Name them, add notes, titles, colors, click and drag to
re-arrange, adjust font, save, export and print. An essential tool for
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THE XX AND XY FILES
by Melanie Anne Phillips
What is it about The X-Files that has attracted such a following? Is
it the blend of New Age philosophy and hard science fiction? Could it be the
taboo subjects or government conspiracies? How about the flashy production
values and high-tech special effects?
Naturally, all of these contribute to the phenomenal success of the show, but
they don't fully explain the unusual "feel" of the program. Anyone who
has seen the series knows what we mean. There is a strange emotional aura
experienced by the viewing audience that is almost metaphysical itself. In fact,
tracking down the source of this strange atmosphere could be a case right out of
The X-Files themselves. Fortunately, as the opening credits assert:
"The truth is out there." In this case, Dramatica can help illuminate
To begin our investigation, let's look to our intrepid agents, Mulder and
Scully. Who are they? FBI agents, of course. But we asked who they were, notwhat.
For our inquiry, we are more interested in their natures than their functions.
It is not that they unravel the tangled, clarify the obscure, and defeat the
random. Oh, they do all of that all right, but that's just plot. We are more
interested in how they accomplish these ultra-human feats, not their methodology
but their mentality.
Who are theyinside? What makes them tick? What do Mulder and Scully have
in common that makes them uncommon? The answer lies in the Dramatica concept
called Mental Sex .
Mental Sex has two options: male or female. It has nothing to do with anatomical
sex, gender identity, or sexual preference. Mental Sex refers to the mind of a
character as being either spatially (space) or temporally (time) biased. Space
is where our sense of logistics comes from. Time is where our intuition comes
from. Male Mental Sex sees logistics clearly, but is a little fuzzy on the
intuition. Female Mental Sex is intuitive, but not as clear on the logistics.
Of course, males can be intuitive and females logical, but it requires a little
extra work. Also, intuition is not inexact. It seems so to men, because it is a
fuzzy logic to them. But to women, intuition is perfectly clear: a form of
holistic logic of its own that deals with problems by the
"inter-influences" of the many parts, rather than trying to find a
direct path from problem to solution.
For the most part, authors create characters who have the same Mental Sex as
their anatomical sex. Occasionally, through intent or feel, these two get mixed
up. For example, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in the original Alien was a
male mental sex character. The part was actually written for a man; all they
changed were the gender references. Her manner of approaching a problem was male
right down the line. In contrast, Tom Wingo (Nick Nolte) in The Prince of
Tides is a female mental sex character who tries to bring his life into
balance: a holistic technique.
Just because a physically male character has a female mental sex does not mean
they will be feminine. An example is Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin) in The Hunt For
Red October. Notice how his problem solving technique is quite different
than that of all the generals and soldiers he is competing against, yet he is
The difference in Jack Ryan's manner is easily recognized in his meeting with
the chiefs of staff near the beginning of the story. While they are
concentrating on how to respond to the threat, Ryan is feeling the influence of
many bits of information. Though this data seems unrelated, its overall impact
on his mind allows him to surmise that the wayward Russian captain is not
attacking but defecting. Only a female mental sex character would arrive at that
kind of solution from that kind of data.
So...what is the strange attraction of Mulder and Scully in The X-Files?
Mulder is a man with a female mental sex; Scully is a woman with a male mental
sex. While Mulder is getting a feeling or being intuitive, Scully demands facts,
measurements, and a linear theory without gaps. In most episodes, both methods
are required to uncover the mystery. Though this is not uncommon in real life,
switching mental sexes is atypical of most television fare.
The charm of the show is partly because the kinds of problems that occur could
not be solved by either one of them alone, but truly needs both views to
triangulate. Mulder gets a sense of what's going on; Scully describes it. Scully
projects where things are leading, Mulder determines what it means. Since we are
talking about a series rather than one specific story, things do change.
In some episodes, Scully is also made female mental sex. In these programs,
Scully becomes a simple skeptic instead of an alternate problem solving
perspective. This weakens Scully and Mulder's relationship. Mulder is still
female mental sex, but he cannot explore that perspective since he has to spend
all his time trying to overcome Scully's skepticism. Scully keeps demanding
proof instead of working out a theory. Under these conditions the show still has
its conspiracies, new-age sci-fi, and special effects, but the heart stops
beating. That special something is clearly missing, but in episodes where Scully
returns to male mental sex, the charm is back.
It is unlikely that the creators of the series were aware of this phenomenon.
Still, they engendered it by feel and were inspired to do so. Each of us, male
and female, sees the world from a mental sex direction. This gives us a clear
perspective on some things and a fuzzy perspective on others. By working
together, we can solve problems neither of us could handle alone. That is the
real attraction of The X-Files, made all the more apparent (yet obscured)
by clothing each mental sex in the unexpected body.
*Try either or both for 90 days. Not working for you?
Return for a full refund of your purchase price!
About Dramatica and
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.
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
How They Work
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
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