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StoryWeaver

$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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Dramatica

$149.95

Dramatica Pro 4.0<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

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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Movie Magic Screenwriter

$149.95

Movie Magic Screenwriter<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

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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Throughline Index Cards

$9.95

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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"Premise" Leads to Lack of Conflict

by Melanie Anne Phillips
creator StoryWeaver, co-creator Dramatica

Many authors have been taught that a meaningful story must have a premise in the form of "Some human quality leads (or does not lead) to a particular inevitable conclusion." Such a premise might be "Greed (human quality) leads to Self destruction (inevitable conclusion)."

One problem with the premise concept is that it contains no built-in conflict. Rather, it simply presents a starting point, an ending point, and a non-specific path that might be anything at all.

Adding conflict to your premise can provide a driving force to help move your theme through the "leads to" to the conclusion. To add conflict to a premise, consider the human quality stated in the beginning of the premise. In our example, this was "greed." Next, determine the "opposite" of greed, which might be "generosity." Now, restate the beginning of your premise as "Greed vs. Generosity."

We have now created a thematic conflict between two opposing human qualities, rather than simply exploring the one. But, of course, if we left things in this condition the overall premise would not read very well: "Greed vs. Generosity leads to Self Destruction."

Since we are now examining the relative value of two alternative thematic approaches to life, we must also provide a judgment as to the outcome of each approach. So, we might say that "When Greed vs. Generosity, Greed will result in Self Destruction while Generosity leads to Success." Now we have a premise full of potential conflict and a comparative conclusion that brings the audience to think, rather than to simply accept the inevitable.

Of course, Generosity might also lead to Self Destruction in a particular story, illustrating that sometimes there is no way out. Or, Generosity might lead to Love, or Wealth, putting a different spin on the "proof." It also might be shown that Greed leads to the favorable conclusion, while Generosity is Self Destructive. (For an example of this kind of approach, even though it deals with other thematic issues, view Woody Allen�s "Crimes and Misdemeanors.")

There is much more that can be done with a premise to not only provide conflict, but create a complete thematic argument that works with an audience�s heart, rather than through its intellect.

I�ll examine these and other thematic issues in future postings.

As a side note, the Dramatica Pro software fully supports thematic conflict, argument, and emotional conclusion through a number of clever tools designed to spark your creativity and help you build a road map for your theme.

  


$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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Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips - Owner, Storymind.com, Creator Storyweaver, Co-creator Dramatica