By Melanie Anne Phillips

creator StoryWeaver, co-creator Dramatica

Novice Writers
Intermediate Writers
Advanced Writers
Basic Story Structure


Creative Writing
Story Development
Story Structure
Narrative Science    

Story Development
Story Structure

Dramatica Software 
Dramatica Theory

Articles on Writing

A career psychotherapist recently wrote me about a method he is developing to employ theater in the therapy process, including an association with the I Ching.

Many years ago he had encountered our Dramatica Theory of Narrative and noted a similarity between the elements of Dramatica and the I Ching and wished to discuss the issue.

Here is my reply:

Many years ago, a couple of folks noticed a correlation between Dramatica and the I Ching, and they independently prepared two articles about their findings.

Here’s a link to the first article, which focuses on an I Ching perspective of the 8 Dramatica archetypes:

Here is a link to the second article, which breaks down the elements of the archetypes into specific trigrams:

I, myself, did a small amount of passing research into the Pristine Y King, which is ostensibly an early un-politicized version of the the I Ching, and found that our chart of the 64 elements matched up by nature almost perfectly with the 8 x 8 chart of the I Ching hexagrams.

My conclusion was that the I Ching and Dramatica are both looking at the same natural phenomenon and simply describing it in two different but similar ways.

I think casting the I Ching is simply chaos, like choosing one of the arrangement of dramatic elements as a storyform in Dramatica.  It is an arbitrary arrangement from the un-biased set, the same was as words are arbitrary arrangements of the same alphabet.

But where did this set come from in the first place, and what is the natural phenomenon it seeks to describe?

To that end, in the later years of my active career as a narrative theorist, I discovered a process of group psychology that I believe explains how and why that set of elements has come to be.

Here is a link to that article:

So, a model of narrative is tantamount to a model of the mind itself including both a documentation of the process of individual coping and problem solving and also of one’s interactions and roles as part of multiple groups and multiple narratives.  Internal and external narratives - that is the key and that is the driving force and nature of the elements of Dramatica and those of the I Ching.

Narrative Structure & The I Ching

Free Resources

Home Mail:

Writing Tools

Write Your Novel
or Screenplay
Step by Step!


Contact Us - About Us - Lowest Price Guarantee - Shipping - Return Policy

Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips - Owner,, Creator Storyweaver, Co-creator Dramatica

StoryWeaver Idea Spinner

Banish Writer’s

Block Forever!


Articles on Writing Free Online Writing Classes in Streaming Video

Predicts Your Story’s Perfect Structure!



Index Cards


Throughline Follow Us

Get our newest writing
tips and product
announcements in
our Newsletter, on
Facebook, Twitter,      or our Blog!

Movie Magic Screenwriter - Formats while you write! Movie Magic Screenwriter


Yours free with
any purchase!

Click for Details

Free Bonus Package Writing Tips

Newest Tips

Library of Tips

Video & Audio

Introduction to
Story Structure

12 Hour Story Structure Course

Secrets of
Story Structure

Free Books

Write Your Novel
Step by Step

50 Sure-Fire
Storytelling Tricks!

A Few Words
About Theme


Story Structure
Graphic Novel

400 Page Book
on Structure

Narrative Science
Warning - Deep Theory!

Most Popular

Your Story Will Fail
(if you don’t do this)

10 Essential Tips
for Beginners

Be A Story Weaver  NOT a Story Mechanic!

Writing from the Passionate Self

The Creativity

A Novelist’s
Bag of Tricks!

Character Arc 101

How to Beat
Writer’s Block

How To Create
Great Characters

Character Development

Never Be Stuck
for a Plot Again!

Creating Characters
from Scratch

Follow Us

Follow Us at The Writer's Survival Kit Bonus Package