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The Dramatica Dictionary
Developed and Written by
Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley

Ability • Most terms in Dramatica are used to mean only one thing. Thought, Knowledge, Ability, and Desire, however, have two uses each, serving both as Variations and Elements. This is a result of their role as central considerations in both Theme and Character

[Variation] dyn.pr. Desire<-->Ability • being suited to handle a task; the innate capacity to do or be • Ability describes the actual capacity to accomplish something. However, even the greatest Ability may need experience to become practical. Also, Ability may be hindered by limitations placed on a character and/or limitations imposed by the character upon himself. • syn. talent, knack, capability, innate capacity, faculty, inherant proficiency

[Element] dyn.pr. Desire<-->Ability • being suited to handle a task; the innate capacity to do or be • An aspect of the Ability element is an innate capacity to do or to be. This means that some Abilities pertain to what what can affect physically and also what one can rearrange mentally. The positive side of Ability is that things can be done or experienced that would otherwise be impossible. The negative side is that just because something can be done does not mean it should be done. And, just because one can be a certain way does not mean it is beneficial to self or others. In other words, sometimes Ability is more a curse than a blessing because it can lead to the exercise of capacities that may be negative • syn. talent, knack, capability, innate capacity, faculty, inherant proficiency

Acceptance • [Element] dyn.pr. Non-acceptance<-->Acceptance • a decision to allow, tolerate, or adapt; a decision not to oppose • Acceptance is simply allowing something without opposition. Of course, this can eliminate many potential conflicts by refusing to stand against inequity. On the other hand, that might build an internal inequity if one cannot truly adapt and merely tolerates. In addition, if the source of the inequity keeps churning out trouble Acceptance will allow that negative process to continue unencumbered • syn. acquiescence, tolerance, allowance for, consent, submission

Accurate • [Element] dyn.pr. Non-accurate<-->Accurate • being within tolerances • Not all concepts work everywhere or all the time. When an understanding has limitations, it can still provide a useful way of looking at the specific issues. The more accurate an understanding, the more one can apply it with certainty. When the Accurate element comes into play it will lead to accepting rough approximations that are "within tolerance" or "good enough" for the purpose at hand. The advantage is that little energy is wasted on "the law of diminishing returns." The disadvantage is that appraising things as Accurate can lead to gross generalizations in which important or dangerous considerations slip though the cracks. • syn. within tolerance, sufficient, adequate, acceptable, passable

Act • [Structural Term] • The largest sequential increments by which the progress of a story is measured • an Act is a noticeable shift or division in the dramatic flow of a story which is created by the convergence of dynamics pertaining to Character, Theme, and Plot. These dynamics are represented in Dramatica by a sequential progression through different categories of subject matter called Types. Each of the four throughlines has four different Types of subject matter. For example, one throughline's Types might be Learning, Understanding, Doing, and Obtaining. If we look at each Type as a signpost along a road, then Learning would describe where that throughline's story began and Obtaining where it ended. Between the four signposts are three journeys. In our example, a journey from Learning to Understanding, Understanding to Doing, and Doing to Obtaining. In a story, an author usually designs the structure by setting up the signposts. An audience experiences the story by taking the journey. So, in a sense, and author works with a four act (four signpost) structure, and an audience perceives a three act (three journey) structure. Since both co-exist, the meaning of the term "Act" changes depending upon how one is coming to a story.

Action • [Plot Dynamic] • in terms of the objective plot, actions force decisions • All stories have both Action and Decision, however one will take precedence over the other. Traditionally, one might define an Action story as having more Action or more intense Action than a Decision story. This view is overly influenced by how the story is told rather than what it represents. Dramatica takes a different view of Action and Decision. Either Actions force the need for Decisions or Decisions force the need for Actions in order to advance the plot. Over the course of the story as a whole, if Actions precipitate the progression of the plot, it is an Action story. The question to ask in regard to any particular story is which comes first to move the story along?--not which is there more of, for even if Action kicks things off, a small Action may be followed by great quantities of deliberation. In such a story, although Action is the Driver, one would hardly call it an Action story in the traditional sense. Action stories will begin with an Action, be marked at the beginning and end of every Act by an Action, and will end with a climactic Action. In an Action story, the story will eventually slow and dwindle until another Action occurred.

Actual Dilemma • [Overview Appreciation] • The Main Character’s decision to change results in success • In an Actual Dilemma story, the Main Character can must adopt a new path in order for the Goal to succeed. If he stays on course, the Goal is doomed to failure. Of course, the Main Character cannot see the future and therefore can never be sure if he should change or not. That is why Main Characters must often make a "leap of faith" at the moment of climax and decide to Change or Remain Steadfast. Other times, the Main Character is slowly drawn towards his Resolve of Changing or Remaining Steadfast, however it is still must be made clear which way he’s gone by the end of the story. In stories where the Main Character Changes and succeeds as a result, the Dilemma was Actual, rather than merely Apparent.

Actual Work • [Overview Appreciation] • The Main Character’s decision to remain steadfast results in success • In an Actual Work story, the Main Character must stay on course in order for the Goal to succeed. If he adopts a new path, the Goal is doomed to failure. Of course, the Main Character cannot see the future and therefore can never be sure if he should change or not. That is why Main Characters must often make a "leap of faith" at the moment of climax and decide to Change or Remain Steadfast. Other times, the Main Character is slowly drawn towards his Resolve of Changing or Remaining Steadfast, however it is still must be made clear which way he’s gone by the end of the story. In stories where the Main Character Remains Steadfast and succeeds as a result, the need for Work, was Actual, rather than merely Apparent.

Actuality • [Element] dyn.pr. Perception<-->Actuality • objective reality; the way things are • Actuality refers to the true state of things. A character who represents Actuality sees right through image and pretense, preferring to get to the heart of the matter. It also will not accept foregone conclusions until they have materialized. It feels that without substance there is no meaning. The problem is that anything that does not meet its strict definitions is ignored as irrelevant. It is often surprised when the undefined or unformed turns out to be very real • syn. the true state of things, objective reality, factuality, demonstrable existence, demonstrable reality

Analysis • [Variation] dyn.pr. Strategy<-->Analysis • evaluation of the situation and/or circumstances • Analysis sits on one side of planning and strategy sits on the other. Analysis is the interpretation of available data in order to establish the approach most likely succeed. If the Analysis is faulty, it limits the potential of a Strategy. If a Strategy is faulty, it limits the effectiveness of Analysis • syn. evaluation, examination, breakdown of situation, close investigation, scrutinization

Antagonist • [Archetype] • An archetypal character who is in every way opposed to the Protagonist • Antagonist and Protagonist are diametrically opposed. What the Protagonist pursues, the Antagonist seeks to avoid or prevent. Together, Antagonist and Protagonist form a Dynamic Pair centered around the story's Goal. In order for one to succeed the other MUST fail.

Apparent Dilemma • [Overview Appreciation] • The Main Character’s decision to change results in failure • In an Apparent Dilemma story, the Goal will fail if the Main Character adopts a new path. For the Goal to succeed he must stay on course. Of course, the Main Character cannot see the future and therefore can never be sure if he should change or not. That is why Main Characters must often make a "leap of faith" at the moment of climax and decide to Change or Remain Steadfast. Other times, the Main Character is slowly drawn towards his Resolve of Changing or Remaining Steadfast, however it is still must be made clear which way he’s gone by the end of the story. In stories where the Main Character Changes and fails as a result, the Dilemma was merely Apparent, not Actual.

Apparent Work • [Overview Appreciation] • In an Apparent Work story, the Goal will fail if the Main Character stays on course. For the Goal to succeed he must adopt a new path. Of course, the Main Character cannot see the future and therefore can never be absolutely sure if he should change or not. That is why Main Characters must often make a "leap of faith" at the moment of climax and decide to Change or Remain Steadfast. Other times, the Main Character is slowly drawn towards his Resolve of Changing or Remaining Steadfast, however it is still must be made clear which way he’s gone by the end of the story. In stories where the Main Character Remains Steadfast and fails as a result, the assessment that only Work was needed was merely Apparent, not Actual

Appraisal • [Variation] dyn.pr. Reappraisal<-->Appraisal • a limited initial assessment • Not everything requires a complete evaluation. In fact, we are assualted by many new observations that we cannot possibly evaluate each fully. Instead, we make an Appraisal of what we encounter and use that limited assessment to determine our response, if any. This approach as the advantage of allowing us to deal more or less effeciently with an onslot of iimpressions and experiences. Of course, since this Appraisal is based on limited evidence, the real picture may be quite different than the thumbnail sketch. Yet, people are strongly influenced by first impressions and can become attached to an Appraisal without ever reconsidering it to see if it was incomplete or if things have changed. • syn. first impression, preliminary understanding, initial approach, initial assimilation.

Appreciations • story points; dramatic concepts • Appreciations are items of dramatic meaning that are common to all stories. Meaning is created when an identifiable topic is seen from a particular point of view. This creates perspective which takes into account both the observation and the observer. In complete stories, there are four principal viewpoints at work: Objective Story, Main Character, Obstacle Character, Subjective Story. Each viewpoint has its own unique Appreciations, though they parallel and match item for item the Appreciations from another viewpoint. In addition, some Appreciations are from a wider view, describing the relationship among the viewpoints and the dramatic results of their combined perspectives. In this manner, a story structure built from these Appreciations will cover all the topics and viewpoints necessary to fully explore an issue central to them all. Common Appreciations include such dramatic items as Goal, Requirements, Problem, Concern, and Outcome.

Approach • [Character Dynamic] • The Main Character’s preferred method of general problem solving as a "Do-er" or "Be-er" • By temperament, Main Characters (like each of us) have a preferential method of approaching problems. Some would rather work things out externally, others would rather work things out internally. There is nothing intrinsically right or wrong with either approach, yet it does affect how one will respond to problems. Choosing "Do-er" or "Be-er" does not prevent a Main Character from using either approach, but merely defines the way he is likely to first approach a problem, using the other method only if the first one fails.

Approach • [Variation] dyn.pr. Attitude<-->Approach • technique or methodology • Approach is the manner in which a character seeks the solution to a problem. It might be though of as his style or modus operendi. It might be a specific method or just a general set of tools or guidelines that is consistently used. These tools can be physical or mental ones, depending upon the nature of the task and the intended outcome (if any) • syn. method, procedure, style, manner, manner of doing, one’s own way.

Archetypal Characters • Of all the ways the 64 elements of Character elements might be grouped, there is one arrangement that is akin to an alignment of the planets. When all elements from each "family" of like elements are placed in individual characters, eight Archetypal Characters are created. They are Archetypal because their homogeneous nature accommodates all levels a character must have to be fully dimensional, yet line up by content so well there is little internal dissonance. Archetypal Characters are useful in stories that seek to concentrate on plot, action, or external themes. This is because they do not "get in the way" or clutter the Author’s purpose. Because they are so predictable, however, Archetypal Characters are not easily used to explore the human psyche and are most readily employed in stories designed more for entertainment than message.

Argument • [Dramatica Term] • the progression of logistic and emotional meanings that combine to prove a story's message • A story's message is proven by a progression of logistic (dispassionate) and emotional (passionate) meanings which are created by the interactions of Character, Plot, Theme, and Genre. The dispassionate argument is the story’s contention that a particular approach is the most appropriate one to solve a particular problem or achieve a goal in a given context. The passionate argument is the story’s contention that one world view is better than another in terms of leading to personal fulfillment. An author can use his story’s argument to convey his message directly, indirectly by inference, or by making an exaggerated argument supporting what he is against. (Also see Grand Argument Story.)

Attempt • [Variation] dyn.pr. Work<-->Attempt • applying oneself to something not known to be within one’s ability • When there is a question as to the match-up of one’s abilities to the demands of a task, one may still elect to attempt to complete the task. However, sometimes a character will lose sight of the purpose of the task or underestimated his progress and actually complete the work while continuing to try beyond the point originally aimed at. Why does one beat a dead horse? Why does a billionaire struggle to earn one more million? • syn. try, uncertain undertaking, speculative endeavor, dubious effort, endeavor, unlikely venture

Attitude • [Variation] dyn.pr. Approach<-->Attitude • demeanor or outlook • Attitude describes the manner in which a character proceeds with an approach. One character might be hard-driven, another laid back. One may be willing to sacrifice efficiency for the sake of a pleasant approach. Another might sacrifice pleasure in order to make the approach most efficient. Sometimes an approach can be pushed too hard or not hard enough. It requires not only the proper approach but the appropriate attitude to arrive at the solution to a problem. • syn. demeanor, manner of approach, countenance, behavioral outlook, perspective on doing

Attraction • [Variation] dyn.pr. Repulsion<-->Attraction • drawing or being drawn to something • How hard should one try? How much work should one do? This is modulated by the Attraction of what one is trying to achieve. Attraction is a directional factor that indicates what lies ahead is a positive reward. When a character strives toward a goal, he passes many veils along the way. Each one is a curtain to the future that must be ripped away to see what lies beyond. Attraction describes the nature of the curtain itself. Can you judge the pleasure of a book by the art on its cover? In the parable of the carrot and the stick, Attraction is the carrot. • syn. allure, enticement, charm, captivate, appeal, draw, lure

Author’s Proof • [Storytelling] • the epilogue or follow-up to a story that proves the "outcome" of the story is real or imagined, good or bad • Technically speaking, the moment of climax in a story is the intersecting point where the nature of the Main Character crosses paths with the nature of the objective story. It is here that the course of one, both or neither of them may be altered by the interaction. The only way an audience can be sure what, if anything, has changed course is to plot one more dramatic point past the climax, as part of Act 4 to illustrate the new direction of the objective story and Main Character. This might be the "?" after the words "The End" in a monster story or a formerly mean man sharing his sandwich with a stray dog on the way home. The purpose is simply to illustrate that the suspected effect of the climax has or has not truly resulted in a change in course. As such, it functions as the Author’s Proof and is a key component of the denouement.

Avoid• [Element] dyn.pr. Pursuit<-->Avoid • stepping around, preventing or escaping from a problem • Like its counterpart Pursue, the Avoid characteristic causes a character to be a real self-starter. The difference is that just as strongly as Pursuit tries to close in on the something, Avoid tries to escape it. Avoid can take the forms "escape" or "prevent" depending upon whether the focus of the effort is an object or a process. Avoid might be seen as running away, but that has its place. And certainly, when seen as "prevent" it might be applied to stopping something very negative from happening. Of course, it could also prevent something positive or really just be running away from something that should be faced. Pursue and Avoid are not value judgments but directions. • syn. evade, dodge, elude, escape, steer clear of, prevent

Aware • [Element] dyn.pr. Aware<-->Self-Aware • being conscious of things outside oneself • A character that represents Awareness misses nothing that happens around him. A drawback is he may forget to figure himself into the equation. • syn. outward perceptiveness, external sensitivity, consciousness of the external, responsive

Backstory • [Storytelling] • Although often embellished greatly in the storytelling, Backstory is nothing more than a description of how a Main Character’s justification built up over time, leading him to intersect with the story’s problem, or how a story problem developed over time, leading it to intersect with the Main Character. Backstory outlines the sequence of events and the combination of forces that make the Main Character the central connecting point between the subjective and objective problem. Backstory need not be presented to the audience as it is not essential to the story’s argument about how to or how not to solve a problem. However, inclusion of Backstory can offer the additional benefits of showing the audience how to avoid the problem before it becomes a problem. Sometimes Backstory is presented at the beginning of storytelling, making it appear to be part of the story itself into which it can smoothly and seamlessly segue. More often, Backstory is explored episodically in Flashbacks or through other forms of revelation. Sometimes the focus of the storytelling is on the Backstory itself and the story is told episodically through flashforwards. Even more complex implementations not only present Backstory episodically but also out of order, leaving it to the audience to ultimately put the pieces together and thereby solve a riddle necessary to solving the problem of the story itself.

Bad • [Plot Dynamic] • The Main Character ultimately fails in resolving his personal problems • If at the end of the story the Main character is still nagged by his personal problem, then the judgment of the story can be considered bad. Even though the effort to achieve the story’s goal may result in success, this is not necessarily a good thing for the Main Character. In fact success might be obtained in the objective story even though the Main Character fails to resolve his personal problems. Conversely, the effort to achieve the story goal might end in failure, yet with the Main Character ultimately overcoming his personal problems. Regardless of whether the objective story ends in Success or Failure, if the Main Character fails to resolve his personal problems, the outcome is deemed Bad.

Be-er • [Character Dynamic] • The Main Character prefers to work things out internally • Every Main Character will have a preference to deal with problems by either physical effort or by mental/emotional effort. When a Main Character prefers adapting himself to the environment over working directly in the external environment to resolve problems, he is a Be-er.

Becoming • [Type] dyn.pr. Being<-->Becoming • transforming one’s nature • Becoming means achieving an identity with something. This is different from "being" which merely requires posing as something. To become, one must do more than just pretend to be by mimicking all the traits of what one wants to become. Rather, one must also lose all those parts of oneself that are inconsistent with what one wants to become. "Giving up" a part of oneself is always the hardest part of becoming and the reason so many characters spend a lot of time "being" without ever becoming • syn. embodying, manifesting, personifying, incarnating, transforming

Being • [Type] dyn.pr. Becoming<-->Being • temporarily adopting a lifestyle • "Being" is an elusive word, subject to inconsistent common usage. For purposes of story, Being is meant to describe the condition of existing in a certain manner. This does not mean that whomever or whatever is being a particular way is truly of that nature to the core. In fact, it may be put on, as an act or to deceive. However, as long as there is nothing more or less to the functioning of person or thing, it can be said to "be" what it appears to be. Stories often focus on someone who wants to "be" something without actually "becoming" it. The important difference is that to "be" requires that all the elements of what one wants to be are present in oneself. To "become" requires that there are no elements in oneself that are not in what one wants to become • syn. pretending, appearing, acting like, seeming as, fulfilling a role

Benchmark • [Type] • the indicator of growth, progress, or degree or concern • The Benchmark is a measuring stick which is used to judge progress in whichever throughline it is operating in. In the Objective Story, it is used to see how close the Objective Characters think they are to solving their problem. It describes where they apply their efforts, and thus is where they look to see how it is coming along.

Blind Spot • [Character Appreciation] • The motivations of the Subjective Characters which they are unable to see about themselves • Both the Main Character and the Obstacle Character (who stands in the Main Character’s path) are driven by their particular motivations. In a story, each has a prime motivation that describes the one issue in each that they cannot see in themselves. It is because they cannot see it in themselves that it works below the level of their consciousness to motivate them. Because they cannot see it, it is called a Blind Spot. In a change character, the Blind Spot is the actual source of the problem common to both the Objective and Subjective stories. In a steadfast character, the Blind Spot represents what drives him to become the agent of the common solution to both the Objective and Subjective stories. In either case, although other characters may see it quite clearly in the Main and Obstacle Characters, neither Main nor Obstacle can see the Blind Spot in themselves.

Both • [Overview Appreciation] • both women and men will tend to empathize with the main character in this story • Although there is much common ground in a story that is appreciated equally by women and men, some dramatic messages speak to one group more profoundly than the other. One particular area of difference is the relationship of female and male audience members to the Main Character. In some stories an audience member will feel Empathy with the Main Character, as if he/she were standing in the Main Character’s shoes. In other stories, an audience member will feel Sympathy, a less intense emotional attachment, for the Main Character as if the Main Character is a close acquaintance. The dynamics that control this for women and men are quite different. "Both" indicates that, as a result of this storyform’s dynamics, both male and female audience members will tend to empathize with the Main Character. Neither will sympathize.

Catalyst • [Variation] • The item whose presence always pushes the story forward toward the climax • The Catalyst is what creates breakthroughs and seems to accelerate the throughline it is affecting. In both the Objective and Subjective Stories there occur dramatic "log-jams" when things seem to be approaching a halt. This is when the Catalyst is necessary, for its introduction will either solve the puzzle that’s holding things up or else make the puzzle seem suddenly unimportant so the story can continue.

Cause • [Element] dyn.pr. Effect<-->Cause • the specific circumstances that lead to an effect • The character containing the Cause characteristic is concerned with what is behind a situation or its circumstances. This can lead it right to the source of trouble, the source of control. However, sometimes many things came together to create a particular effect. In that case, the Cause characteristic may fail by either looking for a single source or trying to address them all while ignoring the option of simply dealing with the effect. • syn. reason for, effector, source, agent, antecedent

Certainty • [Element] dyn.pr. Potentiality<-->Certainty • the determination that something is absolutely true • The character representing the Certainty characteristic is not a risk taker. It must be completely sure before it takes action or accepts information as true. The slightest potential for error or change will stop it in its tracks. On the plus side, it never goes out on a limb far enough to break it; on the minus side, it might never get out far enough to get the fruit either. Many opportunities are lost to it because it hesitates until it is too late. • syn. sureness, definiteness, having no doubts, total reliability, indisputability, irrefutability, unmistakability, certitude, conviction

Change Character • [Character Appreciation] • the subjective character who changes his approach or attitude in a story • The Change Character is the single character who does change in a story in an attempt to resolve his personal problem. The Change Character must be either the Main Character or the Obstacle Character but cannot be both. A Change Character cannot tell until the end of the story whether or not he will change, and even then, a Change Character has no way of knowing whether or not changing will lead to success or to resolving his personal problem. However, in every story, either the Main Character or the Obstacle Character will Change in response to the other’s Steadfastness and become that story’s Change Character.

Change • [Character Dynamic] • The Main Character changes his essential nature while attempting to solve his problems • Every Main Character represents one special character element. This element is either the cause of the story’s problem or its solution. The Main Character cannot be sure which it represents since it is too close to home. Near the climax of the story, the Main Character must demonstrate whether he is going to stick with his original approach in the belief that it is the solution or jump to the opposite trait in the belief he has been wrong. In "Leap of Faith" stories this will occur during a "moment of truth." In "Non-Leap of Faith" stories this will occur over the course of the story and be assessed for Change or Steadfastness in the end of the story. When a Main Character abandons his original story-long approach for its counterpart, he is said to Change.

Change • [Element] dyn. pr. Inertia<-->Change • an alteration of a state or process • Change is the force that alters. A characteristic representing change is quick to adapt but also cannot leave well enough alone. It feels that if things have been one way long enough to establish a pattern, it is time to change it. • syn. altering, altering force, modify, reshape, adjust, adapt

Chaos • [Element] • dyn.pr. Order<-->Chaos • random change or a lack of order • Chaos is disorder, randomness, anarchy. The Chaos characteristic is brilliant at cutting through a Gordian knot. But then it just keeps cutting every rope it sees until the chandelier falls on its head. It "stirs the pot" just to see what will bubble up to the top. • syn. randomness, anarchy, disorder, formlessness, noncohesion

Chapter • [Dramatica Definition] • a temporal unit of dramatic construction usually employed in books • Stories contain too much information to be grasped in a single moment. As a result, the information is doled out over time in segments. Each medium gravitates toward its own kind of segments. Books, especially novels, usually employ Chapters. Chapters may represent complete dramatic explorations of one aspect of the overall story or they may be more arbitrary divisions, determined by changes in location, changes in central characters, or changes in storytelling mood or style. In fact, the Chapters in a single book may vary in what defines each one. The principal use of Chapters is to break the unfolding of a story into portions of a like nature which are small enough to be considered at one time by the audience. In this way, the audience is able to arrive at an understanding of parts of a story along the way, rather than waiting until the end of the whole. In a practical sense, Chapters allow the audience to digest a complete thought before moving on to another. In books, this provides the audience a convenient pause point with an accompanying sense of closure when reading intermittently.

Character • [Dramatica Definition] • In Dramatica, there are two major divisions of Characters: the Subjective Characters and the Objective Characters. In the most frequently told kinds of stories, Subjective Characters are the smaller group, consisting of only the Main Character and the Obstacle Character. Both of these are concerned with providing the audience with a Subjective view of the story. There can be, and frequently are, many more Objective than Subjective Characters. An Objective Character is defined as a specific collection of dramatic Elements or characteristics that remains consistent for the entire story. There are sixty four elements in the Dramatica Structure which represent the building blocks of Characters. All sixty four elements must be used to fully develop the story’s argument. To have meaning to an audience, the group of elements that makes up each objective character must present a consistent viewpoint (with regards to the story goal/problem) during the course of the story. In this way the relative attributes of each of these elemental approaches can be clearly explored during the course of the story. Sixty four elements may at first sound too limited to create interesting characters, but when you consider that the number of arrangements of the elements is multiplied by the way the might be grouped, the total number of characters that can be created is in the millions. In regard to story, the Objective Characters present the story to the audience and the Subjective Characters allow the audience to participate in the story. Because of this, Subjective Characters are unique in that they do double duty by having a special relationship with the audience and pulling their weight as Objective Characters as well. This is because they are concerned both with the Main Character’s personal problem and also the Objective Story problem.

Character Dynamics • [Dramatica Definition] • dramatic potentials which determine a Main Character's Resolve, Growth, Approach, and Mental Sex.. • Some characters are used for entertainment purposes only. Others have dramatic functions they fulfill. Of those that have functions, the Main Character is the most important for it represents the audience position in the story. As a result, the audience sees more of the forces that drive the Main Character than of any other. These forces are the Character Dynamics. There are four primary Main Character Dynamics, each of which provides the audience with a different kind of information about how it relates to that character. Main Character Resolve determines if the Main Character will ultimately Change or Remain Steadfast in regard to the central issue of the story. Main Character Growth determines if the audience will, in regard to the Main Character, be waiting for something to Start or Stop in the story. Main Character Approach determines if the Main Character is a Do-er or Be-er by preference. And Main Character Mental Sex determines if the Main Character uses Male or Female problem solving techniques.

Choice • [Variation] dyn.pr. Delay<-->Choice • making a decision • Choice is simply a decision as to which is the best path toward resolving a problem. A character will ponder all the information and factor in all his feelings and arrive at a decision. Sometimes a character will choose before all the information is in. This can lead him to take steps that may ultimately prove to be counter-productive or even self-destructive. On the other hand, such intuitive leaps can bypass a number of obstacles on the way to a story’s conclusion. Still, "snap judgments often lead to regrets for those whose only exercise is jumping to conclusions." -- Dramatica fortune cookie • syn. decision, selection, determination, pick

Circumstances • [Variation] dyn.pr. Situation<-->Circumstances • an emotional assessment of one's environment • Circumstances describes the way a character feels about his environment. Whereas Situation is rated in terms of satisfaction, Circumstances are rated in terms of fulfillment. Emotion, therefore, is the standard of measurement a character uses to evaluate his Circumstances. Often a character must accept unfulfilling Circumstances because he needs the benefits of the Situation. Or a character may accept an unsatisfying Situation because it comes with fulfilling Circumstances. Over the course of a story, the balance between the two measurements can vary greatly. • syn. how things stand emotionally, emotional evaluation of the environment, value of existing conditions, relationship to others

Class • [Structural Term] The broadest, most genre-like classification of a story's structural nature • The possible places where problems can exist can be divided into four areas, and we call these areas the four Classes. The Classes are separated by distinctions between inner and outer states and processes. Universe and Physics represent external states and processes respectively, and Mind and Psychology represent internal states and processes respectively. Though Classes have the same names as Domains, they represent only a structural ordering of semantic terms and are not the same as Domains which are more dynamic appreciations created by matching a Class with one of the four throughlines.

Closure • [Variation] dyn.pr. Denial<-->Closure • bringing something to an end or to completion • Closure can be seen in two ways. One, it can be an ending. In this sense, it prevents what has happened from being changed; it protects a memory or a situation because the window of opportunity for change has ended. In the other sense, Closure can be seen as a continuance. This is because a process made into a closed loop will just go on forever, repeating the same course. In some stories Closure settles all the dramatic potentials to show that the issue of the story has been resolved. In other stories, Closure is used to show that even though the immediate problem has been resolved, the volatile relationships among the characters is never-ending. Closure is useful in letting one know when the job is done. Negatively, Closure tries to bring everything to a conclusion even if it is a continuously growing process that is completely open-ended. The attempt to stop such an evolution would be either fruitless or disastrous. But is a process closed or not? When is a career at an end? • syn. finishing, completion, resolution, recursive

Commitment • [Variation] dyn.pr. Responsibility<-->Commitment • a decision to stick with something regardless of the consequences • A commitment forms the essence of the steadfast character. When a character makes a commitment, it is a decision not to quit regardless of the obstacles that may come. This allows the character to accept much higher costs on the way to a goal than he would if he re-evaluated every time something went wrong. A problem arises, however, when one of those obstacles turns out to be impassable. If a character reaches this point, he cannot achieve the goal. But since he is Committed, he does not re-evaluate and instead continues to beat his head against a brick wall. • syn. dedication, devotion, steadfastness, zeal

Companion Pair • [Structural Term] • In any given quad, the two top items share a relationship between them in the same way the bottom two share a relationship. What separates the two pairs is what dramatic focus they create. Each pair in each quad will be focused in a slightly different place, creating a gradual shift in the model from one point of view to its opposite. In many quads, the top pair will appear to be more oriented toward the environment in comparison to the bottom pair which is more oriented toward the mind. Either the top or bottom pair can be referred to as a Companion Pair, meaning that the two items that make up the pair are companion rather than in conflict.

Complex Characters • Whenever even a single element is added or removed or swapped in an Archetypal character, that character becomes Complex. The more elements that differ from the Archetypal, the more complex the character becomes. Characters in a story need not all be Archetypal or all be complex. Making some characters more complex than others is a valuable storytelling tool that allows for more exploration of certain areas of the story while underplaying others.

Conceiving • [Type]dyn.pr. Conceptualizing<-->Conceiving • coming up with an idea • Conceiving is the process of arriving at an idea. If there were no artificial light in the world, one might conceive the need for some form of electric torch. That would be conceiving. But the design of an actual incandescent bulb versus a fluorescent one would require conceptualizing a specific implementation of the idea one has conceived. Conceiving need not come before conceptualizing. For example, a common dramatic technique is to give a character a very clear mental image of an object or arrangement that holds the solution to the story’s problem. But the character does not know the solution lies in the conceptualization. It is only when he finally conceives of the need for a particular kind of solution that he realizes he had the answer all along. Simply put, Conceiving defines the question, Conceptualizing clarifies the answer • syn. originating, inventing, devising, engendering, hatch ideas

Conceptualizing • [Type] dyn.pr. Conceiving<-->Conceptualizing • visualizing how an existing idea might be implemented • Conceptualizing means coming up with a practical implementation of an idea. It is not enough to simply have the idea. To conceptualize, one must develop an actual mental model of how such an idea might be made manifest. In other words, one might have an idea to build a spacious house. But to conceptualize the house one must imagine everything that makes up the house -- the design, the layout, the colors and textures, everything that is essential to understanding what that specific house is. A character that deals with conceptualizing would be well aware of the kind of solution that will eliminate the problem but spend his time trying to devise a specific way of achieving that solution • syn. visualizing, imagining, envisioning, visualizing implementation

Concern (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • the goal or purpose sought after by the objective characters • The Objective Story Concern is the area which all the Objective Characters are hoping to have a good grasp of by the end of the story. Their goals and purposes will all share some aspect of the Type item which is their story’s concern. There is also a Subjective Story Concern which is the area of concern between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character. This is also a Type item which describes the nature of what the Main and Obstacle Characters are seeking from each other.

Conditioning • [Variation] dyn.pr. Instinct<-->Conditioning • responses based on experience or training • Conditioning describes learned responses to various stimuli. Similar to Instinct in that the Consciousness in not involved until after the fact, Conditioning differs insofar as it was not inherent in the basic nature of a character but acquired though training or familiarity to impose its triggers on the mind. Since Instincts are intrinsic and Conditioning is learned, they frequently come in conflict over how to respond. This concept alone has provided the theme for many intriguing stories. • syn. habituation, trained response, accustomed response, adaptive adjustments

Confidence • [Variation] dyn.pr. Worry<-->Confidence • belief in the accuracy of expectations • Confidence points to the future. It is not a rating of the present situation but a positive evaluation of how things will turn out. Confidence, therefore, is a great motivator in unknown situations. This is because Confidence is not based on predicting a situation but on the experience of past situations. The downside is that Confidence erodes the motivation to prepare for the unexpected. If past experience has always shown that even the most threatening disasters have worked themselves out, then one will ignore potential danger that may turn out to be real. We see this in history time and time again, such as the way the people of Pompeii remained in their homes while Vesuvius bellowed smoke for the umpteenth time. • syn. hopeful prospects, positive expectations, faithful anticipation, optimism

Conscience • [Element] dyn.pr. Temptation<-->Conscience • forgoing an immediate pleasure or benefit because of future consequences • Conscience is the motivation that negative consequences are unavoidable if a present desire is acted upon. Conscience can serve a character well in overcoming strong transient desires that would bring disasters upon him. If the negative consequences are purely imaginary, however, Conscience constricts the free expression of one’s heart .• syn. forgoing for fear of consequences, forgo, forbearance, temperance, abstinence, restraining oneself

Conscious (The Conscious) • [Type] dyn.pr. Memory<-->Conscious • present considerations • When one has all the facts, knows all the impact -- both positive and negative; when one is fully aware of detrimental consequences and still decides on the poor course of action, there is something wrong with the way one arrives at conclusions. This is the subject of stories focusing on the Conscious. The key here is not to redefine who a character is but to lead him to relearn how to weigh an issue so his conclusions are less destructive to himself and/or others. • syn. considerations, sensibilities, cognizant, ability to consider, sensible, informed contemplation, contemplation

Consequence (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • The result of failing to achieve the goal • For every goal there is a consequence. Consequence describes the results of failing to achieve the goal. This predisposes the goal to be something desirable but this is not necessarily true. Sometimes the difference between goal and consequence can be one of choosing the lesser of two evils. More optimistically put, goal and consequence might be measures of magnitude of two favorable outcomes. Sometimes the Consequence will occur if the goal is not met, other times the consequence already exists and can only be eliminated by meeting the goal. So if they are close in their negative or positive value, it may be difficult to be sure which is the consequence and which is the goal. An easy way to be certain is to see which one the Main Character hopes to achieve.

Consider • [Element] dyn.pr. Reconsider<-->Consider • weigh pros and cons • A Consideration is the act of deliberation. A character possessing the Consideration characteristic keeps pondering an issue, running it over in his mind. Once he has latched onto a topic, he refuses to let it go until it is resolved. This trait aids in keeping one’s motivations impervious to erosion. On the other hand, the Consideration characteristic may not let sleeping dogs lie. Therefore it can lead to stirring up all kinds of negative reactions. • syn. deliberate, contemplate, ponder, weigh in the mind, mull

Contagonist • [Archetype] • An Archetypal Character representing the qualities of temptation and hinder • A concept unique to Dramatica, the Contagonist is the character that balances the Guardian. If Protagonist and Antagonist can archetypically be thought of as "Good" versus "Evil," the Contagonist is "Temptation" to the Guardian’s "Conscience." Because the Contagonist has a negative effect upon the Protagonist’s quest, it is often mistakenly thought to be the Antagonist. In truth, the Contagonist only serves to hinder the Protagonist in his quest, throwing obstacles in front of his as an excuse to lure him away from the road he must take in order to achieve success. The Antagonist is a completely different character, diametrically opposed to the Protagonist’s successful achievement of the goal

Control • [Element] dyn.pr. Uncontrolled<-->Control • directed, constrained • The Control characteristic causes a character to methodically direct its actions and deliberations to the specific purpose at hand. This leads to a great degree of focus. The drawback is that when one focuses, one loses peripheral vision. The purpose can become so all consuming that many peripheral yet essential parts of the equation are ignored until it is too late to save the whole project • syn. regulate, organized management, steer, conduct, guide, manipulate, focused organization

Cost (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • the price that must be paid while meeting the requirements of the goal • Requirements are not always met just by applying effort. Sometimes they involve trade-offs necessitating the acceptance of loss in another area in order to meet the requirement. The damages sustained in the process of meeting the requirement are the Cost of achieving the goal. Cost should not be confused with Consequence. Consequence is a state of things that either exists and will be vanquished by the goal or will come to exist unless the goal is achieved. In contrast, Cost builds over the course of the story all the way to the climax. Sometimes by the end of the story, the consequence of not achieving the goal is far less than the cumulative cost of achieving it. If there is a single large cost to be paid right at the moment of the climax, the Main Character may decide he has paid enough already and determine the goal is just not worth it, electing to stop trying. If there is no large cost at the end, the Main Character may decide to keep on going for an insignificant goal motivated by the thought of how much they already invested. In the words of the songwriter/singer Don McLean, "The more you pay, the more it’s worth."

Critical Flaw • [Variation] • The Subjective Character trait that inhibits or undermines the effectiveness of that Subjective Character’s Unique Ability • To balance the Main Character’s extraordinary status conveyed by his Unique Ability, he must also be shown to be especially vulnerable in one area as well. This vulnerability is called his Critical Flaw. The Main Character’s Critical Flaw is his Achilles heel that prevents him from being too one-sided. Just as with Unique Ability, the Critical Flaw can be quite mundane as long as it can threaten him with failure from an unprotectable direction. The specific Critical Flaw must be unique to the Main Character in the story. However, the more common the Critical Flaw is to the audience, the more it will identify with the Main Character’s predicament. In Start stories, the Critical Flaw inhibits the Main Character from using his Unique Ability. In Stop stories, the Critical Flaw undoes the work done by the Unique Ability after the fact. Only when the Main Character learns to either Start or Stop as required by the story can the Critical Flaw be avoided, allowing his Unique Ability to solve the problem. The Obstacle Character in any story also has a Unique Ability which makes him uniquely qualified to thwart the Main Character. But in his character as well is a Critical Flaw which prevents him from just totally overwhelming the Main Character. This is again a trait which is unique to this particular character, but its effects are felt in a different area than the Main Character Critical Flaw because of the Obstacle Character’s different purposes.

Crucial Element • [Element]  • The single dramatic element that links the Objective and Subjective stories together. The Main Character's decision regarding the Crucial Element ultimate leads to and Outcome of Success or Failure and a Judgment of Good or Bad.

Decision • [Plot Dynamic] • in the plot, decisions force actions • All stories have both Action and Decision. Typically, one defines a Decision story as having more intense Deliberation than Action. This view is overly influenced by how the story is told rather than what it represents. Dramatica takes a different view of Action and Decision. Either Actions force the need for Decisions or Decisions force the need for Actions in order to advance the plot. Over the course of the story as a whole (independent of the nature of the Main Character) if Decisions precipitate the progression of the plot, it is a Decision story.

Deduction • [Element] dyn.pr. Induction<-->Deduction • a method of thought that determines certainty • Deduction is the process of thought that arrives at a determination of what is by limiting out all that cannot be. It has been said, "When you have ruled out the impossible, whatever is left, no matter how improbable, must be true." The characteristic representing Deduction will arrive at conclusions by eliminating all competing theories that have holes until only one remains. This is fine for cutting away the nonsense and discovering understanding, unless the competing theories were not all the available theories and the real answer was never even considered. Also, Deduction often fails to look for situations in which alternative truths exist. A famous story had a detective narrowing down murder suspects only to discover that they all did it! • syn. drawing a conclusion, process of elimination, demonstrative reasoning, narrowing to a single point

Deficiency • [Variation] dyn.pr. Permission<-->Deficiency • appraisal of what is lacking • When a character lacks something in the sense of having Deficiency, he may not even comprehend what he lacks. But this lack drives him and fulfilling the lack would end the drive caused by the Deficiency. Deficiency is closely related to Need, but where Needs are always defined by their context and the purpose which makes them seem necessary, Deficiency does not require a purpose. When a character lacks, he is NOT content with what he has and REQUIRES something more in order to become content. Fulfilling a lack may appear to be the last thing a character Needs because it does not lead to his purpose, but once the lack has been taken care of, a character may find his purpose has changed and his Need has been eliminated. • syn. inadequacy, insufficiency, deficit, unfulfilled need

Delay • [Variation] dyn.pr. Choice<-->Delay • putting off until later • Delay is the decision not to make a decision. Whenever the options are too closely balanced to see a clear path, whenever there is not enough information to be confident of an outcome, a character will Delay. The purpose is to wait until one gathers more information or until the situation changes to present a clear best course. But how long does one wait? And what if something distracts the character and he forgets to check and see if things have changed? Now the character has left a problem unresolved, and unless it intrudes upon his thinking, it will never be thought of again. Yet deep within him, he will be influenced to avoid what created that problem or to take steps to protect against its recurrence. Until the original problem is addressed and a choice of path is made, the character will not be free of the problem’s influence. • syn. put off, retard, postpone, defer, suspend, prolong, procrastinate

Denial • [Variation] dyn.pr. Closure<-->Denial • the refusal to admit to oneself or others that a previously held view is not or is no longer true • Denial is the refusal to accept that something is over, has become closed, is outdated or was originally misunderstood. How many people continue to make a point after they have won the argument? More than just not accepting a conclusion, Denial can also be not accepting that a process will just keep repeating. A repeating process has a cycle. In a story, a character comes into such a circle at one point and follows it around back to start. At that point, a theme of Denial would have that character refusing to believe that he has been just been chasing his own tail. At the leap of faith he will just push off again and keep on circling a no-win situation in the hopes it will change this time around. Inertia does not always travel in straight lines. • syn. not accepting, refusal to end, unwillingness to let go, refusal to back down, stubbornness

Dependent Pair • [Structural Term] • A pair of items whose relationship is complementary • In any given quad, the two items directly above and below each other are referred to as a Dependent Pair. Since a quad consists of four items, it therefore contains two Dependent Pairs.

Desire • Most terms in Dramatica are used to mean only one thing. Thought, Knowledge, Ability, and Desire, however, have two uses each, serving both as Variations and Elements. This is a result of their role as central considerations in both Theme and Character

[Variation] dyn.pr. Ability<-->Desire • the motivation toward something better • Desire describes an awareness that something better exists than what currently is. This doesn’t mean things have to be bad now, just that one perceives something better. The key word here is "perceives." Desires are based not on what is truly better but on what one imagines will be better. Often there is a large gap between the two. (Recall the story of the dog with the bone which jumped into the pond to get the bone from his reflection and ended up with no bone at all.) Little tension is produced if a character can try out his desires at no cost. But great tension is produced when he must give up something good forever in the belief that something else is better. ("Do you want [desire] what’s in the box or what’s behind door number 3?") • syn. want, favor, like, covet, prefer, wish, aspire

[Element] • dyn.pr. Ability<-->Desire • the motivation toward something better • The Desire element is the essence of motivation. A characteristic representing Desire is mindful of a future in which situation or circumstances are improved. This does not mean that it is unhappy with what it has but rather that it can imagine something better. On the plus side, Desire primes the characteristic to seek to better its environment or itself. On the minus side, Desire is not always coupled with an ability to achieve that which is Desired. In this case, Desire may no longer be felt as a positive motivator but as a negative lack and may become a measurement of one’s limitations and constraints • syn. drive, motivational goal, unfulfillment, source of discontent, essence of motivation •

Destiny • [Variation] dyn.pr. Fate<-->Destiny • the future path an individual must take • Destiny is the path to a particular fate or through a series of fates. Fates are experiences or conditions one must encounter along the way as one’s Destiny directs one’s course. The nature of Destiny is such that no matter how much a character is aware of the nature and location of an undesirable fate, nothing he can do is enough to pull him off the path. Characters often try to deny Destiny by jumping to an entirely different path only to discover that all roads lead to Rome. • syn. inescapable path, predetermined trajectory, set direction of the future, inevitable path, unavoidable trajectory

Determination • [Element] dyn.pr. Expectation<-->Determination • a conclusion based on circumstantial evidence • Determination is an evaluation of the forces driving a process. This allows one to anticipate future effects or to take action to stop or enhance a current effect. However, it may just be that a completely different set of forces is really behind the process, causing one to put his efforts in the wrong place. When a person swims directly toward the shore, the current can carry his far down shore. As long as the character possessing Determination sticks with a particular concept of the powers that be, there is the potential it may not get what it expects. • syn. ascertaining causes, discovering causes, finding the reasons why, figuring out factors, discerning antecedents

Dilemma Story or Work Story • A comparrison of dramatic approaches in which Success either requires a Main Character to Change or to Remain Steadfast • Work describes the activities of a Main Character who remains steadfast and resolute throughout the story. This kind of character believes in the correctness of his approach to the problem and sticks by his guns come what may. Dilemma describes the situation of a Main Character who ultimately changes at the end of the story. This kind of character becomes convinced that he cannot solve the problem with his original approach and adopts a new approach. So a Work Story is concerned with a Steadfast Main Character and a Dilemma Story concerns itself with a Change Main Character. However, just because the Main Character has decided to remain Steadfast or to Change does not mean he made the right choice. Only in the end will he find out if he succeeded or failed. If in a Work Story the Steadfast Main Character really should have Changed and fails because he did not, then it was really an Apparent Work Story since work alone could not solve it. If in a Dilemma Story the Change Main Character really should have remained Steadfast and fails because he did not, then it was really an Apparent Dilemma Story since there wasn’t actually a dilemma after all. Steadfast means Work, Change means Dilemma. These are modified by their pairing with Success, which means Actual, and Failure which means Apparent

Dilemma • A problem for which no acceptable solution is apparent • When faced with a Dilemma a Main Character can see no way out. The only options are to change his very nature by accepting one of the solutions he previously would not, or by holding out in hopes that, in time, an acceptable solution will present itself. Circumstanceswill force the Main Character to either Change or Remain Steadfast before the problem is resolved. The question then becomes, is the dilemma actual, meaning that the Main Character must Change or Fail, or is the dilemma merely apparent, and by Remaining Steadfast a previously unknown and acceptable solution will pave the way to Success?

Direction (Objective Storyline) • [Element] • the apparent remedy for the principal symptom of the story problem • Characters do the best they can to deal with the Objective Story Problem, but because the Objective Characters of a story are all looking at the problem from their subjective point of view, they can’t get enough distance to actually see the problem right away. Instead they focus on the effects of the problem, which is called the Objective Story Focus, and choose to follow what they feel will be a remedy, which is called the Objective Story Direction.

Direction Element (aka Perspective Element) • A Subjective Character can never be sure if what he believes to be the source of the problem really is the source of the problem. Regardless, based on his belief he will determine a potential solution or Direction in which he hopes to find the solution. The dramatic unit that describes what a Subjective Character holds as the path to a solution is his Direction Element.

Disbelief • [Element] dyn.pr. Faith<-->Disbelief • the belief that something is untrue • Disbelief is not the same thing as a lack of faith. Lack of faith is the absence of absolute confidence that something is or will be true. Disbelief is absolute confidence that something is not true. Disbelief may make one a skeptic but sometimes it makes a character the only one with the confidence to tell the Emperor "You have no clothes!" • syn. refusal to accept, distrust, find unconvincing, find false, unpersuadability

Dividend (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • the benefits gathered while meeting the requirements of the goal • Although meeting the requirements of a goal can incur costs, it can also provide dividends along the way. Sometimes solving one of the pre-requisites or attaining one of the pre-conditions of the requirement has its own reward. Though these rewards are not individually as significant as the promised reward of the goal, sometimes cumulatively they are enough to cause a Main Character to quit while he’s ahead and avoid a particularly large cost that would be unavoidable if the goal were to be achieved. Other times, a particularly large dividend may loom just ahead in the story, providing the Main Character with a boost in motivation to continue on an otherwise costly path

Do-er • [Character Dynamic] • As an approach, the Main Character prefers to adapt his environment to himself • Every Main Character will have a preference to deal with problems by either physical effort or by mental/emotional effort. When a Main Character prefers working in the external environment, he is a Do-er.

Doing • [Type] dyn.pr. Obtaining<-->Doing • engaging in a physical activity • Doing is the process of being physically active. In and of itself, Doing does not require any purpose but simply describes engaging in a process, task, or endeavor, whether for pleasure or by necessity or compulsion. • syn. performing, executing, effecting action, acting

Domain • [Domain] • An item that describes the area in which any one of the four throughlines occurs--Main Character, Obstacle Character, Objective Story, and Subjective Story • There are four Domains in every complete story, each representing a different perspective in the structure of that story. One is assigned to the Objective Story Throughline and contains the appreciations attributed to the dispassionate argument of the story while also describing the area in which the Objective Story occurs. Another is for the Subjective Story Throughline and contains the appreciations which concern the passionate argument of the story and describe the relationship between the Main and Obstacle Characters. The Main and Obstacle Character Throughlines are each assigned Domains as well, which contain the appreciations attributed to their character and describe the area in which they each operate. Each Domain is the matching of a particular Class (either Universe, Physics, Psychology, or Mind) with a particular throughline (either Objective Story, Main Character, Obstacle Character, or Subjective Story). Each Domain describes the general area in which the problems of its throughline will lie and from what perspective the audience will be directed to view those problems. Domains determine large, genre-like positions in the relationship of audience to story.

Domain Act Order • [Plot Structure] • the area in which the solution to the story’s problem is sought, act by act

Doubt • [Variation] dyn.pr. Investigation<-->Doubt • questioning validity without investigating to be sure • Here Doubt is defined as the lack of faith that evidence leads to a certain conclusion. This means that even though evidence supports a particular concept, the character is unwilling to abandon the belief that alternative explanations can be found. Certainly this approach has the advantage of keeping one’s mind open. But sometimes a mind can be too open. If a character Doubts too much, he will not accept solid evidence no matter how conclusive. This can prevent the character from ever accepting the obvious truth and continuing to labor under a delusion. • syn. pessimism, uninformed misgivings, uncertainty, trepidation, distrust

Dramatica Terms • [Dramatica Definition] • the names of dramatic concepts unique to Dramatica, commonly used dramatic terms redefined in Dramatica • The Dramatica theory of story is so wide-ranging that, in some cases, dramatic relationships and story points are described for which no pre-existing term was available. To fill this void, several different approaches were taken. Sometimes, words not normally associated with dramatics were called into service, such as Catalyst and Inhibitor. Other times, existing dramatic terms were more precisely defined, or redefined to meet a particular descriptive need, such as Main Character meaning the audience position in a story and NOT meaning a hero nor a Protagonist. As a last resort, completely new words were coined to describe unique concepts when no other appropriate words already existed, such as Contagonist. Although Dramatica's use of terminology is the biggest hurdle to quick understanding, it is also its greatest strength for it allows the theory and software to describe dramatics with far greater precision than previously possible.

Dream • [Variation] dyn.pr. Hope<-->Dream • a desired future that does not fall within reasonable expectations • Dream describes a character who speculates on a future that has not been ruled out, however unlikely. Dreaming is full of "what ifs." Cinderella Dreamed of her prince because it wasn’t quite unimaginable. One Dreams of winning the lottery even though one "hasn’t got a hope." Hope requires the expectation that something will happen if nothing goes wrong. Dreaming has no such limitation. Nothing has to indicate that a Dream will come true, only that it’s not impossible. Dreaming can offer a positive future in the midst of disaster. It can also motivate one to try for things others scoff at. Many revolutionary inventors have been labeled as Dreamers. Still and all, to Dream takes away time from doing, and unless one strikes a balance and does the groundwork, one can Dream while hopes go out the window for lack of effort. • syn. aspire, desiring the unlikely, pulling for the doubtful, airy hope, glimmer, far fetched desire

Driver • [Plot Dynamic] • the kind of activity pushes the overall story forward, Action or Decision • Action or Decision describes what triggers the story's unfolding and what keeps it going when it runs out of steam. The primary concern is the kind of storytelling you want to do. If you want action to be driver of your plot, choose action. If you want decision (deliberation) to be the driver of your plot, choose decision.

Dynamic Pair • [Structural Term] • A pair of items whose relationship is that they are extreme opposites • In any given quad, Dynamic Pairs are represented as two items that are diagonal to each other. A quad consists of four items and therefore contains two Dynamic Pairs. Their relationship can imply conflict, or it can imply synthesis. These are the negative and positive aspects of Dynamic Pairs.

Dynamics • Dramatic forces that determine the course a story will take. • The power of a story is divided between two realms. First is the structure that represents the dramatic potentials that exist in character, plot, and theme at the beginning of a story. Second are the dynamic forces that will act upon the dramatic potentials to change the relationship between characters, change the course of the plot and develop the theme as the story unfolds. In Dramatica, choices between alternative forces such as "Success or Failure" and "Change or Steadfast" determine the dynamics that will act upon a story.

Effect • [Element] dyn.pr. Cause<-->Effect • the specific outcome forced by a cause • Effect is the end product of an effort or series of efforts. One might argue its pros and cons, yet ignore how the Effect came to be in the first place. On the plus side, concentrating on Effect keeps the effort focused on the problem or goal. On the minus side, it can lead to beating a dead horse. Failure may follow if one puts all one’s efforts into dealing with the Effect while ignoring the cause. Should a mayor add to the police force to battle crime or improve social services? • syn. result, consequence, outcome, culmination, the ensuing

Element • [Structural Term] • There are 64 elements in each class. The same 64 elements appear in every class, arranged differently by position. Elements represent the most refined and highly detailed approaches and attitudes in the attempt to solve the story’s problem. Primarily, they are the building blocks of the characters. To fully argue the thematic message, it must be addressed from all possible directions. This is accomplished by making sure that all 64 elements are divided among a story’s objective characters. If an element is not used it will leave a hole in the logic or emotion of the story. If one is used more than once, it will obscure the point by showing it in two different incarnations. The reason that elements are repeated from class to class is that they represent the heart of the problem. When all else is stripped away, the problem must be evaluated by these same building blocks no matter where it was approached from. The reason that the elements are arranged differently from class to class is that the way they are grouped depends upon the direction from which the story approaches them. When the story is approached from a given class, it is like looking at the problem from a particular direction. All the same elements are seen, but from a different point of view.

Emotion • [Archetype] • An Archetype who represents the motivations of Feeling and Uncontrolled • The Emotional Archetypal Character reacts passionately to turns of events without considering the consequences or best course to achieve his purpose. Frequently portrayed as a "screamer" or "big dumb ox" this character is really not stupid. He actually represents feeling and frenzy. So his nature is to feel deeply about issues but be unable to focus that heartfelt intensity in any useful direction. Rather, he tends to go off the deep end and thrash out aimlessly, frequently to the detriment of himself and those around them. Such a character can prove to be a Trojan horse by storytelling him into the enemy’s camp where he will almost certainly wreak havoc.

Empathy • Empathy describes the complete identification of the audience with the Main Character such that the audience sees the story through his eyes.

Ending • [Element] dyn.pr. Unending<-->Ending • coming to a conclusion • The Ending characteristic causes a character to look toward the conclusion in every process or situation. He may wish to prevent it or to hasten it, but his primary concern is when it’s going to be over. A very useful trait in dealing with steps or phases. Not very useful if the process or situation is really un-ending. Since the character representing the Ending characteristic assumes that everything must end sooner or later, he cannot accept that some things never end. Some relationships will last a lifetime, come what may. But if one partner believes it can end, he will always worry, looking for signs of its demise. If he was an Ending person, Prometheus was sorely mistaken. (Weeds grow back and Rust never sleeps!) • syn. conclusion, finish, completion, termination, close

Enlightenment • [Variation] dyn.pr. Wisdom<-->Enlightenment • an understanding that transcends knowledge • Not all meaning comes from experience. The mind has the ability to synthesize abstract truth that has not been or cannot be observed. When a character is able to come to an understanding of the whole that exceeds the sum of the observed parts, he is said to be Enlightened. A truly refined thematic conflict can be explored in the relationship between the practical Wisdom born of great experience and the aesthetic Enlightenment born of great insight • syn. insight, illumination, intuitive discernment, transcendent comprehension

Equity • [Element] dyn.pr. Inequity<-->Equity • a balance, fairness, or stability • Equity is balance. The Equity characteristic makes a character want everything to work out fair and square. He will spend his time trying to maintain balance and will judge the acceptability of a situation by its apparent equilibrium. On the downside, he may not realize that without inequity there is no motivation and hence no progress. Also, there may not be enough to go around. By "robbing Peter to pay Paul" he might be moving resources back and forth in a way that stresses the whole system which might crumble from the strain • syn. balance, fairness, parity, equilibrium, level, even

Essence • [Overview Appreciation] • the primary dramatic feel of a story • A story can be appreciated as the interaction of dynamics that converge at the climax. From this point of view, the feel of the dramatic tension can be defined. Dramatic tension is created between the direction the Main Character is growing compared to the author’s value judgment of that growth. A Change Main Character will either grow out of something or grow into something. In the first case, he possesses a characteristic that he will let go. In the second case, he adds a new characteristic to his make-up. But is he correct in stopping something he has been doing or starting to do something new? This is determined by the author’s value judgment of Good or Bad. When a Main Character Stops doing something Bad, that is positive. When a Main Character Starts doing something Good, that also is positive. However, when a Main Character Starts doing something Bad or Stops doing something Good, these are negative. Positive and Negative affect where the audience places its focus on the story. In a Positive story, the focus is on the effort to find the solution. In a Negative story, the focus in on the effort to escape the problem.

Evaluation • [Element] dyn.pr. Re-evaluation<-->Evaluation • an appraisal of a situation and/or circumstances • Evaluation is the meaning a character finds in a situation or circumstances. Rather than just grappling with the bits and pieces, the character creates an understanding of how all the parts fit together. This gives him a better grasp of how to deal with the issue. The danger is that once he has Evaluated, the situation or circumstances change, yet he is still using the old evaluation as a unit of measure. Meanings change over time and need to be updated to maintain accuracy • syn. appraisal, analysis, assessment, survey, examination

Evidence • [Variation] dyn.pr. Suspicion<-->Evidence • information supporting a belief • Evidence is information one gathers to develop an understanding about something. When looking at Evidence, a character does not necessarily have to know exactly what he is looking for, just that the information pertains to the nature of what he is trying to learn about. As a result, he tends to examine the Evidence only in terms of whether or not it is something that falls into a pre-determined category. Therefore, errors can occur when the Evidence (although it pertains to the subject of interest) actually holds much more information in another area. This can lead a character to "not see the forest for the trees" because he is looking at the small picture and ignoring the big one. For example, in a mystery a detective may be looking for Evidence of who committed a murder, when in truth the victim died of natural causes which is clearly indicated if the detective had only thought to look for that • syn. proof, indicator, supporting information, corroborating facts, grounds for belief, substantiation

Expectation • [Element] dyn.pr. Determination<-->Expectation • a conclusion as to the eventual effect of a particular cause • Expectation is the projection of what one expects to find at the end of a path. Expectations allow one to anticipate and make plans for both rewards and troubles. However, if the character representing Expectation does not occasionally question the basis of his projections, he may find the world has turned under his feet • syn. anticipated results, eventual outcome, presumed prospects, probable denouement, likely consequences

Expediency • [Variation] dyn.pr. Need<-->Expediency • most efficient course considering repercussions • It is important not to consider Expediency as only meaning efficiency. In terms of story, Expediency describes what a character feels he must do or be in order to avoid potential consequences. These consequences can come from his environment, in the form of disapproval by others, or from within in the form of self-recrimination. If the perceived consequences are internal, Expediency feels like a "moral" pressure but is really the emotional retribution one flails against oneself for not living up to one’s own self-image. If they are external, Expediency feels like peer pressure or a threat to social standing. Expediency is as important an emotional motivation as Need is a motivator of reason. Since Expediency is based on avoiding future punishments or disappointments that may or may not be real, dramatic tension can be easily created between the subjective and objective views. A way to think of Expediency is that when it pops up, characters who are being influenced by it will think of it in terms of "Should." "I should really do this, even though I may not want to." • syn. advisability, convenience, prudent efficiency

Experience • [Variation] dyn.pr. Skill<-->Experience • the gaining of familiarity • Experience refers to the cumulative effect of observing or participating in mental or physical activities until they become familiar. However, just because the activities become second nature does not mean a character is necessarily good at them. To excel, a character need both Experience AND the innate Skills that can be honed by that experience. If either is lacking or deficient, the character’s real ability will be less than its Experiential potential. • syn. familiarization, level of practice, seasoning, accumulated feelings, accumulated dealings with

Fact • [Variation] dyn.pr. Fantasy<-->Fact • belief in something real • Fact is something that is truly real as opposed to just seeming to be real. Of course, from a character’s subjective view, when something seems to be real it is impossible to tell from actual fact. No matter how strongly a belief, understanding, or knowledge of something is held, subjectively there is always the possibility some change in the situation or additional information will prove it to be unfactual. Optical illusions are a good case in point. The moment a character accepts something as fact is the moment a thematic conflict might begin to grow. Nevertheless, Fact represents beliefs that turn out to be real. • syn. belief in the genuine, ultimately real beliefs, truly real beliefs, authentic notion, authentic idea, correct knowledge, correct beliefs

Failure • [Plot Dynamic] • the original goal is not achieved • Every objective storyline in a Grand Argument Story has at its beginning a desired outcome to be sought after. Ultimately, the characters will either achieve that outcome or Fail to do so. The reasons for Failure (and in fact the Failure itself) may not be bad. For example, in the course of trying to arrive at an outcome, the characters may decide it was wrong to want it or learn that achieving it would hurt people. Whatever the reason, be it nobility or no ability, if the outcome desired at the story’s beginning is not achieved, the story ends in Failure.

Faith • [Element] dyn.pr. Disbelief<-->Faith • accepting something as certain without proof • Faith is a belief in something without the support of proof. Since the future is uncertain, Faith in one’s ability to arrive at one’s purpose is a very strong motivator. However, when one has Faith, it cannot be argued with since it does not rely on logic or proof. The danger of Faith is that it does not allow one to determine if obstacles are signs that ones motivations are misplaced, because the obstacles seem to be tests that must be overcome through steadfast belief • syn. acceptance without proof, steadfast belief, confidence in unproven, credence, unquestioned trust

Falsehood • [Variation] dyn.pr. Truth<-->Falsehood • that which has been shown to be erroneous • Falsehood does not mean incorrect but in error. In other words, what is presented may be absolutely accurate and yet not reflect what is really going on. Perhaps only a portion of the truth is expressed or more information than is pertinent causes one to misconstrue. A danger is that Falsehood can get away from the control of its creator. Once an error has been passed off as truth, some will continue to accept it as truth even if it is recanted by the person that gave the False account • syn. erroneousness, untruth, erroneous notion, mistaken, astray, dishonest

Family • [Structural Term] • In the Dramatica structure, all units are divided into four major groups according to their most general natures. These groups are Elements, Variations, Types, and Classes. Each of these groups is called a Family.

Fantasy • [Variation] dyn.pr. Fact<-->Fantasy • belief in something unreal • Fantasy is something that although seemingly real, truly is not. Fantasies exist subjectively so they can either be misinterpretations of the meaning of actual things or internal fabrications of meanings that are not accurate. Neither one can be consciously intentional or one would be aware of the untruth of the Fantasy. Fantasies are not necessarily bad. In fact, they can be the best way for a character to clarify the nature of his goal. Maintaining the Fantasy allows one to practice responses so that Fantasy might actually turn into fact. Of course, when one lets a Fantasy grow such that it extends beyond the goal and into the means of evaluating progress toward the goal, the Fantasy can become self-sustaining and only imagined progress is ever made • syn. false belief, faith in the imaginary, delusion, erroneous conviction

Fate • [Variation] dyn.pr. Destiny<-->Fantasy • a future situation that will befall an individual • The distinction between Fate and destiny is an important one. Destiny is the direction one’s life must take, Fate is any given moment along that direction. So whereas one can have many Fates, one can only have one destiny. Fate describes a state of situation and circumstance that exists at a particular point in time. In other words, Fate is something of an outcome, or perhaps a step -- just one of a number of Fates along the path of one’s destiny. Characters often either make the mistake of assuming that they have only one Fate and are therefore stuck with it, or they mistakenly believe they can achieve their destiny without "passing through" unattractive fates that lie along the path. The nature of a Fate is that no matter how you try to avoid it, it tracks you. All options that you might exercise still lead to that Fate. That is what also defines Destiny as the limitations on free will that force you to arrive at your Fate no matter how you alter what you do or what kind of person you are. If we all knew the future, there would be no free-will • syn. inevitable events, unpreventable incidents, eventual events, destined occurrence, destined events, unavoidable situations

Feeling • [Element] dyn.pr. Logic<-->Feeling • an emotional sense of how things are going • Feeling is the mental process of seeking the most fulfilling course or correct explanation based on emotion. The Feeling characteristic believes "ya gotta have heart." It cares not for what is efficient or even practical as long as it is "feels" right. This makes the Feeling characteristic very empathetic to the emotional atmosphere in a situation, yet apt to ignore or pay little attention to necessities • syn. empathy, emotional sensibility, affective outlook, sentiment, emotional assessment

Female Mental Sex • [Character Dynamic] • The Main Character uses female problem solving techniques • A choice of female creates a Main Character whose psychology is based on assessing balance. A female Main Character resolves inequities by comparing surpluses to deficiencies. The manner employed in resolving the inequity will involve creating a surplus where a surplus is desired, creating a deficiency where a deficiency is desired, creating a surplus so a deficiency is felt elsewhere, creating a deficiency so a surplus will be felt elsewhere. Through the application of one’s own force, hills and valleys can be created and filled either to directly address the inequity or to create a change in the flow of energies that will ultimately come together in a new hill or disperse creating a new valley. These are the four primary inequity resolving techniques of a female character. It is important to note that these techniques are applied both to others and to oneself. Either way, manipulating surplus and deficiency describes the approach. When selecting female or male, typically the choice is as simple as deciding if you want to tell a story about a man or a woman. But there is another consideration that is being employed with growing frequency in modern stories • putting the psyche of one sex into the skin of another. This does not refer only to the "sex change" comedies but also to many action stories with female Main Characters (e.g. Aliens) and many decision stories with male Main Characters (Prince of Tides). When an author writes a part for a woman, he/she would intuitively create a female psyche for that character. Yet by simply changing the name of the character from Mary to Joe and shifting the appropriate gender terms, the character would ostensibly become a man. But that man would not seem like a man. Even if all the specific feminine dialogue were changed, even if all the culturally dictated manifestations were altered, the underlying psyche of the character would have a female bias rather than a male bias. Sometimes stereotypes are propagated by what an audience expects to see which filters the message and dilutes the truth. By placing a female psyche in a male character, preconceptions no longer prevent the message from being heard. The word of warning is that this technique can make a Main Character seem "odd" in some hard to define way to your audience. So although the message may fare better, empathy between your audience and your Main Character may not.

Female • [Overview Appreciation] • women will tend to empathize with the main character in this story; men will tend to sympathize • Although there is much common ground in a story that is appreciated equally by women and men, some dramatic messages speak to one group more profoundly than the other. One particular area of difference is the relationship of female and male audience members to the Main Character. In some stories an audience member will feel Empathy with the Main Character, as if he/she were standing in the Main Character’s shoes. In other stories, an audience member will feel Sympathy for the Main Character, as if the Main Character is a close acquaintance. The dynamics that control this for women and men are quite different. "Female" indicates that as a result of this storyform’s dynamics, female audience members will tend to empathize with the Main Character. Male audience members will tend to sympathize

Flashbacks and Flashforwards • [Storytelling] • Storytelling techniques for developing the story and the backstory simultaneously • Often the purpose of telling a story is not just to document the effort to solve a problem but to convey understanding as to how such a problem came to be in the first place. If the author wants to develop both story and backstory simultaneously during the course of the storytelling by alternating between them, two primary techniques are available: the Flashback and the Flashforward. In the Flashback, the story proper is assumed to take place in the present. Flashbacks then reveal key episodes in the development of the problem (the Backstory), sometimes in the past, to underscore or contrast specific points in the story as appropriate and as desired. In the Flashforward, the Backstory is assumed to take place in the present and the story is revealed to the audience in episodes illustrating the future outcome of forces presently put into play. In either case, by the end of the storytelling, both Backstory and Story have been fully illustrated to the extent desired to convey the intended message

Focus • [Element] • the principal symptom of the story problem • When a Main Character is at odds with his surroundings, a problem exists between himself and his environment. The actual nature of this gap between Main Character and environment is described by the Problem Element. The nature of what is required to restore balance is described by the Solution Element. This is the Objective view of the problem. The Main Character, however, is not privy to that view but must work from the Subjective view instead. From the Subjective view, the problem does not appear to be between the Main Character and the Environment, but wholly in one or the other. Sometimes a Main Character is a "Do-er" type and will perceive and first try to solve the problem in the environment. Other times a Main Character is a "Be-er" who will first try to solve the problem by adapting to the environment. A "Do-er" focuses the problem in the environment; a "Be-er" focuses the problem in himself. The Focus Element describes the nature of how the problem appears to the Main Character when he places it wholly in one area or the other.

Forewarnings (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • the indications that the consequence is growing more imminent • Whether or not the Consequences ever befall the Main Character, there are Forewarnings that indicate their approach and help force the limit of the story and bring the Main Character to the moment where he can be assessed in terms of his Main Character Resolve. These Forewarnings could be a quick look at a growing crack in the dam which no-one sees, or it could be a mad scientist installing the final component in his doomsday device; however it is represented, its nature will be described by the Type appreciation of Forewarnings.

Future (The Future)• [Type] • what will happen or what will be • A story focusing on the Future concerns itself with what will be. This does not require the story to be "set" in the Future -- only that the Future state of external and/or internal issues is the subject that is being addressed. A character centered on Future may be trying to discover what will be or may be trying a achieve a particular state of affairs down the line. In both the Story and Character sense, the end is more important than the present although it still may not justify the means • syn. what is to come, what will be, prospect, prospective • dyn.pr. Progress

Goal (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • the central objective of a story • A Goal is that which the Protagonist of a story hopes to achieve. As such, it need not be an object. The Goal might be a state of mind or enlightenment; a feeling or attitude, a degree or kind of knowledge, desire or ability. Although it is his chief concern, the Goal which a Protagonist seeks is not necessarily a good thing for him nor is it certainly attainable. Only through the course of the story does the value and accessibility of the Goal clarify. Dramatica points out the nature of Goal that is consistent with an Author’s dramatic choices, but it remains for the Author to illustrate that nature. For any given category of Goal, an unlimited number of examples might be created.

Good • [Plot Dynamic] • If at the end of the story the Main Character is no longer nagged by his personal problems, the judgment of the story can be said to be Good • The Main Character ultimately succeeds in resolving his personal problems • Even though the effort to achieve the story’s goal may result in success, this is not necessarily a good thing for the Main Character. In fact, success might be obtained in the objective story even though the Main Character fails to resolve his personal problems. Similarly, the effort to achieve the story goal might end in failure yet the Main Character ends up overcoming his personal problems. Regardless of whether the objective story ends in Success or Failure, if the Main Character succeeds in resolving his personal problems the outcome is deemed Good.

Grand Argument Story • [Dramatica Term] • A story that illustrates all four throughlines (Objective Story, Subjective Story, Main Character, and Obstacle Character) in their every appreciation so that no holes are left in either the passionate or dispassionate arguments of that story • A Grand Argument Story covers all the bases so that it cannot be disproven because, from the perspective that it creates, it is right. There are four views in a complete story which look at all the possible ways the story could be resolved from all the possible perspectives allowed; these are represented by the perspectives created by matching the four Domains with the four Classes--(the Objective Story, Subjective Story, Main Character, and Obstacle Character Domains matched up with the Classes of Universe, Physics, Psychology, and Mind to create the four perspectives of the particular story they are operating in). Every complete storyform explores each of these perspectives entirely so that their view of the story’s problem is consistent and that they arrive at the only solution that could possibly work, allowing the givens built into the story from the start. When this is done, a Grand Argument has been made and there is no disproving it on
its own terms. You may disagree that the things it takes for givens really are givens, but as an argument it has no holes.

Growth • [Character Dynamic] • The development of a Main Character toward something starting or stopping • The meaning of Growth is different for Change and Steadfast Main Characters. Change Characters grow by starting or stopping some quality they lack or possess. Steadfast Characters grow by redoubling their resolve while working toward or holding out for something to start or stop.

A Change Main Character who Starts adds a quality he previously did not possess. A Change Main Character who Stops eliminates a quality he originally possessed. At first it might seem as if the Start Character has a hole in his heart and the Stop Character has a chip on his shoulder, but just because a Character Changes doesn't mean he should have. It may well be that if a Change Character Starts, he adds a bad quality that will undermine his efforts, or if he Changes by Stopping, he will lose a quality that was essential. For a Change Main Character, Start and Stop merely describes how his character is altered, not whether or not it was a positive growth.

A Steadfast Main Character sticks with his guns and tries to outlast the problems he encounters. If he is at odds with current troubles which he would like to stop, then he is a Steadfast Stop Character. On the other hand, if he is trying to hold out until something positive begins, he is a Steadfast Start Character. As with the Change Character, the Steadfast Character may or may not be correct in his appraisal that he can outlast or even should try to outlast his problems. It may well be that the problems can only be resolve if the Main Character Changes, in which case holding out for either Start or Stop is fruitless.

Of course, whenever something begins, it can be seen that something else has ended. The real question for an author is, how do you want your audience to see things, as half full or half empty?

Guardian • [Archetype] • An Archetypal Character representing the qualities of Conscience and Help • This Archetypal character acts as teacher/helper to everyone including the Protagonist. As Conscience, he provides the audience with the story’s assessment of what is good and bad in the world it describes. In his Dynamic Pair relationship, the Guardian counterbalances the efforts of the Contagonist to hinder progress and tempt the Protagonist from the proper path. Since, according to Archetypal convention, the Protagonist must ultimately face the Antagonist without assistance, both the Guardian and Contagonist must be dramatically nullified before the climax of the story so that they cannot interfere. This often occurs as a separate confrontation between them, just prior to the Protagonist meeting the Antagonist, or it may occur concurrently, but concludes before the actual climax of the story is reached.

Help • [Element] dyn.pr. Hinder<--> Help • direct assistance to another’s effort • The Help characteristic assists another’s efforts. This can be a real boon to someone struggling to achieve. Sometimes, however, someone doesn’t want any help. He either wants to do it on his own or what he is trying to do has been misread by the character representing the Help characteristic who is actually hindering him. Did you hear the one about the Boy Scout who helped the little old lady across the street and then she bashed him with her handbag because she had been waiting for a bus? • syn. aid, assist, support, bolster, abet

Hinder • [Element] dyn.pr. Hinder<-->Help • undermining another’s effort • The Hinder characteristic strives to undermine another’s efforts. This might be seen as a negative, as it often is. But sometimes a character functions to hinder an "evil" character, disrupting his plans. Hinder merely indicates the effect on the plans not whether that is a good or bad thing. • syn. retard, obstruct, impede, fetter, undermine, block, burden, encumber, thwart

Hope • [Variation] dyn.pr. Dream<-->Hope • a desired future that falls within reasonable expectations • Hope is based on a projection of the way things are going. When one looks at the present situation and notes the direction of change, Hope lies somewhere along that line. As an example, if one is preparing for a picnic and the weather has been sunny, one Hopes for a sunny day. If it was raining for days, one could not Hope but only Dream. Still, Hope acknowledge that things can change in unexpected ways. That means that Hoping for something is not the same as expecting something. Hope is just the expectation that something will occur unless something interferes. How accurately a character evaluates the potential for change determines whether he is Hoping or dreaming. When a character is dreaming and thinks he is Hoping, he prepares for things where there is no indication they will come true. • syn. desired expectation, optimistic anticipation, confident aspiration, promise, encouraging outlook

Hunch • [Element] dyn.pr. Theory<-->Hunch • a conclusion based on intuition • A Hunch is an understanding based on insufficient circumstantial evidence. The phrase "where there’s smoke, there’s fire" describes the concept. The advantage is that when evidence mounts, even without direct connections, one may draw an analogy that has a substantial likelihood of being correct as in "I’ve seen that pattern before!" Of course, a Hunch is merely a suspicion. The danger is acting upon it as if it were fact. • syn. intuition, premonition, impression, suspicion

Inaction • [Element] dyn.pr. Protection<-->Inaction • intentionally taking no action • Inaction does not mean simply sitting still. An Inactive character might choose to allow a course of action by not interfering. Or it might refuse to move out of harm’s way, thereby forming a resistance to the progress that drives the harm. Both of these are efficient tools for altering the course of an interaction. However, the Inactive characteristic may also drag its feet in all areas and form a resistance to both good and bad things so that its influence simply hinders everything but changes nothing. • syn. passive reaction, inactive response, achieve through not doing

Induction • [Element] dyn.pr. Deduction<-->Induction • a method of thought that determines possibility • Induction is the process of thought that determines where an unbroken line of causal relationships might lead. The purpose is to see if it is possible that something connects to something else. The character containing the Inductive characteristic has an advantage in taking seemingly unrelated facts and putting them in an order that establishes a potential causal relationship. This allows him to arrive at conclusions that "limit in" something as a possibility. The drawback is that the conclusion only illustrates one possibility out of an unknown number of possibilities. Unlike deduction, Induction does not rule out competing theories until only one remains. Rather, Induction simply determines that a particular theory is not ruled out. Problems occur when it is assumed that simply because a causal relationship might exist that it does exist. This leads to blaming and holding responsible both people and situations that were not actually the real cause. Only if all possible Inductions are compared can the likelihood of any single one be determined • syn. postulate, predicate, conjecture, infer, hypothesize, determine possibility

Inequity • [Element] dyn.pr. Equity<-->Inequity • an unbalance, unfairness, or lack or equality • When a character focuses on Inequity he is evaluating in terms of what is wrong or unfair with a situation. No matter how much is working right or how much is good, it is the part that is out of balance that occupies his attention. A character with this trait will spot trouble before anyone else, but he will also never be satisfied unless absolutely everything is worked out • syn. imbalance, unfair, disparity, unequal, uneven, disproportionate

Inertia • [Element] dyn.pr. Change<-->Inertia • a continuation of a state or process • Inertia is a tendency to maintain the status quo. That which is moving wants to keep moving. That which is at rest wants to stay at rest. An Inertia-oriented character concerns himself with keeping things on an even keel. He tries to avoid or prevent anything that rocks the boat. He also does not adapt well to change. • syn. tendency to continue, a change resistant pattern, continuation, following an established direction

Instinct • [Variation] dyn.pr. Conditioning<-->Instinct • intrinsic unconditioned responses • Instinct describes those built- in responses to situations and circumstances that are not learned, yet drive one to comply with their urges. How much sway they have over an individual depends both upon the nature of the instinct and the intensity of conditioning against the instinct that he has experienced by accident, design, or choice. When one acts or responds according to instinct, there is no conscious consideration beforehand. Only after the fact does the consciousness become aware that an instinct has been triggered. Nonetheless, one can learn to inhibit instinctual commands until the consciousness has the opportunity to consider the propriety of conforming to it. • syn. involuntary drive, innate impulse, unconditioned response, automatic response, unconditioned motivation

Interdiction • [Variation] dyn.pr. Prediction<-->Interdiction • an effort to change a pre-determined course • Interdiction is the effort to change the course of one’s destiny. Once a character determines that his destiny is pulling him toward an undesirable fate, he tries to Interdict and thereby avoid the fate. But has he correctly identified the course of his destiny or in actuality is what he sees as Interdiction is just another pre-destined step toward his fate? • syn. altering the future, interfering with the predetermined, hindering the inevitable, escaping the predestined

Interpretation • [Variation] dyn.pr. Senses<-->Interpretation • determination of possible meaning • Once an observation is made, its meaning must be Interpreted by the mind. Even if seen exactly as it happened, the forces or intents behind what is seen are often misconstrued. Stories revolving around eye witness accounts frequently employ Interpretation (and its Dynamic Partner, Senses) to great dramatic advantage • syn. construe, rendition, rendering meaning, elucidate, translating meaning

Investigation • [Variation]dyn.pr. Doubt<-->Investigation • gathering evidence • Investigation is a pro-active word for it describes a character who makes an effort to seek out evidence. Obviously this usually tends to bring one closer to a conclusion sooner than without the effort. But Investigation can cause trouble since the character must pre-determine where to look. This leads to a meandering path through the evidence that may miss whole pockets of essential information. Sometimes a single missed piece can flip the entire conclusion 180 degrees. So Investigating to one’s satisfaction depends on random success and the limits of one’s tenacity, not necessarily on learning what the whole picture is. • syn. inquiry, research, probe, sleuthing, delving, query

Issue • [Variation] • The thematic focus or topic of the Domain being explored • Each of the four Domains: Objective Story, Subjective Story, Main Character, and Obstacle Character, have a thematic topic which is described by its Issue. The Objective Story Issue, for example, provides a value standard for judging the Objective Characters’ efforts in a story. Whatever kinds of things are done by the Objective Characters in relation to the Story Goal can be said to be linked thematically by this particular item.

Judgment • [Plot Dynamic] • The story assessment of whether or not the Main Character ultimately resolves his personal problem • The notion that the good guys win and the bad guys lose is not always true. In stories, as in life, we often see very bad people doing very well for themselves (if not for others). And even more often we see very good people striking out. If we only judged things by success and failure, it wouldn’t matter if the outcome was good or bad as long as it was accomplished. The choice of Good or Bad places the author’s moralistic judgment on the value of the Main Character’s success or failure in resolving his personal problems. It is an opportunity not only to address good guys that win and bad guys that fail, as well as good guys that fail and the bad guys that win, but to comment on the success or failure of their growth as human beings.

Justification • The process by which we establish and maintain givens • All understanding comes from determining connections between processes and results, causes and effects. All anticipation comes from accepting these connections as unchanging and absolute. In this manner we are able to respond to new situations based on our experience and to plan for the future based on our expectations. But our knowledge of our world and ourselves is incomplete. We are constantly learning and redefining our understanding and our anticipation. Sometimes we have built up such a complex hierarchy of experience and expectation that it becomes easier (more efficient) to formulate or accept what might seem an unlikely and complex explanation than to redefine the entire base of our knowledge. After all, the enormity of our experience carries a lot of weight compared to a single incident that does not conform to our conclusions. Unfortunately, once conflicting information is explained away by presupposing an unseen force it is not integrated into the base of our experience and nothing has been learned from it. The new and potentially valuable information has bounced off the mental process of Justification, having no impact and leaving no mark. This is how preconceptions, prejudices, and blind spots are created. It is also how we learn, for only by accepting some things as givens can we build complex understandings on those foundations. Justification also creates the motivation to change things rather than accept them, but in so doing also creates a blind spot that keeps us from seeing a solution in ourselves in situations where it would be better to accept. Because we cannot know if a point of view should be held onto or given up and reexamined, we have no way of being certain that we are approaching a problem correctly. But either way, we will not question our Justification, only the propriety of applying it to a particular instance. In the case of a Main Character who must remain steadfast, he needs to hold onto his Justifications long enough to succeed with them. But in the case of a Main Character who must change, he needs to give up his Justifications and re-examine his basic understanding. Stories explore the relationship of the inequity between the way things are and the way the Main Character sees them or would have them be. Then it can be evaluated by the audience as to whether or not the decision to remain steadfast or change was the proper one. So Justification is neither good nor bad. It simply describes a mind set that holds personal experience as absolute knowledge, which is sometimes just what is needed to solve the problem and other times is actually the cause of the problem.

Knowledge • Most terms in Dramatica are used to mean only one thing. Thought, Knowledge, Ability, and Desire, however, have two uses each, serving both as Variations and Elements. This is a result of their role as central considerations in both Theme and Character.

[Variation] • dyn.pr. Thought<-->Knowledge • that which one holds to be true • Knowledge is something a character holds to be true. That does not necessarily mean it IS true but just that the character believes it is. The gulf between what is known and what is true can create enormous misconceptions and inaccurate evaluations. • syn. held truth, maintained information, presumed facts, accepted ideas

[Element] dyn.pr. Thought<-->Knowledge • that which one holds to be true • The Knowledge characteristic urges a character to rely on what is held to be true. The Character representing Knowledge will tap the resources of its information to find parallels and understanding that he can apply to the issue at hand. The advantage of Knowledge is that one need not learn what is already known, thereby skipping non-essential re-evaluations and getting a head start with solving a problem. The difficulty is that Knowledge can be wrong. Without re-evaluation dogma sets in -- rigor mortis of thought, leading to inflexibility and closed minded-ness because the Character believes no re-consideration is needed since the subject is already "known." • syn. learnedness, held truths, authoritative certainty, generally agreed upon truths

Leap of Faith • Just prior to a story's climax, a conscious choice by the Main Character to either Change or remain Steadfast with no way of knowing for sure which will best lead him to his goal or resolve his personal problem • No Main Character can be sure that he will succeed until the story has completely unfolded. Up until that moment, there is always the opportunity to change one’s approach or one’s attitude. For example, a Main Character may determine that what he thought was the true source of the problem really is not. Or he may reconsider his motivation to try and resolve it; whether he should give up or try harder. Again, there is no way for him to tell with certainty which path will lead to success. Nevertheless, when these scenarios close in on a single moment in the story, the moment of truth, where the Main Character has their last opportunity to remain steadfast in their approach and attitude or to change either or both, there will be a Leap of Faith. After that, all that remains is to see it to its conclusion, good or bad. That moment of truth is called the Leap of Faith because the Main Character must choose a course and then commit himself to it, stepping into the unknown with blind faith in a favorable outcome or resignation to an ostensibly poor one.

Learning • [Type] dyn.pr. Understanding<-->Learning • gathering information or experience • Learning describes the process of acquiring knowledge. It is not the knowledge itself. When a portion of a story focuses on learning, it is the gathering of an education that is of concern, not the education that ultimately has been gathered. Learning need not be an academic endeavor. One might learn to express one’s feelings or learn about love. Learning does not even require new information as sometimes one learns simply by looking through old information from a different perspective or with a new approach. It is not important if one is learning to arrive at a particular understanding or just to gather data. As long as the focus is on the process of gaining information, Learning is the operative word. • syn. cultivating experience, acquiring information, collecting data, gathering knowledge

Level • [Structural Term] • One of the vertical strata of the Dramatica structural chart. The relationship between levels (Elements, Variations, Types and Domains) of dramatic units is similar to turning up the power on a microscope: each has a different resolution with which to examine the story’s problem. Domains take the broadest viewand have the greatest structural impact on Genre. Types are more detailed and most directly affect the Plot. Variations are even more refined, most intensely inflluencing Theme, and Elements provide the greatest detail available in a story, concentrating on the qualities or traits of Characters.

Limit • [Plot Dynamic] • The constraint of time or options that, by running out, force the story to a climax • The Limit is what forces the story to a close. One of the functions of a story is to give the audience the value of experiences it has not had itself by living through the Main Character. As such, the Main Character in the story Changes or Remains Steadfast and hopes for the best, and we learn from his accomplishments or disappointments. Yet, even a Main Character would not jump into the void and commit to a course of action or decision unless forced into it. To force the Main Character to decide, the story provides all the necessary information to make an educated guess while progressively closing in on the Main Character until he has no alternative but to choose. This closing in can be accomplished in either of two ways: either running out of places to look for the solution or running out of time to work one out. Running out of options is accomplished by an Optionlock; a deadline is accomplished by a Timelock. Both of these means of limiting the story and forcing the Main Character to decide are felt from early on in the story and get stronger until the climax. Optionlocks need not be claustrophobic so much as they only provide limited pieces with which to solve the problem. Timelocks need not be hurried so much as limiting the interval during which something can happen. Once an established Limit is reached, however, the story must end and assessments be made: is the Outcome Success or Failure? is the Judgment Good or Bad? is the Main Character Resolve Change or Steadfast? etc.

Logic • [Element] dyn.pr. Feeling<-->Logic • a rational sense of how things are related • Logic is the mental process of choosing the most efficient course or explanation based on reason. The Logic characteristic exemplifies the theory behind "Occam’s Razor," that the simplest explanation is the correct explanation. Therefore, the Logic characteristic is very efficient but has no understanding or tolerance that people do not live by reason alone. As a result, the character with the Logic characteristic often ignores how other’s "unreasonable" feelings may cause a very real backlash to his approach. • syn. linear reasoning, rationality, structural sensibility, syllogistics

Main Character • The Character representing the audience position in a story • A story has a central character that acts as the focus of the audience’s emotional attachment to the story. This Main Character is the conduit through whom the audience experiences the story subjectively. The Main Character may be the Steadfast Character who needs to hold on to his resolve or the Change Character who alters his nature in an attempt to resolve his problems. Either way, it is mostly through his eyes that we see the passionate argument of the story, if not also the dispassionate argument.

Main Character’s Benchmark • [Type] • the standard by which the degree of the Main Character's growth is indicated • the way of telling how much the Main Character is dealing with the issues at stake for himself in the story is by choosing an item in the story and using it as a measuring stick. This can be subtle or obvious, illustrated perhaps by the number of empty beer cans next to an alcoholic’s bed, the severity of a facial tick, or the amount of perfume a character puts on. However it is illustrated, it needs to be there to give both the audience and the Main Character some way of judging how deep his concern is and how far along in the story he is.

Main Character’s Concern • [Type] • The issue or issues held in greatest importance by the Main Character’ • The Main Character Concern describes the kinds of things the Main Character is striving to attain or maintain. This could be in terms of concrete or abstract things, depending partly on the Main Character’s Domain and partly on the twist the author wants to put on that Domain.

Main Character’s Critical Flaw • [Variation] • the quality that undermines the Main Character’s efforts • To balance the Main Character’s extraordinary status conveyed by his Unique Ability, he must also be shown to be especially vulnerable in one area as well. This vulnerability is called his Critical Flaw. The Main Character’s Critical Flaw is his Achilles heel that prevents him from being too one-sided. Just as with Unique Ability, the Critical Flaw can be quite mundane as long as it can threaten him with failure from an unprotectable direction. The specific Critical Flaw must be unique to the Main Character in the story. However, the more common the Critical Flaw is to the audience, the more it will identify with the Main Character’s predicament. In Start stories, the Critical Flaw inhibits the Main Character from using his Unique Ability. In Stop stories, the Critical Flaw undoes work done by the Unique Ability after the fact. Only when the Main Character learns to either Start or Stop as required by the story can the Critical Flaw be avoided, allowing his Unique Ability to solve the problem.

Main Character’s Direction • [Element] • The response of the Main Character to his apparent problems • A Main Character can never be sure if what he believes to be the source of his problem really is the source of his problem. Regardless, based on his apparent problems he will determine a potential solution or Direction which he hopes will work as a solution. The dramatic unit that describes what a Main Character holds as the path to a solution is the Main Character Direction.

Main Character Domain • [Domain] • the realm of the Main Character's personal journey and growth • Everything the Main Character does and represents that primarily relates to him alone, as opposed to specific relationships he has with other characters, can be said to be part of the Main Character Domain. There are four different perspectives in the structure of any story represented by the combination of each of the four Classes with each of the four Domains-- the Objective Story Domain, the Subjective Story Domain, the Obstacle Character Domain, and the Main Character Domain. The Main Character Domain describes in the broadest single term what the Main Character represents and the area in which the Main Character operates within the story.

Main Character’s Focus • [Element] • where The Main Character believes the problem to be; where the Main Character’s attention is focused • When a Main Character is at odds with his surroundings, a problem exists between himself and his environment. The actual nature of this gap between Main Character and environment is described by the Problem Element. The nature of what is required to restore balance is described by the Solution Element. This is the Objective view of the problem. The Main Character, however, is not privy to that view and must work from the Subjective view instead. From the Subjective view, the problem does not appear to be between the Main Character and the Environment but wholly in one or the other. Sometimes a Main Character is a "Do-er" type and will perceive and first try to solve the problem in the environment. Other times a Main Character is a "Be-er" who will first try to solve the problem by adapting to the environment. A "Do-er" focuses the problem in the environment; a "Be-er" focuses the problem in himself. The Focus Element describes the nature of how the problem appears to the Main Character when he places it wholly in one area or the other.

Main Character’s Issue • [Variation] • the Main Character's personal thematic focus, topic, or value standard • A Main Character’s Issue captures the essence of what that character will represent in the story. The nature of the things he does, intends to do, and what he means to the passionate argument of the story are all linked in this appreciation.

Main Character Problem • [Element] • source of The Main Character’s drive; the source of the Main Character’s problems • In every Main Character there exists some inequity that is driving him. If the Main Character Changes something in himself at the leap of faith, it is this item, his Problem, which he changes by exchanging it for his Solution. If the Main Character is Steadfast, though, he holds onto his problem, deepening his resolve to keep the same motivations through the end of the story as he had when he began the story.

Main Character’s Solution • [Element] • what is needed to truly satisfy The Main Character’s drive; the solution to the Main Character’s problems • The Solution Element is the "flip side" of the Problem Element. In a story, the focus may be on the Problem Element ("The Main Character should not be this way") or the focus may be on the Solution Element ("The Main Character should be this way"). If the Main Character should not be a certain way, we say it is a "Stop" story as he must stop being a certain way. If the Main Character should be a certain way, we say it is a "Start" story as he must start being a certain way. So in a sense the Problem Element is not by itself the cause of the story’s problem, but works in conjunction with the Solution Element to create an imbalance between two traits that need to be balanced. The choice to present one as a negative trait defines it as the Problem Element and its positive partner becomes the Solution Element.

Main Character’s Unique ability • [Variation] • the quality that makes The Main Character uniquely qualified to solve the story’s problem • Just as a requirement defines the specific nature of things needed to achieve a particular goal, Unique Ability defines the specific quality needed to meet the requirement. Unique Ability is another way in which the Main Character is identified as the intersecting point between the Subjective and Objective stories as it is only he who ultimately has what it takes to meet the test of the requirement and thereby achieve the goal. The Unique Ability need not be anything extraordinary but must be the one crucial quality required that is shared by no one else. Frequently, the Unique Ability is in keeping with the Main Character’s position or profession, however it can be much more interesting to assign an incongruous Unique Ability. In either approach, it is essential to illustrate the existence of the Unique Ability in the Main Character several times throughout the story, even if it is not employed until the climax. In this way, it becomes integrated into the nature of the Main Character and does not seem conveniently tacked on when it is ultimately needed. Also, the Unique Ability can be extremely mundane. The key is that the ability does not have to be unique by nature, but just possessed uniquely in that specific story by the Main Character. Clever storytelling may arrange the climax of the story so that some completely ordinary and insignificant Unique Ability makes the difference in the outcome of a cosmic struggle.

Male Mental Sex • [Character Dynamic] • The Main Character uses inherantly male (linear) problem solving techniques • A choice of male selects a psychology for the Main Character based on causal relationships. A male Main Character solves problems by examining what cause or group of causes is responsible for an effect or group of effects. The effort made to solve the problem will focus on affecting a cause, causing an effect, affecting an effect, or causing a cause. This describes four different approaches. Affecting a cause is manipulating an existing force to change its eventual impact. Causing an effect means applying a new force that will create an impact. Affecting an effect is altering an effect after it has happened. Causing a cause is applying a new force that will make some other force come into play to ultimately create an impact. These are the four primary problem solving techniques of a male minded character. It is important to note that these techniques can be applied to either external or internal problems. Either way, manipulating cause and effect is the modus operandi. When selecting female or male, typically the choice is as simple as deciding if you want to tell a story about a man or a woman. But there is another consideration that is being employed with growing frequency in modern stories: putting the psyche of one sex into the skin of another. This does not refer only to the "sex change" comedies but to many action stories with female Main Characters (e.g. Aliens) and many decision stories with male Main Characters (Prince of Tides). When an author writes a part for a man, he/she would intuitively create a male psyche for that character. Yet by simply changing the name of the character from Joe to Mary and shifting the appropriate gender terms, the character would ostensibly become a woman. But that woman would not seem like a woman Even if all the specific masculine dialogue were changed, even if all the culturally dictated manifestations were altered, the underlying psyche of the character would have a male bias rather than a female bias. Sometimes stereotypes are propagated by what an audience expects to see which filters the message and dilutes the truth. By placing a male psyche in a female character, preconceptions no longer prevent the message from being heard. The word of warning is that this technique can make a Main Character seem "odd" in some hard to define way to your audience. So although the message may fare better, empathy between your audience and your Main Character may not.

Male • [Overview Appreciation] • men will tend to empathize with the main character in this story; women will tend to sympathize • Although there is much common ground in a story that is appreciated equally by women and men, some dramatic messages speak to one group more profoundly than the other. One particular area of difference is the relationship of female and male audience members to the Main Character. In some stories an audience member will feel Empathy with the Main Character, as if he/she were standing in the Main Character’s shoes. In other stories, an audience member will feel Sympathy for the Main Character, as if the Main Character is a close acquaintance. The dynamics that control this for women and men are quite different. "Male" indicates that as a result of this storyform’s dynamics, male audience members will tend to empathize with the Main Character. Female audience members will sympathize.

Memory • [Type] dyn.pr. Conscious<-->Memory • recollections • The Past is an objective look at what has happened. In contrast, Memory is a subjective look at what has happened. Therefore, Memory of the same events varies among individuals creating many different and possibly conflicting recollections. Often one’s current feelings come from memories, both pleasant and unpleasant. Many a taut story revolves around a character’s effort to resolve open issues from his memories. • syn. linear reasoning, rationality, structural sensibility, syllogistics

Mental Sex • [Character Dynamic] • a determination of the Main Character’s inate mental operating system as being male (linear) or female (holistic)• Much of what we are as individuals is learned behavior. Yet the basic operating system of the mind is cast biologically before birth. Talents, intellectual capacity, instincts -- all of these are not learned but inherited. Among these traits are those specific to females and others specific to males. To be sure, we can go a long way toward balancing out those traits yet that does not eliminate them nor diminish their impact. In dealing with the psychology of a Main Character, it is essential to understand upon which foundation his experience rests.

Methodology • the approach employed to achieve a purpose; an ongoing activity (physical or mental) without a purpose • When a character is motivated toward a particular purpose, there remains the decision of what means should be used to reach it. Not every possible Methodology is as appropriate as every other under unique circumstances. For example, if one wants to pound in a nail, a wrench would not work as well as a hammer. In fact, sometimes the whole problem in a story is created because someone is using the wrong tool for the right job. In creating Objective Characters for a given story, 16 of the 64 elements will be selected as the Methodology elements of the character set.

Mind • [Class]dyn.pr. Universe<-->Mind • a fixed attitude or outlook • The Mind Class describes a fixed attitude. This can be a bias, prejudice, or even a "positive" opinion about anything at all. The key is that the attitude is fixed, meaning it is accepted as a given and not re-evaluated. Often the Mind Domain is represented by a group of people who share a common bias for or against something. • syn. attitude, fixation, position on an issue, fixed point of view, disposition

Morality • [Variation] dyn.pr. Self Interest<-->Morality • doing or being based on what is best for others • Not to be taken as a spiritual or religious sense of right and wrong, Morality here is intended to describe the quality of character that puts others before self. This is not, however, always a good thing. If a character is besieged by Self-Interested parties that grasp and take whatever they can, Morality (in this limited sense) is most inappropriate. Also, Morality does not always require sacrifice. It simply means that a Moral character will consider the needs of others before his own. If the needs are compatible, it can create a win/win scenario where no one need suffer. • syn. selflessness, altruism, benevolence, generosity

Motivation • An underlying given or inequity which drives a character • Motivation is the force that drives a character in a particular direction. In order for the problem in a story to be fully explored, all motivations pertaining to that topic must be expressed. This is accomplished by assigning characteristic elements that represent these motivations to the various objective characters. In this way, different characters represent different motivations and the story problem is fully explored. In creating Objective Characters for a given story, 16 of the 64 elements will be selected as the Motivation elements of that character set.

Nature • [Overview Appreciation] • the seminal dramatic framework of a story's message which indicates if the Main Character makes a proper decision to Change or Remain Steadfast • The nature of a story will be one of four possibilities: Actual Work Story, Actual Dilemma Story, Apparent Work Story, or Apparent Dilemma Story. A story can be appreciated as a structure in which the beginning, middle, and end can all be seen at the same time. From this point of view, the Objective and Subjective storylines can be compared. The Objective storyline determines if the solution to the problem can be found in the environment or if the problem is actually caused by a character flaw of the Main Character himself. The Subjective storyline determines if the Main Character will remain steadfast in the belief the problem can be solved in the environment or will change in the belief that he himself is the cause of the problem. When the Main Character remains steadfast, he spends the entire story doing work to try and solve the problem. This is called a Work Story. If the Main Character is correct in believing the solution to the problem lies in the environment it is an Actual Work story. If the steadfast Main Character is wrong and is the true cause of the problem, it is an Apparent Work story since he believes Work is all that is necessary and that is not the case. When the Main Character changes, he has come to believe that he is the real cause of the problem. This is called a Dilemma Story because the Main Character spends the story wrestling with an internal dilemma. If the Main Character is correct in believing that he is the source of the problem, then it is an Actual Dilemma Story. If he is incorrect and changes, even though the problem was truly in the environment, it is an Apparent Dilemma Story. Each of these four combinations creates a different mechanism in order to arrive at the climax with the appropriate match up between the true location of the problem and the Main Character’s assessment of where to find the solution.

Need • [Variation] dyn.pr. Expediency<-->Need • that which is required • Needs are always based upon a purpose. It is often assumed that Need describes something absolutely required in an objective sense. But Need is really a subjective judgment of what is lacking to fulfill a requirement. To illustrate this, we might consider the statement, "We all need food and water." This statement seems to make sense, but is not actually correct. In truth, we only need food and water if we want to live. For a paralyzed patient who wishes to be allowed to die, the last thing he Needs is food and water. Clearly, need depends upon what one subjectively desires. That which is required to fulfill that desire is the subjective Need. • syn. subjective necessity, urge, demand, imperative

Negative Feel • [Overview Appreciation] • the problem is closing in on the Objective Characters • Overall, stories feel like "uppers" or "downers." This is not a description of whether or not things turn out okay in the end, but a sense of direction created by the kind of tension that permeates the story up to the moment of climax. When the focus is on characters doggedly pursuing a Solution, the story feels positive. When the focus is on characters being dogged by a relentless Problem, the story feels negative. Another way to appreciate the difference is to look at the Main Character. An audience can sense whether the author feels a Main Character should or should not change. If the character is growing toward the proper choice, the story feels positive. If he is growing toward the improper choice, the story feels negative. Both these views are created by the friction between the Objective view that indicates what is truly needed to solve the problem and the Subjective view of the Main Character as to what seems to be the solution to the problem.

Neither • [Overview Appreciation] • both men and women will tend to sympathize with the Main Character in this story • Although there is much common ground in a story that is appreciated equally by women and men, some dramatic messages speak to one group more profoundly than the other. One particular area of difference is the relationship of female and male audience members to the Main Character. In some stories an audience member will feel Empathy with the Main Character, as if he/she were standing in the Main Character’s shoes. In other stories, an audience member will feel Sympathy for the Main Character, as if the Main Character is a close acquaintance. The dynamics that control this for women and men are quite different. "Neither" indicates that as a result of this storyform’s dynamics, neither male and female audience members will tend to empathize with the Main Character, both will sympathize.

Non-Acceptance • [Element] dyn.pr. Acceptance<-->Non-Acceptance • a decision not to allow, tolerate, or adapt; a decision to oppose • The character containing the Non-Acceptance characteristic will not compromise. He stands his ground regardless of how unimportant the issue may be. Certainly, this characteristic nips attrition in the bud but also loses the benefits of give and take relationships. • syn. run counter to, reject, decline, repudiate, resist, refusal to compromise

Non-Accurate • [Element] • dyn.pr. Accurate<-->Non-Accurate • not within tolerances • Non-Accurate describes a concept that is not functional for the purpose at hand. There may be some value in the concept in other areas, but for the intended use it is not at all correct. The Non-Accurate characteristic will find the exceptions to the rule that ruin an argument. This makes it nearly immune to generalizations. Unfortunately this can also make it unable to accept any explanation or concept that has an exception, even if the exception has no real effect on how the concept is being applied. Anything that is not right all the time for every use is rejected as Non-Accurate • syn. not within tolerance, insufficiency, inadequacy, deviancy, deficient to the purpose

Objective Story • [Dramatica Definition] • the portion of a story's argument developed from an Objective point of view • There are four principal points of view which must come into play in all complete stories. They are the Objective, Main Character, Obstacle Character, and Subjective views. In practice, each of the four points of view is like a different camera angle on the same unfolding events. The Objective view of a story is the widest, examining the issues that affect all the characters in the story overall. The Objective view is not unlike that of a general on a hill watching a battle. From that vantage point, the general can observe the larger strategies and see how the forces involved ebb and flow. On the downside, the soldiers cannot be identified as individuals, but only by their functions in the battle as a whole. Similarly, an audience needs to get a sense of the bigger picture - the story-wide view that shows how all of the characters and dramatic forces fit into the grand scheme. From this angle, characters are identified by their dramatic functions, such as Protagonist and Antagonist. The Objective Story, then, is a description of the interactions of the characters and events in a story seen with a wide angle view from the outside looking in. For the audience it provides, scope, context, foundation, and background.

Objective Story Benchmark • [Type] • The standard by which progress is measured in the Objective Story • The Objective Story Benchmark is the gauge that tells people how far along the story has progressed. It can’t say how much longer the story may go, but in regards to seeing how far away the goal is, both the Objective Characters and the audience will look to the Benchmark in order to make any kind of judgment. This Type item describes the nature of the measuring stick which will be used in the story.

Objective Story Catalyst • [Variation] • The kind of item which serves to push the Objective Story forward • The Objective Story Catalyst is what creates breakthroughs and seems to accelerate the development of the Objective Story. In both the Objective and Subjective Stories there occur dramatic "log-jams" when things seem to be approaching a halt. This is when the Catalyst is necessary, for its introduction will either solve the puzzle that’s holding things up or else make the puzzle seem suddenly unimportant so the story can continue.

Objective Story Concern • [Type] • The principal area of concern in the Objective Story • see Concern.

Objective Story Consequence • [Type] • The result of failing to achieve the goal • see Consequence.

Objective Story Costs • [Type] • The price that must be paid while trying to achieve the goal • see Costs.

Objective Story Direction • [Element] • The nature of the Objective Characters' response to the story's troubles • see Direction.

Objective Story Dividends • [Type] • The dividends accrued while trying to achieve the goal • see Dividends.

Objective Story Domain • [Domain] • the realm in which the Objective Story takes place; the background against which the overall story is played • Stories are about meaning. Meaning is created from perspective. Perspective is the relationship between what is being examined and the point of view from where it is seen. Simply put, an author determines the subject matter of a story and how he sees it. This is what becomes the message or meaning of the story. There are four principal points of view which must come into play in all complete stories. They are the Objective, Main Character, Obstacle Character, and Subjective views. The Objective view of a story is the widest view, examining the issues that affect all the characters in the story overall. There are four principal categories of subject matter (called Classes). They are Universe, Mind, Physics and Psychology. In more conversational terms we might think of them as (in the same order) Situation, Attitude, Activity, Manner of Thinking. In reality, they represent external and internal states of affairs and external and internal processes. Anything we might consider as subject matter can be broadly categorized as being an external or internal state or process. When a point of view is attached to the subject matter, the Class of subject matter becomes the Domain or realm in which that point of view does its exploring. So, when the Objective view is associated with a Class, that Class becomes the Objective Story Domain. The Objective Story Domain examines the issues that affect all of the characters, story wide. An OS Domain of Universe means that some fixed external situation is causing troubles for the characters, such as being trapped in a cave. An OS Domain of Mind means that fixed attitudes are the problem, such as a town that shares a prejudice. An OS Domain of Physics means that the story's difficulties arise from an activity, such as a safari into dangerous territory. And OS Domain of Psychology means that the way people think is the overall source of problems, such as a group of people gathered for a reunion who find fault with each other.

Objective Story Focus • [Element] • The principal symptom of the Objective Story's Problem • If the Objective Story's Problem is seen as a disease, the Solution would be the cure. The Focus, however, would be the principal symptom. Since the symptoms of a disease are more apparent than the disease itself, the symptom is called the Focus, because the attention of the Objective Characters is focused there. Even if the Objective Characters are aware of the true nature of the Problem itself (which they may or may not be), they will be more riveted to the immediate effects created by the Focus.

Objective Story Forewarnings • [Type] • The kind of items or events which indicate the Consequence may occur before the Goal is achieved • see Forewarnings.

Objective Story Goal • [Type] • The common goal of the Objective Characters • see Goal.

Objective Story Inhibitor • [Variation] • The kind of item which serves to impede the Objective Story’s progress • The Objective Story Inhibitor is what prevents a story from just rushing full speed to the solution. It is like a brake mechanism which can be applied as the author pleases. The introduction of this item will always slow the progress of the story and it works as the antidote to the Objective Story Catalyst.

Objective Story Issue • [Variation] • The central thematic topic of the Objective Story • Each of the four Domains (Objective Story, Main Character, Obstacle Character, and Subjective Story) has its own theme. This occurs because each Domain is really just a different point of view examining the same central inequity at the heart of the story as a whole. Each Domain, then, sees the troubles in a different light and is therefore drawn to a different standard of values by which to measure it. The thematic Issue in each Domain is that standard. The Objective Story Issue is the most wide-ranging of the four. This is because the Objective Story itself is the most all-inclusive of the Domains, representing a distanced view of the story that takes in the bigger picture. So, the thematic Issue of the Objective Story pertains to everyone and everything that happens. An author will use the Objective Story Issue to draw broad value judgments about the overall subject matter of the story as a whole. The audience will get a sense of what the grand scheme of the story is all about, effectively, what the underlying message is.

Objective Story Line • the plot as it concerns the story goal • The Objective Story Line is a distinct act by act sequence of events that involves all of the Objective Story appreciations and none of the Subjective Story appreciations. It represents the dispassionate argument of the story, emphasizing events and relationships in a purely cause and effect way. This is not to say that it has nothing to do with the meaning of a story, only that it is not the WHOLE story. Meaning in stories comes from comparing the Objective view of a story with the Subjective view that comes from within the story.

Objective Story Preconditions • [Type] • The conditions imposed by others on meeting the story’s requirements • see Preconditions.

Objective Story Prerequisites • [Type] • Preliminary accomplishments or materials needed to meet the story requirements • see Prerequisites.

Objective Story Problem • [Element] • The source of the objective story’s troubles • see Problem

Objective Story Requirements • [Type] • A series or collection of accomplishments which must be met to achieve the goal • see Requirements.

Objective Story Solution • [Element] • The quality necessary to resolve the Objective Story's Problem • If the Objective Story Problem is seen as a disease, the Solution would be the cure. The Solution cannot be directly applied, however, because many obstacles stand in the way. Overcoming the obstacles is the Goal of the story, so that the nature of the Goal reflects the nature of the obstacles. The Requirements of the Goal describe the necessary accomplishments which will overcome the obstacles and thereby allow the Goal to be achieved. There is, however, one hitch. The final Requirement cannot be met unless the Main Character is properly positioned to enable it. Sometime this requires the Main Character to stay where it is (Steadfast) and other times to adopt a new position (Change). The internal conflict within the Main Character will either lead it to a new point of view or entrench it in a new one. Depending on that dynamic, the Main Character will either adopt a new position in the story or stay at the old one, resulting in the eventual Success or Failure of the effort to achieve the Goal. Authors will use the Solution to stress that the story's Problem can indeed be Resolved if everything falls into place, thereby making it worth the audience's time to see if it ultimately does. When the potential Solution is not illustrated up front, the characters' efforts in response to the Problem seem to be futile exercises rather than a message illustrating the most worthwhile approaches.

Objective Story Type Order • [Plot Structure] • the progressive sequence of activites and/or concerns engaged in to arrive at a solution to the story’s objective problem, act by act • As the Objective Story progresses act by act, it covers the Objective Story Perspective (the Perspective created by matching the Objective Story Domain with one of the four Classes) Type by Type around the quad of Types which it contains. These four explorations make up the four acts and describe the kinds of things that will have to happen in order to arrive face to face with the Objective Story Problem.

Objective versus Subjective Perspectives • In Dramatica, we can examine a story from the outside as a dispassionate observer, noting the relationship of Character to Plot to theme. We can also examine a story from the inside, by stepping into the shoes of the Main Character to discover how things look to himself. In the first case, we see the story like a general watching a battle from atop a hill. We are concerned with the outcome, but not actually involved. This is the Objective perspective. In the second case, we see the story from the point of view of a Main Character. This is more like the view of a soldier in the trenches. We are watching the same battle, but this time we are personally involved. This is the Subjective perspective. An audience is provided access to both Objective and Subjective views by the author. When the audience is only shown information that the Main Character also receives, it is in the Subjective perspective. When the audience receives additional information that the Main Character does not receive, it is in the Objective perspective. The dramatic potentials of a story are largely created by the differential between the Objective and Subjective perspectives. At appropriate times, Dramatica aids the author in focusing his attention on the perspective that will most effectively support his dramatic intentions.

Obligation • [Variation] dyn.pr. Rationalization<-->Obligation • accepting a task or situation in exchange for someone’s earlier or potential favors • Obligation is a mental trick we play when we accept a poor situation now in the hopes it will lead to a better one later. If we do not feel Obligated, we know we are really in control of the situation since we can leave at any time. However, we would then lose any chance of a reward at the end and even risk consequences that might befall us as a result of leaving. But by focusing on the hope of a reward and protection from consequences, our current suffering can be tolerated and we feel we have no choice but to stick it out. The problem is that as long as we continue to feel we have no choice, the suffering can increase way beyond any realistic hope of recouping and yet we "must" stay. • syn. agreement, pledge, contract, accepted compulsion, emotional contract

Obstacle Character • [Subjective Character] • The Subjective Character that forces the Main Character to face his personal problem • Every Main Character has a single Obstacle Character that forces him to face his personal problems. From the Main Character’s point of view, the Obstacle Character may seem to be blocking the road to the solution of the Main Character’s personal problem, or he may seem to be trying to knock the Main Character off the road to the solution. In a more objective view, the Obstacle Character functions to block the Main Character from sweeping his personal problem under the carpet, forcing the Main Character to address it directly. In every act, a story problem is introduced that requires the Main Character to expose his personal problem in order to solve the story problem. It is the Obstacle Character that creates the most personal tension for the Main Character. Frequently, the Main Character is chosen by the author to be the Protagonist as well, and often the Obstacle Character function is combined with the Guardian or the Contagonist. In this way, they each do double duty as prime movers of both the objective and subjective concerns of the story. This arrangement is not essential, however, and in many cases it is prudent to assign the Main and Obstacle Character roles to characters other than the Protagonist and Guardian/Contagonist in order to clearly explore the relationship between the Objective and Subjective problems of the story.

Obstacle Character’s Benchmark • [Type] • The standard against which the Obstacle Character’s degree of impact is measured • The way of telling how much the Obstacle Character is affecting the Main Character is seen through this measuring stick. It can be subtle or obvious, illustrated perhaps by the number of empty beer cans next to an alcoholic’s bed, the severity of a facial tick, or the amount of perfume a character puts on. However it is illustrated, it needs to be there to give both the audience and the Obstacle Character some way of judging how effective his impact is and how much energy he has left to employ.

Obstacle Character’s Concern • [Type] • The area of the Obstacle Character’s principal cares, interests, and goals; the area of the Obstacle Character's greatest impact on the Main Character • The Obstacle Character will be interested in achieving some degree of growth or control over things described by this appreciation. This could be in terms of concrete or abstract things, depending partly on the Obstacle Character’s Domain and partly on the twist the author wants to put on that Domain.

Obstacle Character’s Critical Flaw • [Variation] • The item that undermines the Obstacle Character’s unique ability to impact the Main Character • The Obstacle Character’s Critical Flaw undermines his effectiveness against the Main Character in general, but especially in regards to his Unique Ability. The Obstacle Character in any story has a Unique Ability which makes him uniquely qualified to thwart the Main Character. But in his character as well is a Critical Flaw which prevents him from just totally overwhelming the Main Character. This is again a trait which is unique to this particular character.

Obstacle Character’s Direction • [Element] • The direction of the Obstacle Character’s efforts • An Obstacle Character can never be sure if what he believes to be the source of his problem really is the source of his problem. Regardless, based on his way of seeing things, he will determine a potential solution or Direction in which he hopes to find the solution. The dramatic unit that describes what a Subjective Character believes is the path to a solution is his Direction.

Obstacle Character’s Domain • [Domain] • The broadest area of the Obstacle Character’s impact • Everything that emanates from what the Obstacle Character does and represents which primarily relates to his impact alone, as opposed to specific relationships he has with other characters, can be said to be part of the Obstacle Character Domain. There are four different Domains in the structure of any story, represented by the combination of each of the four Classes with each of the four throughlines-- the Objective Story Throughline, the Subjective Story Throughline, the Main Character Throughline, and the Obstacle Character Throughline. The Obstacle Character Domain describes, in the broadest single term, what the Obstacle Character represents and the area in which the Obstacle Character operates within the story.

Obstacle Character’s Focus • [Element] • Where the Obstacle Character’s attention is centered • The Obstacle Character concentrates his attention where he thinks his problem lies. Just as in the Main Character, an inequity exists in the Obstacle Character between himself and his environment which is driving him. The actual nature of this inequity is described by the Obstacle Character Problem Element. The nature of what is required to restore balance is described by the Obstacle Character Solution Element. From the Subjective view afforded to the Obstacle Character though, the inequity does not appear to be between himself and the Environment but wholly in one or the other. The Focus Element describes the nature of how the problem appears to the Obstacle Character from his Subjective point of view. Focus really describes the effects of the Obstacle Character Problem element, but because the Problem element is on the level of his own motivations, Subjective Characters can never see his actual problems without solving them.

Obstacle Character’s Issue • [Variation] • the thematic focus, topic, or value standard by which the Obstacle Character's impact is judged • An Obstacle Character’s Issue captures the essence of what that character will represent in the story. The nature of the things he does, intends to do, and what he means to the passionate argument of the story are all linked in this appreciation.

Obstacle Character’s Problem • [Element] • The source of the Obstacle Character’s drive • In every Obstacle Character there exists some inequity that is driving him. If the Obstacle Character Changes something in himself in response to the Main Character’s Steadfastness, it is this item, his Problem, which he changes by exchanging it for his Solution. If the Obstacle Character is Steadfast, though, then he holds onto his problem, deepening his resolve to keep the same motivations at the end of the story as he had when he began the story.

Obstacle Character’s Solution • [Element] • what is needed to truly satisfy The Obstacle Character’s drive • The Solution Element is the "flip side" of the Problem Element. For the Obstacle Character, it is the element that would alleviate the Obstacle Character’s drive which his Problem Element supplies. It is not necessarily applied during a story, but it exists in every story nevertheless.

Obstacle Character’s Throughline • [Dramatica Definition] • The dramatic progression which builds the Obstacle Character's pressure on the Main Character to change • The Obstacle Character is defined by its relationship to the Main Character. The Main Character represents the audience position in the story which, in a sense, represents our sense of self within our own minds. When we consider changing our outlook in regard to a particular issue, we entertain an alternative viewpoint which we examine thoroughly before either adopting or rejecting. The Obstacle Character represents that alternative point of view. In stories, as in our own minds, this alternative view is seen from where we are positioned currently. After all, when it comes to changing something about who we are, we don't just make that change without first trying to understand what kind of person we would become and trying to anticipate how it might affect our situation. Over the course of the story, as the Main Character grows, the Obstacle Character must keep pace to provide alternative perspectives on all the key experiences the Main Character encounters. In this way, the best possible argument for adopting the new viewpoint is made, and the current and alternative paradigms can be judged fully against each other. This is how we arrive within ourselves to a point of change, and how the Obstacle Character drives the Main Character to the same point. For the author, the Obstacle Character Throughline is the progression through all of the issues which come up while providing alternative perspectives to the Main Character's currently held views. For an audience, the Obstacle Character Throughline simply describes the kinds of activities and concerns addressed by the Obstacle Character as he or she moves through the plot.

Obstacle Character’s Unique Ability • [Variation] • The item that makes the Obstacle Character uniquely able to pressure the Main Character to change • The reason the Obstacle Character is able to carry half of the Subjective Story is his unique suitability to take the opposite position to the Main Character in regard to the Crucial Element of the story. The Obstacle Character's Unique Ability gives the Obstacle Character a power which no one else in the story has: to be able to pressure the Main Character to change his very nature.

Obtaining • [Type] dyn.pr. Doing<-->Obtaining • possessing or achieving something • Obtaining includes not only that which is possessed but also that which is achieved. For example, one might obtain a law degree or the love of a parent. One can also obtain a condition, such as obtaining a smoothly operating political system. Whether it refers to a mental or physical state or process, obtaining describes the concept of attaining • syn. controlling for oneself, possessing, having, keeping.

Openness • [Variation] dyn.pr. Preconception<-->Openness • willingness to re-evaluate • Openness simply means entertaining alternatives. When a character’s pre-conceptions come into conflict with new information, if he is open, he will not be biased or blind to it. He puts openness above holding on to a point of view. Of course, this can easily be carried to extremes, when someone seems to have no opinion at all and just goes with whatever anyone else says. Some degree of pre-conception is necessary to benefit from the value of one’s own experience. • syn. broad mindedness, tolerancy, willingness to reevaluate, receptiveness

Oppose • [Element] dyn.pr. Support<-->Oppose • an indirect detraction from another’s effort • The Oppose characteristic causes a character to speak out against any effort, although he does not actively engage in preventing it. As in "the Loyal Opposition," an opposing view can be useful in seeing the negative side of an endeavor. However it can also wear thin really fast with the constant nag, nag, nag. • syn. object to, speak out against, argue against, protest, dispute, show disapproval of, detract from

Optionlock • [Plot Dynamic] • the story climax occurs because all options have been exhausted • If not for the story being forced to a climax, it might continue forever. When a story is brought to a conclusion because the characters run out of options, it is said to contain a Optionlock. As an analogy, one might think of a story as the process of examining rooms in a mansion to find a solution to the story’s problem. Each room in the mansion will contain a clue to the actual location of the solution. In an optionlock, the Objective Characters might be told they can examine any five rooms they want, but only five. They must pick the five rooms ahead of time. They can take as long as they like to search each one and go thoroughly examine four of the rooms. After getting through their fourth pick they are given a choice: based on the clues they have found so far, do they wish to stick with their original fifth room or pick another room instead out of all that remain? Either choice may lead to success or failure, but because running out of options forced the choice it is an Optionlock story. This choice represents the Optionlock which brings the story to a close and forces such appreciations as Main Character Resolve (Change or Steadfast), Outcome (Success or Failure), and Judgment (Good or Bad).

Order • [Element] dyn.pr. Chaos<-->Order • a patterned arrangment • The character containing the Order characteristic is concerned with keeping things organized. Change is not a problem as long as it is orderly. However, sometimes you can’t get there from here and the whole system has to be blown apart to rebuild from the ground up. Sometimes a little chaos needs to reign so that a log jam can be broken or a process speeded up. The character representing Order is an organization fiend. • syn. structure, patterned arrangement, organization, patterned formation, formation, configuration, patterned sequence

Outcome • [Plot Dynamic] a logistic assessment of how things ended up • When one is creating a story, one must consider how it all comes out. This will not just be a description of the situation but also of what potentials remain and how they have changed over the course of the story. Often, an author may wish to show the Outcome of a dramatic movement at the beginning or middle rather than the end. In this way the audience will focus more on how that eventuality came to be rather than trying to figure out what is going to happen.

Overview Appreciations • Story points relating to the widest dramatic interpretations of your entire story, including the Character and Plot Dynamics which describe its dramatic mechanism and basic feel are called Overview Appreciations. For example, Essence, Nature, Reach, Apparent or Actual Dilemma stories, etc.

Past (The Past) • [Type] dyn.pr. Present<-->Past • what has already happened • The past is not unchanging. Often we learn new things which change our understanding of what past events truly meant and create new appreciations of how things really fit together. A Story that focuses on the Past may be much more than a documentation of what happened. Frequently it is a re-evaluation of the meaning of what has occurred that can lead to changing one’s understanding of what is happening in the present or will eventually happen in the future. • syn. history, what has happened, former times, retrospective

Perception • [Element] dyn.pr. Actuality<-->Perception • the way things seem to be • Perception is a point of view on reality. In truth, we cannot truly get beyond perception in our understanding of our world. A character that represents Perception is more concerned with the way things seem than what it is. Therefore he can be caught off-guard by anything that is not what it seems. • syn. appearance, how things seem to be, discernment, a particular reading of things, a point of view on reality, a way of seeing

Permission • [Variation] dyn.pr. Deficiency<-->Permission • what is allowed • Permission means Ability limited by restrictions. These constraints may be self imposed or imposed by others. When a Character considers what he can or cannot do, he is not assessing his ability but the limitations to his ability. When one worries about the consequences born of disapproval or self-loathing, one halts for the lack of Permission. The frustration of a character suffering a vice-grip on his ability may eventually erupt in an explosive reaction if the noose gets too tight. • syn. constrained ability, limited capability, restricted capacity, hindered performance, allowed limitations, restrained utility

Perspective • [Domain] [Class] • The combination of one of the four viewpoints with one of the four Classes • To complete the creation of one of the four perspectives (or Domains) for any particular story, a viewpoint must be matched to a Class so that the place which the perspective is looking from is defined and the nature of the perspective is defined. The four viewpoints include the Objective Story, the Subjective Story, the Main Character. Universe, Physics, Psychology, and Mind are the four Classes which represent the four broadest classifications of story issues. In every complete story, each viewpoints is assigned one Class, creating four Perspectives. Only by fully exploring all four Perspectives can a Grand Argument Story be fully developed.

Physics • [Class] dyn.pr. Psychology<-->Physics • an activity or endeavor • The Physics Class is one of action. Whereas the Universe Class describes a fixed situation, Physics is a Class of dynamics. Situations evolve, develop, and change. Activities are engaged in and endeavors undertaken. • syn. an activity, an enterprise, an initiative, an endeavor, an operation

Plot Dynamics • [Dramatica Definition] • dramatic potentials which determine the plot's Driver, Limit, Outcome, and Judgment. • When trying to describe a plot, many authors simply relate the order in which events occur. In fact, the order in which the events are presented to an audience and the order in which they actually occurred for the characters in the story are often quite different. Dramatica defines plot as the internal logic or sequence of events in a story. The order in which events are presented is referred to as Storyweaving. Putting Storyweaving aside, the actual order of events is greatly influenced by four principal forces. These Plot Dynamics determine something about what is pushing the plot forward (Driver), how far it can go (Limit), where it ends up (Outcome) and what it all meant (Judgment). By making choices about the kind of Driver (Action or Decision), the kind of Limit (Timelock or Optionlock), the kind of Outcome (Success or Failure), and the kind of Judgment (Good or Bad), and author can shape the course of a plot and the events that will occur within it.

Positive Feel • [Overview Appreciation] • the Objective Characters in the story are closing in on the solution • Character can push and be pushed. They can also pull something or be pulled by something. When the characters push for what they are trying to achieve or pull something closer, the feeling is Positive. When the characters are pushed away or pulled toward something against their will, the feeling is Negative.

Positive versus Negative • Positive and Negative are not evaluations of the ultimate outcome of a story, but evaluations of how the story feels during its course toward the outcome. Does the story feel like it is drawing closer to a satisfying and fulfilling conclusion or farther away from an unsatisfying, unfulfilling conclusion? Then it is positive. Does the story feel like it is drawing closer to an unsatisfying and unfulfilling conclusion or farther away from a satisfying, fulfilling conclusion? Then it is negative. Any given story will have either a positive or negative feel to it. This is caused by a combination of two kinds of dynamics, one of which describes the Main Character, the other describes the Author. Every Main Character’s personal problem is either caused because he is doing something he needs to stop or because he is not doing something he ought to be. In other words, his problem exists because he needs to remove or add a trait. In a sense, the Main Character must either move toward something new or move away from something old. That alone does not give a positive or negative feel to a story, as what he is moving toward or away from could be good or bad. Every Author has feelings about which traits are good ones to have and which are bad. Just because a Main Character successfully solves his problem by removing or adding a trait does not mean he has become a better person for it. The Author’s message may be that failure in problem-solving is preferable to diminishing one’s overall character. So the Author’s identity is exposed to the audience by passing a value judgment on whether removing or adding a trait (Start or Stop) was good or bad. Taken together, Start and Stop, and a value judgment on what the Main Character is growing in relation to of good or bad create four combinations. Two of these are positive and two of them are negative. Start and good means the Main Character is moving toward something good and that feels positive. Stop and bad means the Main Character is moving away from something bad and that also feels positive. Start and bad means the Main Character is moving toward something bad and that feels negative. And Stop and good means the Main Character is moving away from something good and that feels negative as well.

Possibility • [Element] dyn.pr. Probability<-->Possibility • a determination that something might be true • The Possibility element endows a character with an open-minded assessment of his environment and relationships. However, it gives less weight to the single most likely explanation, looking instead at the whole range of known alternatives. Since the most likely scenario does not always happen, the Possibility element aids in having "Plan B" ready. On the downside, this characteristic may "over think" things and lose track of what is most probable. • syn. plausibility, viability, conceivable eventualities, open assessment

Potentiality • [Element] dyn.pr. Certainty<-->Potentiality • a determination that something might become true • The element of Potentiality drives a character to take risks on long odds. Always looking at what is not specifically ruled out, he is even beyond the realm of possibility and spends his time focusing on the greatest possible potential. As long as there is no reason why something should not be a certain way, the character representing Potentiality acts as if it is. Of course this leads him to see benefits and dangers others might miss, but it also leads him to starve on "pie in the sky." This characteristic always looks at what might be, never stopping to take stock of what is. • syn. chance, precariousness, focusing on the uncertain, going with the improbable

Preconception • [Variation] dyn.pr. Preconception<-->Openness • adhering to a previous held view; unwillingness to reevaluate • Preconception is a pre-conception that prevents one from entertaining information contrary to a held conclusion. When one shuts his mind to additional data, there is no way to realize that the conclusion might be in error. Contradictory observation no longer becomes part of experience so experience ceases to grow. Obviously, this can lead to all kinds of actions and attitudes that work to the detriment of oneself and others. On the other hand, Preconception can steel one against temporary exceptions that tempt one to veer from the true path. Question • Is it bad to have Preconceptions against evil? • syn. prejudice, closed mindedness, narrow mindedness, intolerancy, stubbornness, unwillingness to reevaluate

Preconditions (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • restrictions imposed on the effort to reach the goal • When meeting the requirement is made contingent upon some non-essential restriction, the extra baggage is referred to as Pre-conditions. Depending upon the nature of the Pre-conditions and the nature of a character, it may turn out that although the pre-requisites will achieve the goal, the goal itself is improper and only the Pre-conditions can actually solve the problem. Misplaced emphasis is a common thematic exploration.

Preconditions • [Variation] dyn.pr. Prerequisites<-->Preconditions • restrictions imposed on the effort to reach the goal • When access to resources necessary to meeting pre-requisites is made contingent upon some non-essential accomplishment or limitation, the extra baggage is referred to as Pre-conditions. Depending upon the nature of the Pre-conditions and the nature of a character, it may turn out that although the pre-requisites will achieve the goal, the goal itself is improper and only the Pre-conditions can actually solve the problem. Misplaced emphasis is a common thematic exploration. • syn. provision, prescribed specification, imposed stipulation, limiting parameters, imposed limitations

Preconscious (The Preconscious) • [Type] dyn.pr. Subconscious<-->Preconscious • innate responses • Built into the mind is an instinctual base of reactions and attitudes that cannot be altered but merely compensated for. When a story’s problem revolves around the unsuitability of someone’s essential nature to a given situation or environment, the central issue is the Pre-Conscious. The solution lies in the character conditioning himself to either hold his tendencies in check or develop methods of enhancing areas in which he is naturally weak in reason, ability, emotion, or intellect. • syn. unthinking responses, immediate responses, impulse, impulsive response, instinctive response, innate response, reflex

Prediction • [Variation] dyn.pr. Interdiction<-->Prediction • pre-determination of a future state of affairs • Prediction explores the effort to learn the course of one’s destiny. Destiny is the path to a particular fate or through a series of fates. Fates are experiences or conditions one must encounter along the way as one’s destiny directs one’s course. The nature of destiny is such that no matter how much a character is aware of the nature and location of an undesirable fate, nothing he can do is enough to pull him off the path. However, if one could know the future course, one could prepare for each eventuality in order to minimize or maximize its effect. • syn. foresight, foreseeing, anticipation, envisioning one’s future, prophecy, forecast, foretell, prognosticate

Prerequisites (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • the essential prliminaries that must be met to complete the Requirements • Pre-requisites are the essential or necessary steps or accomplishments that must be achieved in order for something to occur. If a goal has a single requirement, there may be many pre-requisites to achieving that requirement.

Prerequisites • [Variation] dyn.pr. Preconditions<-->Prerequisites • the essential prliminaries that must be met to complete the Requirements • Prerequisites are the essential or necessary steps or accomplishments that must be achieved in order for something to occur. If a goal has a single requirement, there may be many prerequisites to meeting that requirement. • syn. essential steps, necessary requisites, compulsory stipulation

Present (The Present) • [Type] dyn.pr. Past<-->Present • the current situation and circumstances • "Present" does not refer to the way things are going, but to the way things are. It is a here and now judgment of the arrangement of a situation and the circumstances surrounding it. A story that focuses on the Present is not concerned with how events led to the current situation nor where the current situation will lead, but defines the scenario that exists at the moment . • syn. how things stand, the here and now, current situation, as of this moment

Proaction • [Element] dyn.pr. Reaction<-->Proaction • taking initiative action • The Proactive characteristic will urge a character to begin problem solving on his own. This character will be a self-starter who is up and at it the moment he realizes a potential problem exists. Sometimes, however, a potential problem may not actually materialize and would have disappeared in short order by itself. Proaction may actually cause the problem to occur by irritating the situation. Worse yet, the character representing Proaction may act before the true nature of the problem is seen, leading him to cause damage to innocent or non-responsible parties, sometimes actually aiding the real source of the problem. • syn. to initiate action, execute, undertake, commit, implement

Probability • [Element] dyn.pr. Possibility<-->Probability • liklihood • The character having the Probability characteristic puts its beliefs and efforts behind what is most likely. It is not as bound to safety as a character containing the Certainty characteristic, yet will still only take "calculated" risks. It is always playing the odds and changes direction in mid-stride if the odds change. This allows it to steer clear of many dangers but also tends to make it fickle. • syn. likelihood, prospective, predictable, promising

Problem (Objective Storyline) • [Element] • the underlying cause of the story’s difficulties • Of all the Elements, there is a single one that describes the essence of the story’s problem. The inclusion of this element in an Objective Character identifies him as the Main or Obstacle Character. This is because it makes that character the only one who can solve both the Objective and Subjective problems in a single stroke by addressing the problem (changing).

Process • [Element] dyn.pr. Result<-->Process • an ongoing activity; the mechanism through which a cause leads to an effect • A Process is a series of interactions that create results. The character representing Process will concentrate on keeping the engine running smoothly. Unfortunately, he often forgets to look where the car is actually going. Sometimes the experiences along the way are the important part, other times it is arriving at the destination. • syn. chain of interactions, manner of procedure, cause/effect relation, progression, ongoing pull or tendency

Production • [Element] dyn.pr. Reduction<-->Production • a method of thought that determines potential • Almost like deduction in reverse, Production arrives at a future truth by limiting out what can not happen, rather than arriving at a present truth by limiting out what cannot be. Anything remaining when the impossible is ruled out has potential. The problem for the character representing the Production characteristic is that Potentiality is often mistaken for Certainty if he fails to realize that any overlooked or unknown information can completely alter the course of the future. • syn. determining potential, noticing possibilities, ruling out future impossibilities, discovering of potential

Progress • [Type] dyn.pr. Future<-->Progress • the way things are going • Progress concerns itself with change • what direction and how fast? It is not so important where things were, are, or will be, but rather how the struggle between inertia and change seesaws over the course of the story. • syn. flowing, advancing, proceeding, moving forward, developing step by step, graduated, staging, successive, procession, the way things are going

Projection • [Element] dyn.pr. Speculation<-->Projection • an extension of probability into the future • Projection is a means of anticipating events and situations by extending the line of how things have been happening into the future. A character that represents Projection has a good grasp of what he might look for in things to come. However, this character will give great weight to past experience so abrupt changes in direction might be ignored until it is too late. • syn. anticipation, how things will be, most likely, probable

Protagonist • [Archetype] • An Archetypal Character who represents the qualities of Pursuit and Consider • An Objective Character charged with the responsibility of pursuing a solution to the story’s objective problem. An objective problem does not mean it can’t be personal. Rather, it means that all of the dramatically functioning characters in the story are concerned about the outcome. The true Archetypal Protagonist pursues the solution against the Antagonist. In other stories a close cousin of the Protagonist shares all the same elements except he tries to avoid the Antagonist’s plan. For the Pursuing Protagonist the goal is to cause something. For the Avoiding "Protagonist" the goal is to prevent something.

Protection • [Element] dyn.pr. Inaction<-->Protection • an effort to prevent interference with one’s concerns • Protection is the act of building one’s defenses against actual and potential threats. Certainly, preparing for problems brings a character advantages should the problems occur. However, the very act of building defenses can be interpreted as a threat to others who rely on Proaction and thereby precipitate the very aggression the character had tried to protect against. Also, a character representing Protection may stifle another’s need for risk-taking or become so wrapped up in preparations that there are no resources left to use for advancement. • syn. defense, safeguard, preservation, precaution

Proven • [Element] dyn.pr. Unproven<-->Proven • an assessment that something is correct by all relavent standards • Proven refers to an understanding that has been shown to be correct enough times to enough people to hold it as fact. The character representing Proven will judge truth only by what has been sufficiently verified. This makes it wary of unsubstantiated rumors, evidence, or conclusions. In the negative column, determining something is Proven requires drawing an arbitrary line that says, "Enough it enough, it’s true!" The moment one assumes that the understanding is Proven, one ceases to look for exceptions. When a connection is made between two events or people on the basis of a series of "Proven" facts, all it takes is one exception to ruin the argument. • syn. verified, confirmed, corroborated, established, demonstrated, shown

Psychology • [Class]dyn.pr. Physics<-->Psychology • a manner of thinking or demeanor • The Psychology Class is where the evolution or change in an attitude is explored, unlike the Mind Class which describes the nature of a fixed state of mind. This is a more deliberation-oriented class where the focus is not on the attitude itself, but whether it is changing for better or for worse. • syn. ways of thinking, thinking process, activity of the psyche, manipulation of others

Purpose • A desired and intended result • Purpose and Motivation are often confused. Whereas Motivation is the drive that the character must fulfill or satisfy, Purpose is the specific item that will satiate that drive. Sometimes a character will attempt to satiate his Motivation by achieving several Purposes, each of which does part of the job. Other times, a single Purpose can assuage multiple Motivations. Many interesting stories are told about characters who struggle to achieve a Purpose that really will not meet their Motivation or about characters who achieve a Purpose for the wrong Motivation. But other, less common arrangements sometimes present more Deliberation oriented stories where the character achieves a Purpose near the beginning and then must search to find a Motivation that gives it value, or a character who has a strong Motivation but must search for the Purpose that truly accommodates it.

Pursuit • [Element] • dyn.pr. Avoidance<-->Pursuit • the drive to seek after • The character representing Pursuit is a real self-starter. The Pursuit characteristic leads a character to determine what he needs to achieve and then make a bee-line for it. This may seem admirable and it can be. Unless of course he is trying to pursue something bad for himself and/or for others. In fact, it may be that the object of the Pursuit doesn’t want to be pursued. "If you love something let it go... If it loves you, it will come back. If it doesn’t come back, hunt it down and kill it." • syn. seek, go after, attempt to achieve, look for, directed effort

Quad • [Structural Term] • For every dramatic unit, three others can be found that possess a similar quality. A relationship exists in this group of four units that allows them to act as potentiometer controlling dramatic direction and flow. These groups can be represented as a square divided into four quadrants -- hence the name QUAD. In each quad of four dramatic units, special relationships and functions exist between diagonal, horizontal, and vertical pairs.

Rationalization • [Variation] dyn.pr. Obligation<-->Rationalization • an alternative explanation used to mask the real reason • Rationalization is the attempt to have your cake and eat it too. When a character expects that catering to his desires will bring about some cost or punishment, he tries to do what he’d like in a way he thinks will avoid retribution. One way is to come up with an excuse. Rationalization involves fabricating an artificial reason for one’s attitude or actions that will excuse them. The reason must make sense as being a possible actual cause of the character’s activities. In fact, it might very well have been the reason, except that it wasn’t, which is what makes it a Rationalization. • syn. fabricated excuse, ulterior explanation, false justification, artificial reason

Reach • [Overview Appreciation] • the manner in which the audience identifies with the Main Character, through Empathy or Sympathy • The Reach of a story describes the relationship between the audience and the Main Character. An audience might Empathize with a Main Character in which case the audience identifies with the Main Character and sees the story through his eyes. Alternatively, an audience might Sympathize with the Main Character in which case it stands next to the Main Character as if it were a close acquaintance. The story dynamics that determine Empathy or Sympathy are different for men than for women. Women tend to identify and Empathize with a Main Character of either sex who is limited by a Optionlock. Men tend to only Empathize with male Main Characters. Women tend to Sympathize with a Main Character of either sex who is limited by a timelock. Men tend only to Sympathize with female Main Characters. As a result of these dynamics, sometimes both women and men will Empathize, sometimes women only, sometimes men only, sometimes neither (both will Sympathize). It should be noted that these are tendencies only. Training, experience, and personal choice in any individual audience member can slip the balance wholly to the other side. Nevertheless, at the subconscious level these tendencies will hold true.

Reaction • [Element] dyn.pr. Proaction<-->Reaction • actions made in response • The Reaction characteristic leads a character to strike back at the source of a problem. Reaction is less precipitous than Proaction requiring the problem to materialize before it acts. It does not take preemptive first strikes nor does it turn the other cheek. As a result, it often waits too long to tackle a problem that could easily have been prevented, then gets in a brawl that actually becomes a problem. Many authors try to pit one Proactive character against another. This actually diminishes the drama of the conflict as both characters are taking the same approach. By making one character Proactive and another Reactive, a much more real and powerful interaction is created. • syn. response, reply, acting from stimulus, goaded to action

Reappraisal • [Variation] dyn.pr. Appraisal<-->Reappraisal • reconsideration of a previous determination • When one has made an initial appraisal as to where preliminary evidence seems to be leading, there comes a time when one must make a Reappraisal of the evidence to see if its direction has changed. This tends to keep one on the right track. But characters, like everyday people, are influenced by what has occurred most recently -- "What have you done for me lately?" As a result, during Reappraisal a character might discount the body of evidence in favor of that which is most fresh in his mind. • syn. reassess, rechecking, checking up, re-examining a conclusion, reevaluating a conclusion

Reason • [Archetype] • An Archetypal Character who represents the qualties of Logic and Control • The Reason Archetypal Character evaluates and acts solely on the basis of calm logic, never becoming enraged, passionate or emotionally involved in a decision. Although common in simple stories, the Reason character is hard to empathize with. As a result, it is one of the characters most often altered slightly from its archetypal arrangement to provide more potential for empathy from the audience. A frequent choice is to swap the trait of calm with the Emotional character’s trait of frenzy. The result is that both characters become more interesting, the Reason character being both logical and frenetic, the Emotional character being highly passionate yet in control

Reconsider • [Element] dyn.pr. Consider<-->Reconsider • think through again • The Reconsideration characteristic represents the drive to re-examine one’s conclusions to see if they are still valid. This leads to a pragmatic approach to one’s own beliefs but also undermines resolve with every new obstacle that crosses one’s path. • syn. re-examining conclusions, rethinking, to mull over again, further deliberation, additional scrutiny

Reduction • [Element] dyn.pr. Production<-->Reduction • a method of thought that determines probability • Reduction is a process of thought that compares the likelihood of several incomplete lines of deduction. Sometimes there is not enough information to fully deduce the ultimate truth in a matter. However, there is enough information to narrow the field of possibilities. When all the possibilities are considered, each can be rated on its individual merits as to how much each has. The potentialities are compared, arriving at the most likely conclusion. This allows the Reduction characteristic to act with a greater degree of confidence than if no "favorite" theory or explanation had emerged. Of course, dealing with incomplete data is a horse race where even the most unlikely explanation may surge ahead when the last piece is in place and prove to be the actual fact of the matter. It is when the Reduction characteristic gives probability the weight of certainty or fails to reevaluate that problems can arise. • syn. determining probability, comparisons of potentiality, measurement of likelihood, judging probabilities

Reevaluation • [Element] dyn.pr. Evaluation<-->Reevaluation • reappraisal of a situation or circumstances • Reevaluation is the act of reconsidering one’s first impressions. This may be in regard to a person, situation, goal, or even oneself. Reevaluation is a helpful characteristic in dispelling incorrect initial assessments of the meaning behind things, but is a real drawback when a person or situation conspires to lure one’s understanding away from an accurate Evaluation. Perhaps a series of coincidences or a concerted effort can present information that conflicts with an earlier Evaluation that was actually quite on the mark. A character containing the Reevaluation characteristic can be swayed by new misleading information and form new, mistaken understandings. • syn. reappraisal, further assessment, subsequent analysis, scrutiny of first impressions

Repulsion • [Variation] dyn.pr. Attraction<-->Repulsion • disattration; pushing or being pushed away from • A character’s path to his goal is blocked by many curtains. The future beyond each cannot be seen until he has passed through to the other side. Sometimes the curtain itself is attractive, encouraging one to continue. Other times it is negative, indicating danger or loss, or that something unsavory lies behind. This is the nature of Repulsion. The warning is, "I’d go back if I were you" or "Don’t spit into the wind." But does the curtain truly represent something distasteful that waits beyond or is it simply a false front, a mask to scare off the less tenacious? • syn. unattractive, repellent, foreboding, unsavory, pushing away, forcing back

Requirements (Objective Storyline) • [Type] • the necessary pre-cursors to achieving the goal • Achieving a goal is not a one-step activity. Rather, all the cogs and wheels of a situation must be adjusted and realigned first in order to enable the goal. That can entail taking a certain number of steps in sequence and/or involve "tuning" the orchestra of the dramatics until they support the harmony of the goal. Both the sequential and holistic approach to these pre-requisites and pre-conditions are described by the nature of the overall requirement to achieving the goal. In other words, the requirement describes the condition requisite to the goal and is made up of pre-requisites and pre-conditions.

Resolve • [Character Dynamic] • the ultimate dispostion of the Main Character to Change or Remain Steadfast • There are two major ways in which an author can illustrate the best way to solve the problem explored in a story. One is to show the proper way of going about solving the problem, the other is to show the wrong way to solve the problem. To illustrate the proper way, your Main Character should hold on to his resolve and remain steadfast because he truly is on the right path. To illustrate the improper way of dealing with a problem, your Main Character must change for he is going about it the wrong way.

Responsibility • [Variation] dyn.pr. Commitment<-->Responsibility • taking, accepting, or assuming control to the exclusion of others • Responsibility is a determination of who will have control and also be held accountable should control not be successfully exercised. Responsibility can be taken, given, assumed, and relinquished. In practice, the desire for power or control often leads individuals to leverage a position as decision maker to the exclusion of others. The drive that grows from self-interest is Responsibility. The problem occurs when a character believes he knows what is best for someone and that someone doesn’t agree. "It’s for your own good," and "This is going to hurt me more than you" are two expressions that exemplify this attitude. Sometimes the character is right in believing he knows best, other times not. Responsibility can both be given or taken, assumed or presumed, accepted or declined. • syn. assumed propriety, believed appropriateness, self designated aptness, accepted suitability

Result • [Element] dyn.pr. Process<-->Result • the product of a process; the ramifications of a specific effect • Result is a holistic view of all the pertinent end products of a process. When a cause generates an effect, how does the effect upset the overall balance of a situation? In a balance of power, one must consider the results of arming an ally not just the immediate effect of strengthening its military. The character possessing the Result characteristic considers the ripples that might occur because of a given effect. The negative aspect is that it often over-thinks the situation until its considerations are ranging far beyond the scope of any real concerns. This can inhibit useful actions for insignificant reasons. Stop a new factory that will create jobs to protect a previously unknown species of gnat? It depends on the scope of the concern. • syn. ramifications of an effect, consequence, repercussion, impact, end product

Scene • [Dramatica Definition] • a temporal unit of dramatic construction usually employed in Plays, Screenplays, and Teleplays. • Although there is some variation, Scene is usually defined as all of the dramatic events which occur in a single place and time until either place or time changes. In Screenplays and Teleplays, Scenes are numbered in the original draft sequentially according to every change in location or time. For example, each scene would begin with the format, INT or EXT (for Interior or Exterior) followed by the location's name, such as JOE'S GARAGE. The final information is the time, which in Screenplays is usually limited to DAY or NIGHT, although other variations occur if absolutely necessary to convey specifics. Most Stage Plays are divided into Acts, which represent complete dramatic movements in the overall story. Each Act is usually sub-divided into two or three Scenes, which are identified as all the action and dialog which takes place in a single location and time. So, Act 1, Scene 2 might be: Joe's Garage ~ later that evening. A less common usage of "Scene" is as a unit representing a complete dramatic movement, such as an argument that begins, develops, and resolves. Although in a dramatic sense this is a useful application of the word, in practice, complete dramatic movements are often segmented and intermixed for storytelling purposes to create parallel action, delayed payoffs, and many other interest generating techniques. In keeping with the most common definition, Dramatica uses "Scene" to mean everything that takes place consecutively in a single place and time.

Security • [Variation] dyn.pr. Threat<-->Security • an evaluation of one’s defenses and protections • Before one can expand to greater achievements, it is important to protect what one has already achieved. When a character is concerned with Security, he builds defenses against threats both known and anticipated. However, actual dangers may or may not fall within the ability of the protections to keep one secure. Subjectively, a character must determine when he feels secure, based on his experience. For example, a famous comedian once related that he always bought so many groceries he had to throw many away when they spoiled. This, he said, was because he had gone hungry so often as a child. When a character’s experiences motivate him to over or under prepare for dangers, Security may actually become a danger itself. • syn. evaluation of safety, measure of safeguards, appraisal of one’s protections, gauge of defenses

Self-Aware • [Element] dyn.pr. Aware<-->Self-Aware • being conscious of one’s own existence • When a character possesses Self-Awareness he fully appreciates all his feelings, thoughts, abilities, and knowledge. Everything he experiences or observes is couched in terms of his own point of view. As the downside, he may not be able to understand that some things that happen don’t pertain to him at all and in fact happen best without him. • syn. self-conscious, conscious of one’s existence, self-perceiving, self-appreciating, self-cognizant

Self-Interest • [Variation] dyn.pr. Morality<-->Self-Interest • doing or being based on what is best for oneself • In its pure form, Self-Interest is defined as the quality of ALWAYS choosing what is best for oneself with NO consideration as to the effect on others. This does not require ill intent toward others. A character who is Self-Interested simply focuses on the personal ramifications of decisions. In fact, in stories that show the evil nature of an oppressive society or regime, Self-Interest can be a very positive thing. • syn. self-serving, self-centered, narcissistic, selfishness, self-absorbed, egocentric

Sense-Of-Self • [Variation] dyn.pr. State of Being<-->Sense of Self • one’s perception of oneself • Simply put, Sense of Self is our own Self Image. A character may not truly know who he is but he always knows who he thinks he is. This inward-looking view may be right on the mark or not even close. The difficulty a character has is that from inside himself it is impossible to be sure who he is. All he can do is take clues from the reaction of those around him. Interesting storytelling sometimes places a character among those who provide a warped feedback that creates a false Sense of Self in the character. This erroneous image may be far better, far worse, or simply different than his actual state of being. Other stories force a character to come to grips with the fact that he is wrong about himself, and the opinions of others are accurate. In a Main Character, the differential between Sense of Self and State of Being is part of what separates the Subjective from the Objective story lines. • syn. perception of self, self image, self identity, self attribution

Senses • [Variation] dyn.pr. Interpretation<-->Senses • sensory observations • Senses refers to the raw data supplied to the mind to interpret. Sometimes the data is accurate, other times it is faulty even before the mind gets hold of it. Senses describes the overall accuracy of an observation (such as seeing a crime or checking the results of a test). When taken in conjunction with its Dynamic Pair of Interpretation, all manner of error or accuracy can be created. This provides the author with a powerful storytelling tool to create comedies and tragedies based in error and misunderstanding. • syn. perceptual data, raw sensations, sensory impressions, immediate impressions, perceptions

Sidekick • [Archetype] • An Archetypal Character who represents the qualities of Faith and Support • The Sidekick is the absolutely faithful and supportive member of the Archetypal character set. Although frequently attached to the Protagonist, the Sidekick is identified by what his qualities are, not by who he is working for. In fact, the Sidekick might be attached to the Antagonist or not attached at all. His function is to represent the qualities of faith and support, not specifically to be in service of any other character. However, if the Sidekick is bound to the Protagonist, he can be effectively used to mirror the Author’s feelings about the conduct of the Protagonist. Moving scenes can be created by a misguided Protagonist actually alienating the faithful, supportive Sidekick. Although the Sidekick would never turn against the Protagonist, he can turn away from him, leaving rather that being a party to something he finds immoral or disappointing.

Situation • [Variation] dyn.pr. Circumstances<-->Situation • a logistic assessment of one’s environment • Situation describes the ins, outs, and practical considerations of the environment in which a character finds himself. Throughout a story, the situation may evolve or may remain constant, depending upon the essence of the message and the nature of the plot. Since it is limited to the practical, Situation can only be measured and/or interpreted though Reason. • syn. how things stand rationally, a reasoned evaluation of environment, arranged context, environmental state, surroundings, predicament

Skeptic • [Archetype] • An Archetypal Character possessing the qualities of disbelief and oppose • If a Sidekick is a cheer leader, a Skeptic is a heckler. The Skeptic still wants to see its team win, but doesn't think it can and is sure this is because the team members are going about it all wrong. Therefore, the Skeptic exhibits disbelief and opposes all efforts. Of course, when the team really is misguided, the Skeptic is in fact right on track. As with all Objective Archetypes, the Skeptic applies it's outlook to hero and villain alike. In other words, the qualities of disbelief and oppose describe the nature of the Skeptic - not just it's opinion about a particular issue. So, the Skeptic also doubts the bad guys are as powerful (or bad) as they are said to be, and opposes them as well. One purpose of stories is to illustrate how well different personality types fare in the effort to solve a particular kind of problem. Archetypal Characters represent the most broad categories into which personality types might be categorized. The Skeptic provides the opportunity to explore how well a doubter and naysayer does in resolving the story's troubles.

Skill • [Variation] dyn.pr. Experience<-->Skill • inexperienced ability • Skill is the innate potential to accomplish either that which is physical or mental. It does not require the practical experience necessary to tap that potential, just that the latent capacity exists. Skill might be seen as raw physical ability, talent, or intellectual or emotional aptitude which may or may not ever be developed. • syn. proficiency, aptitude, competence, adeptness, degree of expertise, practiced ability, honed ability

Solution • [Element] • the specific element needed to resolve the story’s problem • The Solution Element is the "flip side" of the Problem Element. In a Change story, for instance, the focus may be on the Problem Element ("The Main Character should not be this way") or the focus may be on the Solution Element ("The Main Character should be this way"). So in a sense the Problem Element is not by itself the cause of the story’s problem, but works in conjunction with the Solution Element to create an imbalance between two traits that need to be balanced. The choice to present one as a negative trait defines it as the Problem Element and its positive partner becomes the Solution Element. In Steadfast stories, the Solution Element represents the nature of the things that would resolve the Objective Story Problem. Again it is the "flip side" of the problem, but it has exclusively to do with the Objective Story since the Main Character does not, in these cases, share the same problem as the Objective Story.

Speculation • [Element] dyn.pr. Projection<-->Speculation • an extension of possibilities into the future • Speculation is the effort to determine what could conceivably happen in the future even though it is not the most likely scenario. Speculation leads a character to expect the unlikely in the event that it actually occurs. Difficulties arise when Speculation runs rampant and a character puts effort into preparing for things that are so unlikely as to be unreasonably improbable. • syn. prognostication, surmising possibilities, conjecturing

Start • [Character Dynamic] • Regarding the Main Character, the audience is waiting for something to begin • Start means something different in a story where the Main Character has a Resolve of Change than in a story where the Main Character has a Resolve of Steadfast. If the Main Character must Change because he lacks an essential trait, then he must Start doing or being something they currently are not. If the Main Character is holding out Steadfastly until something begins in his environment, then he is waiting for something to Start. The term simply describes an aspect of the growth which happens in the Main Character.

State-of-Being • [Variation] dyn.pr. Sense of Self<-->State-of-Being • one’s true nature • State of Being describes the actual nature of a character. The character himself is often not aware of the true nature of his being. In fact, there may be no one at all who fully understands all that he is. However, in the communication between Author and Audience, the essence of a character must be fully explained or the story’s message will be obscured. • syn. essence, one’s true self, true self, essential nature, core being

Steadfast Character {Character Appreciation} • the Subjective Character who ultimately retains his essential nature from the beginning of the story to the end of story • Every Subjective Character (both the Main and Obstacle Character) represents one special character element. This element is either the cause of the story’s problem or its solution. The Subjective Character cannot be sure which he represents since it is too close to home. Near the climax of the story, each Subjective Character must demonstrate whether he has stuck with his approach in the belief that it is the solution or jumped to the opposite trait in the belief that he is the cause of the problem. There will only be one Steadfast Character in every story, however when a Subjective Character decides to stick with his story-long approach, he is said to Remain Steadfast.

Steadfast • [Character Dynamic] • The Main Character ultimately retains his essential nature • Every Main Character represents one special character element. This element is either the cause of the story’s problem or its solution. The Main Character cannot be sure which he represents since it is too close to home. Near the climax of the story, the Main Character must demonstrate whether he has stuck with his original approach in the belief that it is the solution or jumped to the opposite trait in the belief he has been wrong. When a Main Character decides to stick with his story-long approach, he is said to remain Steadfast.

Stop • [Character Dynamic] • Regarding the Main Character, the audience is waiting for something to end • Stop means something different in a story where the Main Character has a Resolve of Change than in a story where the Main Character has a Resolve of Steadfast. If the Main Character Changes because he possesses a detrimental trait, then he Stops doing or being something he has been. If the Main Character is Steadfast in holding out for something outside himself to be brought to a halt, he is hoping that it will Stop. The term simply describes an aspect of the growth which happens in the Main Character.

Story Mind • The central concept from which Dramatica was derived is the notion of the Story Mind. Rather than seeing stories simply as a number of characters interacting, Dramatica sees the entire story as an analogy to a single human mind dealing with a particular problem. This mind, the Story Mind, contains all the characters, themes, and plot progressions of the story as incarnations of the psychological processes of problem solving. In this way, each story explores the inner workings of the mind so that we (as audience) may take a more objective view of our decisions and indecisions and learn from the experience.

Story versus Tale • A tale describes a problem and the attempt to solve it, ultimately leading to success or failure in the attempt. In contrast, a story makes the argument that out of all the approaches that might be tried, the Main Character’s approach uniquely leads to success or failure, or is at least the best or worst. In a success scenario, the story acts as a message promoting the approach exclusively; in the failure scenario, the story acts as a message exclusively against that specific approach. Tales are useful in showing that a particular approach is or is not a good one. Stories are useful in promoting that a particular approach is the only good one or the only bad one. As a result of these differences, tales are frequently not as complex as stories and tend to be more straight forward with fewer subplots and thematic expansions. Both tales and stories are valid and useful structures, depending upon the intent of the author to either illustrate how a problem was solved with a tale or to argue how to solve a specific kind of problem with a story.

Storyform • [Dramatica Term] • The underlying dramatic skeleton of a story • When a story is stripped of all its details and Storytelling, what is left are the appreciations and thematic explorations that make up a Storyform. When a story fully illustrates the Storyform it is working from it will make a complete argument without any "plot holes" because the argument of a story is its Storyform.

Storyforming versus Story telling • There are two parts to every communication between author and audience: the storyforming and the storytelling. Storyforming deals with the actual dramatic structure or blueprint that contains the essence of the entire argument to be made. Storytelling deals with the specific way in which the author chooses to illustrate that structure to the audience. For example, a story might call for a scene describing the struggle between morality and self-interest. One author might choose to show a man taking candy from a baby. Another might show a member of a lost patrol in the dessert hoarding the last water for himself. Both what is to be illustrated and how it is illustrated fulfill the story’s mandate. Another way of appreciating the difference is to imagine five different artists each painting a picture of the same rose. One may look like a Picasso, one a Rembrandt, another like Van Gogh, yet each describes the same rose. Similarly, different authors will choose to tell the same Storyform in dramatically different ways.

Storyencoding • [Dramatica Term] • The process of developing a dramatic structure into specific symbols, events, and scenarios• There are four stages in the process of communication from author to audience. They are: Storyforming, Storyencoding, Storyweaving, and Storyreception. Storyforming establishes the underlying dramatic structure of a story. Storyencoding turns raw story points into specific scenarios, events, and dialog. Storyweaving determines how the encoded story points will be revealed or unfolded to the audience. Storyreception refines the story to tailor it for a specific audience. In practice, most authors work creatively in more than one stage at a time. Dramatica separates the stages, allowing an author to seek specific help and information regarding any part of the process. In keeping with this approach, Storyencoding has its own purpose, yet relates to the other three stages as well. As an example, one author might begin with Storyforming and then continue to Storyencoding. Another might begin with Encoding and then approach Forming. As an example, Author #1 makes a Storyform decision that the Goal of his story should be Obtaining. Then, in Storyencoding, he illustrates or employs Obtaining as "The Goal is to Obtain a Buried Treasure." Author #2 might begin in Storyencoding, writing, "The Goal is to win Jan's love." Then, developing the structure that supports that story point, the Author #2 approaches Storyforming, and out of all the structural choices, picks "Obtaining" as Storyforming item that best describes his story's Goal. Any given Storyforming item can be encoded in any number of ways. And, any already encoded story point might be interpreted as any one of the Storyforming items. Regardless of which order is taken, associating a Storyforming item with an encoded story point clarifies the dramatic essence of the structure, as illustrated in a given form. This allows an author to more precisely develop the overall story in a consistent and complete manner.

Storyforming • the process of creating the unique dramatic structure of a story • When an author thinks of the way he wants his story to unfold in terms of the point he wants it to make and how his characters will solve their problems, what that author is doing is Storyforming. Before Dramatica, the tendency was to actually blend the two processes of Storyforming and Storytelling together so that authors thought of what they wanted to say and how they wanted to say it more or less simultaneously. But these are really two distinct acts which can be done separately, especially with the help of Dramatica.

Storyreception • [Dramatica Term] • The process of tailoring the telling of a story to a specific audience • Every culture and sub-culture has its own lingo, taboos, and givens. As a result, most stories do not play the same for one kind of audience as for another. Storyreception seeks to anticipate and take into account the nature of the target audience to tailor the story so that it is received as intended. Although we all have the capacity to feel the same emotions and make the same logistic connections, our particular sub-culture may shy away from certain emotions, or brand a particular kind of reasoning as inappropriate. Further, just because we may empathize with the same emotions doesn't mean we all feel as deeply, or if we see logical connections that we all grasp them as quickly. Especially when writing for audiences such as children, it is important to consider depth and speed as well as buzzwords and popular symbols. Often we can take advantage of cultural symbols to express mountains of sense and oceans of mood with a single story point. Other time we must develop an inordinate amount of media real estate to get across the most simple experiences, if they fall outside familiar cultural bounds for out audience. The important point for an author is to determine the target audience and make sure to be or become familiar enough with that audience to take cultural expectations and taboos into account. For an enlightened audience, the task is to recognize that other ingrained cultural imperatives exist, and to seek to appreciate a story in the context in which it was created.

Storytelling • [Dramatica Term] • The process of communicating a story's dramatic structure through the developing and unfolding of symbols, events, and scenarios • We've all heard good jokes told poorly. We've all hear terrible jokes told well. When a good joke is told well, everything works together. When a bad joke is told poorly, nothing can save it. Part of what makes up a story is the underlying dramatic structure. Another part is the manner in which that structure is expressed. In a sense, Structure represents the Craft of writing, and Storytelling represents the Art. The structure itself is always invisible in the story, for it is the conceptual framework connecting all the dramatic potentials. What is visible is the embodiment of that structure in scenarios, events, and symbols, which collectively constitute the Storytelling. Storytelling, therefore, must do two jobs: entertain the audience through clever presentation and be focused enough to accurately convey the underlying structure.

Storyweaving • [Dramatica Term] • The process of unfolding a story's dramatic structure over time • There are four stages in the process of communication from author to audience. They are: Storyforming, Storyencoding, Storyweaving, and Storyreception. Storyforming establishes the underlying dramatic structure of a story. Storyencoding turns raw story points into specific scenarios, events, and dialog. Storyweaving determines how the encoded story points will be revealed or unfolded to the audience. Storyreception refines the story to tailor it for a specific audience. Storyweaving has two aspects: Exposition and Expression. Exposition determines how information about the story will be doled out to the audience. Expression implements the Exposition in specific words, events, dialog, music, visuals, etc. When approaching Storyweaving it helps to know in advance what the story is about. Otherwise, one is trying to arrive at a consistency in presentation at the same time one is trying to determine what, in fact, ought to be presented. The Exposition aspect takes stock of all the story points and information that must be conveyed to the audience, including progressions of events which must occur in a particular order for the story to make logistic sense. Then, a plan for revealing this information is worked out so that some story points are presented directly, others are doled out over the course of the story, others are hidden, and still others are designed to first mislead the audience and then expose the fact of the matter. The Expression aspect is the most creative part of authorship. It is here that a novelist writes the actual chapters, or a Playwright pens the specific dialog. Even when the manner in which Exposition is to occur is known, the means of Expression has yet to be determined. For example, if the Exposition plan has been to reveal an important event in the backstory through a flashback, an author might choose to Express that event and the manner in which the flashback occurs in any number of ways. Collectively, Exposition and Expression translate what a story is about into the linear progression of how the story unfolds and is revealed through Storyweaving.

Strategy • [Variation] dyn.pr. Analysis<-->Strategy • a plan to achieve one’s purpose or a plan of response • The specific plan or series of interconnected plans that are intended to produce a desired result is called a Strategy. The sophistication of a strategy can range from complex to non-existent (if a character prefers to wing it). Sometimes a strategy is on the mark, other times it is completely inappropriate to its intended purpose. Either way, for the audience to appreciate its apt or inept construction, the plan must be spelled out in full. In storytelling, Strategy can define limits and draw out parameters for a story. This is a useful variation to use for connecting theme to plot. • syn. scheme, tactic, plan, ploy, decided approach

Subconscious (The Subconscious) •[Type] • dyn.pr. Preconscious<-->Subconscious • basic drives and desires • Subconscious describes the essential feelings that form the foundation of character. These feelings are so basic that a character is often not aware of what they truly are. When the Subconscious is involved, a character is moved right to the fiber of his being. • syn. libido, id, basic motivations, basic drives, anima

Subjective Story Benchmark • [Type] • The standard by which growth is measured in the Subjective Story • The Subjective Story Benchmark is the gauge that tells people how far along the Subjective story has progressed. It can’t say how much longer the story may go, but in regards to seeing how far away the concerns are, both the Main and Obstacle Characters, as well as the audience, will look to the Benchmark in order to make any kind of judgment. This Type item describes the nature of the measuring stick which will be used in the Subjective story.

Subjective Story Catalyst • [Variation] • The kind of item which serves to push the Subjective Story forward • The Subjective Story Catalyst is what creates breakthroughs and seems to accelerate the Subjective Story. In both the Objective and Subjective Stories there occur dramatic "log-jams" when things seem to be approaching a halt. This is when the Catalyst is necessary, for its introduction will either solve the puzzle that’s holding things up or else make the puzzle seem suddenly unimportant so the story can continue.

Subjective Story Concern • [Type] • The principal area of concern between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character • The nature of the things which the Main and Obstacle Characters want from their relationship; the Subjective Story Concern describes how the audience sees the concern of the Main and Obstacle character’s relationship with each other being.

Subjective Story Direction • [Element] • The direction of response in the subjective story; the apparent remedy for the symptom of the difficulties between the Main Character and The Obstacle Character • Subjective Characters do the best they can to deal with the Subjective Story Problem, but because the Main and Obstacle Characters are all looking at the problem from their subjective points of view, they can’t get enough distance to actually see the problem right away. Instead they focus on the effects of the problem, which is called the Subjective Story Focus, and choose to follow what they feel will be a remedy, which is called the Subjective Story Direction.

Subjective Story Domain • [Domain] • the realm in which the Subjective Story takes place; the background against which the relationship between the Main and Obstacle Characters is played • Stories are about meaning. Meaning is created from perspective. Perspective is the relationship between what is being examined and the point of view from where it is seen. Simply put, an author determines the subject matter of a story and how he sees it. This is what becomes the message or meaning of the story. There are four principal points of view which must come into play in all complete stories. They are the Objective, Main Character, Obstacle Character, and Subjective views. The Objective view of a story is the widest view, examining the issues that affect all the characters in the story overall. There are four principal categories of subject matter (called Classes). They are Universe, Mind, Physics and Psychology. In more conversational terms we might think of them as (in the same order) Situation, Attitude, Activity, Manner of Thinking. In reality, they represent external and internal states of affairs and external and internal processes. Anything we might consider as subject matter can be broadly categorized as being an external or internal state or process. When a point of view is attached to the subject matter, the Class of subject matter becomes the Domain or realm in which that point of view does its exploring. So, when the Objective view is associated with a Class, that Class becomes the Objective Story Domain. The Subjective Story Domain examines the issues that affect the relationship between the Main and Obstacle Characters. An SS Domain of Universe means that some fixed external situation is causing troubles for the characters, such as being stuck together as business partners. An SS Domain of Mind means that fixed attitudes are the problem, such as two ministers' differing attitudes regarding the existence of the soul in genetically engineered fetuses. An SS Domain of Physics means that the two characters' difficulties arise from an activity, such as a custody battle between parents. And an SS Domain of Psychology means that the way the Main and Obstacle Characters think is the source of problems between them, such as mother and daughter who vie for dominance.

Subjective Story Focus • [Element] • the principal symptom of the difficulties between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character, where attention is focused in the subjective story • When there is a problem in the relationship between the Main and Obstacle character, they look at it from their subjective point of view and cannot see its actual nature because it lies on the level of their motivations. Instead they focus their attention on what they believe to be the source of their problems which is really an effect of the problem. This area is called the Subjective Story Focus.

Subjective Story Inhibitor • [Variation] • The kind of item that serves to impedes the subjective story’s progress • The Subjective Story Inhibitor is what prevents the Subjective Story from just rushing full speed to the solution. It is like a brake mechanism which can be applied as the author pleases. The introduction of this item will always slow the progress of the Subjective Story. It works as the antidote to the Subjective Story Catalyst.

Subjective Story Issue • [Variation] • The central thematic topic of the Subjective Story • Each of the four Domains (Objective Story, Main Character, Obstacle Character, and Subjective Story) has its own theme. This occurs because each Domain is really just a different point of view examining the same central inequity at the heart of the story as a whole. Each Domain, then, sees the troubles in a different light and is therefore drawn to a different standard of values by which to measure it. The thematic Issue in each Domain is that standard. The Subjective Story Issue is the most contentious of the four. This is because the Subjective Story itself is the most incendiary of the Domains, representing the clash of two diametrically opposed belief systems. So, the thematic Issue of the Subjective Story pertains to the Main and Obstacle Characters and everything that happens between them. An author will use the Subjective Story Issue to draw philosophic value judgments about the central subject matter of the story's passionate argument. The audience will get a sense of what the heart of the story is all about, effectively, what the moralistic message is.

Subjective Story Problem • [Element] • the underlying cause of the difficulties between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character • This is the actual source of the inequity between the Subjective Characters which lies at the level of their motivations. Only by applying the Subjective Story Solution can the effects of this inequity finally be dealt with.

Subjective Story Line • the story as it relates to the relationship and conflict between the Main and Obstacle Characters • The passionate argument of a story is carried by the relationship between the story’s Subjective Characters-- namely, the Main and Obstacle Characters. The examination of their internal states and the articulation of the story’s passionate argument makes up the Subjective Story Line. This is not the view from within the shoes of either the Main or Obstacle Characters, but is rather like an objective view of their subjective relationship. It is a view of their story together which always sees both of them.

Subjective Story Solution • [Element] • the specific element needed to resolve the difficulties between the Main Character and The Obstacle Character • This is the item which will, if introduced, restore balance in the Subjective Story and neutralize the effects of the Problem by replacing it. It may not be actually implemented, but if it were adopted in the relationship between the Main and Obstacle Characters, it would end the source of their conflict and change their relationship.

Subjective Story Type Order • [Plot Structure] • the progressive sequence of activites and/or concerns engaged in to arrive at a solution to the problem between the Main and Obstacle Characters, act by act • As the Subjective Story progresses act by act, it covers the Subjective Story Perspective (the Perspective created by matching the Subjective Story Domain with one of the four Classes) Type by Type around the quad of Types which it contains. These four explorations make up the four acts and describe the kinds of things that will have to happen in order to arrive face to face with the Subjective Story Problem.

Subplot • [Storytelling] • a less developed story hinged to the main story • Subplots are often misunderstood to be secondary subordinate stories running in parallel to the main story. Such secondary stories are a valid storytelling technique but they are not Subplots. A Subplot in not a separate independent story but an amplification of a branch or aspect of the main story. Each Subplot is, indeed, a story in its own right but it is connected to the main story through one of the objective characters. This objective character does double duty as the Main Character (a subjective character) in the subplot. As a result, it is inappropriate to hinge a subplot around either the Main or Obstacle Characters of the main story as the two story lines would become blurred and create confusion as to the message intended. In order to keep Subplots from appearing to be the main story, it is important to draw them with less detail. This does not mean they should be incomplete or sketchy, rather that the Subplot should be explored in less depth. There can be as many Subplots as there are objective characters. A large number of subplots will become unwieldy, however, and can needlessly complicate the telling of a story, blurring or diverting the audience’s understanding of the main story. Similar to the Main Character of the main story, the Main Characters of the subplots should be limited to one story each. Not all "multiple plot" stories consist of subplots attached to a main plot. Frequently in serial programs such as soap operas, certain forms of episodic television, and some written serials such as comic strips, several complete stories run in parallel, connected only by their common setting or by using the same ensemble of characters. In this form of storytelling, characters do double duty, playing multiple roles in a number of separate plots which really do not directly affect each other. The point of note is that an author should be aware of the difference between subplot and multiple plot constructions so that the proper dramatic connections can be made to create the greatest impact.

Success • [Plot Dynamic] • the original goal is achieved • Every objective storyline in a Grand Argument Story has at its beginning a desired outcome to be sought after. Ultimately, the characters will either Succeed in achieving that outcome or fail to do so. However, Success is not always a good thing. For example, it may be that a character succeeds at something hurtful or evil. Even a well intentioned character might achieve something that he is unaware will cause harm. Whatever its quality, worth or ramifications, if the outcome desired at the story’s beginning is achieved, the story ends in Success.

Support • [Element] dyn.pr. Oppose<-->Support • indirect assistance given to another’s efforts • Support is not direct help. Direct help is actively joining someone in an effort. Support is aiding the effort without actually participating in it. For example, a character possessing the Help characteristic would join someone in digging a ditch. The character representing Support would provide a shovel and cheer them on. Support is a fine thing to keep one’s spirits up, but is awfully frustrating when you just need someone to lend you a hand. • syn. commend, extol, endorse, back, compliment, laud

Suspicion • [Variation] dyn.pr. Evidence<-->Suspicion • questioning or forming a belief based on new evidence • Suspicion is a preliminary conclusion arrived at with insufficient evidence. It is valuable in helping one know what kinds of things to look for in gathering additional evidence. But it can also be a detriment because once a character suspects something, he is less likely to examine all the evidence for a completely alternative explanation. • syn. wary approach, partially justified apprehensiveness, informed doubt, doubt based on evidence, sensible caution

Sympathy • [Overview Appreciation] •  The audience will care about the Main Character, but it will not identify with him • Sympathy describes the relationship of the audience to a Main Character whom it cares about yet does not identify with. To identify with the Main Character, empathy is needed, but some story forms do not allow for empathy from either male or female audiences, and some exclude both at once. But sympathy can still be a strong emotion, and creating a storyform which will elicit sympathy can be a way to emphasize the intricacies in a story’s storytelling and Objective Story elements rather than its emotional side.

Temptation • [Element] dyn.pr. Conscience<-->Temptation • the urge to embrace immediate benefits despite possible consequences • Temptation is the draw to belief that the negative consequences of an action are imaginary or can be avoided. Often this is just a pipe dream, and when one gives into Temptation one must pay a price. However, just as often one can avoid negative consequence and indulge one’s desires. It is our Faith and Disbelief in consequences that defines the struggle between Conscience and Temptation. ("Psssst... We’ve got this new Dramatica program that will solve all your story problems but it’s going to cost you some bucks...") • syn. indulge, embracing immediate benefits, intemperance, immoderation

Tendency • [Overview Appreciation] • the degree to which the Main Character feels compelled to embrace the quest • Not all Main Characters are well suited to solve the problem in their story. They may possess the crucial element essential to the solution yet not possess experience in using the tools needed to bring it into play. Like most of us, Main Characters have a preference for how to go about solving problems. Some prefer to immediately take action. We call these characters Do-ers. Others prefer to deliberate first to determine if the problem might go away by itself or perhaps they can adapt to it. We call these characters Be-ers. When a Do-er finds himself in a story driven by Action he is quite at home. Similarly, when a Be-er finds himself in a Decision driven story, he is quite content. Both of these combination lead to Main Characters who are more than Willing to accept the quest for a solution to the story’s problem. They are comfortable with the tools they will be required to use. But if a Do-er is placed in a Decision story or a Be-er is drawn into an Action story, the Main Character will be very Unwilling to participate in the quest at all for the tools he must use are not in his area of experience. Willing Main Characters force the plot forward. Unwilling Main Characters are dragged along by circumstances beyond their control.

Test • [Element] dyn.pr. Trust<-->Test • a trial to determine something’s validity • To test is to try out a supposition to determine if it is correct. "Run it up the flagpole and see if people salute it" is the concept here. Any explanation that makes sense has the potential to be correct or incorrect once it is actually tried in "the real world." The Test characteristic will always want to try things out before using it. This can weed out faulty items before they break down when one relies on them. However, it can also waste time when it is of the essence or waste one of the three wishes just to see if it works. • syn. trial of validity, examination, audit, inspection, scrutinization

Theme • [Dramatica term] • an argument about the relative worth of different value standards as they are compared in all appropriate contexts • Theme is developed by creating varying perspectives within a story on an issue which is central to the story. Presenting these perspectives in such a way that the most appropriate one, according to the author, moves to the forefront conveys theme to an audience. Theme occurs in both progressive and static elements of a story’s structure and is a consideration in all four stages of communication (Storyforming, Storyencoding, Storyweaving, and Reception).

Theory • [Element] dyn.pr. Hunch<-->Theory • an unbroken chain of relationships leading from a premise to a conclusion • A Theory is an unbroken web of relationships that describes a mechanism. To be a theory, the actual mechanism of each relationship in the Theory must be known as well. Unless it is understood how point A gets to point B, it might just be coincidental. For example, if two completely different and separate mechanisms are working in the same area, it may appear that one is causing a certain effect when it is really the other. Developing Theories gives the character representing Theory the ability to understand and predict how things work and fit together. The drawback is that he will not accept an obvious relationship unless all its steps can be discovered. As a result, many "common sense" approaches and understandings are not used, despite their proven value. • syn. structured explanation, concrete hypothesis, systematized descriptive knowledge, description of linear connections

Thought • [Element] dyn.pr. Knowledge<-->Thought • the process of consideration • When a character represents Thought, he illustrates the process of consideration. Unlike the logic element that is only concerned with arriving at a conclusion via reason, Thought deliberates both logical and emotional aspects of a problem, not particularly to decide an issue so much as to examine it from all perspectives. This has the advantage of illuminating every side of an issue, but has the potential disadvantage of Thought becoming an endless loop where consideration runs round in circles, chasing its mental tail and never coming to rest in a decision. • syn. the process of consideration, thinking, contemplation, mental attention, running over in your mind

Thought • [Variation] dyn.pr. Knowledge<-->Thought • the process of consideration • Thought is not always directed. Often it wanders, experiential and without conscious purpose. Thought might be about a topic or simple random musings or creative daydreaming or inspiration. At its most essential level, Thought is simply the mental force of change that rearranges the inertia of knowledge. • syn. consideration, contemplation, ponderence, musing, reflection

Threat • [Variation] dyn.pr. Security<-->Threat • an evaluation of potential negative forces • Threats are indicators or warnings that danger lurks. Avoiding real danger can be enhanced by acting at the first sign of a Threat. However, reading the indicators is a subjective endeavor. One’s biases and experiences may lead to inaccurate assessments of Threats. They may be real or imagined. When a character avoids actions or behaviors because he perceives a Threat that is truly imaginary, he might stunt his own progress toward his purpose based on an unreal fear. • syn. perceived danger, indication of peril, perceived vulnerability, warning, detected hazard

Throughline • [Dramatica Term] • A sequence of story points within a single perspective• The Objective Story, Subjective Story, Main Character, and Obstacle Character Domains each represent a different perspective on a story's problems. Each own distinct sequence of story points which must be consistent both within the perspective and also in conjunction with the other perspectives in the story as a whole.

Timelock versus Optionlock • The two kinds of limits that can force a story to its climax , running out of time or running out of options • Stories would go on forever unless they were limited in some way, forcing an end to action and/or decision. One way to bring a story to a conclusion is with a timelock which limits how long the characters have to solve the problem. The limit might be a bomb set to go off, the timing mechanism on a safe, or the poison that takes effect in 24 hours- anything that has a specific deadline and needs to be prevented or achieved. The other way to force a story to end is with a optionlock which limits how many things the characters can try to solve the problem -- trapped aboard a spaceship with a vicious creature with no one coming to the rescue, trying to escape from Alcatraz, struggling to save a relationship -- anything that has a specific scope and needs to be resolved. So in short, in a timelock the characters run out of time, in a optionlock the run out of options. As a side note, timelocks and optionlocks can co-exist but only one can be the real limit that forces the climax.

Timelock • [Plot Dynamic] • the story climax is brought about by a time limit • If not for the story being forced to a climax, it might continue forever. When a story is brought to a conclusion because the characters run out of time, it is said to contain a Timelock. As an analogy, a story might be thought of as the effort to find the solution to the story’s problem which is hidden in one of the rooms of a mansion. Each room contains a clue to the actual location of the solution. The Main Character is told he may search as many rooms as he likes in five minutes. At the end of five minutes he is given a choice. Based on the clues he has already found, he must decide if the solution is in one of the rooms he already searched or in one of the rooms he has not yet searched. Either choice may lead to success or failure, but because running out of time forced the choice it is a Timelock story. The choice represents the Timelock which brings the story to a close and forces such appreciations as Main Character Resolve (Change or Steadfast), Outcome (Success or Failure), and Judgment (Good or Bad).

Trust • [Element] dyn.pr. Test<-->Trust • acceptance without proof • To Trust is to accept without trial. Whether a concept, relationship, person, or mechanism, it will be accepted by the character possessing the Trust characteristic without supportive evidence. This helps him to get on with the job at hand in the most efficient manner, but opens him up to disastrous surprises when an assumption is proven incorrect at a critical moment. • syn. untried acceptance, untested belief in, accept implicitly, assumed dependability, unquestioned reliance on

Truth • [Variation] dyn.pr. Falsehood<-->Truth • that which is actually correct • Truth is more than facts and accuracy. Truth is meaning. Whenever someone is quoted out of context, what is reported may be factual and may be accurate but it is not Truthful. Meaning depends upon intent and purpose. That is the beauty of the legal system -- that even if someone is caught red-handed, the jury can acquit because it feels there were mitigating circumstances. The problem with Truth is that it is an interpretation and therefore open to debate. One person’s Truth is another’s Falsehood. • syn. honesty, correct information, correct notion, verity

Type • [Structural Term] • The 16 terms which are grouped directly beneath the Classes which most strongly affect Plot • There are 16 Types in the Dramatica structure, four to each Class. The Classes each represent a different point of view and the Types in that Class represent a more refined exploration of that point of view. In a sense, Types describe the basic categories of what can be seen from a given point of view. Just as Domain level appreciations create genre-like brush strokes in the story structure, Type level appreciations determine the nature of the plot.

Unending • [Element] dyn.pr. Ending<-->Unending • continuing without cessation • The Unending characteristic sees nothing as ever coming to completion. What others may see as an end, this characteristic sees as a change of direction. For example, obtaining a diploma is seen not as an end of college but as another step in one’s career (which is Unending). This has an advantage of "never saying ‘die’," which helps the motivation stay alive to keep trying. On the other hand, seeing a bad thing as unending can rob one of motivation. Also, when something is really over, the character representing Unending can’t see it. This might be a former relationship or a current job that he takes for granted. • syn. continual, ongoing, perpetual, ceaseless, interminable, incessant, perennial

Uncontrolled • [Element] dyn.pr. Control<-->Uncontrolled • directionless, unconstrained • The character representing Uncontrolled spreads himself very thin by expending his energy and motivation in all directions at once. As a result, he is fully involved in his environment, which covers all the bases. Yet, because his attention is randomly distributed, there is not single direction to his thrust. Therefore, the Uncontrolled character frequently spends a lot of energy getting nowhere. • syn. unregulated, disorganized, unfocused, rampant, unguided, open, frenzy

Understanding • [Type] dyn.pr. Learning<-->Understanding • appreciating the meaning of something • Understanding is different from knowledge. From knowledge one gets awareness, from Understanding one gets meaning. To obtain meaning requires not only knowing the substance of its nature but the context of its essence. In other words, one must not only define what something is but how it fits into the larger picture as well. To this end, Reason describes the function and Emotion defines the purpose. So Understanding is not just an intellectual pursuit but requires an empathy with the meaning as well. It is useful to note that many Eastern and ancient philosophies define Understanding as "becoming one with" that which is being considered. Until one joins his subject in unity, he cannot understand it. • syn. comprehending, grasping, appreciating, obtaining meaning, acquiring meaning

Unique Ability • [Variation] • The item that makes the Main Character uniquely able to determine the Objective Story's outcome; the item that makes the Obstacle Character uniquely able to pressure the Main Character’s to Change • Just as a requirement defines the specific nature of things needed to achieve a particular goal, Unique Ability defines the specific quality needed to meet the requirement. Unique Ability is another way in which the Main Character is identified as the intersecting point between the Subjective and Objective stories as it is only he who ultimately has what it takes to meet the test of the requirement and thereby achieve the goal. The Unique Ability need not be anything extraordinary but must be the one crucial quality required that is shared by no one else. Frequently, the Unique Ability is in keeping with the Main Character’s position or profession, however it can be much more interesting to assign an incongruous Unique Ability. In either approach, it is essential to illustrate the existence of the Unique Ability in the Main Character several times throughout the story, even if it is not employed until the climax. In this way, it becomes integrated into the nature of the Main Character and does not seem conveniently tacked on when it is ultimately needed. Also, the Unique Ability can be extremely mundane. The key is that the ability does not have to be unique by nature, but just possessed uniquely in that specific story by the Main Character. Clever storytelling may arrange the climax of the story so that some completely ordinary and insignificant Unique ability makes the difference in the outcome of a cosmic struggle.

Universe • [Class]dyn.pr. Mind<-->Universe • a situation or environment • The Universe Class is where any fixed state of affairs is explored, such as an institution, system, or situation that remains stable and unchanging. The point may be to show that the system is good, bad, or neutral, but the focus must be on the system not on how the system is changing. • syn. a situation, a set of circumstances, state of affairs, predicament, environment, milieu

Unproven • [Element] dyn.pr. Proven<-->Unproven • a conjecture that has not been tested • Unproven describes an understanding suspected to be true but not substantiated enough to call it fact. The character representing Unproven will not accept anything as fact just because the theory has worked so far. No matter how many times or how many ways evidence builds to support the contention, Unproven will not be satisfied until the conclusion is absolutely drawn in hard data not just road tests. This keeps the character representing Unproven from jumping to conclusions, but makes him less able to accept the obvious conclusion unless it is directly observed in a way that is not open to alternative interpretation. • syn. unverified, unconfirmed, unestablished, undemonstrated, untried

Unwilling • [Overview Appreciation] • The Main Character unwillingly participates in the effort to find a solution to the story problem • Unwilling describes a Main Character who would prefer not to become involved in either the problem or the search for a solution. As a result, some sort of leverage must be applied to "force" him to join the quest. Once the Main Character is enticed or coerced into beginning the journey toward a solution, he requires outside encouragement or compulsion to keep up the effort.

Value • [Variation] dyn.pr. Worth<-->Value • the objective usefulness or desirability of something in general • Value is a good indicator by which to predict its import to others. However, no one really thinks completely objectively so there is always a degree of personal preference included in a determination of Value. Difficulties arise when a character neglects the personal worth someone else may or may not find in something of specific value. For example, a Boss may find it of no direct Value, but placing a candy bar on each employees desk for them to find in the morning can have a lot of worth to the employee. Indirectly, then, Value is returned to the Boss in the form of a better day’s work. But seeing the indirect Value is difficult from the subjective view. Learning to see items and actions not just for their intrinsic Value, but for their conditional Value is a strong thematic message. • syn. utility, objective appraisal, general usefulness

Variation • [Structural Term] • The 64 items that can be employed in a story's thematic arguments • The variations describe the thematic message and the development of that message in the story. Variations are measuring sticks by which the author wishes his message to be evaluated. It is the discrepancy between opposing ways of evaluating the meaning of the story that creates the thematic statement as to which is the best way or that one way is no better or worse than another. There are 64 Variations in the Dramatica structure, 16 to each Class.

Willing • [Overview Appreciation] • The Main Character willingly participates in the effort to find a solution to the story problem • Willing describes a Main Character who is self-motivated to find a solution to the story’s problem. Even if the going is tough, he requires no outside encouragement or compulsion to keep up the effort.

Wisdom • [Variation] dyn.pr. Enlightenment<-->Wisdom • understanding how to apply Knowledge • Wisdom is the meaning of what is known. A Character may be aware of facts but unless he sees the pattern that organizes those facts, the knowledge alone may be useless. Wisdom, therefore, does not describe just being aware of something but understanding how many bits of knowledge fit together .• syn. mental mastery, integrated understanding, seasoned understanding, comprehension, astute cogency

Work • [Variation] dyn.pr. Attempt<-->Work • applying oneself to something known to be within one’s ability • When a task lies within one’s known abilities, effort applied to the task is Work. There are no surprises; no short-comings. But has one accurately judged both one’s abilities and the demands of the task? If not, perhaps the task is not achievable or of a size that one must increase one’s abilities before undertaking it. • syn. appropriate undertaking, suitable task, manageable labor, a performable activity

Worry • [Variation] dyn.pr. Confidence<-->Worry • concern for the future • Like confidence, Worry looks toward the future but is based on a projection of negative experience. When in the past seemingly innocuous situations have developed into disasters, one learns to Worry at the slightest evidence of instability. Worry has the positive quality of motivating one to prepare for the worst. If the worst happens, the character representing Worry is truly prepared. But how often does the worst actually happen? The downside is that resources one might use to make advances are wasted just trying to protect the status quo. And those who worry tend to avoid unknown situations that might hold substantial rewards. • syn. anxiety, concern, apprehension, misgivings

Worth • [Variation] dyn.pr. Value<-->Worth • a rating of usefulness or desirability to oneself personally• Worth describes the subjective value of an item or action to an individual. Of course, this varies greatly from individual to individual. This is the nature of garage sales • one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. Making choices on the basis of Worth is an efficient way to get the most with one’s resources. But there may be all kinds of potential locked in something a character considers worthless because objectively it has great Value. For example, Native Americans used gold simply as a decoration. To them it had little other Worth. Of course to Europeans it had significant Value. A character who ignores potential value because of low Worth can live to regret the deals he makes in a story, both physically and emotionally. • syn. subjective value, individual appraisal, personal importance

 

 

Dramatica Synonyms

Ability • [Element] • innate capacity, capability, talent for, inherent proficiency

Ability • [Variation] • talent, knack, capability, capacity, faculty

Acceptance • [Element] • acquiescence, tolerance, allowance for, consent, submission

Accurate • [Element] • within tolerance, sufficient, adequate, acceptable, passable

Actuality • [Element] • the true state of things, objective reality, factuality, demonstrable existence, demonstrable reality

Analysis • [Variation] • evaluation, examination, breakdown of situation, close investigation, scrutinization

Appraisal • [Variation] • first impression, preliminary understanding, initial approach, initial assimilation

Approach • [Variation] • method, procedure, style, manner, manner of doing, one’s own way

Attempt • [Variation] • try, uncertain undertaking, speculative endeavor, dubious effort, endeavor, unlikely venture

Attitude • [Variation] • demeanor, manner of approach, countenance, behavioral outlook, perspective on doing

Attraction • [Variation] • allure, enticement, charm, captivate, appeal, draw, lure

Avoid • [Element] • evade, dodge, elude, escape, steer clear of, prevent

Aware • [Element] • outward perceptiveness, external sensitivity, consciousness of the external, responsive

Becoming • [Type] • embodying, manifesting, personifying, incarnating, transforming

Being • [Type] • pretending, appearing, acting like, seeming as, fulfilling a role

Cause • [Element] • engender, induce, elicit, determinant, reason for, factor, effector, source, agent, antecedent

Certainty • [Element] • sureness, definiteness, having no doubts, total reliability, indisputability, irrefutability, unmistakability, certitude, conviction

Change • [Element] • altering, altering force, modify, reshape, adjust, adapt

Chaos • [Element] • randomness, anarchy, disorder, formlessness, noncohesion

Choice • [Variation] • decision, selection, determination, pick

Circumstances • [Variation] • how things stand emotionally, emotional evaluation of the environment, value of existing conditions, relationship to others

Closure • [Variation] • finishing, completion, resolution, recursive

Commitment • [Variation] • dedication, devotion, steadfastness, zeal

Conceiving • [Type] • originating, inventing, devising, engendering, hatching ideas

Conceptualizing • [Type] • visualizing, imagining, envisioning, visualizing implementation

Conditioning • [Variation] • habituation, trained response, accustomed response, adaptive adjustments

Confidence • [Variation] • hopeful prospects, positive expectations, faithful anticipation, optimism

Conscience • [Element] • forgoing for fear of consequences, forgo, forbearance, temperance, abstinence, restraining oneself

Conscious • [Type] • considerations, sensibilities, cognizant, ability to consider, sensible, informed contemplation, contemplation

Consider • [Element] • deliberate, contemplate, ponder, weigh in the mind, mull

Control • [Element] • regulate, organized management, steer, conduct, guide, manipulate, focused organization

Deduction • [Element] • drawing a conclusion, process of elimination, demonstrative reasoning, narrowing to a single point

Deficiency • [Variation] • inadequacy, insufficiency, deficit, unfulfilled need

Delay • [Variation] • put off, retard, postpone, defer, suspend, prolong, procrastinate

Denial • [Variation] • not accepting, refusal to end, unwillingness to let go, refusal to back down, stubbornness, uncompliant

Desire • [Element] • drive, motivational goal, unfulfillment, source of discontent, essence of motivation

Desire • [Variation]• want, favor, like, covet, prefer, wish, aspire

Destiny • [Variation] • inescapable path, predetermined trajectory, set direction of the future, inevitable path, unavoidable trajectory

Determination • [Element] • ascertaining causes, discovering causes, finding the reasons why, figuring out factors, discerning antecedents

Disbelief • [Element] • refusal to accept, distrust, find unconvincing, find false, unpersuadability

Doing • [Type] • performing, executing, effecting action, acting

Doubt • [Variation] • pessimism, uninformed misgivings, uncertainty, trepidation, distrust

Dream • [Variation] • aspire, desiring the unlikely, pulling for the doubtful, airy hope, glimmer, far fetched desire

Effect • [Element] • result, consequence, outcome, culmination, the ensuing

Ending • [Element] • conclusion, finish, completion, termination, close

Enlightenment • [Variation] • insight, illumination, intuitive discernment, transcendent comprehension

Equity • [Element] • balance, fairness, parity, equilibrium, level, even

Evaluation • [Element] • appraisal, analysis, assessment, survey, examination

Evidence • [Variation] • proof, indicator, supporting information, corroborating facts, grounds for belief, substantiation

Expectation • [Element] • anticipated results, eventual outcome, presumed prospects, probable denouement, likely consequences

Expediency • [Variation] • advisability, convenience, prudent efficiency

Experience • [Variation] • familiarization, level of practice, seasoning, accumulated feelings, accumulated dealings with

Fact • [Variation] • belief in the genuine, ultimately real beliefs, truly real beliefs, authentic notion, authentic idea, correct knowledge, correct beliefs

Faith • [Element] • acceptance without proof, steadfast belief, confidence in unproven, credence, unquestioned trust

Falsehood • [Variation] • erroneousness, untruth, erroneous notion, mistaken, astray, dishonest

Fantasy • [Variation] • false belief, faith in the imaginary, delusion, erroneous conviction

Fate • [Variation] • inevitable events, unpreventable incidents, eventual events, destined occurrence, destined events, unavoidable situations

Feeling • [Element] • empathy, emotional sensibility, affective outlook, sentiment, emotional assessment

Future • [Type] • what is to come, what will be, prospect, prospective

Help • [Element] • aid, assist, support, bolster, abet

Hinder • [Element] • retard, obstruct, impede, fetter, undermine, block, burden, encumber, thwart

Hope • [Variation] • desired expectation, optimistic anticipation, confident aspiration, promise, encouraging outlook

Hunch • [Element] • intuition, premonition, impression, suspicion

Inaction • [Element] • passive reaction, inactive response, achieve through not doing

Induction • [Element] • postulate, predicate, conjecture, infer, hypothesize, determine possibility

Inequity • [Element] • imbalance, unfair, disparity, unequal, uneven, disproportionate

Inertia • [Element] • tendency to continue, a change resistant pattern, continuation, following an established direction

Instinct • [Variation] • involuntary drive, innate impulse, unconditioned response, automatic response, unconditioned motivation

Interdiction • [Variation] • altering the future, interfering with the predetermined, hindering the inevitable, escaping the predestined

Interpretation • [Variation] • construe, rendition, rendering meaning, elucidate, translating meaning

Investigation • [Variation] • inquiry, research, probe, sleuthing, delving, query

Knowledge • [Element] • learnedness, held truths, authoritative certainty, generally agreed upon truths

Knowledge • [Variation] • held truth, maintained information, presumed facts, accepted ideas

Learning • [Type] • cultivating experience, acquiring information, collecting data, gathering knowledge

Logic • [Element] • linear reasoning, rationality, structural sensibility, syllogistics

Memory • [Type] • remembering, recollections, reminiscence, recalling, retention

Mind • [Class] • attitude, fixation, position on an issue, fixed point of view, disposition

Morality • [Variation] • selflessness, altruism, benevolence, generosity

Need • [Variation] • subjective necessity, urge, demand, imperative

Non-Acceptance • [Element] • run counter to, reject, decline, repudiate, resist, refusal to compromise

Non-Accurate • [Element] • not within tolerance, insufficiency, inadequacy, deviancy, deficient to the purpose

Obligation • [Variation] • agreement, pledge, contract, accepted compulsion, emotional contract

Obtaining • [Type] • controlling for oneself, possessing, having, keeping

Openness • [Variation] • broad mindedness, tolerance, willingness to reevaluate, receptiveness

Oppose • [Element] • object to, speak out against, argue against, protest, dispute, show disapproval of, detract from

Order • [Element]• structure, patterned arrangement, organization, patterned formation, formation, configuration, patterned sequence

Past • [Type] • history, what has happened, former times, retrospective

Perception • [Element] • appearance, how things seem to be, discernment, a particular reading of things, a point of view on reality, a way of seeing

Permission • [Variation] • constrained ability, limited capability, restricted capacity, hindered performance, allowed limitations, restrained utility

Physics • [Class] • an activity, an enterprise, an initiative, an endeavor, an operation

Possibility • [Element] • plausibility, viability, conceivable eventualities, open assessment

Potentiality • [Element] • chance, precariousness, focusing on the uncertain, going with the improbable

Preconception • [Variation] • prejudice, closed mindedness, narrow mindedness, intolerance, stubbornness, unwillingness to reevaluate

Preconditions • [Variation] • provision, prescribed specification, imposed stipulation, limiting parameters, imposed limitations

Preconscious • [Type] • unthinking responses, immediate responses, impulse, impulsive response, instinctive response, innate response, reflex

Prediction • [Variation] • foresight, foreseeing, anticipation, envisioning one’s future, prophecy, forecast, foretell, prognosticate

Prerequisites • [Variation] • essential steps, necessary requisites, compulsory stipulation

Present • [Type] • how things stand, the here and now, current situation, as of this moment

Proaction • [Element] • to initiate action, execute, undertake, commit, implement

Probability • [Element] • likelihood, prospective, predictable, promising

Process • [Element] • chain of interactions, manner of procedure, cause/effect relation, progression, ongoing pull or tendency

Production • [Element] • determining potential, noticing possibilities, ruling out future impossibilities, discovering of potential

Progress • [Type] • flowing, advancing, proceeding, moving forward, developing step by step, graduated, staging, successive, procession, the way things are going

Projection • [Element] • anticipation, how things will be, most likely, probable

Protection • [Element] • defense, safeguard, preservation, precaution

Proven • [Element] • verified, confirmed, corroborated, established, demonstrated, shown

Psychology • [Class] • ways of thinking, thinking process, activity of the psyche, manipulation of others

Pursuit • [Element] • seek, go after, attempt to achieve, look for, directed effort

Rationalization • [Variation] • fabricated excuse, ulterior explanation, false justification, artificial reason

Reaction • [Element] • response, reply, acting from stimulus, goaded to action

Re-appraisal • [Variation] • reassess, rechecking, checking up, re-examining a conclusion, re-evaluating a conclusion

Reconsider • [Element] • re-examining conclusions, rethinking, to mull over again, further deliberation, additional scrutiny

Reduction • [Element] • determining probability, comparisons of potentiality, measurement of likelihood, judging probabilities

Re-evaluation • [Element] • re-appraisal, further assessment, subsequent analysis, scrutiny of first impressions

Repulsion • [Variation] • unattractive, repellent, foreboding, unsavory, pushing away, forcing back

Responsibility • [Variation] • assumed propriety, believed appropriateness, self designated aptness, accepted suitability

Result • [Element] • ramifications of an effect, consequence, repercussion, impact, end product

Security • [Variation] • evaluation of safety, measure of safeguards, appraisal of one’s protections, gauge of defenses

Self-Aware • [Element] • self-conscious, conscious of one’s existence, self-perceiving, self-appreciating, self-cognizant

Self-Interest • [Variation] • self-serving, self-centered, narcissistic, selfishness, self-absorbed, egocentric

Sense of Self • [Variation] • perception of self, self image, self identity, self attribution

Senses • [Variation] • perceptual data, raw sensations, sensory impressions, immediate impressions, perceptions

Situation • [Variation] • how things stand rationally, a reasoned evaluation of environment, arranged context, environmental state, surroundings, predicament

Skill • [Variation] • proficiency, aptitude, competence, adeptness, degree of expertise, practiced ability, honed ability

Speculation • [Element] • prognostication, surmising possibilities, conjecturing

State-of-Being • [Variation] • essence, one’s true self, true self, essential nature, core being

Strategy • [Variation] • scheme, tactic, plan, ploy, decided approach

Subconscious• [Type] • libido, id, basic motivations, basic drives, anima

Support • [Element] • commend, extol, endorse, back, compliment, laud

Suspicion • [Variation] • wary approach, partially justified apprehension, informed doubt, doubt based on evidence, sensible caution

Temptation • [Element] • indulge, embracing immediate benefits, intemperance, immoderation

Test • [Element] • trial of validity, examination, audit, inspection, scrutinization

Theory • [Element] • structured explanation, concrete hypothesis, systematized descriptive knowledge, description of linear connections

Thought • [Element] • the process of consideration, thinking, contemplation, mental attention, running over in your mind

Thought • [Variation] • consideration, contemplation, ponderence, musing, reflection

Threat • [Variation] • perceived danger, indication of peril, perceived vulnerability, warning, detected hazard

Trust • [Element] • untried acceptance, untested belief in, accept implicitly, assumed dependability, unquestioned reliance on

Truth • [Variation] • honesty, correct information, correct notion, verity

Unending • [Element] • continual, ongoing, perpetual, ceaseless, interminable, incessant, perennial

Uncontrolled • [Element] • unregulated, disorganized, unfocused, rampant, unguided, open, frenzy

Understanding • [Type] • comprehending, grasping, appreciating, obtaining meaning, acquiring meaning

Universe • [Class] • a situation, a set of circumstances, state of affairs, predicament, environment, milieu

Unproven • [Element] • unverified, unconfirmed, unestablished, undemonstrated, untried

Value • [Variation] • utility, objective appraisal, general usefulness

Wisdom • [Variation] • mental mastery, integrated understanding, seasoned understanding, comprehension, astute cogency

Work • [Variation] • appropriate undertaking, suitable task, manageable labor, a performable activity

Worry • [Variation] • anxiety, concern, apprehension, misgivings

Worth [Variation] • subjective value, individual appraisal, personal importance [Variation] • subjective value, individual appraisal, personal importance [Variation] • subjective value, individual appraisal, personal importance


Visit the Dramatica Theory Home Page

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

About Dramatica and StoryWeaver

Hi, I'm Melanie Anne Phillips, creator of StoryWeaver, co-creator of Dramatica and owner of Storymind.com.  If you have a moment, I'd like to tell you about  these two story development tools - what each is designed to do, how each works alone on a different part of story development and how they can be used together to cover the entire process from concept to completion of your novel or screenplay.

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 Together

By itself Dramatic 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.

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 Both Programs 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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Our Bestseller!  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 Pro - $179.95

Includes 2 Exclusive Bonuses! 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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Dramatica Writer's DreamKit - $49.95

Little brother to Dramatica Pro, Writer's DreamKit is built around the same patented Story Engine - it just tracks fewer story points.  So, you develop the same solid story structure, just with fewer details.  Perfect for beginning writers or those new to Dramatica.

Power Structure <br>Story Development <br>Software

Power Structure - $149.95

An all-in-one writing environment with built-in word processor that helps you organize and cross-reference your story development materials.  INCLUDES DVD SET BONUS!

Power Writer

Power Writer - $99.95

The little brother of Power Structure includes the essential organization and word processing tools writers need the most.

Throughline - Index Cards (Mac) - $19.95

Interactive index cards - add notes, titles, colors, click and drag to re-arrange.  An essential tool for every writer.

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Movie Magic Screenwriter - $149.95

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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Final Draft - $199.95

Like Movie Magic Screenwriter, Final Draft is an industry standard, used by many professional screenwriters and studios around the world.

Between The Lines (Macintosh) - $29.95

The lowest cost automatic screenplay formatter for Macintosh includes high-end features such as interactive index cards linked to your script.

20 hour Writing<br>Course on CD ROM<br>featuring Dramatica

12 Hour Writing Course - $19.95

Everything you need to know about story structure - twelve hours of video on a single DVD - presented by Dramatica Theory co-creator, Melanie Anne Phillips.

Dramatica Software<br>Companion CD ROM

Dramatica Software Companion - $19.95

More than four hours of video demonstrations of every key feature in Dramatica, narrated by the co-creator of Dramatica.

Writing with the Story Mind<br>1 hour audio program

StoryWeaving Tips Book - $19.95

170 pages of eye-opening essays on story structure, storytelling, finding inspiration and a wide variety of writing techniques.

Writing with the Story Mind<br>1 hour audio program

StoryWeaving Seminar 8 DVD Set - $99.95

14 hours of video from a live two day course taught by theory co-creator Melanie Anne Phillips covering Dramatica story structure and StoryWeaver storytelling.

Writing with the Story Mind<br>1 hour audio program

StoryWeaving Seminar Online - $49.95

The same 14 hour program presented in streaming video that you can view online or download for a permanent copy.

The Dramatica Theory<br>2 hour audio program

Dramatica Theory 2 Hour Audio Program - $19.95

Every key concept in the Dramatica Theory of Story is fully explained in this double-CD set.

Writing Characters<br>of the Opposite Sex

Writing Characters of the Opposite Sex - $29.95

A three-hour audio CD set that explains everything you need to know to create characters of both sexes that ring absolutely true (and maybe even gain insight into the communication problems in the real world!)

Master Storyteller:<br>Improve your<br>Writing Skills!

Master Storyteller Improves Your Writing - $29.95

Become a better writing with this series of interactive exercises.

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How to Create Great Characters DVD - $19.95

A 90 minute video program recorded during Dramatica co-creator Melanie Anne Phillips' live in-person seminar on story structure and storytelling.

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Structure vs. Passion - Audio CD $19.95

The Story Mind approach to writing uses your own passions to create your story's structure.  It focuses your efforts, clarifies the direction of your story, and triggers your imagination.


Writing with the Story Mind - Audio CD - $19.95

Learn how to psychoanalyze your story's "mind" to uncover and treat problems with characters, plot, theme, and genre.


 

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