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Introduction to
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Narrative Science
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Your Story Will Fail
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Follow Us at The Writer's Survival Kit Bonus Package Dramatica A New Theory of Story

Free Online Book on Narrative Structure

Developed and Written by
Melanie Anne Phillips & Chris Huntley


Dramatica is a revolutionary theory of how and why stories work that can be used to analyze existing stories for flaws and to create original works with flawless structure.

This is a free online version of the original book that documented the theory, which became the basis for the Dramatica line of software products that implement the theory to help authors keep their stories structurally sound.

Originally introduced in 1994, both the theory and software have been used on countless best selling novels, motion pictures with collective box office receipts of billions of dollars, and in all media from short stories to stage plays to interactive fiction.

Beginning in 2010, the theory and software have been used extensively in real world applications of narrative, successfully predicting the behavior of terrorist groups, identifying the trigger points of lone wolf terrorists, and in the corporate world on projects ranging from establishing a group identity for a professional sports team to connecting a manufacturer of luxury cars with Millennial customers.

Here you will find a complete documentation of the nature, origin and function of narrative, both in fiction and the real world.


In support of the on-line writing community, Screenplay Systems Incorporated is providing this special on-line edition of the 450 page book, DRAMATICA: A NEW THEORY OF STORY.

Dramatica: A New Theory Of Story

How This Book Is Arranged


I. Dramatica & the Creative Writer

II. Foundations: Central Concepts


III. Introduction to Characters

IV. Introduction to Archetypes

V. Objective Character Functions

VI. Action and Decision Elements of Drivers and Passengers

VII. Placing Motivation Elements into Quads

VIII. Complex Motivation Characteristics

IX. Exploring Other Character Dimensions

X. Subjective Characters

XI. Problem Solving and Justification


XII. Elements of Structure: Theme

XIII. Domain Descriptions

XIV. Concerns, Ranges and Problems

XV. Deep Theme Theory


XVI. Elements of Structure: Plot

XVII. Plot Appreciations

XVIII. Plot Progression


XIX. Elements of Structure: Genre


XX. SECTION TWO: The Art of Storytelling

Stage 1: Storyforming

XXI. Storytelling and Character Dynamics

XXII. Storytelling and Plot Dynamics

XXIII. Storytelling and Storyforming Structural Appreciations

XXIV. Storytelling and Plot Appreciations

XXV. Storytelling and Thematic and Character Appreciations

Stage 2: Storyencoding

XXVI. Introduction to Story Encoding

XXVII. Encoding Objective Characters

XXVIII. Encoding Subjective Characters

XXIX. Encoding Theme

XXX. Encoding Plot

XXXI. Encoding Genre

Stage 3: Storyweaving

XXXII. Introduction to Storyweaving

XXXIII. Storyweaving and Structure

XXXIV. Storyweaving and Storytelling

Spatial Techniques

Temporal Techniques

XXXV. Storyweaving Tips

Tips for Short Stories
Tips for Episodic Television Series

Tips for Multi-Story Ensemble Series and Soap Operas
Tips for Novels
Tips for Motion Pictures

Stage 4: Story Reception

XXXVI. About the Audience

XXXVII. A Quick Lesson In Propaganda

XXXVIII. Adaptation