Storymind.com Writing Tips & Writing Software
 

Screenwriting Software

Books and Videos on Writing

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

 

Software

 
StoryWeaver

$29.95

A step by step approach to story development, from concept to completed story for your novel or screenplay. More than 200 interactive Story Cards guide you through the entire process.

Details and Demo


Dramatica

$149.95

Dramatica Pro 4.0<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

The most powerful story structuring software available, Dramatica is driven by a patented "Story Engine" that cross-references your dramatic choices to ensure a perfect structure.

Details and Demo


Movie Magic Screenwriter

$149.95

Movie Magic Screenwriter<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

The most advanced screenwriting software available, Movie Magic is deemed a "preferred file format" by the Writer's Guild. An industry standard, MMS is used by professionals and studios around the world.

Details and Demo


Throughline Index Cards

$9.95

Interactive index cards - Name them, add notes, titles, colors, click and drag to re-arrange, adjust font, save, export and print. An essential tool for every writer.

Details


Academic Discounts
on Select Products

Are you a student, teacher, or academic staffer? Get the very best price on select products with these manufacturer sponsored academic discounts!

Details



 

  

 
The Story Mind

by Melanie Anne Phillips

(hear this article in Real Audio 3.0)

Story mind... what is that? And more importantly, what does it have to do with writers or writing? Well, if there is a central concept to the Dramatica Theory of Story, it is the notion of The Story Mind. According to Dramatica theory, every complete story is an analogy to a single human mind, trying to deal with an inequity. That's quite a mouthful, so let me state it once again for clarity. Dramatica sees every complete story as an analogy to a single human mind trying to deal with an inequity.

In other words, stories are not really about characters, plot, theme, and genre, but rather, characters, plot, theme, and genre represent different families of consideration that go on in a single human mind when it is trying to come to terms with an inequity. Characters are the different motivations of the Story Mind that influence each other, jockey for position, or come into conflict. Theme represents the value standards of the Story Mind - the measuring sticks by which the Story Mind determines what is better and what is worse. Plot demonstrates the Story Mind's methodologies or techniques it employs in trying to resolve the inequity at the heart of the story. And genre determines the Story Mind's personality - what kind of a mind it is that is doing this consideration.

Well, that's a rather bold statement to make. After all, why would such a complex model of psychology end up being at the center of story structure? Surely writers didn't sit down and say, "I think I'll write an analogy to a single human mind trying to deal with an inequity." Not hardly. So where does the Story Mind come from? According to Dramatica, this model of the mind happens quite naturally, by itself, as a byproduct of the process of communication.

When we seek to communicate we can't reach our audience directly - mind to mind . Rather, we must transmit our message through a medium. To do this, we fashion a symbolic representation of what we have in mind in the hope it will affect our audience the same way it does us. In effect, we create a model of what we are thinking and feeling for the audience to embrace. Which symbols we use depends upon our personal experiences and the culture in which we are working. But beneath the specific symbols are the essential human qualities that are the same in all of us - all cultures and all times.

In and of themselves, these qualities do not yet constitute a model of the mind. For example, if we wanted to convey fear, then we would choose a symbol that would invoke fear in our audience. That human quality would then be communicated. But it is only a small part of what makes up each of our minds.

As communication evolved, the earliest storytellers progressed beyond simply expressing basic emotions or single concepts and began to tell tales. A tale is a progression of symbols that connect one feeling or consideration to the next in an unbroken chain. In this way, an author could lead an audience along an emotional journey and also illustrate that a particular approach led to a particular outcome.

It didn't take these authors long to realize, however, that the human heart cannot leap from one emotion to another indiscriminately without passing through the emotions in between. This concept is well documented in The Seven Stages of Grief, and even in Freud's Stages of human development.

Similarly, a logistic chain must not skip any links or it will be held as invalid. So, when telling a tale, the early storytellers developed a feel for which intermediate symbolic steps were required to get from one point of view to another, both logistically and emotionally. We see the result of these discoveries in concepts such as the hero's journey, and story as myth.

Still, this is not a complete model of the mind. A tale is simply a statement that a series of concepts led from point A to point B. In other words, the message of a tale is that a particular series of events can happen. It will be accepted or rejected by an audience solely on the basis of taking the right steps logistically and making the right connections emotionally. Yes, this could happen, or no it could not.

Many fine works through the ages and even today in novels, motion pictures and television are really not complete stories, but simply tales. So what constitutes a story? Well, if a tale is a statement, then a story is an argument. A tale says, "this path led to this outcome indicating it is a good way or a bad way to go about solving a problem". A tale states that a particular outcome is possible. A story says, "this path always leads to this outcome indicating it is always a good way or a bad way to go about solving a problem". A story argues that a particular outcome is inevitable.

If an early author made a statement that a particular case was good or bad, he or she would simply have to prove that a particular approach led to a positive or negative outcome. But if that author tried to tell the audience the approach was always good or always bad, more than likely someone in the audience would say, "Well, what about under these conditions," or "what about in this context?" Being right there, the author could counter that rebuttal by explaining how the approach would still be best or worst even in that additional case. He or she would either make the point, or fail to make it, in which case the argument would be lost, and the tale would remain as a only a statement, true for that case alone.

As the art of communication evolved beyond the spoken word to the written word, however, the author was no longer physically present to argue the point. Instead, if an author wanted to "prove" inevitability, he or she would have to anticipate all reasonable challenges to that statement, and preclude dissension by incorporating all appropriate arguments in the work itself. In this manner, by the time the story is told, not only is a statement made that an approach is good or bad, but all necessary supporting arguments have also been made to "prove" it could not be any other way.

To make these supporting arguments, an author needs to look at the story not only from his or her own point of view, but to anticipate all the other points of view on the issue that audience members might take. By the time the work is finished, it should represent a full exploration of the issue at the heart of the story - both logistically and emotionally, addressing all considerations a human mind might explore within the scope of the argument. In so doing, a complete mind-set is created - an full analogy of a single human mind trying to deal with an inequity - the Story Mind.

Characters, plot, theme, and genre, evolve naturally out of this process to represent the full spectrum of considerations made by the human mind. Acts, Sequences, Scenes, and Events also evolve naturally as the Story Mind finishing considering the issue from one point of view and shifts it's attention to another.

A story suffers if it's argument is left incomplete because a valid point of view is not considered. To avoid plot holes, missing characters, unbalanced themes, and sporadic genres, it pays an author well to consider the story mind as a foundation upon which to build a story.


Visit the Dramatica Theory Home Page

Try Dramatica & StoryWeaver Risk Free*

$179.95                       $29.95          

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

About Dramatica and StoryWeaver

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.

 
StoryWeaver Demo
 
Dramatica Demo
 

$29.95padFormat: Windows / Mac CD-ROM
 

  $29.95padFormat: Windows Download
 

$29.95padFormat: Mac OSX Download
 

Download ~ $179.95 

Boxed version ~ $199.95


 
Student or Teacher?
Get Dramatica Pro for just $99.95!

Our Complete Catalog of Products

Get the Writer's Survival Kit Bonus Package
FREE with ANY purchase!
A $300 Value!

StoryWeaver - $29.95

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.

Dramatica Pro 4.0<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

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.

Dramatica Writers DreamKit 4.0

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.

Movie Magic Screenwriter<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

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.

Final Draft 7 <br>Screenwriting Software

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.

BS00865A.gif (2933 bytes)

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.

Click to enlarge

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.


 

Academic Prices - Discounts on Select Products

Are you a student, teacher, or academic staffer?  Get the very best price on select products with these manufacturer sponsored academic discounts! 

PACKAGE DEALS

Package Deals - Starting at $49.95

Get deep discounts with these bundles of our most popular writing products.

Writer's Survival Kit Bonus Package - FREE!

Free with ANY purchase - Writing software, online writing workshops, writing seminars on video, story theory book, and much, MUCH more! 

 

 


Resources

 
Articles

Video/Audio

Downloads

Subscribe to Storymind Writing Tips Newsletter


Articles

Most Popular

Characters

Plot

Theme

Genre

Creative Writing

Constructive Criticisms

The Story Mind

Story Points

Propaganda

Reception

Story Development

Story Structure

Dramatica Theory

Dramatica Software

 


Video/Audio

The Story Mind

Characters

Plot

Theme

Genre

Storyforming

Story Ecoding

Storyweaving

Reception


Downloads

Story Structure eBook

4 Hour Audio Program
on Story Sructure

StoryformingNewsletter

Story Struicture inThe Real World eBook

eBooks, Guides

Demos & Trials

Subscribe to Storymind Writing Tips Newsletter
 

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

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