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Dramatica &





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 4.0<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

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

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Movie Magic Screenwriter


Movie Magic Screenwriter<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

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

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Throughline Index Cards


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


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Archetypal Breakdown

by Melanie Anne Phillips
creator StoryWeaver, co-creator Dramatica

Recently this question came my way:

So my question is how come this (from the Authorís perspective) is the first set wherein the Archetypes donít fit in with the Dramatica rules. Specifically I am referring to the Sidekick, Skeptic, Guardian, and Antagonistís Purposes. They all have ratings and judgments in the same quad! (Ability and Knowledge, Order and Equity, etc.) Does this mean that when using these Archetypal Purposes they will feel weaker or that they internally contradict one another? I think I remember from the online book (v.3) that when elements from the same quad are used in the same character that it kind of narrows what you can do as an author and creates a sort of internal conflict within the character.

Here is a brief response:

To answer your question, first take a look at the Dramatica structural chart. Youíll notice that the good olí original eight Archetypes work fine in Universe, Physics, and Psychology, but not in Mind. If you try to create them in Mind, the Elements of, say, the Protagonist (Pursuit and Consider) are in the same quad!

Why? Because the structure has a built-in bias. Simply put, when you look at anything, you arenít looking at whatís behind you. Another way, when you look around yourself, you never see what is right under your feet. Instead, you have to synthesize that view based on the information you DO see.

This means there would be no way to see the Dramatica structure at all, unless we adopt a point of view. And, as soon as we have a point of view, we can see one part clearly and another part gets wanky.

But, the "wankiness" is consistent, so that the Story Engine can be accurate.

Now, when seen from this perspective, Motivations are the most clearly seen dimension of character. So, the 8 original Archetypes work in three out of four Classes. And, if seen as Motivation characters, then you can see their Evaluations, Methods, and Purposes. But if you shift your point of view of the characters and see them as Evaluation characters (rather than Motivation character who have Evaluations) the patterns fall apart. The patterns are equally wanky with Methods, but when you get all the way across the lake to Purposes (the farther thing from Motivations) then the patterns go completely haywire.

Still, looking at those other perspectives of Archetypes is a much better way to describe many of the stories that are told. To truly tailor Dramatica the software to accommodate that part of the theory, you would need to create four DIFFERENT arrangements of the structure that favored each of the four perspectives. Weíve talked about that, but it is a mammoth task and will require some time to get it right.

In the meantime, you may note that Dramaticaís "rule" about Elements is that characters should "never" contain dynamically opposite Elements (those that are diagonal on the chart). This is never violated by any of the new Archetypes nor the original 8. Then there is a rule of thumb that it is usually better not to put Elements from the same quad into a single character, but this is only true part of the time and should be taken with a grain of salt.

I hope this clarifies the issue a bit and makes the Archetypes a tad more accessible and a bit more useful.


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About Dramatica and StoryWeaver

What They Do

Dramatica is a tool to help you build a perfect story structure.  StoryWeaver is a tool to help you build your story's world.

Dramatica focuses on the underlying logic of your story, making sure there are no holes or inconsistencies. 

StoryWeaver focuses on the creative process, boosting your inspiration and guiding it to add depth, detail and passion  to your story.

How They Do It

Dramatica has the world's only patented interactive Story Engineô 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 Cardsô step by step through the story development process.  You'll design the people who'll inhabit your story's world, what happens to them, and what it all means.

How They Work Alone

By itself Dramatica appeals to structural writers who like to work out all the details of their stories logically before they write a word.

By itself, StoryWeaver appeals to intuitive writers who like to follow their Muse and develop their stories as they go.

How They Work Together

But, the finished work of a structural writer can often lack passion, which is where StoryWeaver can help.  And the finished work of an intuitive writer can often lack direction, which is where Dramatica can help.

So, while each kind of writer will find one program or the other the most initially appealing, both kinds of writers can benefit from both programs.

Try Either Program Risk Free!

We have a 90 Day Return Policy here at Storymind.  Try either or both of these products and if you aren't completely satisfied we'll cheerfully refund your purchase price.

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