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Dramatica Writing Tips
What Is Dramatica?
Dramatica is a new theory describing how stories work. It is also the name of a line of
software products that help authors use the theory to design flawless dramatic structures
for their stories.
The more you know about the theory, the more useful the software becomes. This book
describes all the key concepts in the Dramatica theory and how to use them with the
Can you give a quick description of the theory?
Everything in Dramatica is built around a single central concept called The Story
Mind. The Story Mind concept states that stories are more than a number of
characters doing things in the plot with thematic values in a particular genre.
Specifically, Dramatica sees every story as a model of the problem solving processes of
the human mind. Characters, plot, theme, and genre are different families of thought that
go on in the mind, made tangible, so the audience can watch the inner workings of their
own minds to learn how best to solve different kinds of problems.
Characters are the motivations of the Story Mind. Plot represents the methods the Story
Mind uses to try and solve the problem, driven by its motivations. Theme illustrates the
Story Minds conflicting value standards as it tries to determine the best way to
evaluate potential solutions to the problem. Genre describes the Story Minds overall
personality: what kind of a mind is it, that is trying to solve this problem?
How can learning about the Story Mind help me write better stories?
For a story to feel complete to an audience, the storys problem and possible
solutions must be fully explored. If some point of view on the issues or some approach is
not tried, then it will feel as if there is a hole in the plot or that there are
Dramatica theory has created a map of all the essential points of view and approaches.
Each one needs to show up in order for the story to feel complete. So, by learning about
the Dramatica theory, one learns how to create a dramatic structure without holes or
Doesnt this lead to a formula approach to story
It would if Dramatica was just a checklist of points of view and approaches, but it is
much more than that! Story structure is actually made up of Story Points. Each Story Point
is made up of a point of view on a particular approach. The approach is what the audience
is looking at. The point of view positions the audience in relationship to that issue.
Together, they create perspectives, each of which is a different Story Point.
Just as in real life, there is more than one way to look at an issue, so too each point
of view might be matched to any one of a number of different approaches. When you consider
all the different kinds of perspectives (Story Points) that can be created, it is easy to
see how Dramatica does not lead to formula stories. In fact, the Dramatica software can
create 32,768 completely different dramatic structures, based on the number of Story
Points it currently tracks.
Is Dramatica hard to learn?
The concepts arent hard, but there are quite a lot of them. This is because
Dramatica describes all kinds of stories in great depth. Still, each concept you learn
will be immediately useful even by itself in improving your stories. The more concepts you
learn, the more you will begin to see how the underlying forces that drive stories
actually work. For those who have the patience, you will eventually reach a point where
all the concepts blend together in an intuitive understanding of stories that will help
you channel your creative inspirations into meaningful directions.
Sounds like a lot of New Age mumbo jumbo. Is it?
Not at all. Since Dramatica deals with a model of the human mind and emotions, it is
not surprising that it may seem at times almost philosophical. But the theory takes a more
precise approach to its subject than philosophy. As an example, the Story Engine in the
software that keeps track of the relationships among Story Points is so precise and
revolutionary that it received a patent from the United States Government.
Dramatica is the first successful attempt to describe the relationship between what
goes on in story structure, and what goes on in the mind. It offers insight into what
needs to be in a story and why it needs to be there. By studying the theory and using the
software you will learn to improve the structural foundation of your passionate expression
as an author.
Melanie Anne Phillips
*Try either or both for 90 days. Not working for you?
Return for a full refund of your purchase price!
About Dramatica and
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
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
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
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