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Characters, Narrative & Mind

By Melanie Anne Phillips
Creator of StoryWeaver

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Each Archetype is an Equation

For all you Dramatica “theory hounds” out there, here’s one of the newest parts of the theory that grew out of my ongoing development of the new dynamic model of story structure.

Dramatica theory has always had eight equations that describe the relationships among elements in a quad.  They are all based on permutations of the initial equation we discovered, which was T/K = AD.

Turns out, the dramatic nature of each of the eight archetypal characters in Dramatica is described by one of the eight equations.  Now that’s pretty amazing – that characters who represent families of thought within our own minds can be described mathematically.

I’m writing a complete and lengthy article on this right now, but it will take a week or so, and I couldn’t wait to share this new insight with the Dramatica Theory Hounds.  You guys are such avid and loyal students of the underlying principals of Dramatica that I’ve decided to let you in on every new insight, even before I have time to properly work out the details and present a solid argument for it.

I’ll end by saying the while the eight equations describe the natures of the eight archetypes, they do not describe their functions.  For that, eight other equations are needed.  And these dynamic equations are at the heart of the dynamic model.

They are the process of justification and can be seen in how the quad of Knowledge, Thought, Ability and Desire evolves through three other quads beginning with Can, Need, Want and Should, on to Situation, Circumstances, Sense of Self and State of Being, and ending in Commitment, Rationalization, Responsibility and Obligation.

I’ve touched on this process of justification in previous articles, and in fact it was worked out even before we created the Dramatica Table of Story Elements some twenty years ago.  But, we moved away from the justification process to focus on the structural elements and then flipped and rotated the structural model to show the effects of justification and how it influenced the relationships among dramatic elements to create a storyform.

But, in truth, it did not describe why those forces are at work, and that is the issue at hand in the dynamic model.

All for now, gotta go take a walk in the woods.