July 24th, 2014

When Stories Feel Like Other Stories

Sometimes you feel like you’ve seen this movie before. The faces may have changed. Or they may be rocketing through space instead of riding horses through Monument Valley. Still, something about the overall feeling of the experience screams familiarity.

July 9th, 2014

Expanding the Playground

Dramatica functions like a time machine. Speeding you past months of rewrites and dead-end alleys, the theory sheds light on bad story choices while it offers up potentially better ones. Unfortunately, learning how to use it slows time down to a crawl. You need to trick your brain into thinking it’s not using Dramatica in order to get back up to speed.

July 3rd, 2014

Finding Your Main Character

Discovering a character true to your voice is one thing. Making sure that character fits with everything else you want to say is quite another. Thankfully, writers of the 21st century now have a tool to make that process easy and productive.

June 26th, 2014

The Main Character Playground

Many writers rally against story theory. How can a construct of chains possibly compete with the intuition of the artist? Story gurus and theoreticians can pontificate all they want, but their uncertified claims lie dormant. The proof, it would seem, lies in a writing exercise designed to illicit the strengths of both the inspiration of the artist and the wisdom of the structuralist.

June 19th, 2014

The Tragedy of James Bond the Antagonist

Learning to work with Dramatica challenges the mind. On an intuitive level writers sense the accuracy of its concepts and endeavor to incorporate these new understandings in their work. Unfortunately, trouble can sometimes arise when putting theory to practice.

June 12th, 2014

The Crucial Element of Screenwriting in Action

When does story theory overcomplicate the writing process? The drive to understand all that is Dramatica sometimes works against Authors. In a case where too much knowledge can be a bad thing, suppressing the urge to overthink may prove beneficial.

June 5th, 2014

On Dramatica's Extraordinary Sense of Perception

Dramatica can read your mind. Sure, it can help you define the conflict in your story, silo off motivations for your characters or even prevent your story as a whole from becoming an unintelligible mess, but the real magic happens when it starts predicting what happens in your mind.

May 29th, 2014

The Schizophrenic Stories of Pixar's Brave

‘Tis not a typo. If a functioning story resembles a single human mind trying to solve a problem then the duplicitous and haphazard nature of Pixar’s Brave suggests a split-personality. A psychotic mess of storytelling, this film of two minds exemplifies the need for a better understanding of story structure.

May 22nd, 2014

The Wormhole Between Author and Audience

When we see things the way they appear, we don’t notice the distortion. Without a demarcation line marked TRUE in big bold letters, we have no idea the true nature of what it is we are looking at. This dissonance between the observed and observer pinpoints a major pain point for writers: the failed first draft.

May 15th, 2014

The Mechanism of Story at Work

A process for delivering meaning. Story exists as a carrier wave for an Author’s intent. Many want to say much, but much gets lost in the many ways of sending that message. Writers who comprehend the machine can convey their purpose with greater accuracy.

May 8th, 2014

The Relationship Behind Every Great Story

Protagonists fight for the central Goal of a story. Antagonists prevent it. Amidst this epic struggle a relationship develops between two principal characters, a relationship that reflects and balances out the more obvious fight between good guy and bad guy. To maintain this parity between big picture and bonding, Authors may find the idea of a Relationship Story Goal helpful.

May 1st, 2014

Unraveling the Uselessness of the Trope

A malaise threatens the landscape of screenwriting. A dark pretentious cloud of misunderstanding and misdirection, this fiend fogs the minds of would-be Authors and reduces the beauty of subtle complication to clickable buzz words. It’s name? The Trope.

April 24th, 2014

Problems of Character Reflected in Story

Effective story structure is more than hitting familiar emotional beats or rising complications of plot. Structure exists to grant Audiences a better appreciation of the problems in their lives. The narrative’s ability to shift contexts while looking at the same thing presents an opportunity of understanding unheard of, and thus demands careful consideration.

April 17th, 2014

A Blueprint for Effective Character Development

Wants. Needs. Character Arc and Backstory. When it comes to developing a strong central character, many do the best they can with these simple-to-grasp, yet disparate concepts of story. Effective character development calls for a system of story points that function as a cohesive whole.

April 10th, 2014

The Problem with Problems of Character

When granted a new understanding of story, writers tend to latch onto one or two key items. They sense the benefit of a new story point for their writing and quickly add it to their tool belt. The problem lies in assuming this new understanding a lone operator.

April 3rd, 2014

The Story Structure of True Detective

Format does not determine structure. Whether screenplay, novel, or play, a complete story calls for the same basic ingredients. Television series work the same–they simply take longer to simmer.

March 27th, 2014

Bringing Gravity to Gravity

Audiences loved Gravity. Critics praised the film. And while the filmmakers’ peers loved Gravity–as evidenced by the 7 Academy Awards it won including Best Director and Best Cinematography–there was one award they kept from it.

March 20th, 2014

Dumbing Down Dramatica

Familiarity and ease of use comes with a cost. Making things simpler confuses something that needs a degree of complexity to be understood. Stories exist as analogies to our minds ability to solve problems. While those minds might be simple, the tools to examine them shouldn’t.

March 13th, 2014

The Science of Storytelling

Monumental leaps in understanding herald the progress of man. Fire. The wheel. Indoor plumbing. Dramatica. The latest development in our understanding of narrative has the potential to improve things far better than the ability to cook our meat.

March 6th, 2014

The Toy Story Dilemma

In the search for a grand unified theory of narrative, many land short. Whether myopic in their understanding or limited in their perspective, these paradigms of the past left many a writer shaking their head no. If it works it should work, without exception.

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