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Dramatica® Beginner's Workshop

Develop Your Own Story Sense

Great stories come from writers who know story: an intuitive understanding of how narrative works and the deft skills to translate that wisdom into a book or screenplay. Most develop this ability over time, gaining experience with years and years of discarded drafts. Others find unique methods for accelerating that development.

The Dramatica Beginner's Workshop will rocket your ability to tell great stories.

Reserve for September

The Dramatica Advantage

The Dramatica Storyform

Let's face it, Dramatica is not the most intuitive application for writers to use. While the theory itself is brilliant and insightful, the application to use it offers so much that it can be confusing and downright frustrating for anyone to use. Those who have taken the plunge, purchased and downloaded the app probably don't even realize that the screen above is the key to working with Dramatica intuitively and efficiently.

The Dramatica® Beginner's Workshop is designed to help you understand how to use the theory to improve your story and more imoortantly, your understanding of story. Take one weekend off and you'll walk away with a powerful set of tools that will grant you the insight and skills to:

  • Craft powerful, compelling stories
  • Plug story "holes" other writers can't see
  • Create memorable, multi-dimensional characters
  • Develop great scenes that connect to your unique theme

Learn the latest in story structure from an expert in the field. Drawing upon his six years of experience teaching story at the California Institute of the Arts and his years working professionally as a director, writer, storyboard artist and story consultant, Jim Hull explores the nature of "popular" narrative fiction and the reason why some stories work better than others.

Become Your Own Story Guru

Wondering if Dramatica might be the edge you've been looking for?

As a certified Dramatica Story Expert, Jim has helped many professional screenwriters and story personnel craft more meaningful stories.

"Jim Hull is one of the most accomplished people I know when it comes to understanding story...As a Dramatica consultant, Jim is one of Dramatica’s most fluent and insightful practitioners, familiar with the theory’s inner workings as well as its application to resolving real-world story problems. I highly recommend him as a story consultant and educator.” – Chris Huntley (Co-creator of the Dramatica Theory of Story)

The Dramatica® Beginner's Workshop is an INTRODUCTORY course. We will be taking things slow for those new to the theory. If you are proficient with Dramatica and already know how to move from storyform to story, then you might be more interested in our Advanced Dramatica® Writers Workshop.

Workshop Schedule

Just two hours a week, for six weeks.

Before the class begin we will send you information about the weekend, particularly the film we will be analyzing as context for understanding Dramatica.

The Big Picture. Begin right away with discussing the four major throughlines found in every complete story. Cover their use within the marketing of a film and explain what happens when you don't have all four.

The Dramatica Theme Browser. Explore where most of the magic happens within the Dramatica application. Here we will find a quick and easy way to assign areas of conflict to our Throughlines.

The Main Character. Discuss how Main Character is a point-of-view and the difference between a Main Character and a Protagonist. Explain the misuse of the phrase "Character Arc" and what it really means. Explore Dramatica's four Main Character Dynamics.

The Dramatica Story Engine. The most powerful way to use the Dramatica application. Here we will discover the keys to unlocking your story's unique structure and see how Dramatica can predict thematic material for a narrative based on other choices.

Plot Dynamics. Cover Plot points and how they are responsible for driving a story forward. Explain Goals and Consequences, Story Limits and the four Meaningful Endings a story may take.

Deep Throughline Analysis. of last night's film. Using a combination of the Theme Browser and Story Engine, we will dive into our story's deep thematics and drill down to the essence of conflict.

Patterns of Conflict. Explore the driving force behind all great stories. What is conflict and where does it come from? Move from familiar patterns to not-so-familiar patterns to naturally structuring a story for conflict.

Elements of Character. Introduction to the Character Elements of Motivation and their potential use as a source of inequity within a character. Explore Archetypal Characters and ways to break out of them.

Build a Story. Using a randomly generated storyform from within the Dramatica application, we will create a complete narrative outline for an entire screenplay in less than two hours.


Listen to what others have to say about The Dramatica® Beginner's Workshop (formerly The Dramatica Guided Tour):

"More than content. The weekend was very successful for me and has me excited to learn more about Dramatica and delve further into both the theory and software" -- Jon Gentry, writer

"I got a lot out of the workshop - Jim translates what could be a very opaque model into something direct and meaningful." -- Anon

"A great and inspiring survey of this powerful software. I couldn't wait to continue studying and writing." -- William Belote, writer

"Jim was absolutely terrific making the environment comfortable for discussion and questions. He is relaxed and knowledgeable and completely unpretentious. I would absolutely recommend this workshop to others." -- Sydney, writer

"...I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." -- Will, writer

Sample the Goods

Wonder what The Dramatica Beginner's Workshop will be like? Watch Jim lead an analysis of Disney's Pinocchio below. This 2-hour class works as a nice introduction to the Dramatica theory of story and gives a good idea of the kinds of discussion we'll be having. Alternatively, you can watch Jim's story analysis of The Shawshank Redemption.


  • When: September 17-18
  • Where: Write Bros, Burbank, CA
  • Time: 9am-5pm, Pacific Standard
  • Tuition: $275

Reserve for September


Download full-color PDF flyer of the event. You can also download the entire course syllabus (PDF).

Cancellation and Refund Policy

All cancellations must be received at least 72 hours before the start of event and registration refunds are subject to a $20 cancellation fee. Cancellations must be received in writing by e-mail (Contact Form). No refunds will be made for requests received after that time. Refunds will be issued in the same form payment was made. Please allow two weeks for processing. Registrants who cancel will not receive seminar materials.

Questions? Ask Jim directly.

Rid yourself of writer's block. Forever.

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