Get weekly updates
Dramatica writing articles and analysis straight to your inbox every week.
Find & plug story holes
Quickly identify the problem areas in your story and confidently render solutions to fix them.
Create complex characters
Setup effective character arcs that payoff both logically & emotionally by building backstories with purpose.
Craft meaningful narrative
Write something that will endure. Discover & find thematic issues at every level of story.
Certified Dramatica® Mentorship
Imagine being the kind of writer who can knock out a great story with only one or two drafts. Imagine
yourself as the one person in the story room with all the right answers. And imagine your stories
connecting with audience members in a way that only a master writer can claim. Now imagine that
transformation happening in as little as six months. With the Dramatica Mentorship Program you can
make that dream of writing stories a reality.
No one likes wasting their time working on something that ends up going nowhere. They want tips and tricks and techniques that help them become faster and better writers. With its intense in-depth and personalized instruction of the Dramatica theory of story, the Dramatica Mentorship Program promises to make you a master of the written word.
Take our program and we promise you’ll never look at story the same way again. Rigorous writing exercises and focused analysis help educate the menteee on the theory while providing a strong foundation from to develop an understanding of narrative. In addition, you’ll be granted special access to training material specifically designed to make Dramatica easy and approachable.
What is Dramatica® Mentor?
Dramatica is a unique way of looking at story based on the psychology of the mind. In short, the theory
says that stories think like we do; understand how we solve problems and you’ll understand how stories
work. Great writers understand this association intuitively. William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, Harper
Lee, Aaron Sorkin—they all wrote Dramatica-structured stories. They just didn’t know.
Perhaps you understand this intuitively as well but aren’t sure what to do with it. Or maybe you don’t and
you need help recognizing that voice within. Either way we can help develop your intuition to the level
of and beyond these great masters.
Introducing your Personal Mentor, Dramatica® Expert James R. Hull
As a Certified Dramatica® Story Expert with over 20 years of experience, I have seen time
and time again the power of Dramatica to instantly break down story holes and more
importantly, identify what story points would fix them.You will save time and heartache
once you know how to use these tools. It’s an education unlike any other.
He also wrote these books
Join our Slack Team
Every student gains LIFETIME access to the Narrative First Slack Team--even after you have finished the program you will still be welcome to stop by and ask questions or have something clarified.
Our Slack Team is a private instant messaging service specifically reserved for writers interested in improving their understanding and application of the theory. In addition to gaining private access to Jim, Narrative First Slack members can ask questions in a semi-public forum during office hours every Monday night. The integration of screen sharing services like Screenhero make connecting remotely with your mentor as easy as typing /hero. Get connected and Jim will walk you through the various ways of using Dramatica right on your screen, almost as if he or she was in the room with you.
And you can even call him directly from within the app via a single click.
The following lists a brief overview of the program and what the student may expect. Note that we do
reserve the right to adjust the program to better fit the student’s understanding and proficiency with
Dramatica and their time schedules. Not everyone is the same and part of the value of this program is our
ability and desire to give a uniquely personal experience.
The Table of Story Elements Tour
Starting with the Domain level and working down, the student will watch two movies a week with similar storyforms appreciations. This will help develop the mentee’s understanding and familiarity with certain terminology. This will continue throughout the course, working top down and throughout the Static Plot Points (Goal, Consequence, Requirements, etc.)Weekly Time Requirement: 5 hours
Recognition of Dynamic Story Points
In addition to learning the Table of Story Elements, the student will attempt to identify and explain the eight dynamic story points for one of these movies.Weekly Time Requirement: 5 hours
Understanding Story Through Dramatica
Once a month, the student will choose a current run movie or one NOT found on the Dramatica website and attempt to identify the Storyform for it. Extensive analysis will not be required, but the student will be required to backup his or her arguments. If successful, the analysis will be uploaded to the central Dramatica site.Weekly Time Requirement: 5 hours
Purposeful Story Development
Student will work with the Playground exercises (as described on the Narrative First website) to develop their own story. Spending a month on each Throughline (Main Character, Influence Character, Relationship Story, and Overall Story), the student will spend the first half of the month crafting five different Gist Playgrounds. The second half will be spent pulling and mixing individual appreciations from each Playground exercise to be used on their own story. After the initial four months, the student will then choose two throughlines to develop through the Plot Sequence Report, one throughline per month.Weekly Time Requirement: 5 hours
Total weekly time requirements: anywhere from 5-10 hours. This may vary according to the individual and will be adjusted accordingly. Note that these requirements reflect the time spent by the student on an individual basis and do not reflect additional time spent with the Mentor. Time spent communicating with the Mentor (asking questions, further elaboration, etc.) may add additional time on top of this.
Feedback From Students
We believe strongly in the value of this program and we love helping people write better stories. There really is nothing better than opening a writer’s eyes to a greater sense of story:
“It’s starting to make a lot of sense. Like I said before, I’ve learned more about Dramatica in just these exercises than I did in a year. Amazing stuff.”
“I think something clicked within the last few weeks and my understanding of Dramatica leaped chasms. Everything seems to have coalesced. All the work we’ve done with this mentorship program, and now the outline work, has engendered a much deeper meaning of and facility with the theory for me. So, I wanted to say, thank you.”
“I can’t say this enough, I’ve learned so much about Dramatica in a few short months. Double edged sword though, it makes it tough to watch movies and not be ‘that guy’ who picks it apart bit by bit lol“
This program represents our greatest passion: transforming authors into master storytellers. You want that confidence and presence of mind to know that you’re no longer just a dreamer—you're a writer.Sign Up Today
We are confident that you will find this program to be an experience unlike any other. Our mission is to make sure you will never look at story the same way again. You can't help but develop your understanding of narrative. Why not accelerate that growth process?
How is this different from other writing courses?
The Dramatica Mentorship Program is designed to develop your sense of story and narrative structure. Everyone who wants to write can write; there is no special club reserved for those born with ability. However the level to which one's concept of narrative has developed varies--even amongst the experts. Dramatica Mentor accelerates this process by revealing key insights into how narrative works and how to use that insight to actually write a compelling story. At the end of the program you'll have a complete and thematically-robust outline from which to write. Even more, you'll understand story on a level far beyond your peers and far beyond even the masters of old.
Dramatica Mentor is also more personal than other writing programs. More than a collection of videos and pre-made worksheets, Dramatica Mentor seeks to develop a working relationship with the student. We want our students to write great stories--and that requires dedicated one-on-one attention.
What is the online community like?
Learning accelerates exponentially when it is done with peers. The Narrative First Dramatica Mentorship Program offers an opportunity for you to meet fellow writers:
- An active Slack community where you can exchange feedback, comments, and advice with fellow students.
- Regularly scheduled Office Hours where you can talk about the various assignments and have any pressing questions answered immediately.
Can I customize the curriculum in any way?
Definitely--you can work with your mentor to alter writing exercises or projects that are more in line with your skill level and intentions. We know what works, but we're willing to adjust it to suit your needs.
How does mentoring work?
Think of your Dramatica Mentor as your own personal writing coach--available most hours of the day (we do have to sleep!) to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Your mentor will leave written feedback on all your work (within 48 hours), and is available to connect online through voice chat and/or regularly scheduled Screenhero sessions (similar to Skype). Your mentor will help answer any questions, challenge your sense of story, and push you to be the very best you can be. There's no better way to learn writing than to learn Dramatica, and no better way to learn Dramatica than to work with a certified Dramatica Story Expert.
Can I speed up the process?
The program is designed to last six months, though if you're motivated and dedicated you could possibly finish in less time. Typically our students take the full six months and some even decide to stay on longer (they can't get enough!). Again, we are always willing to modify the program to suit the skill level and motivation of the individual student.
Who will be my mentor?
Eventually we aim to provide a whole host of Dramatica Mentors, all certified through the Dramatica Story Expert program. Until then, there is only one: James R. Hull, the man behind Narrative First and a certified Dramatica Story Expert with over 20 years experience in narrative theory.