Articles

In-depth posts on story structure & story analysis

Writing Your First Act with Confidence

Knowing what you're going to write about before you even write it is the key to obliterating any form of Writers' Block.

James R. Hull

Discovering The Origins of Narrative Structure

The Dramatica theory of story, twenty years before its time

James R. Hull

Writing a Scene with Subtxt

Meaningful story structure accounts for the storyteller. If our understanding of psychology is correct and we see who we are, then a productive model of organized thought (structure) must consider the observer.

James R. Hull

How to Classify the Atomic Elements of Story Structure

Effective story structure is more than an outline of what happens. For the order to mean something beyond the superficial, it must communicate something intrinsic to both the order and relationship between individual Storybeats.

James R. Hull

The Holistic View of Time

The Dramatica theory of story accounts for both Linear and Holistic Mindsets. Recognizing the impact the observer plays on the observed, the original concept of Mental Sex (Mindset in Subtxt) sought to replicate the alternate "operating systems" present within humanity.

James R. Hull

Understanding the Purpose of Backstory

After twenty years in the animation industry and five more helping writers 1-on-1 develop their stories, one thing is clear--writers will do anything to avoid writing real conflict.

James R. Hull

The Influence Character is Not a Character

Too many writers new to Dramatica and Subtxt write the Influence Character Throughline as if the Main Character in their story.

James R. Hull

The Confirmation Bias of Pattern Matching

Many paradigms of story structure look at stories and identify common patterns. The Dramatica theory of story runs against the grain by looking to the psychological concept first and then looking to published works for confirmation.

James R. Hull

Intuition: Trusting The Intelligence Within

A recent discussion in the Discuss Dramatica forums illuminates the unfortunate consequence of a deductive mindset.

James R. Hull

The Deduction Trap

As a theory of story, Dramatica tends to attract scientists and mathematicians. With its claims of connections to General Relativity and its discovery of "Quad"-ronometry, many find themselves compelled to strike down any claims of viability.

James R. Hull

The Mathematical Balance Between Logic and Emotion

The quest for perfect story structure often leads one to lean heavily upon scientific method. Deduction and definitions set stable ground for those uneasy beneath the umbrella of their own subjectivity.

James R. Hull

Finding the Source of Conflict in Your Story

The most challenging thing about writing a story is making choices. You can't write everything in your head and hope it all works out in the end.

James R. Hull

Time and Space in Dramatica: Rewriting the Story Limit

Appreciating the flow of consciousness through a story

James R. Hull

The Relative Vibrations of Ford v. Ferrari

Reducing involved theoretical concepts to get to the heart of a story

James R. Hull

Adapting Character Motivations to the Story Goal

The specific type of conflict defines the drive of a narrative

James R. Hull

The Complete Guide to Justification

Appreciating the building blocks of effective narrative

James R. Hull

Addressing the Recursive Nature of Dramatica

Down the endless rabbit hole of a narrative model

James R. Hull

The Bias of the Current Dramatica Model (2020)

Wrapping your head around your head

James R. Hull

Building Greater Sources of Conflict

Improving stories through greater inequity

James R. Hull

Constructing Sources of Conflict for Your Story

Understanding the essence of narrative drive

James R. Hull

The Basic Concepts Underlying the Dramatica Theory of Story

The formula for predictive psychology

James R. Hull

Dramatica and a Narrative Model of the Mind

Setting the record straight

James R. Hull

Writing a Story About Learning

Understanding the act of learning as a Source of Conflict

James R. Hull

The Inside-Out Approach to Writing a Story

Developing a story with purpose

James R. Hull

Why Story Structure Sometimes Feels Too Restrictive

The tendency of the Holistic to drift away from narrative structure

James R. Hull

Writing with Methods

The cognitive functions of thematic intent

James R. Hull

On Becoming a Therapist to Your Characters

Making a meaningful connection between Author and Audience

James R. Hull

The Three Essential Components of Every Storypoint

Making a meaningful connection between Author and Audience

James R. Hull

The Role of the Goal in a Holistic Story

The sophistication of holism lies in the eyes of the beholder

James R. Hull

Understanding the Emotional Ladder of Relationships

Spiraling up from one emotional state and down to the next

James R. Hull

Identifying Types of Plot in a Story

Understanding the relationship between Plot-level Concerns

James R. Hull

The Path of the Write-ientious

Your premise is you.

James R. Hull

The Myth of Writer's Block

The way through lies in knowing your artistic intent.

James R. Hull

Walking the Path of Virtue

Getting to know your creative impulse

James R. Hull

Cracking Open the Mind of the Storyteller

Breaking a few eggs on the path to greater understanding

James R. Hull

Writing the Story That Is You

Getting to know your creative impulse

James R. Hull

Decoding the Structure of a Personal Tragedy

Rewriting the meaning of an ending

James R. Hull

Dialing In the Consequence of a Story

The effect an outcome plays in the loudness of failure.

James R. Hull

The Relationship between Character Growth and Consequence

The effect character arc plays in what it means to fail.

James R. Hull

Returning to The Heart of the Matter

Giving up on Dramatica.

James R. Hull

Moving Beyond the Oppression of Linearity

Understanding the path of much resistance.

James R. Hull

Story Structure that Eats the Author Alive

The greatest danger facing any writer is structure for structure's sake.

James R. Hull

The Effect of Premise on Narrative Structure

Encoding meaning into the order of events.

James R. Hull

The Ambiguous Author and the End of All Meaning

What it means to write with purpose.

James R. Hull

The Debilitating Scourge of the Trope

How to cure oneself from a tragic virus of the mind.

James R. Hull

Writing a Meaningful End to Conflict

Tying the climactic moment to a premise.

James R. Hull

When Synthesis is Not Enough (Hint: Always)

The model of our mind that is a story.

James R. Hull

The Purpose of an Ending: Star Wars and The Matrix Revealed

The effects of linearity & holism on structure

James R. Hull

Story Structure We Can All Agree Upon

The unpredictability of values.

James R. Hull

Theme Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

Exposing the narrative elements of a story.

James R. Hull

Understanding the Purpose of Narrative Structure

Structure is order, and order is meaning.

James R. Hull

Skyfall: Finding the Synthesis in Dramatica

A modern understanding of conflict resolution.

James R. Hull

A Synthesis in Search of a Solution

Presuming conflict to be a problem.

James R. Hull

The Illusion of Fixing Problems

Moonshots require something more than synthetic solutions.

James R. Hull

The Seductive Nature of Synthesis and Subject Matter

When a problem isn't a problem.

James R. Hull

The Curse of the Hegelian Dialectic

The rational alone is unreal.

James R. Hull

Craig Mazin Loves Dramatica

The theory that defines the structure of a narrative argument.

James R. Hull

The Holistic Experience of Watching the Matrix

The difference between thinking holistically and holistically thinking.

James R. Hull

Defining the Structure of a Premise

Order is everything.

James R. Hull

The Holistic Approach to Working Through Conflict

Justifying as a means of solving problems.

James R. Hull

Disconnection and the Holistic Mind

The first casuality of separation is an isolated self.

James R. Hull

Heading Towards Being Present or Eventual Stagnation

A realignment of purpose that sends the mind in a new direction

James R. Hull

A Holistic Understanding of Premise

Free your Storymind

James R. Hull

Writing a Relationship that Counts towards a Premise

Balancing the objective with subjectivity.

James R. Hull

Perspectives and Players in a Functioning Story

Understanding the purpose of a character.

James R. Hull

Separating the Relationship from the Individuals in a Relationship

You and I are not We.

James R. Hull

Re-Imagining the Key Relationship of Any Story

Measuring the dynamics of growth by the space in-between characters.

James R. Hull

Separating Subject Matter from Story Structure

Digging deep to find intention.

James R. Hull

How a Steadfast Character Changes the World

Appreciating a different way to solve conflict in our lives.

James R. Hull

How to Illustrate Effective Narrative Conflict

Coding the machine within the machine.

James R. Hull

The Narrative Structure of Christopher Nolan's Memento

Supporting premise through experience.

James R. Hull

King's Canyon: Another Incomplete Blacklist Script

Propaganda masquerading as a story.

James R. Hull

Unveiling the Narrative Elements of Story Structure

The very words we use hold us back.

James R. Hull

Understanding How Character Arc Works

The purpose of growth is to support the premise, not the character.

James R. Hull

Why Your Script is on the Blacklist

Gender politics factor little when it comes to writing a complete story.

James R. Hull

The Problem with Writing a Story about Characters

Characters are not real people.

James R. Hull

Writing Characters as Facets of a Single Human Mind

Breaking down the personality of a story.

James R. Hull

Developing Complex Characters that Defy Expectation

Fascination involves moving away from Archetypal concepts of characterization.

James R. Hull

Writing Characters Who Break the Mold

Moving away from the familiar and into the unexpected.

James R. Hull

Understanding the True Motivations of Your Characters

Moving beyond morality to determine drive.

James R. Hull

The Definition of a Protagonist and Antagonist

Something more than simply the good guy or the bad guy of a story.

James R. Hull

The Lingering and Lasting Effects of a Story's Outcome

A discovery out of left field ignites the development of new story theory.

James R. Hull

On Building a Narrative Argument for Your Story

Moving beyond the general to make a difference in your storytelling.

James R. Hull

Writing Short Stories with Dramatica

Your Audience knows you're not telling them a complete story.

James R. Hull

Dramatica: A Specific Approach to Understanding Narrative Structure

The problems of the generalist stand out upon closer examination.

James R. Hull

Uncovering the Major Plot Points of a Complete Story

Tying Act Turns to the source of conflict ensures integrity in the narrative.

James R. Hull

Rethinking an Analysis of The Florida Project

A film that stays with you does so through a substantial and meaningful story structure.

James R. Hull

Understanding the Continuum of a Narrative

The meaning of time and space and their impact on the order of events

James R. Hull

How to Build a Narrative Argument

Support now exists for writers looking to strengthen their story's thematic argument.

James R. Hull

Dramatica: The Journey Towards a Better Understanding of Story

With an objective theory as your guide, a path to greater clarity exists.

James R. Hull

Not Your Usual Approach to Developing Stories

An innovative tool that helps you write a complete story in under an hour.

James R. Hull

Unravelling the Story Structure Of Tangled: The Series

Thoughtful children’s programming delights old and young with purpose and meaning.

James R. Hull

The Same Story: Aliens And Blade Runner: 2049

Stories that argue the same approach to resolving an inequity share the same narrative structure.

James R. Hull

The Power of Implied Story Points to Frame a Narrative

A single story point does not a story make; the totality of all story points relate in a great schematic of meaning.

James R. Hull

How To Use Dramatica The Right Way: Part Two

The Dramatica theory of story: extra effort not included.

James R. Hull

How to Use Dramatica the Right Way: Part One

Make it harder to learn in order to make it easier to understand.

James R. Hull

Training the Next Generation of Storytellers

Accuracy and consistency in our understanding of the mechanism behind story paves the way for a brighter tomorrow.

James R. Hull

Your Story is Schrödinger's Cat

Quantum theory and its application in the telling of great stories.

James R. Hull

The Fugitive: When A Situation Isn’t A Situation

Returning to original terminology clears up misrepresentations of conflict found in narrative.

James R. Hull

Finding The Plot Of Your Story Through Theme

Determining the progression of events is easy once you identify the family of Thematic issues present in your story.

James R. Hull

Identifying The Storyform Of A Complete Story

Figure out what it is you want to say and the rest is easy.

James R. Hull

Identifying The Influence Character Of A Complete Story

The Influence Character is not a character, it is a perspective.

James R. Hull

Identifying The Domains And Throughlines Of A Complete Story

A balance of all four Throughline perspectives guarantees the integrity of a narrative.

James R. Hull

Identifying The Protagonist And Antagonist Of A Complete Story

Narratives develop integrity by ignoring commonly accepted value judgments of good and bad.

James R. Hull

Identifying The Goal And Consequence Of A Complete Story

A look towards the initial inequity sets the stage for a meaningful narrative.

James R. Hull

Why You Need Four Acts Instead of Three

The middle of a story requires greater definition than the beginning or the end.

James R. Hull

Narrative Structure Gives Purpose to Story

Story structure may not be everything, but every story needs structure.

James R. Hull

Generating Dramatic Tension Within Each Act of Your Story: Part Five

The right to write rests within anyone possessing the inclination to say something meaningful and true.

James R. Hull

Generating Dramatic Tension Within Each Act of Your Story: Part Four

The path through narrative begins on one side of the internal/external fence and ends on the other.

James R. Hull

Generating Dramatic Tension Within Each Act Of Your Story: Part Three

When it comes to increasing pressure on the characters in a story, look to the negative influences available within the structure.

James R. Hull

Generating Dramatic Tension Within Each Act Of Your Story: Part Two

For Two-Act structures, tension exists with the juxtaposition of two key plot points.

James R. Hull

Generating Dramatic Tension Within Each Act Of Your Story: Part One

Understanding how your characters feel requires stepping out of their shoes and looking at them from a dispassionate objective view.

James R. Hull

Dramatica: A Fractal Model Of Story Structure

Acts within Acts within Acts within Acts; the structure of a story cascades into an unending pattern.

James R. Hull

Finding The Major Dramatic Question Of Your Story

An accurate account of the tension within a story requires writers to take an objective view of their story.

James R. Hull

Identifying The Number Of Acts In Your Story

The number of Acts in your story depends on the underlying thematic material you wish to explore.

James R. Hull

The Difference Between Becoming And Being In Dramatica

Apply oneself to the study of the differences in the types of conflict found within a complete narrative.

James R. Hull

The Purpose Behind Every Great Story

By reflecting ourselves, a great narrative challenges us to grow beyond our own preconceptions.

James R. Hull

Rethinking And Revisiting The Reservoir Dogs Analysis

As understanding grows, so too does the appreciation of a well-crafted and thoughtful narrative.

James R. Hull

The Crucial Element to Telling a Great Story

The most important part of any story exists at the intersection of the objective and subjective points-of-view within the narrative.

James R. Hull

Finding Your Own Unique Voice When Writing for Nanowrimo

Learn how to connect your heart's deepest desires with the structure of your story to create a compelling and meaningful narrative.

James R. Hull

Finding Inspiration for Nanowrimo Within a Great Story

If moved by a particular story, Authors can use the storyform at the heart of it to relay the same meaningful message to their own Audiences.

James R. Hull

Brainstorming a Brand New Genre for Nanowrimo

By combining our Gist Collections, writers can challenge their preconceptions of story to create something never seen before.

James R. Hull

Creating a Story from Scratch for Nanowrimo

Enthusiasm and dedication can take you only so far--a strong foundation and meaningful story structure will give you purpose and direction.

James R. Hull

How to Find the Narrative Code Within a Great Story

Great writers need to be great analysts in order to fully understand the mechanism of their stories.

James R. Hull

The Varied Scene Illustrations of Ex Machina

Great stories blend structure and experience in their attempt to reach out and connect with another.

James R. Hull

Ex Machina: The Narrative Code Hidden Within the Machine

In order to unlock the thematic message locked deep inside a story, both Author and analyst must maintain an objective point-of-view.

James R. Hull

Writing Perfect Scene Structure with Dramatica

Advanced narrative theory now offers writers an opportunity to achieve the ultimate structure for their stories.

James R. Hull

Unlocking the Empathy of Your Audience

The combination lies in the application of a key Dramatica concept--the Main Character's Approach to solving personal problems.

James R. Hull

The Essential Ingredients of Every Complete Story

Instead of relying on taste, Authors should look to what they have to work with in order to create the most delicious story.

James R. Hull

The True Nature of Story

Wrapping up our series on Audience Appreciations, we elevate our understanding of narrative and begin to see it as a complex web of relationships.

James R. Hull

The Refusal of the Call: The Resistance or Flow Through a Narrative

The Main Character's personal problems define the flow of energy through a story.

James R. Hull

How To Tell If Your Main Character Faces Overwhelming Or Surmountable Odds

Understanding the science behind narrative opens up the channels of communication between Author and Audience.

James R. Hull

Predicting Who Will Listen To Your Story

Slight adjustments to the structure of your story can guarantee a larger audience.

James R. Hull

Using Dramatica To Assess Narratives In The Real World

By understanding the structural and dynamic appreciations of narrative, the storytellers of today can be masters of their own destinies.

James R. Hull

9 Steps Towards Telling Your Story

Create a framework of narrative around the events in your life and transform the inconsequential into something truly meaningful.

James R. Hull

Transforming Real Life into a Story

Turning the events of our lives into meaningful narrative requires an understanding of how our minds operate.

James R. Hull

Star Trek: The Case For Writing A Screenplay With Dramatica

If it worked the first time, why change it up?

James R. Hull

The Difference Between Star Trek And Star Wars

If you remove what you think is the source of conflict from a story and there is still trouble, you haven't properly identified the source of conflict.

James R. Hull

Understanding the Personal Goal of Your Main Character

The Dramatica theory of story makes it easy for Authors to determine what is of utmost concern to their Main Characters--if you understand what Dramatica is asking.

James R. Hull

When Backstory Is Not Backstory

Writers can determine what is necessary and what isn't by looking to the storyform of their narrative.

James R. Hull

Writers Who Write The Same Main Character

Writers gravitate to that emotional irritant deep within them and use a story to help work through solving their own personal problems.

James R. Hull

The Forces Of Influence Felt Between The Two Principal Characters Of A Story

In addition to actual concrete connections, there are forces of influence that bind the Main Character and Influence Character of a story together.

James R. Hull

Finding Connections Between The Two Principal Characters Of A Story

Look for meaning in Dramatica's story points and you will be hard pressed to find it; look for an answer as to where to go next in your story and you will find nirvana.

James R. Hull

The Veil Between Author And Audience

Writers get into trouble when they try to understand what their story means while they are creating it.

James R. Hull

Dramatica And The Importance Of Relationships

The key to really getting Dramatica is to understand that it is all about the narrative relationships the theory models.

James R. Hull

How To End Writer's Block Forever

Know what it is you want to say and learn to use a tool that keeps you on the straight & narrow as you write that first draft.

James R. Hull

Discovering the Story You Never Knew

A strong and resilient system for looking at narrative makes it easier to play at writing.

James R. Hull

Finding Your True Self Through Writing

Continuing last week's article on generating story ideas, we take a look at how to get up close and personal with your deepest intentions.

James R. Hull

Generating An Abundance Of Story Ideas

If you want to write something unique and original, identify your story's deep meaning and then write similar stories as a means to brainstorm a better, fresher approach.

James R. Hull

Screenwriting With Outliner4D And Dramatica On A Mac

Keep track of your story's rich thematics with the powerful Outliner4d.

James R. Hull

How To Write A Television Series

Crafting a serialized narrative is easy once you know the storyform.

James R. Hull

The Problem With Reverse-Engineering Dramatica

Unraveling the mysteries of story theory is another way of avoiding writing.

James R. Hull

The Fault In Our Stars: An Anatomy Of An Analysis

An effective analysis of a film requires an objective sounding board. Dramatica offers that opportunity.

James R. Hull

A Method For Generating Conflict

Position one truth against another and you'll find the foundation for a great narrative.

James R. Hull

Dramatica's Definitions Are Not Your Own

Dramatica improves commonly understood concepts of narrative in an effort to improve our understanding of story.

James R. Hull

Dramatica And What It Means For Story

Look closely and you will see more than a rebranding of ancient texts.

James R. Hull

How An Inequity--And A Story--Is Made

Human psychology dictates story structure.

James R. Hull

The Actual and Apparent Nature of Story

Is the dilemma facing the Main Character real?

James R. Hull

A Collaborative Environment Unlike Any Other

Dramatica keeps a room full of writers focused and productive.

James R. Hull

Using Dramatica in the Real World

Using story theory to fix broken stories.

James R. Hull

The Fallacy of the Two Hander

No such thing as a two-hander, just a misunderstanding of story.

James R. Hull

The Idea of the Script Consultant

They're not as sinister as the professionals make them out to be.

James R. Hull

All You Ever Needed to Know About Dramatica

Dramatica differentiates itself by making the optional essential.

James R. Hull

Outlining a Television Series with Dramatica

By crafting purpose and meaning into every episode, the writer/producer guarantees an Audience for the entire season.

James R. Hull

Always Be Reading

James R. Hull

Screenwriting with Fountain

James R. Hull

Outlining Screenplays with Dramatica and Fountain

James R. Hull

Always Be Writing

James R. Hull

Understanding Dramatica's Complex Terminology Made Easier

Big or small, appreciations of story structure point to the same thing.

James R. Hull

Don't Use Other Movies as Reference

Complete stories do not share the same structure.

James R. Hull

The Secret Behind Great Character Relationships

Look to the dynamics of a relationship: the ebb and flow, the growth and the dissolution.

James R. Hull

On the Need for Plot Points

An objective view of story helps an Author better understand the events that drive their narrative forward.

James R. Hull

Dramatica Success: The Skeptic's Worst Nightmare

When theory moves beyond the theoretical and finds triumph in practical application.

James R. Hull

Structure Is Not What Happens When

A comprehensive understanding of story structure leads one to appreciate what is behind said, not what is seen.

James R. Hull

When Stories Feel Like Other Stories

Stories that argue the same basic message do so with a similar structure.

James R. Hull

Expanding the Playground

Broaden the depth of your storytelling by leaning heavily on story structure.

James R. Hull

Finding Your Main Character

The very best way to get to know the most important character of your story is to write something else.

James R. Hull

The Main Character Playground

A new writing exercise for writers promises to unlock their creativity.

James R. Hull

The Tragedy of James Bond the Antagonist

It can be misleading to suggest that Bond works against a successful resolution.

James R. Hull

The Crucial Element of Screenwriting in Action

The connection point between subjective & objective throughlines highlights a key narrative element.

James R. Hull

On Dramatica's Extraordinary Sense of Perception

The theory feels like magic because it is based on psychological processes we don't usually consider.

James R. Hull

The Schizophrenic Stories of Pixar's Brave

Two directors resulted in two stories masquerading as one.

James R. Hull

The Wormhole Between Author and Audience

A hidden report in Dramatica bridges the gap between the two sides of a story.

James R. Hull

The Mechanism of Story at Work

The purpose of Acts is to set different contexts for the resolution of a story's central problem.

James R. Hull

The Relationship Behind Every Great Story

Understand what must be done for the relationship to succeed and you will find the source of conflict between them.

James R. Hull

Unraveling the Uselessness of the Trope

Many writers waste their time codifying what essentially boils down to opinion.

James R. Hull

Problems of Character Reflected in Story

The personal issues of the Main Character reflect issues in the larger world.

James R. Hull

A Blueprint for Effective Character Development

A convincing Character Arc consists of two key appreciations of story structure

James R. Hull

The Problem with Problems of Character

Complete stories balance sources of conflict with instances of resolution.

James R. Hull

The Story Structure of True Detective

Form does not determine structure; the same psychological process that fuels film also runs through the bloodstream of television.

James R. Hull

Bringing Gravity to Gravity

A missing piece of narrative structure, key to establishing a complete story, left this film with little left to offer except one helluva' ride.

James R. Hull

Dumbing Down Dramatica

Narrative theorists managed to dilute their insights by making their work more palatable.

James R. Hull

The Science of Storytelling

The Dramatica theory of story is the most comprehensive understanding of our need to tell stories.

James R. Hull

The Toy Story Dilemma

Does Woody really have a change of heart...or does he strengthen his resolve?

James R. Hull

Tying the Towers of Story Structure Together

James R. Hull

A Separation: Predicting Greatness

James R. Hull

A Separation: Blueprint of a Masterpiece

Look no further than this gem from Iran for a lesson in superior storytelling.

James R. Hull

Screenwriting: Beating the Odds

James R. Hull

A Positive Spin on Problems

James R. Hull

Story Consultants: The Snake-Oil Salesmen of Screenwriting

Flimflammers or people who have grown tired of incomplete and pointles stories?

James R. Hull

Directly Solving Problems Indirectly

James R. Hull

Losing Sight of the Main Character

Without a properly defined Main Character Throughline, Audiences quickly lose interest.

James R. Hull

Genius Doesn't Know Genius

Do as I do, not as I say.

James R. Hull

Why The Main Character's Approach

The central character of a narrative focuses their initial efforts on the source of their personal problems.

James R. Hull

Flipping Perspectives

An effective character arc measures both the growth and resolve of the point-of-view.

James R. Hull

A Reason for Rules

Structure grants meaning and gives purpose to a complete story.

James R. Hull

The Scientific Study of Story

James R. Hull

Narrative Science and the Evolution of Story

James R. Hull

Starlight and Character Arc

Comparing the phyiscal universe to our internal universe.

James R. Hull

Change Your Character Doesn't Need

James R. Hull

Perfect Story Structure

James R. Hull

Avoiding the False Moment

James R. Hull

The Shawshank Analysis

The love for this film stems from our shared psychology.

James R. Hull

The Goal of Every Story, The Goal of Every Author

Focus determines narrative structure.

James R. Hull

Rearranging the Broken Psychology

Seeking resolution by changing how others think, not what they think.

James R. Hull

Overcoming Difficult Situations

Story goals that find characters breaking free of being stuck in the external world.

James R. Hull

Uprooting the Fixed Mindset

Story goals that find characters breaking free of being stuck within their own mind.

James R. Hull

Achieving Story Goals That Are Not Achievements

Clearly defining the type of Goal needed to resolve a story.

James R. Hull

Unlocking the Structural Code of the Story Goal

Understand that the Goal of a story is more than something that is won or lost.

James R. Hull

The True Champion of Chinatown

The identity of the real Protagonist in this narrative will shock you.

James R. Hull

Why Theory Matters

James R. Hull

Protagonist and Antagonist: Beyond Hero and Villain

Considering their functional purpose within a story helps establish a sound and effective narrative.

James R. Hull

Unraveling Tangled

James R. Hull

The Inciting Incident of Star Wars

Every complete story begins with the creation of an inequity, an inequity that requires resolution.

James R. Hull

Distrust the Process

Nothing worse than winging it. If you have no purpose, you have no purpose telling stories.

James R. Hull

Conflict of a Different Nature

Seeking internal conflict within a predominantly external medium.

James R. Hull

Drawing the Audience In

The path towards empathy requires a clear Main Character personal Throughline.

James R. Hull

Exotic Story Structure Often Unexplored

Moving off the beaten path of narrative structure and into uncharted territory.

James R. Hull

Naturally Structuring a Story for Conflict

Forcing a narrative into a predetermined structure plasters a story with artificiality.

James R. Hull

Not-So Familiar Patterns of Story Structure

Shifting the conflict experienced by the Main Character into a different area creates a unique kind of story.

James R. Hull

Familiar Patterns of Story Structure

Exploring the same kind of conflict within a narrative results in a common structural conceit.

James R. Hull

A Conflict Unlike Any Other

A complete story sources conflict from four different distinct areas.

James R. Hull

The End of the Three-Act Structure

James R. Hull

Chasing the Protagonist

The Protagonist: more than someone who wants something 'badly enough to drive a story.'

James R. Hull

To Tell a Tale, To Craft a Story

James R. Hull

Blockbuster Films and the Main Character

James R. Hull

The Magic of the Storyform

James R. Hull

Harry Potter and the Amulet of Story Structure

The first film may have provided a clue to the narrative structure of the entire series.

James R. Hull

The Religion of Story Structure

James R. Hull

Story Goals and Why They Exist

James R. Hull

The Sound of Music: Making History Meaningful

James R. Hull

Female Main Characters Who Think Like Female Main Characters

James R. Hull

Black Swan and Star Wars: Cousins of Story Structure

These two disparate films share common thematic elements—and it has nothing to do with the Hero's Journey.

James R. Hull

How to Figure Out Your Character's Arc

James R. Hull

The Difference Between Neo and Sarah Connor

One is a Protagonist. The other is not.

James R. Hull

Dysfunctional Families and Their Stories

James R. Hull

Framing Devices and What They Mean

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Dramatica: Mad Libs or Madly Accurate?

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Forget the Cat, Save Yourself!

James R. Hull

Understanding the Arc of a Main Character

James R. Hull

The True Nature of the Inciting Incident

Stories begin with an inequity, one that isn't tied to the central character.

James R. Hull

Triumphs of Tragedy: Black Swan and The Wrestler

James R. Hull

How to Fix Hanna

While this story lacked a significant change of perspective, the pieces were in place to accomplish this important task.

James R. Hull

Mildred Pierce

James R. Hull

What Story Structure Is and Isn't

James R. Hull

The Real Magic Behind Great Stories

James R. Hull

Heroes That Aren't

The central character of a story is a perspective, not a champion.

James R. Hull

The Mechanics Behind Want Vs. Need

The difference between the two lies within the concept of justification.

James R. Hull

Heroes Who Don't Change

Growth is one thing, significantly changing your point-of-view is another.

James R. Hull

Learning Heroes vs. Teaching Heroes

Understanding the importance of the Resolve of the Main Character.

James R. Hull

Writing a Screenplay with Dramatica

James R. Hull

What It Means to Fail

Many stories, and not surprisingly many of Hollywood’s favorites, tell the tale of a Protagonist who injects the solution into the story’s problems, thereby bringing order and balance back into the lives of the characters. Stories of Triumph and Personal Triumph abound with Protagonists who win and Antagonists who lose. It is within the other side of the equation, the Personal Tragedy and Tragedy, where the success of these two dramatic opponents switches hands, leaving the original problem intact.

Failure is more than giving up

In his insightful treatise on play-writing, Backwards and Forwards, David Ball elaborates on what it means when a story ends:

Stasis comes about at the close of the play when the major forces of the play either get what they want or are forced to stop trying.

Stasis returns when the original problem is solved, thereby dissolving the original inequity. There are several stories, however, that do not regain this balance and do not return to a point of stasis. Hamlet, Amadeus, and Se7en are three prime examples of problems that linger on far beyond the last credit. It is less a case of the characters being forced to stop trying and more that a solution to the original problem was never found, or at the very least, was never employed.

Identifying the source of all problems

In How To Train Your Dragon problems exist because of the refusal of some characters to compromise. At first, this refusal only comes from Hiccup. His act of disobedience within the opening sequence sets the story off and forces Stoick, as Protagonist, to take the necessary action required to return things back to normal. As covered in the article How to Train Your Inciting Incident, Hiccup’s chaotic influence interrupts the tender balance between dragons and Vikings, ultimately driving Stoick to pursue the Story Goal of Training the next generation of dragon killers.

This inability to compromise though, can be found everywhere and not simply within Hiccup himself. Stoick’s refusal to allow Hiccup to train, the initial refusal by Toothless to take Hiccup on as a rider, Hiccup’s constant repudiation of traditional Viking teaching within the ring, Astrid’s resistance to Hiccup’s relationship with Toothless and the subsequent romantic flight that begins with Toothless’s initial rejection of Astrid…all of these are clear instances where standing one’s ground creates friction within the world of the story, friction that affects everyone.

Such friction becomes a good indicator of a story’s central problem.

Every problem carries with it its own solution

No matter what the problem is, its very existence automatically supplies the corresponding solution. If the problem is an overabundance of emotion as it is in The Godfather (Sonny’s overreaction, Don’s feeling about drugs), then it only follows that the solution would be a reliance on rational thought (as supplied by Tom Hagan and used to great success by Michael). If the problem is a repressive state of control as it is in Casablanca (exemplified by the Nazi’s presence and their willing benefactor Renault), then it would make sense that the solution be found in freedom (the rousing rendition of “La Marseillaise” and of course, Ilsa and Laszlo’s escape). Identify the problem in a story and the corresponding dynamically opposed solution will present itself.

If the problem is a refusal to compromise, as it is in How To Train Your Dragon, then the solution would be a call for more tolerance, an acceptance of what is presented. But isn’t this what happened in the film? Didn’t Stoick come to accept his son for who he is?

Separate Throughlines and Their Solutions

Complete stories require that there be four throughlines. Beyond the obvious Main Character and Objective Storylines, there also needs to be someone who challenges the Main Character’s way of seeing things. This becomes the third throughline. The fourth and final throughline is covered by the relationship that develops between the two. In Dragon, this challenging character throughline is shared among three characters: Stoick, Astrid and Toothless. While each has their own motivations and place within the main story, their place within the structure of the story is the same: to force Hiccup to doubt his resolve.

In the end, Hiccup stands his ground (as all Steadfast Main Characters do), forcing the others in the relationship to change. Both Toothless and Astrid fall early, but it is Stoick’s change that carries with it the greater emotional resonance. His acceptance of Hiccup as his son resolves the problem within his own throughline. It does not, however, solve the problems within the story at large.

The reason for stories

These four throughlines provide an audience with an opportunity to look at problems from different perspectives simultaneously --something they cannot do in their own lives. This is the power of stories, and of movies, and the reason why audiences continue to seek out this experience time and time again. By assessing the outcomes of separate throughlines dealing with the same problem, an audience member can acquire some greater meaning to the order of things.

Failing to resolve the main story problem

So while Stoick was able to resolve his throughline by finding a greater tolerance for his son, in the larger picture that refusal to compromise persisted.

Remember in that previous article how Stoick was identified as the Protagonist and Hiccup the Antagonist? For Stoick to win, to successfully achieve his goal of Training the next generation of dragon killers Hiccup would have had to accept the Viking way and done away with all dragons. By mounting one of their heads above the fireplace, Hiccup would have employed that solution of tolerance the main story needed for a successful resolution.

But the story’s structure called for a completely different outcome.

Arriving at the final battle atop dragons wasn’t a sign of tolerating the dragons, it was a continuation of the mayhem originally begun by Hiccup. In effect, the kids were misbehaving, refusing to accept the training that Stoick and the others had hoped to instill in them. While they ultimately managed to save the day in the end, they did so by rejecting the Viking way.

Problems that persist

When a story ends in failure, the required solution was never employed. As explained in When Failure Becomes a Good Thing, the consequences of failing to reach the desired outcome can be painted in a more positive light as they are in How To Train Your Dragon. While the solution may be employed in one throughline, this does not necessarily guarantee a successful outcome in every throughline. By mixing success and failure within the separate perspectives on a story’s problem, an author can construct a meaningful dissonance that provides an audience with a memorable and lasting experience.

:::expert Advanced Story Theory for this Article The storyform for How To Train Your Dragon finds Non-Acceptance as a Problem in three of the four throughlines: Objective Story, Influence Character and Relationship Story. While failure is the outcome of the Objective Story (as described above), success is to be found in the Influence Character and Relationship Throughlines. Stoick’s Acceptance of his son shortly before his final attack on the huge dragon naturally rounds out his throughline and gives us a very clear example of a Change Influence Character. Their relationship finds resolve in Stoick’s Acceptance of Hiccup’s idea of how Vikings and Dragons should live together (proof of which lies within the closing sequence).

Interestingly enough, the storyform calls for Hiccup’s Problem to be Protection. As a Steadfast Main Character, this Problem will be seen more as a source of the Main Character’s drive rather than a problem to be solved and nowhere is this more evident than within the young Viking’s explanation for why he didn’t kill Toothless. As he explains to Astrid, he looked into the dragon’s eyes and saw himself (a prime candidate for the “You and I” montage if there ever was one), driven to Protect someone as helpless as he himself felt. In a more complex and extended story, the Solution of Inaction would have been seen in moments where Hiccup would have doubted himself and perhaps done nothing to protect a defenseless creature. With a running time close to 90 minutes, this sort of sophistication and nuance within a Steadfast Main Character falls by the wayside. :::

James R. Hull

When Failure Becomes a Good Thing

In How To Train Your Dragon, things don’t quite work out the way Hiccup had intended. While smiles abound and the music swells, there still seems to be a sense of loss. The reason why this is goes far beyond the obvious physical changes: something quite meaningful has transpired.

Protagonist vs. Antagonist

As mentioned in the previous article on How to Train Your Inciting Incident, the Goal of this film was to Train the next generation of dragon killers. Stoick, as Protagonist, pursues this Goal with unrelenting courage and steadfastness. His son Hiccup, as Antagonist, works to prevent this from happening, balancing the years of tradition he wishes to honor with his instinct to protect the very same beasts he has been tasked with killing.

Major Plot Points develop the original problem

Hiccup’s interference in the opening sequence upsets the balance of things on Berk. With this Inciting Incident creating the central inequity of the story, what further events develop it and propel the story towards its eventual resolution?

  • First Act Turn: Hiccup cuts Toothless free
  • Midpoint: Astrid discovers Toothless, Giant dragon revealed
  • Second Act Turn: Stoick forces Toothless into revealing the dragon’s nest

While Hiccup’s refusal to kill the Monstrous Nightmare is the larger event of the Second Act, that shift from the first half of this act into the second is more a series of actions that drive the story forward thematically rather than one central sequence. These actions alter the exploration of one way to solve the story’s central problem to another. Plot Points don’t always have to be one singular event. In fact, thinking of plot events this way almost certainly guarantees that a story will come off mechanical and plodding, and sometimes episodic. Instead, plot points should be seen as forces that shift the dramatic focus of each structural act into a new area.

The Four Acts of Dragons

As revealed in the article on The Reason for Acts, there are four major contexts from which every problem can be appreciated. Taking the above assessment of the Story Goal and Plot Points found in How to Train Your Dragon, the Act order becomes readily apparent:

Act 1 of Dragons: Doing

Following Hiccup’s initial blunder, the Vikings continue to Do what they have always done, namely mounting excursions into the unknown and training new recruits.

Act 2 of Dragons: Learning

The Second Act turns with Hiccup’s act of defiance against his heritage and begins what Snyder would lovingly call the “Fun and Games” moment — the montage of young Vikings Learning their trade. This is the Act where Hiccup asks all his questions, further complicating the young one’s training and increasing the tension formed by the original inequity.

Act 3 of Dragons: Understanding

The multi-layered approach to the Midpoint slides the story into the structural Third Act, forcing the characters to come to a better Understanding of what is really going on. Beginning with Astrid’s understanding of why Hiccup has been acting so strangely and culminating with the revelation of the dragon’s unholy alliance with an even bigger dragon, the second act flows from Learning to Understanding. It peaks with Hiccup’s decision not to kill the Monstrous Nightmare, a decision that leads the Vikings (particularly Hiccup’s father Stoick) to mistakingly view Hiccup as a traitor.

Act 4 of Dragons: Obtaining

Finally, the fourth and final structural act begins with Stoick’s demand that Toothless reveal the hiding place of the dragons. This action forces Hiccup and the others to decide to do something really crazy. As with Star Wars, this final act is all about two forces trying to achieve victory over the other.

Only things don’t work out quite the way they did in that seminal sci-fi classic.

Hiccup’s Failure

Why is it that the ending of this animated “kid’s” film has such a bittersweet feeling to it? Even though they defeated the giant dragon, it still doesn’t have that same overwhelming victorious feeling that Han and Luke experienced way back when. Is it simply the physical changes that came as a result or could it be there was something else more meaningful going on? Examining the structural fallout from the attempts to resolve the story’s central problem grants one the answer.

Hiccup’s personal issues revolve around his diminutive appearance and his relatively unimportant place among the other Vikings. In other words, he doesn’t fit in. In fact, people refer to his physicality as the reason why they can’t take him seriously (“You just pointed to all of me.”) The resolution of this angst comes with his father’s admittance that they were wrong all along, Hiccup was exactly what they needed.

But at what cost?

Hiccup’s resolution came only as the result of his father’s failure to train the next generation of dragon killers. This is why it looks like a victory when the kids come riding in on dragons and defeat the big bad guy. Hiccup, as Antagonist, has won. He has prevented the Protagonist from achieving the Story Goal. Sure, it comes as a result of killing an even bigger dragon, but the story was about learning to kill the very beasts they came riding in on.

The film feels bittersweet because of the way the story is constructed. A Personal Triumph story is defined as one where the main Objective Story ends in Failure yet the Main Character resolves their personal issues. How to Train Your Dragon fits this description perfectly. Personal Triumphs feel bittersweet because the dividends of such an experience outweigh the failure of achieving the original goal. Not every failure can be seen as a loss.

The Consequences of Failing

When failure is met, consequences must be dealt with. Without consequences, there can be no motivation towards solving the problem. Consequences though, as can be seen in this film, are not always negative. While the structure of a story is both objective and logistically sensible, how it is portrayed and woven into the fabric of the story can be tempered with the subjective artistry of the writer.

Driven to prevent the original Goal from succeeding, Hiccup manages to come up with something even better--adopting the dragons as pets. His new idea resolves the tenuous situation between the dragons and Vikings (at least these dragons), but only as a consequence of failing to resolve the story’s original problem. The audience can sense this innately and explains clearly while the film doesn’t have that overwhelming triumphant feeling that Star Wars had.

Plot points that serve the story’s message

Major story events are more than simply progressive complications that increase tension. They drive a story forward, increasing the central inequity to its eventual breaking point, and eventually end up forcing the Main Character to deal with his or her own personal issues. When the efforts to resolve the story’s problem ends in failure, the Protagonist by definition loses, the Antagonist wins. How the Main Character ends up emotionally though determines whether the film is an all-out Tragedy or simply another case of Personal Triumph.

How To Train Your Dragon fulfills the tenants of the latter, establishing itself as something quite special among the typically upbeat companions in the animated film genre.

Advanced Story Theory for this Article

How To Train Your Dragon is a wonderful example of a story with an Outcome of Failure and a Story Judgment of Good. With further clarity in its depiction of a Steadfast Main Character and an Objective Story Concern of Learning (what else would a film with that kind of title be!), the storyform presents itself with appreciations that resonate strongly.

The Consequence of Conceiving--coming up with the idea of adopting the dragons as pets--shines as a meaningful result of failing to achieve the original Story Goal. Stoick’s problem of Non-Acceptance, Hiccup and his drive to Protect, and the Issue between the two of them revolving around Deficiency (certainly there is a feeling that someone is lacking!) all add up to a film that is much more than wonderful art direction and sincere character animation.

Steadfast, Stop, Do-er, Male, Action, Spacetime, Failure, Good, Physics, Learning, Preconditions, Non-acceptance

James R. Hull

How to Train Your Inciting Incident

When it comes to the construction of a solid story, there seems to be some confusion over how it actually begins. In an attempt to generalize and make easily accessible the idea of the initial plot point, many have reduced meaningful storytelling to a generic assumption that can cause confusion among new writers.

Often referred to as the Inciting Incident, this first plot point is typically described as the moment when the Protagonist’s world is turned upside-down, forcing them to react and engage in the story. At first glance, this principle sounds reasonable and helpful in the creation of a story.

Assumptions That Beg Questions

Robert McKee describes it as something that “radically upsets the balance of forces in the protagonist’s life.” Blake Snyder calls it the “Catalyst” and describes it as a life-changing event that happens to or is witnessed by the Protagonist. John Truby defines it as an exterior event that causes the hero to take action. But what about a film like How To Train Your Dragon, where the assumed “Protagonist” (Hiccup) is the one who upsets the apple cart that is the world around him?

The Problem With Dragons

In How To Train Your Dragon, problems begin when young Hiccup inadvertently wrecks havoc on his hometown of Berk. As a result, the Vikings watch helplessly as many of the dragons escape with talons full of Nordic livestock. Nothing happens that Hiccup reacts to. A bomb doesn’t explode, a meteor doesn’t crash to the ground. There is no external incident that Hiccup is reacting to. In fact, the way it is presented it seems like raids like this happen on a pretty consistent basis.

If Hiccup had stayed put like he was told, the marauding dragons would not have made off with a majority of the Viking’s supplies and things would have continued on as they always have. His act of disobedience ignites the story’s central inequity and inspires the drive to train new recruits. But if Hiccup is the instigator of the story’s problem, how can the Inciting Incident be something that happens to him?

Confusing the Protagonist with Main Character

The problem lies with the popular notion the Main Character is also the Protagonist. These two concepts of story are not always one and the same. The Main Character represents the audience’s eyes into the story. The Protagonist is an objective character archetype whose main function in a story is to solve the Story Goal. In How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup is the Main Character. His father, Stoick, is the Protagonist.

Protagonists are motivated to pursue the Story Goal and to consider the importance of doing so. Antagonists are motivated to prevent or avoid the Story Goal from happening and inspire others to reconsider their own motivations. The former sounds exactly like Stoick, the latter Hiccup. But wait…Hiccup as Antagonist?

The Central Inequity Creates The Story Goal

Hiccup’s opening attempt at glory breeds chaos, inspiring Stoick to pursue a new course of action. This new course, or Story Goal, can be described as Training the next generation of dragon killers. Why isn’t the Goal to find a new way to live with dragons? (thus securing Hiccup as Protagonist). Well for one, that motivation doesn’t really arrive until further along when the Second Act begins. Protagonists are motivated towards the goal from the very beginning of the story’s problem. Secondly, he isn’t so motivated to pursue a new way as much as he is to learn as much as he can in order to avoid having to kill dragons. Objective character functions are unchanging and consistent throughout the entire story. Understanding that, it is clear that Stoick is on a course of pursuit throughout, while Hiccup is motivated to avoid it.

In essence then, those original interpretations of the Inciting Incident were correct--the event does upset the Protagonist’s world, requiring them to pursue a course of action to resolve it. Their error was in assuming that the Protagonist is always the Main Character.

The utility (or futility) of the Central Dramatic Question

The central inequity is often referred to as a dilemma facing the Main Character: How can Hiccup learn to destroy these beasts at the same time he is befriending their most deadliest ally? While this question is interesting from an audience’s point-of-view, when it comes to writing a story, it becomes a little less than useful. Instead of thinking of it as creating a Central Dramatic Question, the Inciting Incident should be seen as something that sets up the story’s drive to resolve its central problem.

Thinking of this inequity as a Central Dramatic Question only becomes helpful after the fact, when looking at the story from the perspective of the audience. This is why many look to the works of story gurus and see them as counter-productive or unnecessary during the process of writing. On the other hand, thinking of this inequity as a problem that wishes to be solved becomes significantly more productive when sitting down to write. Suddenly the author knows what problems are at hand and can devise scenes that explore the best way to resolve them.

What an Inciting Incident really is

David Mamet comes closest when he speaks of “disordering events.” If stories are all about solving problems, then it only makes sense that there should be some genesis of that problem, some point at which the inequity of the story is created. This inequity exists because of the Inciting Incident.

Trying to establish it as something connected to the Protagonist, particularly when there is confusion between Protagonist and Main Character, can only serve to muddy the waters of effective and meaningful storytelling.

Without the Inciting Incident, there would be no story

Inciting events can come from anywhere and from anyone. Defining precisely what the reason for this initial spark is and the result of its introduction into the story can go a long way towards clearing up any inconsistencies within previous understandings of story. All this event must do is create the problem within the story at large. Whether it is something that happens to the Main Character or something they brought upon themselves, all that matters is that an inequity is created that every character in the story finds themselves wanting to resolve.

::: expert Advanced Story Theory for this Article The Inciting Incident--or more precisely the first Story Driver--is tied to the Objective Story Throughline. As this is the domain of the Protagonist, it only makes sense that he or she would have some reaction to this initial upset. That much is clear and explains where this notion that it must be something the Protagonist reacts to comes from. But the purpose of such a dramatic device isn’t so much to make a connection between the Objective Story and the Protagonist as much as it is to set the initial inequity in motion. That is the purpose of the initial plot point. All else follows from this change. :::

James R. Hull

Applying Pressure to the Main Character

Keeping the balance between internal and external pressures.

James R. Hull

What You're Missing By Not Understanding Dramatica

An appreciation of narrative that moves beyond the superficial.

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The Delectable and Exquisite Themes of Ratatouille

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Meaningful Storytelling: An Analysis of Inception

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Sophisticated Story Goals

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The Structure of a Short Story

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The Antagonists of Inception

The Antagonist of a story represents the forces of reticence in the narrative.

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Accurate Story Structure Ain't Easy

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The Reason for Acts

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Organizing Your Screenwriting Life with the iPhone and iPad

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Four Acts, Not Three

The idea of a Three Act structure dates itself as an incomplete understanding of the flow of narrative.

James R. Hull

Plot Points and the Inciting Incident

Understanding when the problem of the story starts sets an author straight.

James R. Hull

The Illusion of Change

Transformation is a process of letting go, a discarding of old ways with the hope that relief may come with new resolve. Growth of character, however, makes no such assumptions of metamorphosis.

James R. Hull

When Film Analysis Goes Bad

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The True Definition of a Protagonist

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Successful Short Story Adaptations

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Avoiding The False Moment Of Character

Fixing a story requires a proper understanding of narrative structure.

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The Handshake and the Machine

Deus Ex Machina and the end of meaning.

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The Difference Between Neo and Luke Skywalker

While some contend these two share a similar heroic journey, an understanding of conflict personal to them proves otherwise.

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Not Everything Is A Hero's Journey

Time for this nonsense to finally come to a resounding end.

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The Pacific vs. Band of Brothers

The structural difference between triumph and tragedy.

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Avatar and the Broken Main Character

An unclear Resolve breaks empathy and trust with the Audience.

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Avatar and Star Wars: Spectacle Over Substance

The Archetypal Characters found in both blockbusters serve an important function.

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Dramatica: Story Theory for the 21st Century

Moving beyond Aristotle and remedial explanations of story structure.

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Why The MacGuffin Is A Joke

The idea of the MacGuffin was never intended to be, nor should it ever be, taken seriously.

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You Don't Know Jack

Effective story structure supports the Author's message.

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Up In The Air

Connecting the Main Character's personal problem with the story's larger problem creates a meaningful and lasting narrative.

James R. Hull

The Main Character's Central Problem

Tying the personal problem to the bigger conflict facing everyone in a story.

James R. Hull

Narrative Drive and Weak Protagonists

The drive to resolve inequity fuels the engine of story.

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Redefining Protagonist and Main Character

Understanding the signficant difference between these two concepts of narrative.

James R. Hull

Writing Complete Stories

The secret to success lies in a consistent use of the Four Throughlines of narrative.

James R. Hull