Series of Articles

The Science Behind Dramatica

The definitive explanation of the magic behind the theory

Hubris is defined as "excessive pride, or self-confidence." In this series, I match hubris with hubris in the definitive defense of what I consider to be one of the most important narrative theories of all time.

Dramatica and a Narrative Model of the Mind

Setting the record straight

Knowledge is the basic building block of logic. Once we know something, we can easily combine it with other bits of Knowledge to form a conclusion—a new block built upon the foundation of the earlier ones. When productive, these blocks of Knowledge manifest a higher level of thinking; when deleterious, those entrenched in beliefs can’t find their way out.

Those blocks only lift them so high.

There exists a post: Opinions, Questions, and Hunches on Dramatica Theory that haunts me every time I visit the Screenplay forum; not for any threat to my life’s work, but rather because of the sheer magnitude of ignorance it conveys about the theory. Even worse, it tends to infect the minds of others:

I rather like some aspects of Dramatica theory, but the more I dig in the more inconsistencies I find. Someone else posted an absolutely devastating critique on its lack of formalism.

Only it’s not “devastating.” And the lack of formalism is the result of a lack of proper research. And the inconsistencies?

Guess it’s time to address this madness finally.

The author behind the post spent zero to little time educating himself about the theory. Same with anyone else who, blown away by the sheer volume of the response, assumed their confusion was the rule.

We find this all the time with Dramatica: an individual’s inability to grasp the concepts leads him or her to set out on a course of willful destruction. Much easier to kill what we do not understand. The retort, while seemingly impressive by length and challenge, is merely fearful ignorance masquerading as thoughtful critique.

The Basics

The first misunderstanding is that of context. Meaning is context. What might be right in one context ends up bad in a completely different scenario. A knife is meaningless unless used for cutting and preparing a meal; it’s even more meaningful when used in a murder. The prior context is a good use of a knife, the last bad—assuming crime is terrible. Sometimes, it’s an entirely acceptable form of behavior.

Context determines meaning.

Now, the purpose of a Grand Argument Story is to imitate a human mind experiencing and tackling the problem from each and every possible scenario.

Wrong. The purpose of a Grand Argument Story is to communicate one possible scenario—one singular context.

Tackling every possible scenario from every possible context is a recipe for madness. If you want that, live your life; we swim in a constant sea of turbulent contexts, ever-shifting given the present moment.

A story is not that; a story is one moment.

Dramatica imposes a limit by only allowing the combined dimensions of position and motion (resulting in the four members of the Class quad) to be used only once throughout all viewpoints.

This limitation is a feature. This imposition of combinations prevents one from running around in circles and chasing one’s tail of consideration (see your post). If everything means something from every context, then everything means nothing.

When it comes to identifying a Source of Conflict for a Throughline, many tend to focus on one point-of-view to the exclusion of others. They look at Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption and see his problem in all four Domains:

  • Universe: an innocent man locked up for a crime he didn’t commit
  • Physics: a rebel who stands up to physical aggression
  • Psychology: a man on a mission to change the way a prison population thinks
  • Mind: an optimist who suffers at the naïveté of his hopes and dreams

But what does all of that mean?

Now, look at Andy in the context of the other three Throughlines, and you begin to see what the story is all about:

  • Universe: an innocent man disrupts the stasis of corruption at a prison
  • Physics: a rebellious freedom fighter stands up against any physical aggression
  • Psychology: an institutionalized man supports the system (Red)
  • Mind: a friendship develops around the idea of hope

Seen in this one instance, it’s clear that Andy doesn’t even represent the Main Character I perspective—Red does. And it’s even more apparent that with all these perspectives encapsulating a single inequity, that there exists a way out. The Shawshank Redemption argues that finding freedom and triumph requires abandoning the support of external systems—and it does this by presenting one set of interrelated perspectives.

Trying to witness it all at once: the relationships, the personal perspective, and the influencing points obliterates any recognizable meaning. We find ourselves lost at sea again, adrift in the ups and downs present before the introduction of Dramatica.

So, to answer the first question:

1.Why does Dramatica impose this limit? Shouldn’t each viewpoint have a problem in each member of the Class Quad in order to have a Grand Argument Story?

No. Viewpoints do not “have” problems—they create them. Problems are something made up in our minds; the moment we look at an inequity from a specific point-of-view and declare it a problem, well—its now a problem. That inequity, or separateness, is not truly a problem, our appreciation of it as a problem makes it a challenge.

That process of justifying inequities as problems is what Dramatica models with its Table of Story Elements.

Switch the perspective, and you switch the context; change the context, and you change the meaning.

A storyform in Dramatica represents one meaning and, therefore, one context.

The Basic Concepts Underlying the Dramatica Theory of Story

The formula for predictive psychology

Obfuscation is not always an attempt to mislead. Sometimes, not revealing what's inside the box motivates another to seek out for himself what lies inside. Whether or not one finds something inside relies entirely on that individual's ability to open the box without cutting himself.

Some even give up long before that.

In a ridiculously long post, chemical engineer Goose posits:

I scoured Dramatica Theory and the internet looking for more information or clarity to no avail. This experience leads me to believe two things: either the theory is sound, but is just presented poorly OR the theory is not sound, and the writers compensate by making things vague and confusing (either consciously or not).

The first is accurate, with a dash of the second thrown in for good measure. Dramatica theory is sound, but presented poorly on purpose—the vague and confusing nature obfuscates the specific algorithms and relationships that make up the "special sauce" of Dramatica.

1993 is not 2020. The year of Dramatica's original release knew nothing of open source software or the possibilities of expansion available within the sharing of information. Protection and copyright motivated a modus operandi of keeping those theoretical concepts under lock and key.

Dramatica Theory spectacularly conceals or ignores most of its assumptions, axioms, and logical processes related to the creation and application of the model.

Yes, this is true. The concealment was a factor of both finance and nurture. Growing a revolutionary theory at the outset requires protecting the very nature of its underpinnings. Explain enough of the method to put it into practical use, but don't reveal all for fear of losing everyone right out of the gate.

While some of the questions asked stem from obfuscation, many signal an inability to think soundly about the nature of inequity and perspective.

Imagine the fear and panic if the totality of all remained on the table.

The definitions of words give little indication of what the word represents in the model logically, or the reason for its particular placement.

This problem I can explain.

Dramatica's original pitch targeted Hollywood. Revolutions require funding, and at the time, Software as a Service systems did not exist. Story theorists and amateur writers were not known to be venture capitalists; the closest thing to seed money were the aspirations of Hollywood's best writers.

Those writers want terminology and definitions closer to how they think and speak in the day to day operations of their work. They don't want to hear about Universe or Prerequisite or Deficiencies—and they certainly don't want to hear that every single quad is the same four Elements:

They just want to know what should happen during the second half of the Second Act.

The Base Quad of Dramatica

Dramatica models the human mind processing an inequity. Part of this process involves categorizing that inequity through the lens afforded by the mechanism of the mind. In other words, we see problems as a result of our minds—problems exist within us, not without.

We perceive four bases outside of our minds:

  • Mass
  • Energy
  • Space
  • Time

We perceive only these four as a function of our mind's internal bases:

  • Knowledge
  • Thought
  • Ability
  • Desire

These two groups correlate with one another, such that:

  • Mass is Knowledge
  • Energy is Thought
  • Space is Ability
  • Time is Desire

We see Mass because of Knowledge; we appreciate Energy as an external representation of Thought. Ability and Desire are often harder to see as Space and Time until you understand strengths as the spatial relationship between chunks of Knowledge, and desires as Thoughts that evolve over Time.

Comparing External and Internal Quads

We make our world, seeing the Universe as we are, not as it truly is.

And that's precisely how we write stories.

Dramatica just makes it easier to understand how it all works together.

The Mental Math Behind the Theory

The magical feature of Dramatica is its ability to predict Storybeats within a story. Given a set of Narrative Dynamics and a focal point of consideration, Dramatica outlines the steps needed to progress from beginning to end. That story you've been struggling to write for three years? Dramatica helps you cut that time down to three months—including the final product.

This ability to predict narrative lies in a mathematical equation that many find themselves already familiar with every day.

A quad has four corners occupying a square. In accordance with the theory, we give the symbol "A" for the top left that represents "external state", "B" for the bottom right that represents "internal state", "C" for the top right that represents "external process", and "D" for the bottom left that represents "internal process". For example, in the topmost Class stage, A = Situation, B = Fixed attitude, C = Activity, and D = Manipulation.

It would be easier to replace these with Dramatica's four base Elements of Knowledge, Thought, Ability, and Desire—but I present both to continue the conversation:

How are A, B, C, and D related? I remember reading something about a pseudo-mathematic equation of A/B = CD, which supposedly means that "when A and B are separated, then C and D are blended" or something.

Yes, this is correct. While not strictly a mathematical equation in the Linear sense of 2 + 2 = 4, the idea that one side of the quad dividing balances out with the other side multiplying (blending) holds true in a Holistic sense.

We are talking about the mind here.

The equation does not make sense to me. I do not understand the logic or the apparent psychology behind it.

For a second, let's transpose our perception of the Universe onto Dramatica's base quad of Elements:

And now let's take these observable bases of the Universe and graft them onto Dramatica's equation that is "supposedly" mathematical:

M/E = S*T

And now, let's solve for E:

E = (S*T) M

Hmm. I think I'd like it better if I move the M in front of the S and T...and you know what? S and T are just the same things—a constant, if you will—so let's write the equation out like this instead:

E = mc2

Look familiar?

Einstein blends Space and Time into a constant because that's what a Linear mindset does with Ability and Desire—it combines them such that it becomes difficult to think of them as separate.

Ever ask a Linear thinker to explain his feelings? Ever wonder why he wants something so badly, yet the moment he has it, he no longer wants it anymore?

That's why Einstein blended Space and Time into a constant.

And that's how Dramatica predicts the Storybeats of a story.

A Model of Relationships

When dealing with the relationships between items in a given context, a conceptual understanding of mathematics helps to describe the elements within a function.

2.What's the deal with the equation A/B = CD? How is it that when an "external state" is separated from an "internal state" that an "external process" will blend with an "internal process"?

Dramatica is a model of relationships. As much as the Linear mindset would prefer this relationship to be strictly cause and effect, experience requires something much more comprehensive.

When looking at one Method within a quad of Methods, one must appreciate all four at once. To isolate one or two to the exclusion of others is to obliterate any utility from the Method. When considering the quad of Methods underneath Universe, Past and Present are seen as separate, whereas Progress and Future appear blended. You never know where one starts, and the other begins.

Dramatica mainly focuses on the relationships between A, B, C, and D of a quad through Dynamic, Companion, and Dependent Pairs. The Dynamic Pair states that the diagonal items in a quad contrast the most. So, "A" representing "external state" is most opposed to "B" representing "internal state". The "C" representing "external process" is most opposed to "D" representing "internal process". Therefore a Dynamic Pair contains items of the same motion (state) but different position (external and internal).

You conflate the essential properties of a Dramatica quad with contextual references of dynamics (motion) and location (position). One is not "in motion" (process) and another not (static), any more than light is either a particle or a wave. Both exist simultaneously, the perspective from which one appreciates the quad defines their "motion." Same with external and internal—they both live at the same time in what many refer to as projection.

How do the logic of Dynamic, Companion, and Dependent Pairs make sense according to motion and position? Why is an "external state" most opposed to an "internal state" instead of an "internal process"? Am I way off with this motion/position thing?

Yes, way off (see above).

The current model is Knowledge-based. This bias implies two things: a) Knowledge sits in the upper left-hand corner of the quad, and b) appreciable meaning is a function of Knowledge.

You need a bias when searching for meaning, a context from which to understand up from down. The original version of Dramatica chose Knowledge as its given as that bias more closely aligns with Western Linear thought.

In the West, you either Know it, or you don't.

Your giant post of Opinions, Hunches, and Thoughts about Dramatica is an example of what it's like to be blinded by Knowledge. Assuming your place of origin to be somewhere in the West (99.999% sure), I see example after example of someone justifying a line of questioning from a basis of certainty.

One of these biases is the assumption of opposites. To you, a light switch is on or off—you fail to the dynamic transition between on and off.

Part of this preconception can be seen in your assumption of motion and position (moving, yes or no? Inside or out?), but it also appears in your misunderstanding of what it means to be a dynamic opposite. To you, antithesis is a function of on or off, not a more comprehensive appreciation of relationships between items.

If what I assume that what I Know is indeed true, then my Desires are not the dynamic opposite of that Knowledge. The two might exhibit Dependent behavior with one another, but they exist in tandem. Some Know the world to be flat. This Knowledge is a tremendous source of happiness for them and draws them to want to be with others who know the same. Dynamic conflict is not present in this relationship—Knowledge is an external state of mind, Desire is an internal process.

Likewise, if what I assume to Know is true, then my Abilities only serve to amplify or diminish that Knowledge. Knowledge and Ability are Companions within the mind. Kobe Bryant knew he was the best from the age of six. His natural talents (Abilities) only amplified that Knowledge, taking it to a level unheard of in professional basketball (the Black Mamba moniker). And that Knowledge drove him to remove the Ability for other players to touch the ball. Both Knowledge and Ability worked in tandem within Kobe to make him one of the greats.

Dynamic conflict is not present within the relationship between Knowledge and Ability—Knowledge is an external state, and Ability is an external process of the mind.

Knowledge and Thought, however, are directly opposed—especially when Knowledge is assumed to be true (re your post).

You Know static and process to be a function of motion, yet when presented with a different way of Thinking about them, you spend hours and hours writing the ultimate shaggy-dog post of a question. Your criticism is Dynamic Conflict manifest—a result of an external state of the mind Knowledge clashing with an internal state of the mind Thought.

Thought is not a process; one thinks or thinks not.

Knowledge and Thought in the mind collide the same way that Mass and Energy do in the universe. Direct enough Energy and you can shatter a seemingly impenetrable Mass.

Death Star Firing Chamber

The same process occurs in the mind: you may Know something to be impenetrably true—but direct enough Thought towards it, and you can burst through those preconceptions.

But not all Dynamic Conflict is deleterious; Knowledge and Thought combine to manifest even greater Knowledge in the same way that iron sharpens iron:

As iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17)

Pretty much describes this additive result of conflict between Knowledge and Thought. This article and the hundreds before it sharpen the iron of other writers.

Conflict is not a function of opposites. When Knowledge is taken for granted, the most significant source of conflict for it is Thought. Abilities and Desires work in concert with Knowledge, supporting through companionship and dependencies.

The Restrictive Size of a Mind

Developing an accurate model of the mind requires an appreciation of scope.

I also do not understand the recursive nature of quads. Based on Dramatica, it seemed clear to me that the quads simply got smaller and smaller within each other. So, the top right item of the Class quad could actually be subdivided into a whole new Type quad, and then the Variation quads, and finally the Elemental quads containing 256 items total (though only 64 unique ones). Why do we stop at Elements and not go further?

We stop at the Elements because of what Dramatica refers to as the Size of Mind Constant. When holding a single context, our minds perceive seven items, plus or minus two. Miller's famous 1956 article "The Magical Number Seven" describes this observation of short-term memory:

people's maximum performance on one-dimensional absolute judgement can be characterized as an information channel capacity with approximately 2 to 3 bits of information, which corresponds to the ability to distinguish between four and eight alternatives.

The Dramatica Table of Story Elements and its four levels of magnification represents the totality of what our minds can retain all at once. You can dive deeper into the Elements—but then you lose sight of the top. Practically speaking, this is what happens within a television series. The series itself tells of one story, while the individual seasons and sometimes episodes explore those Elements as if they were their own story.

The Dramatica Table of Story Elements

Consider both the quad of Mass, Energy, Space, and Time and the quad of Knowledge, Thought, Ability, and Desire. Now, stand on one as a given from which to appreciate the others—and you see evidence of Miller's law beyond pure coincidence.

Why are the Elements the building blocks of this model? It is not entirely clear to me, but I assume it has something to do with balancing the idea of "four" in the model.

Assuming the Elements to be the building blocks is a spatial misinterpretation of the visual representation of the Dramatica model. The Elements are not the "foundation" of the towers. Those towers are a misrepresentation as well—the actual model is collapsed in on itself—a singularity of the mind.

I initially thought that maybe the Elements were the building blocks because at that point our four towers of quads (Situation, Activity, Manipulation, and Fixed Attitude) converged. Once we got to the Element stage, all of the sudden our items in the quads repeated. In fact the 64 Elements generated in one Class are the same as the Elements generated in another. But wait, why do the 64 elements repeat at this level? There doesn't seem to be a reason for it (more on this later).

Those repeated 64 Elements should indeed be 256 separate Elements. Two reasons why they are not: 1) if they were distinct, Authors would undoubtedly miss the connections between subjective and objective points of view, a vital aspect of wrapping one's head around the Premise of a story. 2) define the difference between Pursuit in the context of Physics compared to Pursuit in terms of Psychology. Compound that with a different word for Pursuit within a framework of Universe, and another within Mind. An intellectual exercise to be sure but one that most likely would not be worth the effort.

The quad has four items (from the motion and position dimensions) and there are four viewpoints; therefore, everything must be four in order to maintain balance. The model must only have four levels of recursive quads. This may have been exacerbated by the four established literary terms: character, theme, plot, and genre.

Not exacerbated—corroborated. Validated. The idea that for centuries, we naturally subdivided narrative in terms of character, plot, theme, and genre only supports the concept that we see the world as we are, not as it truly is. Stories are a reflection of how we think-and Dramatica models that process.

But desire of balance is not a logical argument, but instead a satisfaction of our psyche.


Einstein desired one equation to describe the Universe, but that doesn't mean one exists.

I agree. The question to ask yourself is, how can we possibly describe the Universe with one equation if the very tool we use to describe it is hampered by three-bit technology?

We can't.

So instead, we write stories.

The Bias of the Current Dramatica Model (2020)

Wrapping your head around your head

Nothing means nothing until you assume a frame of reference. The sky is “above” the Earth unless you stand on your head. This same reality of psychology applies to stories and story structure. A Goal is meaningless except when placed in an objective context and paired with a Consequence. Without context, we fall into the trap of not understanding one another.

The Consequence of misattributing concepts of Dramatica is even more disastrous.

In the previous article on this series on The Science Behind Dramatica, I addressed this question:

4.What is the logical reason that Elements are the building blocks? Why not go down further recursively from Class? Or stop earlier?

Stopping earlier would result in an incomplete exploration of the mind. Going down further would only shift the scope of consideration. The Size of Mind Constant is immutable; you can’t hold more than four levels at once in a single state of awareness.

I decided to map out the recursive nature of the four levels of quads (Class, Type, Variation, and Element) in hopes of discovering a pattern.

An approach with an appetite for disaster—especially since you lack the basic understanding of the relationships between items in a quad. You can’t merely replace the labels with “ABCD” and hope to ascribe some relative meaning from them.

I stripped away the vocabulary used in all the quads and instead used only what I knew (or had assumed) of quads: that they contain a certain motion and a certain position.

This technique is why your exercise ended in disaster. Motion and position are your misinterpretations of the Dramatica quad structure; it’s no surprise your recursive journey ended in an overflow error.

Choosing a Bias to Model

As mentioned earlier in this series, every quad in Dramatica consists of the same base four Elements:

In the Super Class of Knowledge, where Knowledge is the reference point for all other considerations, the Class-level Domains transpose:

A Super Class of Thought or Desire would find an alternate set of semantics for a Class level appreciation. As Melanie Anne Phillips explains in her post “Illegal” Plot Progressions

The model of the Story Mind as seen in Dramatica is called a “K-based” model, because it sees everything from the perspective of Knowledge, rather than Thought, Ability, or Desire. You can see that this is the case because there are no words like “Love,” or “Fear” in the model. These words would be in the “Desire” realm.

As the sole developer behind Subtext, I can tell you that attempting to encode the latter “Desire” realm would be nearly impossible given current technologies. This difficulty is why Chris and Melanie defaulted to a Knowledge-based system for the first iteration of Dramatica. The other, and more important, consideration Melanie explains:

Why did we choose a K-based system? Because our primary market – American Authors – works within American Culture. That culture is almost completely K-based. Which is why most rooms have four straight walls, why language is linear, why products are put in boxes on shelves, why definitions are important, why contracts are created, why laws exist.

To a K-based culture, observable reality takes precedence over experiential subjectivity. The Universe is a constant proven by scientific observation. The Universe is what we Know. Physics play a part in describing the Universe process and, therefore, assume a Companion relationship with Universe. Physics describes the Abilities of the Universe.

Note the reference of Abilities in the Universe context; Universe is our chosen bias for this model. All items exist with that initial bias.

Psychology, or how we think, is something we can’t observe directly and is, therefore, something we can’t Know for sure. Psychology is something hidden, a dark art for one more comfortable with matters of yes or no.

This construction process of thoughts is entirely dependent upon the Universe; we envision models of Psychology that mimic and depend on our understanding of the world around us (see Dramatica, and its concept of Mental Relativity, and Einstein and his concept of General Relativity). And the Universe is dependent upon Psychology to make it a reality.

From this Knowledge-based point-of-view, Desires are a blob—“feelings” that are ultimately impossible to quantify. Desires rely on Knowledge just as much as Psychology relies on the Universe.

Lastly, and likely the most important given this conversation, is the Domain of Mind. When Knowledge is as indefatigable, our Minds deceive us, working against us to tear down what is right. How can Santa Claus continue to be known once we start thinking that Mom and Dad stay up late on Christmas Eve? Cognitive dissonance, a state of Mind, is the ultimate monkey wrench for any assumption. To have a better Mind is to think through prejudices, opinions, and “hunches” to unravel one’s limiting Knowledge-base.

Thought is the destroyer of worlds, in the same way that concentrated Energy shatters even the most stringent Mass. When Knowledge is known, Thought sits in direct opposition, functioning as Antagonist—the anti-thesis to one’s beloved thesis.

The Mind unravels the Universe.

Addressing the Recursive Nature of Dramatica

Down the endless rabbit hole of a narrative model

The attempt to unravel a complex psychological model without the key is a fool's errand. Guessing at relationships and substituting placeholders for concepts remains the only alternative for one given to such an adventure. The best thing to do when faced with the situation is to find a competent and knowledgable guide.

Throughout this series of articles on The Science of Dramatica, one limiting trend prevails: the rationalist's penchant for classification:

How does Dramatica code the relationships of recursive quads into vocabulary words with specific definitions? How exactly do the four Types’ definitions, for example, logically or mathematically exist in a Class?

As explained in the previous article, The Bias of the Current Dramatica Model (2020) every Dramatica quad is a reiteration of Knowledge, Thought, Ability, and Desire—from a Knowledge-based point-of-view.

When looking at the Universe from this perspective, the Past is what is Known. The Present is what is Thought of as the Universe. Progress describes the Ability of the Universe, and Future describes not what will be— but what is already there waiting for us as an extension of the Universe. Within the context of the Storymind, the Future and the Past exist simultaneously dependent on each other as a means of establishing their “place” in the Universe.

Let’s assume that Dramatica indeed has some secret code that changes A, B, C, or D into specific vocabulary words that all makes logical sense.

It does.

But there is another problem. According to Dramatica, the code AADB, BACB, CAAD, and DABB all code for the Element, “Desire,” with the same definition. How is that possible? Taking the only information about quads we had (motion and position), we end up with one word seemingly describing four completely different Elements. Using my recursive techniques, each one of the 256 Elements should be different, otherwise they were not derivative (or did not share the same properties) as the original quad. How did Dramatica condense certain codes all into the same meaning?

By reducing Dramatica’s relationship of quad dynamics to “ABCD” and misattributing them to “motion and position,” you lose any opportunity to understand Dramatica effectively.

As Melanie Anne Phillips explains in her book, Dramatica: Inside the Clockwork:

The Elements are the same names in each Class because they represent the basic truths in the story. They are in different arrangements because each Class looks at them in a different way.

Melanie continues to describe how the bias towards state (Knowledge) remains from top to bottom:

At the Class level, external items rest in a horizontal alignment (Universe and Physics):

At the Type level, the external is diagonal (Doing and Obtaining):

At the Variation level, the external is vertical (Approach and Morality):

Having worked our way through all the available permeations, we reach the bottom only to be left unable to distinguish external from internal:

But we have already seen the Truth distort from horizontal to diagonal to vertical. What’s left? A complete breakdown of some of the basic connections underlying our understanding. There are so many filters, the "crystal grows dark" and our ability to find meaning loses resolution. We can see as far as Pairs of Elements, but we can’t see the Elements as individual components.

The last relationship in the quad, the one most difficult to visualize, is the connection between the individual components and their grouped family dynamic. This relation indicates direction up or down through the model; Past, Present, Progress, and Future are both components and members of the Universe family. The same relationship occurs at the Element level; only it’s impossible to differentiate external from internal at that level of magnification.

Under Morality, for example, we have the Elements Faith, Disbelief, Conscience, and Temptation. Which is more External; which more Internal? Which is more or a State or more of a Process? Individually, they seem equally comprised of aspects of External, Internal, State, and Process. For example, Faith is IN something External, but DRIVEN by an Internal commitment. It is the State of "having Faith" but also the Process of "believing."

When seen individually, an Element consists of all four External, Internal, State, and Process—which is why going down further would manifest an entirely new story. This reality is how serialized novels and episodic television works: stories within stories.

Melanie explains the specific mechanizations between the four sets of Elements in Clockwork. Comparing various Element pairings from one Class to the next, one sees the pattern involved—one closely resembling the double helix of DNA.

Next, I decided to ditch my code-system and try a bottom-up approach to see how the Dynamic Pairs of Elements changed from one Class to the next. The Dynamic Pairs of Elements were never separated which gave me some hope of finding a pattern, but their rearrangement was, again pretty random. For some reason, certain Dynamic Pairs never changed relative position at all from Class to Class (like Knowledge and Thought). I do not know what is so special about these Pairs.

Not random. Knowledge and Thought are always in the upper left-hand corner—this is the bias of the model. Look to the Co-Dynamic Pair for Knowledge and Thought within each Class and match them against their relative location in a class; once you do that, you’ll see the pattern.





Thinking Dramatica an exercise in mental gymnastics isn’t too far from the truth. Given a specific context (Story), the Mind needs to address every relationship from every point of view before it can appreciate the meaning of the story.