The Rejection of an Overall Sense of Story Structure
Jul 6th, 2020
See, even my favorite writing app, iA Writer, wants me to stop being weak and uncertain with my words.
I took advantage of this break between seasons of the Writers Room to clean house. The 1200+ articles of content within Narrative First and the 470+ Storyforms and associated material in Subtext sport the same concise and exact terminology. Dramatica theory is hard enough without five different examples of the same concept; the best application and explications should be easy.
Knowing the original terminology to be advantageous in every circumstance and hearing the #1 complaint of all things Dramatica for decades, I made the following sweeping changes:
- the Overall Story Throughline is the Objective Story Throughline.
"Overall" is too general and wishy-washy in terms of a point-of-view. Objective returns the Throughline to its original third-person perspective.
- the Objective Story Throughline is a Perspective
- the Objective Story Domain is a Class
These changes apply to all Throughlines (Main Character, Influence Character, and Relationship Story included). In the past, Throughline and Domain were interchangeable—an Overall Story Throughline in Physics was equivalent to an Overall Story Domain of Physics. Yet, the perspective (Throughline) was different than the area of conflict (Domain). This approach confused new arrivals to the theory as to the difference between Throughline and Domain. Besides, it proved difficult to capture the two overlapping concepts in Subtext.
- a Throughline is a Perspective
- a Domain is a Class
- Situations are Universe
- Activities are Physics
- Manners of Thinking are Psychology
- Fixed Attitudes are Mind
As mentioned, original terminology > family-friendly terminology. Conflating Universe with Situation opens up a wealth of misattribution errors. Manners of thinking prove elusive and dampen inspiration. Chris and Melanie hit the bullseye the first time out in 1994, no need to handicap future generations.
- a Symptom of a Problem is the Focus of that Throughline
- a Response to that Symptom is the Direction of that Throughline
Again, this reverts everything to the way it was in 1994. Focus and Direction unhook "symptom" and "response" from their assumption of a problem in a Throughline—key to an appreciation of a Holistic Mindset.
- Problem-solving Style and Mental Sex are universally Mindset
Problem-solving fails to capture the intricacy of the Holistic Mindset. Mental Sex triggers many unaware of its definition within the concept of the Storymind. With Mindset, we alleviate both, reinforcing the idea that the Author sets the mind of a story with this selection.
These changes intend to make writing with Dramatica easy while improving the writer's comprehension of a complex narrative construct. Subtext and Narrative First will continue to grow as the theory develops, supporting the evolution of both writer and application.