Blog Post

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.

iaWriter Gentle Style Suggestions

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 Subtxt 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:

"Overall" is too general and wishy-washy in terms of a point-of-view. Objective returns the Throughline to its original third-person perspective.

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 Subtxt.

  • a Throughline is a Perspective
  • a Domain is a Class

The Storypoints sidebar in Subtxt accommodates this clarification. The four Throughlines fall under Perspectives, and the four Domains rest in Methods (a Class being a general Method of conflict).

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. Subtxt and Narrative First will continue to grow as the theory develops, supporting the evolution of both writer and application.