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Understanding the Domains of Conflict in a Complete Story

The storyform reflects inequity, not storytelling

The online group analysis of Easy A reveals a common trap writers fall into when it comes to the Dramatica theory of story.

A Dramatica Storyform reflects sources of inequity within a story—it does not describe the actual story. When using the latter approach, one turns Dramatica into a series of Mad-libs, robbing the Storyform of any true appreciable meaning.

Case-in-point: the apparent Influence Character of the narrative, Todd.

One of the many possible Storyforms we landed on during the meeting found Todd influencing Emily (Emma Stone) through the following Storypoints:

  • Influence Character Domain of Physics
  • Influence Character Concern of Understanding
  • Influence Character Issue of Interpretation
  • Influence Character Condition of Thought

For those well-versed in Dramatica, yet unfamiliar with my work developing and improving the theory, the Condition Appreciation correlates with the Problem. Problems and Solutions fall short of accurately describing a Holistic Mindset (also, a determination made by analysts during the meeting).

Storypoints reflect instances of inequity, not storytelling. Skip to the end of the video, and you find several analysts defending this Storyform from a point-of-view of the latter. Todd “understands” Emily like no other, he doesn’t “think of her” that way—as if those examples somehow describe inequity.

The Physics Domain is “How,” not “What.” The erroneous examples above focus on WHAT Todd thinks, not HOW he acts—which is what is needed to depict a Domain of Physics accurately.

Mozart in Amadeus exhibits an Influence Character Domain of Physics and an Influence Character Concern of Understanding. His God-like performances and his instinctual understanding of composition and music theory impact everyone around him—and Salieri. Mozart manifests inequity through physical activity.

Same with Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) in The Prestige. His Transported Man illusion confounds everyone because the performance begs the question, How could he physically do that?

Todd displays none of these attributes.

Easy A, while financially successful, is a dysfunctional narrative. As mentioned in my initial analysis ten years ago, the film lacks a cohesive Influence Character (not to mention the complete absence of a Relationship Story Throughline).

You may enjoy the film once, but repeated viewings are highly unlikely given the incomplete narrative.