The Dramatica® Mentorship Program
Imagine being the kind of writer who can knock out a great story with only one or two drafts. Imagine yourself as the one person in the story room with all the right answers. And imagine your stories connecting with audience members in a way that only a master writer can claim. Now imagine that transformation happening in as little as six months.
With the Dramatica® Mentorship Program you can make that dream of writing stories a reality.
No one likes wasting their time working on something that ends up going nowhere. Writers want tips and tricks and techniques that help them become faster and better storytellers. With it's intense in-depth and personalized instruction of the Dramatica theory of story, the Dramatica® Mentorship Program promises to make you a master of the written word.
Take our program, and we promise you'll never look at story the same way again.
Rigorous writing exercises and focused analysis help educate the mentee on the theory while providing a firm foundation from to develop an understanding of narrative. Also, you get special access to training material specifically designed to make Dramatica accessible and approachable.
What is Dramatica?
Dramatica is a unique way of looking at story based on the psychology of the mind. In short, the theory says that stories think as we do; understand how we solve problems and you'll understand how stories work. Great writers know this association intuitively. William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, Harper Lee, Aaron Sorkin--they all wrote Dramatica-structured stories. They just didn't know it.
Perhaps you understand this intuitively as well but aren't sure what to do with it. Or maybe you don't, and you need help recognizing that voice within. Either way, we can help develop your intuition to the level of and beyond these great masters.
Introducing your Personal Mentor, Dramatica Expert James R. Hull
As a Certified Dramatica® Story Expert with over 20 years of experience, I have seen time and time again the power of Dramatica to break down story holes instantly and more importantly, identify what story points would fix them. You will save time and heartache once you know how to use these tools. It's an education unlike any other.
Not Just for Screenplays
Think this is only for screenwriters? The majority of our students are novelists working on multi-novel series, and we've even found success helping playwrights. Story is story regardless of the medium. The Dramatica® Mentorship Program is for writers who want to become master writers.
A Collaborative Learning Environment
Using the collaborative writing environment Quip, Jim and the student work to establish a rapport and an appreciation of Dramatica not possible merely from reading articles and blog posts.
By highlighting problem passages, Jim can offer expert insight into what Dramatica is saying about your story. A convenient sidebar manages all revisions and comments making it easier to refer back to any problem areas. This process will transform your mastery of story.
Join the Narrative First Slack Team
Every student gains access to the Narrative First Slack Team—a private instant messaging service specifically reserved for writers interested in improving their understanding and application of the theory. In addition to gaining private access to Jim, Narrative First Slack members can ask questions in a semi-public forum during office hours every Monday night.
The integration of screen sharing services like Screenhero make connecting remotely with your mentor as easy as typing /hero. Get connected, and Jim will walk you through the various ways of using Dramatica right on your screen, almost as if he or she was in the room with you.
And you can even call him directly from within the app via a single click.
The following section lists a brief overview of the program and what the student may expect. Note that we do reserve the right to adjust the program to better fit the student's understanding and proficiency with Dramatica and their time schedules. Not everyone is the same and part of the value of this program is our ability and desire to give a uniquely personal experience.
The Table of Story Elements Tour
Starting with the Domain level and working down, the student will watch two movies a week with similar storyforms appreciations. This exercise will help develop the mentee's understanding and familiarity with certain terminology. This process will continue throughout the course, working top down and throughout the Static Plot Points (Goal, Consequence, Requirements, etc.)
Weekly Time Requirement: 5 hours
Recognition of Dynamic Story Points
In addition to learning the Table of Story Elements, the student will attempt to identify and explain the eight dynamic story points for one of these movies.
Weekly Time Requirement: 1 hour
Understanding Story through Dramatica
Once a month, the student will choose a current run movie or one NOT found on the Dramatica website and attempt to identify the Storyform for it. Extensive analysis will not be required, but the student will be required to backup his or her arguments. If successful, the report ends up on the central Dramatica site.
Monthly Time Requirement: 5 hours
Purposeful Story Development
The student will work with the Playground exercises (as described on the Narrative First website) to develop their own story. Spending a month on each Throughline (Main Character, Influence Character, Relationship Story, and Overall Story), the student will spend the first half of the month crafting five different Gist Playgrounds. The second half will be spent pulling and mixing individual appreciations from each Playground exercise to use on the writer's own story. After the initial four months, the student will then choose two throughlines to develop through the Plot Sequence Report, one throughline per month.
Weekly Time Requirement: 2-3 hours
Total weekly time requirements: anywhere from 9-10 hours. This time may vary according to the individual and will be adjusted accordingly. Note that these demands reflect the time spent by the student on a case-by-case basis and do not reflect additional time spent with the Mentor. Time spent communicating with the Mentor (asking questions, further elaboration, etc.) may add extra time on top of this.
The Mentor agrees to reserve 8 hours a month to exclusively working with the student on their development. This time does not reflect moments spent answering quick questions through email or clarifications, but rather dedicated time spent reviewing and evaluating homework. Office hours are on Mondays from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm Pacific Time (video chat online or by phone).
Tuition is $650 USD/month or $2799 for six months. A valid credit card is required at the start of services, and you can cancel at any time. No fees for early cancellation, but all transactions are final. Note that this is an introductory offer—the fees for this service will increase in 2016.
Feedback from Students
I believe strongly in the value of this program. And I love helping people write great stories. There is nothing better than opening a writer's eyes to a greater sense of story:
"It's starting to make a lot of sense. Like I said before, I've learned more about Dramatica in just these exercises than I did in a year. Amazing stuff."
"I think something clicked within the last few weeks and my understanding of Dramatica leaped chasms. Everything seems to have coalesced. All the work we’ve done with this mentorship program, and now the outline work, has engendered a much deeper meaning of and facility with the theory for me. So, I wanted to say, thank you."
"I can't say this enough, I've learned so much about Dramatica in a few short months. Double edged sword though, it makes it tough to watch movies and not be 'that guy' who picks it apart bit by bit lol "
This program represents our greatest passion: transforming authors into master storytellers. You want that confidence and presence of mind to know that you're no longer just a dreamer--you're a writer. An excellent writer who knows:
- How to plug story holes
- How to develop fully fleshed out characters
- How to completely tell the story that is in their head
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask us.