Hello and welcome to the narrative first podcast. The only podcast where story is King. I’m your host Jim Hull the voice of narrative first. And this is episode 65 Raiders of the Lost Ark and multiple story forms. Hello everyone, welcome back to another week of story structure and story analysis from a dramatica point of view.
This week, we’ll be discussing Raiders of the Lost Ark and the concept of weaving two storyforms in one complete work.
After last week’s episode, I thought I was done with the 80s. If you haven’t listened to it last week was all about The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. And the fact that I had found two storyforms for The Empire Strikes Back and one for Return of the Jedi in a Trilogy of films that I didn’t think the last two had any story forms when I was first introduced to Dramatica. And if you listen to that episode, you know that it was because of a question that a screenwriter to ask me like why weren’t there story forms for either Empire or Jedi and that spun me off into all this analysis last week and planning on writing a whole bunch of articles about it and detailed analysis of it in the coming weeks.
And then just this week Monday morning a director friend of mine clay kaytis who directed The Angry Birds movie he posted the question about why Indy knows to close his eyes at the end of the film. It didn’t make any sense. Like well, I mean it feels right. But why did he do that? What were the influences that came in there?
And I remember from my classes at Cal Arts my prime example of handoff influence characters besides the usual typical Christmas carol, which is the easy one. That’s also I believe appears in the book. That’s the easy Dramatica get where you have the same influence character perspective is maintained by the Ghost of Christmas Past present future and Marley. I like to use the example from Raiders of the Lost Ark and something that I learned from Melanie because A - it’s one of the greatest movies of all time and B - it’s really fascinating how the influence characters are handed off from one to the other but more importantly how there’s actually another story form that’s being told within the film.
I’m not sure if it’s in Robert McKee storybook or where I’ve heard it before but there’s always this idea that Raiders of the Lost Ark has 5 Acts or that it has 6 Acts. I’m not really sure which one it is and that always seemed kind of alien to me. And now I know why because I mean it always seemed alien to me before being introduced to Dramatica because I didn’t understand why there would be separate circumstances, you know. In all the screen writing books that I read and all the the classes I went to there are always exceptions to the rules. They’re always caveat to it and it never really sat well with me because I always felt like well if there’s caveat, then why is this structure or this Paradigm that you’re teaching me, how does it even hold any water? And then when I was introduced to Dramatica which has no caveat no exception and just says hey this is what it is. If you buy off on the idea that a complete story is an analogy to a single human mind trying to solve a problem. If you buy off on that then hey this is the narrative code behind the structure of a story.
The idea that Raiders was somehow different than anything else never sat well with me and I never truly visited the actual structure of it because I was content just to use it as an example of influence character hand off the really clear hand off. It goes from Brody his friend Brody to Salah the John Rhys-Davies character and then to the ark itself. They all share the same perspective about the ark: maybe this is something we should just leave alone. Don’t even touch it. The ark doesn’t actually say that but it does so through other means and this perspective is handed off from character to character in much the same way that it’s done in A Christmas Carol from one ghost to the next ghost.
But the interesting part about Raiders of the Lost Ark is this other story form and that’s the relationship between Indy and Belloq or “Belloche”. it’s frequently used as the prime example of the you and I are both alike. I mean, it’s the clearest most fun example in that video, which I will leave a link to in the show notes if you haven’t seen it yet where. The relationship between the main character and influence character is such that it inspires very cliche line of dialogue where one or the other will say you and I are both alike and the other will say well no, I’m I’m nothing alike and the structural reason for that is that they are both alike in context of whether or not they’re dealing with problems of states or problems of process.
When you look at the dramatic table of story elements and you look to see where the main character domain is and where the influence character domain lies. Their relationship is a diagonal relationship. And in the model the diagonal domains, whether mind and universe or physics and psychology those described either States or processes mind is a fixed internal state universe is a fixed external state.
So if the main character and influence character lie along that axis in the problematic concerns that they investigate then that is where you will see the you and I are both alike. Likewise if the main character and influence character domains are either in physics or psychology those concerns will be about problematic processes.
Physics is an external process. Punching kicking hitting biting all that stuff, which there’s a lot of in i Tonya which I will get to later and then psychology is the internal version of that the internal processes where it’s about how you think how you come up with ideas and how you formulate plans and schemes and you know who you’re trying to pretend to be all that stuff those are processes, so if the main character and influence character lie along that axis, That is where the you and I are both alike.
The difference when the person comes back and says well, no, you’re nothing like me. I’m nothing like you is the difference between external and internal. So if it’s Universe in mind one of them will be external and one of them will be internal same thing with physics and psychology one is external one is internal that so they’re both right and they’re both wrong and that’s what creates that great Dynamic tension between a main character perspective and an influence character perspective.
And in Raiders of the Lost Ark the relationship between Indy and Belloq is this idea of well, you would do all the same things. I would do. All it would take is a little nudge. It would just take a little nudge to make you like me. I believe there’s some kind of line to that extent and of course Indy comes back and says, I’m nothing like you now you’re getting nasty. He’s not in the greatest of moods. And he certainly doesn’t believe him.
The interesting part about Raiders, which I never really fully realized until I had heard it from Melanie and it might be in an article or it might be something that I heard and it wasn’t until actually going through and teaching the classes at Cal Arts that it really sat with me and I really finally made it concrete in my mind, which tangentially if you want to know the very best way to learn about Dramatica is to try to teach it to years and years of early 20-somethings
the idea that he says I’m not going to be like you like I’m not gonna sell out. I’m just I’m not like you and then he sells out at the end which he has a chance to save humanity from the Nazis getting the ark he has a chance now true Marion’s down there and you know, she might be collateral damage but he’s always had this idea of like well, no, there’s there’s no way I would be anything like you. I’m not as interested as what’s in the box as much as you are and then of course he goes and he does it. He sells out everybody. And that’s a very icky sort of feeling where it’s like really that’s what you’re doing.
And this speaks to the complexity and sophistication of a film like Raiders of the Lost Ark which has the same sophistication and complexity as The Empire Strikes Back both written by the same guy Lawrence Kasdan who is a tremendous screenwriter both written around the same exact time.
And so obviously there was something in the water. Or he just was there at the right time at the right place and just knew how to weave all these different narrative concerns and Dramatics together to create fantastic story, knowing that Indy lowering the RPG is in a sense becoming more like Belloq you had to have something else there that would likely bring it up to a high end. Not so much a high-end but more of a positive ending a positive outcome to kind of fix that and so they fix it really quickly with the conclusion of the Second Story form, which is all about the arc. So the first story form is all about the Raiders the Raiders of the arc, which is Indy as the main character and Belloq as the influence character and the Second Story form is all about the ark itself the secret of the Ark and that’s all about Indy as the main character and then the influence characters of Brody Sala and the Ark itself.
And the way they ameliorate these sort of selling out that Indy does and becomes more like Belloq is that he opens up to the potential of there being something more Hocus Pocus like. If you remember his first conversation with Brody, I don’t believe in any of that superstitious nonsense. That’s all hocus-pocus to me. All I needs a gun, right? He has that certainty that gun and the plays in the attack in the marketplace where very nonchalantly just pulls out his gun and shoots the guy with the sword which is great, but it also ties into the narrative there where it’s just like hey, I know what I’m doing, but by the end of the film, he doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing mainly because he just sold out and became just as bad as Belloq and that opens him up to a place where he would be open to the potential of there being something more hocus-pocus like.
In my original response to Clay I was thinking that it was going to be the same concerns the same relative location in the first story form where it would be something like a problem of disbelief to a problem of Faith. Now a lot of people ascribe religious or spiritual connotations to something like Raiders of the Lost Ark because they’re projecting their own idea how the world works so they’re projecting that onto the actual narrative, but if you look at it from an objective standpoint, like what is actually really causing problems? It’s not that he has a problem of disbelief or that he’s skeptical. You don’t really see that throughout the entire narrative and it’s not like he comes to a place where well now I just believe without any kind of proof I just believe I’m raising my hands. I believe that’s not really what he’s going through and when I started to work on the first story form putting it together for the atomizer in my head. I couldn’t really resolved that it just didn’t make sense disbelief to Faith and I thought well learning would make a lot of sense learning as the overall story concern because well, my first guest was more because of the prerequisites, you know, there’s an issue of prerequisites because it was all about all the cool steps you have to go through in order to learn the mystery of the arc.
You know, you gotta get The Medallion then you got to get the staff the right height, then you got put it in the right place the right time you get to see that and then once you have that then you go dig it out. Like those are all prerequisites and that spoke to me more of the problematic concerns that are going on in the overall story and I liked learning too, whether they learned at the end how massively amazing the ark is but also making sure no one learns about It by putting it away in the warehouse and there’s always this really nice sort of bittersweet ending to Raiders of the Lost Ark the same sort of complicated and sophisticated feeling that you got from The Empire Strikes Back. Where there was both good and bad it was playing with both a tragic ending failure bad and a success good triumphant ending but it was mixing the two together. And so you got this very complicated emotional response from the end of both narratives the same thing happens in Raiders of the Lost Ark where there’s loss but there’s also gain and there’s certainly personal gain personal Triumph and that’s why the film has that bittersweet ending because you’re mixing both story forms in there both outcomes from the two different storyforms.
And this happens because one story form ends in failure and the other story form ends in success the first story form. The one with Indy and Belloq actually has the Nazis as the actual protagonist of that story form and Indie and the US government as antagonist the ones pursuing the ones with the initiative the protagonists those are represented by the Nazi forces and the reticence of the ones, you know wanting to prevent that is represented by Indie throughout the film. And at the end of the film the Nazis the protagonists lose in a spectacular way.
When you have an overall story concern or goal of obtaining the story consequence is becoming or transforming and certainly at the end of the film when they open up the ark and they look to see what kind of treasures are inside and they are all decimated one after another that’s all a sign of becoming that’s where that failure comes in. That’s where that down part of the bittersweet ending of Raiders, that’s what that is all about. That’s what that’s that story form wrapping up and that’s a failure.
In the Second Story form, which is the one where Indy is pitted against the ark, you know, Brody and Salah that ends in success because. The way you can always determine this and this is the way that I had determined it and so you can get a feel for where the objective and subjective parts of a story collide is the crucial element.
In a failure Story the main character will share the same solution as the overall story The Objective story throughline. And the reason for that is because when they change they take out the possibility they had to make it result in success and they put it aside so that that solution doesn’t come into play.
A success story they take the problem element that’s where they’re crucial element is and they change out of that and that’s how they’re able to bring about a successful solution. So in the first story form the Raider story form Indy is very much avoid and Belloq and the Nazis are very much Pursuit. The protagonists world the pursuit versus avoid. Indy at the end removes that avoidance which allows the pursuit to keep going which then ends up in failure. In the success story, you know, originally I thought it was going to be disbelief and faith. but really it’s more about the difference between certainty and potentiality all that certainty that he had throughout the entire film the part that everybody loves about that character of Indiana Jones he gave that up at the end because there was some potential so it’s not that he’s come to some great religious understanding or that he’s had some great revelation has to the way things work. It’s just that now he is not so sure but it’s not that he’s not so sure it’s now there’s the potential and he’s seen enough things throughout where he knows he can’t be so sure all the time and that’s why he tells Marion to close her eyes and that plays out and turns out to be a successful thing because in the end they realize the full potential of the arc. Because likely if they hadn’t survived no one would have ever known where they were and the Ark would have gone completely unknown would have just been sealed off for ever again.
That’s the greatness of Raiders of the Lost Ark and that’s the greatness of being able to weave two complete story forms in one work where you’re able to show varying levels of concerns different narrative Dynamics. All in the same subject matter the same narrative work same piece, but you’re dealing with different points of view as far as what’s coming into play which ones are changing and which ones are remaining steadfast and more importantly the meaning of that change.
The reason why the Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark the reason why they feel so rich and so just dense with greatness is because they masterfully weave two story forms to give you both the good and the bad both the success and the failure which is so much more like real life because we all have tons of story forms that we’re going through day in day out story forms of success story forms of personal tragedy personal Triumph, all the different story forms were going through, when you’re able to replicate that experience within a single narrative and you’re able to do it with sophistication and elegance. That’s when you’re able to write some of the greatest stories of all time.
On to updates for this week my greatest update for the atomizer something that I’m working on right now that I’m super excited about which you would think would be in the first version of something like this would be the ability to reorder the story beats within the writing portion of the Atomizer.
the best part about all this is I’m engineering it so that you can’t reorder or pull story beats out of a signpost as you know, in the dramatica theory of story for every line you’re presented with for signposts. And when you go to weave the story together when you weave those for through lines into the one single narrative work, you can always put the signpost ones you can put those in different order but once you hit signpost two you can’t go back into signpost one.
It’s like you’re going back and revisiting something that you’ve already moved on from. It’s like all right, we’ve heard this argument already. Why do you keep hitting us over the head with it? It’s that idea in a story. So I’m engineering it so you can pull the signpost ones all over the place. And you know write whatever you want to about them and assign all the gist all that greatness, but you can’t pull one from signpost one and put it in the signpost two area, same with three and four and I’m also setting up, you know to incorporate all the bumps and slides that concept of dramatic where whatever axes that the signposts are on if they’re on that diagonal axis from one to the next it feels more act like and so you might have a 2X structure or you might have a 3X structure or Four Act structure. I’m putting that all in there.
So by the time this podcast is out. I’m sure that feature will be available. I’m super super excited about that another feature that is out right now are the video casts from narrative first the original content from the site. Which would be the character Arc videos and the story forming videos. Now the story forming videos I can do really it doesn’t take me that long to do them. And I going to do more of those now that I have them set up in the atomizer because I think it’s great at the end of the story forms that have them you’re presented with the video of my story forming process how I was able to get to that and I feel like that’s a great way for people to learn how it all works and how they’re able to build their own story. A lot of the podcasts I’m basically just describing the story forming process that kind of thoughts and stuff that I went through in order to get to that place.
So I’m going to make more of those available and then the character art videos. I have those set up by elements so you can see Luke Skywalker on the first one has test, Neo has disbelief William Wallace has consider, Robert Angier from The Prestige has desire. Whether or not they’re change or steadfast when I made those videos I was focusing on the problem because that’s the driving force. That’s where they’re coming from. And then the arc is whether or not they move away from that or not.
not only is it Incorporated in the videocast section but it’s also part of the element entry. So when you go to test for an element you able to see oh, this is an example of test in action in a movie. And what I want to do on top of that is to split them up so that you have change and steadfast for both. So you have changed for tests and steadfast for test pretty sure you can get most of them and it’s great because now Luke now I have an example of Luke with steadfast as Inaction. 64 times two they’ll be 128 separate videos that you’ll be able to go and learn as much as you possibly can about that narrative element.
I believe when you have that experience so much of dramatic and where people get misinterpretations is through just reading the Dramatica definition or reading out of date incorrect analyses in the application itself. Getting the experience of what it feels like when you have a story that has an overall story concern of learning and a problem of certainty getting that experience. That to me the the best way to improve your understanding of narrative. And then of course, when it comes to story forms, the two forms for Raiders are up there right now and was able to engineer it for the different handoff characteristics. There’s so many for Raiders itself.
And then I also started incorporating visual representations of the protagonists and antagonists for each story form. And I have to go back through its I’m one away from 400 400 will be I Tonya which I think is. Raiders was 398 399 and I think being able to see who is the actual protagonist and antagonist from an objective standpoint will really elevate people’s understandings. and you could likely come too the story form for Raiders the first one the Raiders and see failure and be kind of confused as to why that is but now that you see oh the Nazis are the protagonists in Indy is the antagonist and that story form in that context that makes perfect sense to me and of course down the road I’ll be able to show protagonist influence characters protagonist who aren’t the main character regardless of who they are you’ll be able to see the difference between and of course when they’re combined into one.
So those are the updates for the atomizer. If you have any questions about any of it, or you’d like to see something that you’re not seeing something that you think would really elevate your ability to incorporate Dramatica into a practical application towards your own work. Feel free to write to me do my best to make it happen.
Before I go today I wanted to cover I Tanya which is a fantastic film that I saw last night. I haven’t even had a chance to write about it. All I know is I was so engaged with the film and so shocked by a lot of the stuff that happen. Because I was around when that happened but I don’t quite remember all this stuff and I’m assuming most of it is true. It’s completely shocking and just blew me away, but it was a great experience in that in contrast to my experience watching three Billboards were I could read and just know the story form as I was going along. I didn’t have the story for him at all for I Tanya. I just did just was not a concern of mine. I actually just. Experience the film and afterwards I thought well, that was a great film The performances were amazing Alison. Janie is just off the hook incredible and I thought well, I guess I’ll put it on the atomizer and then I couldn’t really think of the concerns I wasn’t really sure where the problem was. There was just so much noise through the experience of it that I couldn’t really see the structure of it.
The reason why I was able to get these structure of Empire Strikes Back and Raiders 38 years later. Oh my God. The 38 years. It’s 38 years now. That’s not right. That is right. Oh my God. Okay. So 38 years later is because there’s enough distance between the original viewings in my experience now where I could pick up on the structure. Oh boy. That’s a long time. Uh, So for something like I Tanya I was so caught up in and I didn’t think I would be able to figure it out and then uh, you know, well, it’s not to be crass, but I was going to the bathroom and halfway through it hit me like, oh that’s what it is, which is completely insane that I can’t get it out of my mind. Um, especially when I’m doing something else.
I remember when I was an animator at Disney there was a story about Frank Thomas he was one of the great animators of the the old regime at Disney and he would always get his best ideas while he was shaving when he was doing something else. I’m sure there’s something to that about your subconscious and so I was I was not shaving but I was doing something else and the story form just hit me and hit me is great because when it comes to I Tanya there’s a lot of hitting.
And this gets to the discussion about genre and something like I, Tonya. There’s so much dysfunction so much just unbelievable people. Just pretending to be things that are not and scheming and manipulating and the conflict is coming from dysfunctional personalities. It’s incredible the kind of stuff that actually happened.
So the overall story through line of a film like that when you’re thinking of genre is in Psychology and a coming-of-age story. There are specific setups of domains that are genre related. That’s where you see Genre within the dramatic model, you know, the very bottom the elements you have the character the next level up the variations is where the theme is plot is the type level in the very top you have Genre it’s just always kind of disconcerting because it’s not just concern about kind of disorienting because how does universe and physics? How do those describe genre? It’s more about the relationship between the Throughlines that sets the genre.
So something like a superhero movie which is always a big discussion on the discussed Dramatica boards, nine times out of ten. The overall story is in physics. The main character is in universe and then therefore the relationship stories in psychology. And the influence character is in Mind now I guess I still have yet to see black panther but I guess the main character is probably in mind. So that’s which is that’s totally fine. But the overall story is always about physics because it’s always about beating up people and punching people and going to war all that stuff that’s what the Audience expect from the genre something like Star Wars The Matrix Kung Fu Panda all those have that same narrative set up same thing with Raiders. Both narratives for Raiders have the overall story in physics and the main character in Universe something like I, Tonya it’s a very different genre and it’s almost like a dysfunctional coming-of-age story because we’re getting to see her grow up and the stuff that she goes through and that is always overall story is in psychology and main character in Universe because the main character feels out of place with who they are, you know and I Tanya she’s white trash. I mean that that’s basically what her personal struggle is. She can’t get to be the thing she is because of what she was born into and then all the dysfunction that goes along with that universe that’s all in Psychology and the bigger picture and that’s where you get that coming of age, especially because the emphasis is on the start Dynamic. It’s on the growth of moving towards something not moving away from something.
When you have an overall story where they’re vertically aligned like that in the model. It feels like it’s being pulled being pulled or you know, push towards something as opposed to being pulled away from something or getting rid of something else and that’s when you have the horizontal alignment. In Raiders it’s very much about him getting rid of that certainty. It’s not so much about going towards the potentiality. That would be a completely different story in I Tanya she’s in Universe. The overall story is in Psychology, which puts the relationship story in physics now usually in Coming of Age stories the physics part is a very nice. Uh, it’s usually romantic very often and there’s uh lovemaking. There’s kissing there’s going away, you know, the physical part of it the conflict comes from two people getting together. Well and I Tanya the physics portion is abuse like just beating the crap not only out of. Tonya herself but Tanya beating the crap out of the people she’s in a relationship specifically her husband Galooli, which is funny because only thing I remember are all the David Letterman jokes and they actually bring that up in the film itself. So all the abuse is handled in physics and I don’t believe I’ve seen that in any of the four hundred story forms that are in the atomizer. I don’t believe I’ve seen relationship story about abuse specifically in physics and that fits really well and of course that would put the influence character in mind both the mom and the husband do a bit of a handoff as far as their influence on Tanya.
so then when it came to the concerns in the overall story, I thought well, there is some conceptualizing going on but there really isn’t a lot of becoming there’s a lot of conceiving. It’s very much Being but the goal being of being famous which works great because it’s a failure that’s a tragedy of Epic Proportions when that failure hit. That consequence of doing that’s when she has to all she can do is be a waitress. All she can do is go box, you know that is oh that just that switch just feels amazing.
In being you have knowledge thought ability and desire certainly knowledge was there but ability not only the ability that she has her talent, but the ability of the crazy Bodyguard the abilities he thinks he has in their ability to do these kind of things. I felt that was problematic. And I knew that underneath there was not accurate and accurate and certainly she has very deviant or deviating from the social Norm behavior and she’s off track as far as what people expect from her. Knowing that it was either the problem in solution or focus and direction. I went up to the main character through line in progress and fact and that’s that’s her to a tee. I mean, she’s dealing with the fact that she is white trash. She’s Tonya Harding and she’s just not the kind of person they’re looking. So you have non accurate accurate proven and unproven in there and I knew she was steadfast character her whole story is about just holding out just like holding out holding out. Just holding steadfast no matter what kind of abuse is thrown at.
And so I like non accurate and accurate as the focus and Direction. She’s very much aware of the fact that she’s not good enough not accurate and wants to move towards accurate, which would then either put her problem in solution in proven or unproven? I haven’t even checked yet. But I know it’s one of the other the important part the part that really stands out is the problem in solution in the overall story.
Now at first there’s a part where the mom changes and I thought it was a dream sequence because it seems very phony and it is turned out to be somewhat phony but the one who changes the husband he just has that line where he says I absolutely was responsible for ruining her career, which just feels the emotional impact of that is amazing and that’s an example of an influence character moving from a problem of effect always looking to the results the outcome would effect does this have on me to cause, I caused this I was the one that created all these problems
and it creates a beautiful dynamic in the I mean beautiful as far as narrative wise in their relationship where if you have effect and cause as the same problem and solution in a in a failure Story the relationship story line shares the same problem and solution. You have test and Trust as the focus and Direction where it’s like hey, baby, just take me back that kind of stuff that is taken up by that focus and direction.
So if you haven’t seen it, I would strongly suggest checking out. I Tanya it’s a fantastic story form and I hope me explaining how I was able to quickly figure out what the narrative structure of the film is. I hope that gives you a better idea of how you can do in your own work and the idea of genre as being an important consideration when constructing a narrative
if you’re writing a superhero movie your audience is going to expect the overall story through line in physics. That’s what they’re going there for and most likely the main character in universe. So if you try and write an overall story through line in mind, which is usually reserved for plays or for dramas, usually about Prejudice, it’s gonna feel off and you’re gonna kick out a lot of your audience because that’s not what they came there for they came there for the punching and the kicking and all the the fighting stuff. That’s what they want to see.
That’s a great thing about dramatic as it does provide you the keys and the understanding to be able to break Genre in to do something different. But if you’re providing a narrative service, if you’re serving an audience with a certain type of story, you’ll want to hit the right narrative Dynamics. You’ll want to set up the relationship story in Psychology and the overall story in physics and regardless of where you put the Main character influence character, they’re very much about the static either the fixed internal. This is what I believe and I’m not changing or this is where I’m stuck and I’m not changing it all.
Gillooly in I Tanya his concern the influence. He brings are those impulsive responses. I mean just there are so many shots where a hit just comes out of nowhere. And he completely devalues her which is his influence character issue. Just out of nowhere. Just Wham and of course the mother as well just seems so cold and so uninviting and just numbed out to any sort of Love whatsoever because again, she saw what she was doing as being more valuable like you’ll thank me. Later. once you’re rich and famous, once you’re a famous ice skater,
the genre concerns fulfill the audience’s expectations. And likely as the atomizer develops and grows you’ll be able to set the different genres. So you’ll just be able to write. Well, I want to do a superhero movie. Well, then here this is the sort of films and within that you know, like for instance a horror film there are horror films that are predominantly overall story in physics something like scream or saw actually. I don’t know I’ve never wanted to see it because it always seemed to terrify me. I wasn’t really. Looking forward to something like that, but the slasher films the slasher film is overall storing physics as opposed to a more psychological horror, which you would find in the overall story through line of psychology where it’s all about manipulating and screwing with people’s heads. That’s where you find those kind of horror movies.
So it helps to know when you’re setting out to do the structure of your story exactly what kind of genre where you’re going if you’re looking to analyze a film and you want to know the actual narrative concerns or where they are. It helps to know these predominant setups.
I thought it was great because Mike Lukas who did the story form for The Princess Bride. He just wrote something about objectifying genre choices. I believe what is it here? Oh objectivity, but at the wrong level, I’ll just read this. Honestly for me would helps. This is from Mike. Honestly for me would helps us to remember that domains and concerns are the real high level almost simple stuff genres the really cool stuff that might come up in an English Lit class is usually at a lower level in Dramatica .
And I love that because if you think about it the domains there’s only four of them. And so there’s only so many combinations. I’m sure that’s what is it 4 times 3 times 2 times 1 is that what it is? 12 24 25. They’re just 25. I’m not sure how that works. No 24 different setups.
As you move further down in the model you get the greater and greater levels of complexity and detail that’s where you find all the complexity and detail within the narrative so regardless of whether or not there is a common superhero set up as far as genre goes with overall story in physics and main character in either universe or mine everything that under as you progressively get lower and lower you amplify all your opportunities for different kinds of Storytelling
Raiders of the Lost Ark not only does it have the concern of obtaining in one story form. It also has the concern of learning in another story form. That’s why I mean if you want to talk about complexity not only do you have the complexity as you go down through each story form, but you have to separate story forms of the complexity is magnified on that level. So I think that’s an absolutely brilliant explanation and a great visualization of it that at the very top you get very simplistic understandings of the narrative the question came up because I just guessed and I made a snarky comment where. When it comes to the through lines for black panther, it just seemed really obvious to me from the trailer what the domain setup were and another writer Sebastian was like, well, what’s the value of that if you can just get that and it’s because there’s only four of them and you can quickly figure it out. It colors The Narrative as far as the tone of it, but it doesn’t really set. What happens underneath like where’s the actual variation in that by variation? I actually mean variations down at that variation level because that’s where all the complexity goes into and that’s usually where the more complex. Back and forth and the difference in narratives, that’s where you find all that greatness.
So I really appreciate Mike putting that up there and I’ll leave a link to that in the show notes all that to say when you go to right and you’re trying to think of the narrative structure of your story and you’re trying to take in the genre concerns of your audience. You want to know the most common setup. And know that if you’re gonna break it you’re gonna mess with audience expectations and just know that that well, that’s that’s what comes with it. So that does it for this week’s podcast. If you have any questions about anything, feel free to write to me at narrative first if you haven’t checked out the atomizer yet. Please do so. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find that is at app.narrativefirst.com I hope you have a great week of writing and I’ll see you next time.