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The concept that an underlying structure exists that is then represented in a subjective relating of that structure is not new to traditional theories of story. In fact, Narrative Theory in general assumes such a division. Specifically, Structuralist theory sees story as having a histoire consisting of plot, character and setting, and a discours that is the storytelling.

The Storymind Store

The Russian Formalists separated things a bit differently, though along similar lines seeing story as half fable or "fabula", which also contained the order in which events actually happened in the fable, and the "sjuzet", which was the order in which these events were revealed to an audience. In Dramatica, Story is seen as containing both structure and dynamics that include Character, Theme, Plot, and Perspective , while classifying the specific manner in which the story points are illustrated and the order information is given to the audience into the realm of storytelling.

Storyforming: an argument that a specific approach is the best or worst solution to a particular problem. Picture five different artists, each painting her interpretation of the same rose. One might be highly impressionistic, another in charcoal. They are any number of styles an artist might choose to illustrate the rose. Certainly the finished products are works of art.

Yet behind the art is the objective structure of the rose itself: the object that was being portrayed. The paintings are hung side by side in a gallery, and we, as sophisticated art critics, are invited to view them.

We might have very strong feelings about the manner in which the artists approached their subject, and we may even argue that the subject itself was or was not an appropriate choice. Yet, if asked to describe the actual rose solely on the basis of what we see in the paintings, our savvy would probably fail us.

We can clearly see that each painting is of a rose. In fact, depending on the degree of realism, we may come to the conclusion that all the paintings are of the same rose. In that case, each artist has succeeded in conveying the subject. Yet, there is so much detail missing. Each artist may have seen the rose from a slightly different position. Each artist has chosen to accentuate certain qualities of the rose at the expense of others.

That is how the un-embellished subject is imbued with the qualities of each artist, and the subject takes on a personal quality. Once the story is told, it is nearly impossible to separate the story from the telling unless you know what the author actually had in mind. Certainly the larger patterns and dramatic broad strokes can be seen working within a story, but many times it is very difficult to tell if a particular point, event, or illustration was merely chosen by the author's preference of subject matter or if it was an essential part of the structure and dynamics of the argument itself.

Let's sit in once more on our first storyteller. She was telling us about her run-in with a bear. But what if it had been a lion instead? Would it have made a difference to the story? Would it have made it a different story altogether? If the story's problem was about her approach to escaping from any wild animal, then it wouldn't really matter if it were a bear or a lion; the argument might be made equally well by the use of either.

But if her point was to argue her approach toward escaping from bears specifically, then certainly changing the culprit to a lion would not serve her story well. Essentially, the difference between story and storytelling is like the difference between denotation and connotation. Story denotatively documents all of the essential points of the argument in their appropriate relationships, and storytelling shades the point with information nonessential to the argument itself although it often touches on the same subject.

In summary, even the best structured story does not often exist as an austere problem solving argument, devoid of personality.


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Assigning the Eight Simple Evaluations to the Eight Simple Characters of Star Wars by their most common usage in the story, we generate the following list:. Again, we can see subtle conflicts in techniques of Evaluation between Characters that are compatible at other levels. For the first time, we can see the tension that as an audience we feel between Darth and the Empire in the "Board Room" scene on the Death Star where Darth constricts the breathing of the general he is "bickering" with.

The general says to Darth, " Looking at Luke, we note that in his dinner table discussion with Uncle Owen he argues his point that he should be allowed to leave with Information: the new droids are working out, all his friends are at the academy, etc. Another example is the moment Luke bursts into Leia's cell to release her. Rather than use any other technique, he describes the situation to her simply by imparting information: "I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you. I'm here with Ben Kenobi. Obi Wan, on the other hand, relies on Guesswork when the Millennium Falcon is chasing the lone imperial fighter after coming out of hyperspace.

He sees the supposed moon, and guesses, "It's a space station! Han is completely Outcome oriented, "I'm just in this for the reward, sister! Chewy can be seen to focus on Means, when he refuses to don the binders for Luke's plan to rescue Leia. C3PO is always evaluating impact: " We'll be sent to the spice mines of Kessel", and, "I suggest a different strategy R Let the Wookie win. R2, as noted, does not represent a manner of evaluation. We can see by the feel of his Character that he is motivated and has a method, but he never evaluates anything for himself, you just point him and he goes.

Once again, since Star Wars is an action oriented story, the techniques of Evaluation were not as developed as Motivation and Method. As with the previous two levels of Character, the Eight Simple Evaluations can be divided into sixteen evaluations. In Evaluation we have Passive and Active. The Calculating Character sees data as Expectations wherein an unbroken chain of relationships that leads to a conclusion.

To form an Expectation, Calculation develops Theories. The Intuitive Character sees the pattern of her observations in the form of a Determination. To arrive at a Determination, Intuitive makes Hunches. The Character who revolves around Information will entertain in her deliberations only definitive packets of data she sees as Proven.

For something to be Proven, the Information Character will institute a Test.

The Next Chapter in Story Development

Guesswork will consider even data that is, as of yet, Unproven. The system she uses that allows her to accept Unproven data is to Trust.. The Outcome measuring Character observes the Results of an effort.


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  7. To see the Results, she looks toward the Ending of the Effort. Measuring Impact, a Character looks at the actual Effects of an effort, as opposed to how well it met its charter. To determine the Effect, the Impact Character examines how Accurately the ramifications of the effort confine themselves to the targeted goal. Means is determined by looking at the Process employed in an effort. Just as Impact examined Effects in terms of Accuracy, Means examines Process in terms of the Unending aspects of its nature. In essence, Effects are measured by how much they spill over the intended goal, and Process is evaluated by how much of it continues past the intended point of conclusion.

    When a Character measures Intent, she is concerned with the Cause behind the effort. She looks at the aspects of the Cause that do Not Accurately reflect the scope of the goal.

    Finding A Roadmap For Creating Your Novel

    Since all good things come in Quads, and since we have so far explored three sets of Character traits, we might expect a final set to round out that Quad as well. Our Bestseller! A step by step approach to story development, from concept to completed story for your novel or screenplay.

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    Perfect for beginning writers or those new to Dramatica. An all-in-one writing environment with built-in word processor that helps you organize and cross-reference your story development materials. The little brother of Power Structure includes the essential organization and word processing tools writers need the most.

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    Dramatica The Lost Theory Book

    Structure vs. The Story Mind approach to writing uses your own passions to create your story's structure. It focuses your efforts, clarifies the direction of your story, and triggers your imagination. I suggest taking a more, shall we say, organic approach. Who is keeping them from that goal Nemesis? Who is connected to their emotional development Attractor?

    Who is connected to their intellectual development Mentor? Who tests the Protagonist by switching allegiance back and forth between ally and enemy Trickster? What is the end of Act One Lock? I believe those 12 questions are relevant to most movie stories.

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