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32 PAGES OF VINTAGE DRAMATICA!

W S
SCREENPLAY SYSTEMS
Presents
200
250
CANADA

O NO. 1
JAN
THE
THE SECRET OFOF
W GREAT STORIES
FEATURING…

The Muse

The Writer

The Executive

Based On A Theory and Materials Developed By Melanie Anne Phillips & Chris Huntley
The Secret of Great Stories: Volume 1,
“How Does Story Work?”
Written by
Mark Haslett and Stephen Greenfield

Based on a theory and materials developed by


Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley

Illustrations by Mark Haslett

Visit our websites at www.dramatica.com or www.screenplay.com


or email us at Dramatica@screenplay.com

SECOND EDITION
October 1999

Copyright © 1999 Screenplay Systems Incorporated


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Dramatica is a registered trademark of
Screenplay Systems Incorporated

Screenplay Systems Incorporated, 150 East Olive Avenue, Suite 203


Burbank, California, United States of America, 91502-1849
Phone: 1-800-84-STORY or 818-843-6557 Fax: 818-843-8364
WE ALL THINK WE KNOW HOW STORIES WORK. WE SEE THE DARNED THINGS EVERYWHERE: MOVIES, BOOKS, TV,
COMICS. THOSE WHO ACTUALLY SIT AND WRITE, HOWEVER, KNOW THAT WHAT STORY REALLY IS... UH... GEE, WELL
IT'S COMPLICATED! READ ON, AS SCREENWRITER PENN WRIGHT GETS (WITH THE HELP OF DRAMATICA) A FASCINAT-
ING ANSWER TO THAT EVER-LOVIN' QUESTION:

ISN'T THIS
GREAT SO FAR?

...SO, THEN OUR HERO SEES THE


TERRORISTS HAVE A BOMB!
STILL DRESSED LIKE A WOMAN, HE
LEAPS INTO ACTION...CINDY,
I DON'T HEAR YOU
CHEERING.

PENN, THIS IS JUST LIKE


ALL YOUR OTHER STORIES!
THERE'S NO DEPTH! YOU
DON'T EVER OPEN UP,
IN YOUR WRITING
OR WITH ME.

PENN! WHAT'S UP, HEY! IF I PUT DEPTH


NO DEPTH? I'VE SOLD ROMEO? INTO THIS SCRIPT, I
THREE SCRIPTS! I'M AFRAID WE'RE AT A CAN SHOW HER WHO
DEAD END AND I NEED A I AM! MAYBE I CAN
RELATIONSHIP THAT GET HER BACK!
YOU DON'T GET IT. GROWS WITH ME. I NEED
TIME TO THINK.

HI DAMIEN.
CINDY JUST LEFT ME
YOUR STORIES 'CAUSE I'M NOT OPEN
AREN'T YOU. THEY LET ME HELP.
WITH HER. I'M A DEVELOPMENT
TELL ME YOU'RE A
PRETEND ARTIST. B-BUT... EXEC., YOU KNOW!
CREATE
EMOTION! WHY NOT WRITE
TIE THE HERO'S THE STORY YOU
GIRL TO WANT TO WRITE?
THAT BOMB!
LET'S GO! FOLLOW
THE
DIE HARD
FORMULA!

WHO'S THAT?
S
T' AS AN EXEC,
HA Y I KNOW WHAT
, W TIN S Y.
LL
O A OW GL CINDY'S SAYING:
L N
HE IS? FOL ACI WRITE FOR THE
TH HT EN AUDIENCE!
G M
LI N,
N
PE O.K., IF FORMULA
CAN ADD DEPTH. I
WISH THERE WAS
ANOTHER WAY,
THOUGH.

YOUR MUSE, I'VE GOT A GOOD STORY IDEA,


DARLING! WITH BUT IT NEEDS "HEART." I CAN'T
MODERN WRITING TELL WHERE TO ADD STUFF AND
ADVICE. WHAT TO LEAVE ALONE.

I USED TO
GIVE ELIXIRS
TO ANCIENT
I THOUGHT GREEK
MUSES DISAPPEARED POETS...
IN THE WRITER'S
STRIKE!

NOT TRUE,
AND BE GLAD
'CAUSE YOUR
STORY'S IN TELL ME WHAT
TROUBLE. YOU WANT AND ...BUT YOU MAY
I CAN HELP. WANT A WHOLE
NEW APPROACH. TRY DRAMATICA.

"CREATIVE DRAMATICA WON'T


WRITE YOUR STORY, DRAMATICA'S A TOOL
WRITING PARTNER?"
IT HELPS YOU GET BASED ON A NEW THEORY
YOUR STORY RIGHT! OF STORY. BY ANSWERING
ITS QUESTIONS, YOU GUIDE
SOUNDS LIKE DRAMATICA TO CREATE A
GOOD AD-COPY "STORYFORM" - THE BLUEPRINT
WHAT TO ME. OF YOUR STORY.
WRITER NEEDS
COMPUTERS TO
WRITE FOR HIM?

A STORYFORM HAS
EVERYTHING YOU NEED
TO MAKE YOUR STORY
COMPLETE. IT WILL HELP
YOU GET THAT EMOTIONAL
SIDE FULLY DEVELOPED.
HOW COULD THEY? WATCH IT! THESE
PSHAW! I JUST GOTTA WORK THINGS AREN'T FREE!
COMPUTERS CAN'T ON THIS FORMULA
DRAMATICA WORKS
DEVELOP STORIES. SOME MORE!
USING THE STRUCTURE
AND DYNAMICS INHERENT
IN ALL STORIES. YOU CAN'T
JUST THROW IN EMOTIONAL
"STUFF" TO FIX YOUR SCRIPT.

STORY IS LIKE
AN ARGUMENT:
EVERY PART RELATES TO
ALL THE OTHERS. YEAH?

CREATING A STORYFORM
IS LIKE DRAWING A
CIRCLE BY USING THE
POINTS ALONG ITS EDGE.

AFTER YOU SET A FEW


POINTS IN PLACE, YOU
CAN SEE WHERE
THE REST HAVE
TO FALL..

STORIES WORK THE


SAME WAY. ANYTHING YOU
PUT IN AFFECTS HOW THE REST
WILL HAVE TO WORK OUT.

LIKE WHEN
EVERYTHING FALLS
INTO PLACE - WHEN
YOU GET A SENSE
OF CLOSURE.

PRETTY MUCH. WHEN


I KNOW
STORY, I'VE
YOU THINK OF IT, STUDIED ALL
WHAT DO WE REALLY ...AND IT WORKS
THE GURUS!
KNOW ABOUT WHEN YOU SELL
IT HAS CHARACTER,
STORIES - ABOUT ONE!
PLOT, THEME, AND
HOW THEY WORK? NARRATIVE DRIVE!
BUT WHAT EXACTLY WELL, THAT'S WHERE
IS A STORY? DRAMATICA BEGAN, BY
TRYING TO EXPLAIN STORY HOLD ON,
COMPLETELY. DARLINGS!

I DON'T HAVE
AN EXACT
DEFINITION. I
JUST KNOW WHEN
I SEE ONE.
ONE CONCEPT THAT THIS IS THE IDEA THAT
SETS DRAMATICA APART A COMPLETE STORY IS THE
MODEL OF A SINGLE MIND
IS CALLED THE
AT WORK FINDING THE
"STORY MIND." SOLUTION TO A SINGLE
PROBLEM.

YOUR STORY'S CHARACTERS, PLOT,


THEME, AND GENRE ARE LIKE THE
THOUGHTS COMING OUT OF THIS
MIND AS IT WORKS.
...FOR STRUCTURE
WE'LL HAVE TO GO
THAT'S STORY? INSIDE.
IT'S JUST A BIG
BRAIN! WHERE'S THIS IS
THE STRUCTURE THE BIG
IN THAT? PICTURE...

PRETTY
CEREBRAL.

TAKE DOOR #1,


THIS IS WHERE PENN. LET'S GET
STRUCTURE COMES THE HECK OUT OF
FROM. THESE DOORS HERE!
LEAD TO THE FOUR
PERSPECTIVES... OVERALL
STORY
OVERALL MAIN IMPACT MAIN VS.
STORY CHARACTER CHARACTER IMPACT

...WHICH YOU FIND IN ANY STORY.


THE STORY MIND EXPLORES
THESE IN LOOKING FOR THE
PROBLEM AT ITS CENTER.

"BE CAREFUL
IN THERE..."

"THAT'S THE
OVERALL
STORY
VIEW!"
"THESE FOUR PERSPECTIVES CREATE THE THOUGHTS OF THE STORY MIND
AS IT WORKS OUT ITS PROBLEM."

"THE OVERALL STORY VIEW SEES "THE MAIN CHARACTER VIEW IS


THE ENTIRE STORY FROM A THE FIRST PERSON, "I" PERSPECTIVE
DISTANCE..." OF ONE SPECIAL SOLDIER IN
THAT BATTLE."

"THROUGH HIM MAIN


WE EXPERIENCE CHARACTER
HOW IT FEELS TO
GO THROUGH THE
STORY, AS IF WE
"AS IF THE STORY WAS A BATTLE WERE THE MAIN
WHICH THE OVERALL STORY VIEW CHARACTER."
WATCHES FROM A HILL. IT SEES
EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS, BUT IS
NOT REALLY INVOLVED."

"THERE'S ONE OTHER SPECIAL NO!


CHARACTER IN EVERY STORY, THOSE ARE TWO
FORCING THE MAIN CHARACTER DIFFERENT KINDS OF
TO FACE HIS PERSONAL CHARACTER SEEN FROM TWO
ISN'T THAT JUST A DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW.
PROBLEMS. THIS IS THE
FANCY NAME FOR THE ANTAGONIST AND
IMPACT CHARACTER
CHARACTER."
THE ANTAGONIST? PROTAGONIST ARE OVERALL
STORY CHARACTERS, SEEN BY
"THE IMPACT CHARACTER THEIR FUNCTION IN THE
HAS THE STRONGEST OVERALL STORY.
PERSONAL IMPACT ON THE
MAIN CHARACTER -
MAKING HIM QUESTION
HIS DEEPEST BELIEFS."
IMPACT
CHARACTER

THE MAIN CHARACTER AND "THIS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MAIN AND
IMPACT CHARACTER ARE IMPACT CHARACTER IS THE EMOTIONAL HEART OF
CHARACTERS WHOM WE DEAL YOUR STORY. THESE TWO ARGUE ABOUT SOME
WITH EMOTIONALLY. PERSONAL ISSUE UNTIL ONE OF THEM CHANGES AT
THE END."

THE IMPACT
CHARACTER'S IMPACT ON
THE MAIN CHARACTER
CREATES AN ARGUMENT
BETWEEN THEM, WHICH IS
THE STORY MIND'S FOURTH
POINT OF VIEW:
THE MAIN VS. IMPACT
STORY.
THESE FOUR PERSPECTIVES STRETCH FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY TO THE END.
THEY ARE ITS FOUR STRUCTURAL THROUGHLINES.

OVERALL STORY
MAIN CHARACTER
IMPACT CHARACTER
MAIN VS. IMPACT STORY

CAN I SEE AN
EXAMPLE? SURE.
REMEMBER HARPER LEE'S
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD?
THE MAIN CHARACTER IS A
GIRL NAMED SCOUT
SCOUT.

WE SEE EVERYTHING THROUGH HER EYES,


BUT THE PROTAGONIST OF THE
OVERALL STORY IS HER FATHER, ATTICUS.

"THE OVERALL STORY THROUGHLINE FOLLOWS "TO SCOUT, THOUGH, LOCAL BOOGEY-MAN,
THE TRIAL OF A WRONGLY ACCUSED MAN. THE BOO RADLEY IS HER IMPACT CHARACTER
CHARACTER."
ANTAGONIST IS HIS ACCUSER, BOB EWELL."

IN THE MAIN VS. IMPACT STORY


STORY,
BOO EVENTUALLY FORCES SCOUT TO
CHANGE HER PREJUDICE ABOUT HIM.

YEAH, I SEE THOSE YEAH! SHE COULD PUSH


THROUGHLINES. I'M MY MAIN CHARACTER IS
IRVING RICHTER, EX-NAVY HIM TO TAKE THE CRUISE-
WRITING A SCRIPT THAT JOB AND THEN GO
I CALL "EVERY MAN FOR SEAL WHO IS NOW WRITING
A "LOVE" COLUMN USING A ALONG WITH HIM ON
HIMSELF." THE TRIP.
WOMAN'S NAME. WHEN HIS
I'VE NEVER HEARD OF WRITING PERSONA IS HIRED
THE IMPACT CHARACTER AS SPOKESWOMAN FOR A DEVELOP HER, THEN
BEFORE, AND I DON'T CRUISE-LINE, HE'S FORCED TIE HER TO THE BOMB.
HAVE ONE. TO DRESS AS A WOMAN TO HE'S CAUGHT WE CAN GET THIS
PROTECT HIS IDENTITY. THIS WAY WHEN FROM DIE HARD! LET'S
TERRORISTS ATTACK GET OUT OF HERE.
THE CRUISE. TO SAVE
THE DAY, HE HAS TO FIGHT
AS A WOMAN. THE IMPACT
CHARACTER WOULD PUSH HIM TO
DO THIS-THAT SHOULD BE HIS
WIFE!

A MISSING IMPACT
CHARACTER CAN HAMSTRING CAN SHE IMPACT HIM
A STORY'S EMOTIONAL EMOTIONALLY ACT BY
INVOLVEMENT. ACT THROUGH THE
STORY?
MAGICAL POWERS DON'T SELL I'M HERE TO HELP YOU
HOLD ON, SCRIPTS, DEVELOPMENT PEOPLE COMPLETE THE STORY YOU
LET'S MEET DO! LET'S COPY DIE HARD AND WANT TO WRITE, PENN.
FIRST. BE DONE WITH IT!
...AND THE
I'M CALLIOPE,
NOTHING SELLS PROGRAM WILL
THE MUSE OF
LIKE A STRONG INSPIRE ME?
STORY.
COMPLETE
STORY.

NO, YOU HAVE


INSPIRATION,
DRAMATICA WILL
HELP CRAFT IT.

"LET ME SHOW YOU DRAMATICA'S


12 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS. THEY'LL
CREATE THE BLUEPRINT FOR YOUR "THE 12 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS COME IN
STORY'S THROUGHLINES, CHARACTER, THREE GROUPS: THE FIRST FOUR QUESTIONS SET
PLOT, AND THEME." UP THE MAIN CHARACTER, THEN FOUR QUESTIONS
ABOUT PLOT, AND FINALLY FOUR QUESTIONS
"THIS IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THE OVERALL STORY THROUGHLINE."
FROM ANYTHING
YOU'VE EVER
HEARD
ABOUT
STORY."
"THESE ANSWERS GET YOU A SINGLE
STORYFORM, DETERMINING YOUR
STORY'S STRUCTURE
STRUCTURE."

"THE NEXT STEP IS TO WRITE


EXAMPLES OF HOW THAT
STRUCTURE PLAYS OUT IN
ILLUSTRATING
ILLUSTRATING."

"SYMBOLIZING YOUR STORYFORM GETS


YOU TO FULLY KNOW YOUR STORY."

"THEN COMES STORY WEAVING DECIDING


HOW TO PRESENT THIS STORY TO AN
AUDIENCE—WRITING YOUR FIRST DRAFT!"

DRAMATICA HELPS YOU THROUGH


"DRAMATICA
THESE STAGES SO YOUR STORY ENDS UP
COMMUNICATING EXACTLY THE
FEELING YOU INTEND."

TREATMENT OR
FIRST DRAFT!
ALRIGHT, I'LL
LOOK AT YOUR
FIRST, WHAT DO WE
QUESTIONS.
GREAT! KNOW ABOUT YOUR
CINDY WOULD
MAIN CHARACTER?
WANT ME TO.

I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT


HIM: WHERE HE WAS
TRAINED, WHAT KIND OF GUN
HE USES, THE DRESSES HE
WEARS...

UH...
GOOD. WELL...

THIS FIRST QUESTION SETS UP WHERE


THIS GUY IS GOING IN YOUR STORY. "MAIN
CHARACTER RESOLVE" ASKS "WILL YOUR SCROOGE CHANGES,
MAIN CHARACTER ULTIMATELY CHANGE OR DUH!
REMAIN STEADFAST
STEADFAST?" EVERY MAIN
CHARACTER'S EITHER THE SAME AT THE END
OF THE STORY AS WHEN HE STARTED OUT, OR
HE'S CHANGED.
DRAMATICA ASKS YOU TO
DETERMINE THIS RIGHT
UP FRONT.

THAT'S EBENEEZER
SCROOGE AND HIS IMPACT ALL CHARACTERS
CHARACTER, THE GHOST OF CHANGE, OR ELSE
CHRISTMAS. WILL HE THERE'S NO
CHANGE OR REMAIN GROWTH OR
STEADFAST? DEVELOPMENT.

BUT WHAT DOES IT


IN MY STORY, MEAN? HE'S SAVED THE
IRVING SAVES THE DAY, BUT WHAT HAPPENED
CRUISE AND WALKS TO HIS CHARACTER?
INTO THE SUNSET
STILL DRESSED AS A
WELL, WHAT ABOUT DR. WOMAN.
RICHARD KIMBLE IN THE
FUGITIVE, OR JAMES BOND
FUGITIVE I GUESS HE'S
IN MOST JAMES BOND CHANGED, RIGHT?
MOVIES—THESE ARE STEADFAST I LOVE IT! HE'S REACHED HIS
MAIN CHARACTERS WHO FORCE WHAT AN "SENSITIVE SIDE."
THEIR IMPACT CHARACTERS IMAGE!
TO CHANGE.

"RESOLVE" SHOWS HOW


THIS WILL WORK FOR
YOUR STORY.
HOW ABOUT THIS: SO THIS IS ABOUT "CHARACTER ARC."
HE GETS ON THE BOAT
HATING HIS PEN-NAME. DON'T BAFFLE PENN WITH YOUR DEVELOP-
THEN THROUGH HIS MENT TERMS. I'M ASKING WHETHER THE
RELATIONSHIP WITH MAIN CHARACTER ENDS UP DRIVEN BY HIS
...GIVING ORIGINAL MOTIVATION OR NOT.
HIS WIFE HE A PRESS
ENDS UP... CONFERENCE
AND HAPPILY EXPLAINING
ABOUT THE TERRORISTS,
DRESSED AS HIS PEN-NAME. NOW SO STEADFAST CHARACTERS
HE SEES "HER" AS PART OF HIM. KEEP THE SAME MOTIVATION.
DO THEY GROW?
WOW, THAT'S WAY MORE CLEAR!

ALL MAIN CHARACTERS GROW, "STEADFAST" CHARACTERS


EITHER TO HOLD OUT MORE WILL EITHER BE HOLDING
STEADFASTLY OR TO CHANGE. OUT FOR SOMETHING TO
THE NEXT QUESTION DEALS WITH START OR HOLDING
THIS TOO. MAIN CHARACTER GROWTH OUT FOR SOMETHING
ASKS, REGARDING HIS GROWTH, IS TO STOP.
THE AUDIENCE WAITING FOR
SOMETHING TO START
OR STOP
STOP?

THIS ALWAYS REFERS TO MAIN CHARACTER


GROWTH, A "CHANGE" CHARACTER WILL GROW
EITHER BY STARTING A NEW
CHARACTERISTIC OR STOPPING
AN OLD ONE.

START OR STOP? SCROOGE IS A CHANGE-START IN THE 80'S THEY


THAT'S LIKE THE POINT IS TO
CLARIFY WHETHER THE CHARACTER. HE'S STINGY, NOT REWROTE SCROOGE AS
ASKING IF A AGGRESSIVELY MEAN; EXTRA MEAN-TO DO
GLASS IS "HALF MAIN CHARACTER'S PROBLEM
IS BECAUSE OF WHAT IS WHICH IS THE THIS RIGHT WOULD
FULL OR HALF ARGUMENT THAT MEAN REWRITING
EMPTY." WHAT'S THERE THAT SHOULDN'T THE
BE, OR BECAUSE OF GETS HIM TO
THE POINT? CHANGE. ARGUMENT
WHAT IS MISSING. TO MAKE HIM
CHANGE.

BUT THEY KEPT


THE "START GIVING"
ARGUMENT AND THE
STORY SUFFERED.

I GUESS IRVING STARTS YOU CAN WRITE IT EITHER WAY,


TO LIKE HIS PEN-NAME BUT PICKING ONE DIRECTION MAKES
AND STOPS WORRYING THE WHOLE STORY CLEARER. SHOULD THEN PICK STOP. NOW
ABOUT HIS MACHISMO. IT FEEL LIKE HE'S CAUSING HIS WE'RE GETTING TO KNOW
PERSONAL PROBLEMS AND HAS TO WHO IRVING IS.
STOP, OR THAT HE'S LETTING
YEAH. HE PROBLEMS GO TOO FAR AND
DOES BOTH! HAS TO START DEALING
WITH THEM?

HE'S TOO COMMITTED TO HIS


"TOUGH-GUY" IMAGE. HE'S
ALREADY A SUCCESSFUL LOVE
COLUMNIST, HE JUST HAS TO I KNOW ANOTHER
STOP BEING ASHAMED OF IT. CHARACTER THAT I
WISH WOULD STOP.
WHOA! THIS MAN WILL YOU'RE A DO-ER! YOU DIDN'T
WHAT'S GOING HELP DEMONSTRATE EVEN TRY TO COPE WITH HIS
ON? THE NEXT NOISE. DO-ERS PREFER TO
QUESTION: PROBLEM-SOLVE
EXTERNALLY. IF PENN WAS A
BE-ER , HE'D JUST
TAKE IT?

WHAT'S YOUR
MAIN
CHARACTER'S
APPROACH— NOT NECESSARILY. A
DO-ER BE-ER PREFERS TO
OR BE-ER? I CAN'T TAKE IT! PROBLEM-SOLVE
INTERNALLY.

DO-ER/BE-ER
DOES NOT MEAN
ACTIVE/PASSIVE. EITHER
APPROACH MAY WORK TO SOLVE
A PROBLEM. EVERYONE HAS A
PREFERENCE. THIS YOGI IS AN
"ACTIVE" BE-ER. HIS
POWERFUL PRESENCE
CAN WORK LIKE A PUNCH
IN THE MOUTH.
LET'S WATCH
A BE-ER AT
WORK.

HERE, LET'S I GUESS IRVING IS A BE-ER AND A


WATCH DIRTY DO-ER. DO-ER. HIDING AS A WOMAN, HE
HARRY... COPES WITH A LOT OF SEXIST
TREATMENT. BUT HE'S VERY
WILLING TO KICK TERRORIST BUTT
WHEN HE HAS TO.

GREAT! MIX IT
UP SO HE'S
UNPREDICTABLE.

YOU'RE RIGHT, HE'S A DO-ER. HE


BEING BOTH A BE-ER AND A DO-ER IS SHOULD HATE COPING WITH BEING
UNPREDICTABLE BECAUSE IT'S UNREALISTIC. TREATED LIKE A LADY.
CHARACTERS MAY HAVE TO USE BOTH APPROACHES IN
THEIR STORIES, BUT THEY ALWAYS PREFER ONE
APPROACH IF GIVEN A CHOICE. HOW DOES
THAT FEEL?

IRVING SOUNDS LIKE A DO-ER.


HIDING AS A WOMAN IS A HANDS-ON
APPROACH TO TRYING TO SOLVE HIS LIKE IRVING'S
PROBLEMS, AS IS TAKING ON BECOMING A
THE TERRORISTS. LOT MORE REAL.
FINE. NOW THE LAST MAIN ONE STYLE
CHARACTER DYNAMIC: IS INTUITIVE... USUALLY,
PROBLEM SOLVING THE
OTHER IS MEN FAVOR
STYLE. LOGICAL, WOMEN
I WAS LOGICAL.
GONNA INTUITIVE.
SAY THAT! LIKE,
HEY LADY! "HE'S FROM
I'M STYLING THAT MARS,
HERE... MAKES SENSE. SHE'S
FROM
VENUS?"

HOW LIKE DO-ER/BE-ER, PROBLEM


INTUITIVE SOLVING STYLE IS A TENDENCY.
OF YOU!
LET ME WHAT KIND OF
EXPLAIN! PROBLEM SOLVING
DOES YOUR MAIN
CHARACTER HOW DOES YOUR MAIN
USE: LOGICAL OR CHARACTER SEE PROBLEMS?
INTUITIVE? THERE ARE TWO WAYS:
LOGICAL STYLE SEES PROBLEMS
IN TERMS OF CAUSE AND EFFECT,
SEEKING LINEAR EXPLANATIONS.
INTUITIVE STYLE SEES
PROBLEMS IN TERMS OF THE
WHAT'S RELATIONSHIPS INVOLVED, HOW
MY STYLE? THEY BALANCE AS A WHOLE.

FOR EXAMPLE, LET'S


LOOK AT YOUR FIRST KISS
WITH CINDY - YOU BOTH SAW
THIS DIFFERENTLY.

YOU WERE THERE?

YOU SAW YOUR FLOWERS,


THEN THE MONEY YOU SPENT,
THE GOOD FOOD, AND THE TIME
TOGETHER ALL ADDING UP TO
THE POINT WHERE YOU FELT
YOU DESERVED A KISS.

FROM HER HOLISTIC


POINT OF VIEW, IT WAS THE NEITHER POINT OF VIEW
COMBINATION OF MUSIC, IS RIGHT OR WRONG, BUT ONE
ATMOSPHERE, YOUR BEHAVIOR, CARRIES MORE WEIGHT FOR IT'S NOT AS FUN
AND CONVERSATION THAT YOUR MAIN CHARACTER AND AS IT SOUNDS.
FINALLY SHIFTED INTO AFFECTS HOW HE PERCEIVES
CREATING A GOOD MOMENT OR DECIDES ANYTHING.
FOR A KISS. THAT'S THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEEING
THINGS LOGICALLY AND
INTUITIVELY.
WON'T LOGICAL NO, IT'S RIPLEY, OPEN
STYLE CHARACTERS INDEPENDENT THE HATCH!
ALL BE MEN AND OF GENDER.
INTUITIVE STYLE
CHARACTERS ALL I CAN'T DO
BE WOMEN? THAT. IF WE BREAK
QUARANTINE WE
COULD ALL DIE.

FOR EXAMPLE, RIPLEY IN OPEN IT,


THE MOVIE ALIEN USES A RIPLEY! THAT'S A
LOGICAL STYLE. SHE DIRECT ORDER!
THINKS OF EVERYTHING
LINEARLY.

IF SHE WAS LOOKING JACK RYAN IN THE


AT THE "BIG PICTURE," HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER
RIPLEY WOULD PROBABLY USES INTUITION. HIS
HAVE REALIZED SOONER HOLISTIC IMPRESSIONS OF THE
RUSSIAN CAPTAIN ALLOWS ...THERE IS
THAT THE COMPANY WAS I HAVE TO BRING ANOTHER
BETRAYING HER. THAT ALIEN HOME, HIM TO SEE THAT THE MAN
WANTS TO DEFECT -- POSSIBILITY.
RIPLEY, KILLING I THINK HE'S TRYING
YOU IF NECESSARY! WHICH NONE OF THE OTHERS
CAN UNDERSTAND. TO DEFECT.

WAVERING ON PROBLEM SOLVING SOUNDS LIKE LOGICAL PROBLEM


STYLE WILL NOT CREATE VARIETY, SOLVING, HE THINKS LINEARLY.
THESE ARE WAYS THAT PROBLEM
BUT MUDDINESS. ASK YOURSELF, THIS WON'T MAKE HIM BLIND TO
SOLVING DIFFERENCES AFFECT DOES IRVING SEE EVERY-
YOUR MAIN CHARACTER. HOLISTIC THINKING. HE'LL JUST
THING AS CAUSE AND EFFECT HAVE A BIAS NOT TO SEE IT.
OR DOES HE PAY MORE WHEN YOU NEED HIM TO GET THE
I HAVE A SCENE ATTENTION TO THE SHIFTING
WHERE IRVING CHANGES BIG PICTURE, HAVE SOMEONE
RELATIONSHIPS AROUND HIM? HELP HIM PUT IT TOGETHER.
HIS PROBLEM SOLVING
STYLE.
HE CLEARLY BELIEVES
HIS FEMALE PERSONA HAS LIKE HIS WIFE.
GOOD! PROBABLY CAUSED HIS SUCCESS. HE'S
BOTH MEN AND WOMEN PRETTY OBLIVIOUS TO THE
WILL DIG A CHARACTER DOWNSIDE THIS HAS ON
LIKE THAT. HIS RELATIONSHIPS.

THAT'LL
WORK.
"THAT COMPLETES THE MAIN CHARACTER DYNAMICS, HOW HE THINKS, ACTS, AND GROWS THROUGH YOUR STORY.
LATER, DRAMATICA WILL TELL A LOT MORE ABOUT YOUR MAIN CHARACTER -- BASED ON THE REST OF
THESE QUESTIONS."
...NOW, LET'S SHIFT GEARS: THE NEXT FOUR
QUESTIONS ARE ABOUT PLOT. FOR EXAMPLE --
STORY DRIVER ASKS WHAT DRIVES YOUR STORY,
ACTIONS OR DECISIONS?
PENN'S STORY'S GOT
ACTIONS AND DECISIONS! ALL STORIES HAVE
THAT'S WHAT MAKES BOTH, BUT ONE ALWAYS
IT SO GOOD. FORCES THE OTHER. STORY
DRIVER ASKS WHICH COMES FIRST
IN YOUR STORY.

NEITHER! THE DEFENSE


FOOTBALL GAMES WHAT ABOUT
PROVIDE A GOOD EXAMPLE FOOTBALL'S DRIVEN IS DRIVEN BY
THE DEFENSE? PURE TEST-
FOR THIS. WHEN YOU'RE BY SALARIES!
OSTERONE!
ON OFFENSE, IS FOOTBALL
DRIVEN BY ACTIONS
OR DECISIONS
DECISIONS?

NO, THE
OFFENSE MAKES ITS RIGHT!
PLANS IN THE THEIR ACTIONS
HUDDLE. SO...FOR ALL FOLLOW
THEM IT'S CAREFUL ON DEFENSE, THE
DRIVEN BY DELIBERATIONS. PLAYERS FOLLOW THAT
DECISIONS! BALL WHERE EVER IT GOES.
TO THEM, THE GAME IS
DRIVEN BY ACTIONS.

RIGHT AGAIN. EVERY ...BUT HAMLET TRIES RIGHT! A MAIN CHARACTER'S


STORY IS DRIVEN IN TO SOLVE THINGS APPROACH MIXES WITH "STORY
ONE OF THESE TWO THROUGH DELIBERATIONS. DRIVER" AND HE MAY OR MAY NOT
WAYS. CHOOSING FIND THAT MIX COMFORTABLE.
SETS UP THE STORY'S
INCITING INCIDENT...
THAT'S BECAUSE
HE IS A
BE-ER!

Shh.
STORY DRIVER ALSO
AFFECTS THE MAIN CHAR-
ACTER. HAMLET'S STORY JOHN MCCLANE IN
IS DRIVEN BY ACTIONS-- DIE HARD IS A DO-ER,
...CONCLUDING INCI- BEGINNING WITH THE SUITED TO HIS
DENT, AND EVERY THAT'S
APPEARANCE OF A GHOST. WHAT WE WANT, ACTION DRI-
ACT BREAK. VEN STORY.
PENN, PICK "ACTION."

"WHILE BEING THERE I THINK MY STORY'S


JUST PICKING DOESN'T SAY IS QUITE SUBDUED, DRIVEN BY ACTIONS TOO--
HOW MUCH ACTION OR DELI- YET IT IS A STORY THE JOB ON THE CRUISE AND
BERATION THERE'LL BE, JUST DRIVEN BY ACTIONS." THE TERRORIST ATTACK
WHICH FORCES THE OTHER. COME OUT OF NOWHERE
TO PUSH THE STORY
ALONG.
THE FUGITIVE
HAS LOTS OF PUT SOME UNFORCED
ACTION, DECISIONS IN THERE
BUT IT'S A TOO. TWICE THE
DECISION OBSTACLES MAKES
DRIVEN TWICE THE
STORY... SUSPENSE
IF IT ONLY WORKED THAT WAY. THAT'S WHY IRVING'S COMFORTABLE A STORY IS MORE THAN
USING UNFORCED DECISIONS AND SOLVING THE TERRORIST PROBLEM -- JUST DRAMA, THOUGH.
UNPLANNED ACTIONS MAKES HE'S A DO-ER IN AN ACTION STORY.
A STORY FEEL OUT OF
CONTROL. TROUBLES IN A WHAT ABOUT CREATING STILL, WHAT ELSE
STORY SHOULD COME FROM MORE CONFLICT? THAT'S CAN YOU SHOW ME
ONE SOURCE. PENN MADE A ALL DRAMA IS, YOU KNOW, ABOUT CONFLICT?
GOOD ARGUMENT FOR ACTIONS. CONFLICT.
JUST FOLLOW IT THROUGH SO THAT
ACTIONS DRIVE AND END THE STORY.
MUCH MORE. FOR
EXAMPLE, STORY LIMIT
HAS A STRONG IMPACT ON
THE CONFLICT IN YOUR STORY.

WHAT WILL RAISE TENSION ...OR RUNNING OUT


AND BRING YOUR STORY TO OF OPTIONS LIKE IN
AN END? A "WHO-DONE-IT?"

...RUNNING OUR OF THE KILLER IS


TIME, LIKE HIGH NOON? SOMEONE IN THIS
ROOM!
ROOM

I HADN'T CONSIDERED IT.


I GUESS THE HOSTAGE
SITUATION COULD GO ON
FOREVER.
The
FOR EXAMPLE, IMAGINE Butler!
YOU HAVE TO SEARCH A MANSION I knew
it!
FOR CLUES TO A MYSTERY. AN OPTIONLOCK
A TIMELOCK WOULD BE WOULD BE IF YOU ARE
IF YOU ONLY GET FIVE MIN- ONLY ALLOWED TO
UTES TO SEARCH AS CHOOSE FIVE ROOMS
MANY ROOMS AS TO LOOK IN. CONFLICT
YOU LIKE. RISES AS YOUR STORY
EITHER RUNS OUT OF TIME,
LIKE EDDIE MURPHY'S 48 HRS.
HRS.,
OR OUT OF OPTIONS LIKE
ALADDIN AND HIS THREE
WISHES.

I BET YOU DON'T WANT ...THEN CHECK THE CLOCK


YOUR AUDIENCE TO FEEL I COULD HAVE THE TERRORISTS AT LEAST THREE MORE
LIKE THEY COULD BE DEMAND SAFE PASSAGE WITHIN TIMES AS THE STORY
WATCHING YOUR STORY TWENTY-FOUR HOURS, OR HEADS TOWARD ITS
FOREVER. ELSE THEY'LL BLOW UP CLIMAX.
THE SHIP.

THEY WILL
FEEL TENSION RISE THAT'S A TIME- HEY, THAT
IF THE END IS LIMITED LOCK. SET UP THE DOES TIGHTEN
BY A TIMELOCK AMOUNT OF TIME THINGS UP.
OR AN OPTIONLOCK. YOUR CHARACTERS
HAVE RIGHT UP
FRONT...
WE'LL FIND THE FINAL
TWO DYNAMICS AT THE
STORY'S END.

FIRST OFF, STORY OUTCOME ASKS THIS DOES NOT, HOWEVER,


SIMPLY, "DO THE CHARACTERS IF THE GOAL IS ACHIEVED, IT'S SAY HOW MUCH OF A SUCCESS
ACHIEVE THE COMMON "SUCCESS
SUCCESS." IF IT ISN'T (EVEN IF
SUCCESS OR FAILURE YOUR CHARACTERS
GOAL THEY SET FAILURE
IT'S CLOSE) THEN IT'S "FAILURE
FAILURE." WILL EXPERIENCE. IT DOESN'T
OUT FOR, OR NOT? THE OUTCOME WILL BE ONE WAY HAVE TO BE GREAT TO
OR THE OTHER. SUCCEED OR BE THE WORST
THING IN THE WORLD TO
FAIL.

I THINK HE'S
A DO-ER
DO-ER!

THE AUDIENCE
JUST HAS TO
KNOW IF THE
ORIGINAL GOAL
WAS REACHED OR
NOT. OUTCOME
IS A COLD LOOK AT
THE STORY GOAL. THE NEXT
QUESTION, STORY JUDG-
MENT, IS MUCH MORE
EMOTIONAL.

MAN!
WHAT A SORE LOSER. PARDON ME.
EXCUSE ME.
STORY JUDGMENT ASKS,
"DOES YOUR MAIN CHARACTER
RESOLVE HIS PERSONAL PROBLEMS
OR NOT?"

IF HE'S FREE OF
HIS EMOTIONAL ANGST IN
THE END, THE JUDGMENT
GOOD
IS "GOOD
GOOD."

...PERSONAL TRAGEDIES,
OUTCOME AND ENDING IN SUCCESS/BAD
JUDGMENT COMBINE WHERE THE MAIN CHARACTER
TO CREATE FOUR REMAINS
KINDS OF ENDINGS. TROUBLED
IN SPITE OF
SUCCESS--
LIKE
SILENCE OF
TRAGEDIES, WHICH THE LAMBS
LAMBS.
END IN FAILURE/BAD
LIKE HAMLET
HAMLET.

...IF HE'S STILL PLAGUED


BY IT IN THE END,
THE JUDGMENT
BAD
IS "BAD
BAD."

...PERSONAL TRIUMPHS MY STORY'S A FULL BLOWN


WHICH HAVE FAILURE/GOOD, TRIUMPH TOO! IRVING SUCCEEDS
LIKE RAIN MAN
MAN, WHERE IN CAPTURING THE TERRORISTS
CHARLIE BABBITT GIVES UP AND HE EVENTUALLY FEELS GREAT
HIS GOAL IN ORDER TO ABOUT MAKING HIS PEN-NAME
BECOME A HAPPIER A PART OF HIMSELF.
PERSON.

GREAT!
HAPPY ENDINGS
SELL!

...AND FINALLY THERE


ARE TRIUMPHS--SUCCESS
AND GOOD ENDINGS--
LIKE CASABLANCA
CASABLANCA.

THIS COULD BE
THE BEGINNING OF
A BEAUTIFUL
RELATIONSHIP!
I LIKE THESE QUESTIONS. MY WELL, DARLING. MORE IS
CHARACTERS AND PLOT ARE HAPPENING THAN JUST YOU A STORYFORM LISTS ALL
STRONGER, BUT MY ANSWERS ANSWERING QUESTIONS. THE DYNAMIC AND STRUCTURAL
HAVEN'T REALLY STRUCTURED MY DRAMATICA'S USING PARTS OF YOUR STORY: THE
STORY. I NEED AN EMOTIONAL YOUR ANSWERS TO INTRICACIES OF ITS ARGUMENT.
POWERHOUSE TO GET CINDY CREATE THE STORYFORM IT WON'T SAY HOW TO
BACK. FOR YOUR STORY. WRITE IT--JUST WHAT YOU'LL
HAVE TO COVER TO MAKE
YEAH. I CAN ASK THE STORY COMPLETE.
PENN A BUNCH OF
QUESTIONS TOO--
WITHOUT DRAMATICA!

THE STORYFORM IN THAT'S HOW


ROMEO AND JULIET FOR WEST SIDE STORY
EXAMPLE, COULD BE SET AS WAS WRITTEN: THEN YOU'LL COME
SHAKESPEARE DID IT--IN SAME STORYFORM-- TO ILLUSTRATING--
OLD ITALY... DIFFERENT SYMBOLS SYMBOLIZING YOUR STORY-
OR ILLUSTRATING. FORM. ILLUSTRATING
...OR THE SAME YOUR STORY GETS YOU TO VISUALIZE
STORYFORM COULD HAS A STORYFORM AND THE DETAILS OF
BE SET IN NEW DESIGNING IT YOUR STORY.
YORK CITY. UP FRONT WILL
THE STORY- HELP GUIDE
TELLING WOULD YOU THROUGH
CHANGE, YOUR STORY'S
BUT ALL THE DEVELOPMENT.
CONCEPTS OF
PREJUDICE AND
LOVE WOULD STILL
BE THERE.

AFTER THAT COMES STORY-


WEAVING: DECIDING HOW TO
PRESENT THOSE DETAILS TO
AN AUDIENCE. LIKE, WHAT
WILL BE ON PAGE 1? DO YOU
START NEAR THE END AND
FLASHBACK THROUGH THE
STORY, AS IN REMAINS
OF THE DAY
DAY? THEN LET'S KEEP
THE EIGHT QUESTIONS WE'VE
ANSWERED SET UP YOUR STORY'S GOING, GET OUT
DYNAMICS. NEXT WE'LL SET UP OF THIS LIBRARY
ITS STRUCTURE. THEN, ONCE AND LOOK AT
YOU'VE ARRIVED AT A SINGLE STRUCTURE!
STORYFORM, WE'LL MOVE ON
TO ILLUSTRATING AND
STORYWEAVING.

THIS IS WILD!
...OR AT THE BEGINNING THESE STAGES ARE
OF THE IMPACT CHARACTER THROUGHLINE? TAKING ME DEEPER
WHAT DO YOU EMPHASIZE MOST, THE MAIN INTO MY STORY
CHARACTER? THE OVERALL STORY? OR THAN I'VE EVER
SOME OTHER THROUGHLINE? ANYTHING'S BEEN BEFORE.
POSSIBLE. THAT'S THE WORK OF STORYWEAVING
WHICH COMES AS YOU WRITE DRAFTS OF THE STORY.
RIGHT. THOSE FOUR PERSPECTIVES ARE
THE WAYS TO SEE INTO YOUR STORY.
THERE'S A PROBLEM AT THE YOUR STORY IDEA GIVES THEM
HEART OF YOUR STORY. THAT'S SOMETHING TO LOOK AT.
WHERE STRUCTURE COMES FROM.
UNTIL YOU SEE IT CLEARLY AS THE
AUTHOR, YOUR STORY WILL REMAIN
A SNARLED JUNGLE OF IDEAS.

THE AUDIENCE
FOLLOWS THE FOUR
THROUGHLINES WHICH
EXPLORE THE PROBLEM
STRUCTURE DEALS WITH AT THE HEART OF YOUR
OUR THROUGHLINES, RIGHT? STORY. TO GET MEANING
THE OVERALL STORY, THE MAIN OUT OF THEM, THE THROUGHLINES
CHARACTER, THE IMPACT NEED SOMETHING SPECIFIC TO
CHARACTER, AND THE EXPLORE.
MAIN VS. IMPACT STORY?

STORIES MATCH THEIR FOUR


PERSPECTIVES WITH THESE FOUR
BROAD CLASSES OF STORY PROBLEMS:
FIXED ATTITUDES, MANIPULATION,
SITUATIONS, AND ACTIVITIES.
ITTIIEESS
WHAT IS THIS, AACCTTIIVVI
A VULCAN CROSS- TTIIOONN
WORD PUZZLE? SSIITTUUAA FFIIXXEEDD EESS
UUDD
IIOONN AATTTTIITT
AANNIIPPUULLAATT
MM

THIS IS OUR MAP THROUGH THIS


JUNGLE—THE DRAMATICA STRUCTURAL
CHART. MARKING ONE OF YOUR STORY'S
THROUGHLINES HERE, USING
DRAMATICA, WILL MAP OUT THE
OTHER THREE THROUGHLINES
AS WELL.

THE SITUATION CLASS THE ACTIVITY CLASS THE MANIPULATION CLASS THE FIXED ATTITUDE CLASS
DESCRIBES A DESCRIBES A DESCRIBES A DESCRIBES A
STATIC EXTERNAL CHANGING EXTERNAL CHANGING INTERNAL STATIC INTERNAL
PROBLEM PROBLEM PROBLEM PROBLEM
BUT PENN'S STORY DEALS WITH ALL SURE, TAKE CASABLANCA
CASABLANCA. ITS OVERALL STORY
FOUR KINDS OF PROBLEMS. THROUGHLINE IS AN "ACTIVITY"
"ACTIVITY"—WHERE
EVERYONE'S TRYING TO OBTAIN "EXIT VISAS" TO
THESE FOUR ESCAPE GROWING NAZI CONTROL.
CLASSES ARE
IN EVERY
STORY.

THEY ARE MATCHED TO


THE FOUR THROUGHLINES
IN THE MOST IMPORTANT
STRUCTURAL CHOICE
AUTHORS FACE IN
DRAMATICA. CAN I HAVE AN
EXAMPLE?

AUDIENCE!

"RICK IS A MAIN CHARACTER WHOSE "BUT HE'S FORCED TO RECONSIDER THE MAIN VS. IMPACT STORY EXPLORES
"FIXED ATTITUDE" IS THAT..." HIS WAYS BY HIS IMPACT THE "MANIPULATIONS" BETWEEN RICK AND ILSA
CHARACTER, ILSA, WHOSE IS STUCK AS THEY MANIPULATE EACH OTHER OVER THEIR
IN A "SITUATION"
"SITUATION". SHE IS CAUGHT LOVES AND LOYALTIES.
IN CASABLANCA AND MARRIED TO
A FREEDOM
FIGHTER.

"...HE STICKS HIS


NECK OUT FOR
NOBODY."

THE PROBLEM AT THE HEART OF YOUR STORY YOUR CHOICE WILL FLAVOR THE STORY YOU
IS SOMEWHERE OUT THERE. BY ANSWERING TELL. YOUR OVERALL STORY MAY FALL INTO
QUESTIONS ABOUT IT, DRAMATICA WILL LEAD ANY ONE OF THESE CLASSES. LET'S LOOK AT
US TO SEE EXACTLY WHAT IT IS. SOME "WAR" STORIES TO SEE THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM.

SITUATION ACTIVITY
THE FIRST STRUCTURAL
QUESTION ASKS YOU TO AN ACTIVITY OVERALL STORY
CHOOSE YOUR OVERALL MANIPULATION
FIXED
ATTITUDE
WOULD EMPHASIZE THE ACTIVITIES OF
STORY THROUGHLINE. WAR, LIKE THE GUNS OF NAVARONE
NAVARONE. WHAT
BRINGS EVERYONE TOGETHER HERE IS A SCHEME
(ACTIVITY) TO BLOW UP A CERTAIN TARGET.

A SITUATION OVERALL STORY WOULD AN OVERALL STORY CENTERED ON AN OVERALL STORY CENTERED ON
DEAL WITH A FIXED STATE OF WAR, FIXED ATTITUDES IS LIKE MANIPULATIONS IS LIKE PATHS
SUCH AS THE GREAT ESCAPE
ESCAPE. PATTON
PATTON. WHERE EVERYONE'S OF GLORY
GLORY. WHERE THE
THESE CHARACTERS ARE IN A INFLEXIBLE AGENDAS CREATE OFFICERS MANIPULATIVE
PRISON CAMP... MORE TROUBLE THAN "TRIAL" LEADS TO INJUSTICE
THE ENEMY. IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE.

...DEALING WITH THE SAME


SITUATION FROM
BEGINNING TO END.
SITUATION

ACT
IVI
FIXED

TY
ATTITUDE

MANIPULAT
WHICH KIND FIRST, IRVING'S RUNNING
AROUND ACTING LIKE A
OF PROBLEM BRINGS I DON'T WOMAN,...

ION
YOUR OVERALL CHARACTERS KNOW, I SEE
TOGETHER? THEM ALL. THE CRUISE IS STUCK
IN A HOSTAGE
SITUATION,...

...THERE'S CONFLICTING ATTITUDES "THE OVERALL STORY HAS "THE MAIN CHARACTER IS A NAVY
OVER IRVING'S PEN-NAME, AND THERE'S EVERYONE DEALING WITH SEAL TRYING TO WRITE—A PERSON
THE MANIPULATIONS IRVING'S THE SITUATION OF
WIFE PUTS HIM DEFINED BY HIS ENDEAVOR TO
BEING HELD HOSTAGE ON BECOME A WRITER."
THROUGH. A BOAT."

ALL FOUR,
THAT'S WHAT
I SAID.

THAT WAS
GREAT, PENN.

YOU'VE ACTUALLY JUST A SITUATION ACTIVITY


DESCRIBED ALL FOUR
THROUGHLINES IN
YOUR STORY. "IRVING'S WIFE, THE IMPACT CHARACTER ...AND THE MAIN VS. IMPACT STORY
IMPACTS IRVING THROUGH HER EXPLORES THE FIXED ATTITUDES IN
MANIPULATIONS..." THEIR RELATIONSHIP—ESPECIALLY
REGARDING WHAT IT
MEANS TO
"BE A MAN."

MANIPULATION FIXED ATTITUDE

I SEE. EACH PERSPECTIVE


(E.G. OVERALL STORY) GETS MATCHED
WITH THE TYPE OF STORY (E.G. THEN LET'S STEER
SITUATION) THAT IT EXPLORES. WHEW
WHEW!
YOUR OVERALL STORY
INTO A
WAIT! "SITUATION"
WHAT'S THE OVERALL
STORY THROUGHLINE
OF DIE HARD
HARD?

DIE HARD IS AN OVERALL I LIKE IT.


N

STORY OF A "SITUATION"
O
TI

WHERE ALL THE CHARACTERS


A

DEAL WITH BEING CAUGHT


TU

IN A SKYSCRAPER.
SI
OVERALL STORY CONCERN
THE NEXT QUESTION ABOUT STRUCTURE THAT MAY WORK IN SIMPLE STORIES, BUT
ASKS: WHAT'S YOUR OVERALL STORY CONCERN? WHAT ABOUT A REAL STORY
LIKE THE VERDICT ?
WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT TO THE CHARACTERS IN YOUR STORY?
YOUR OVERALL CHARACTERS MAY HAVE DIFFERENT CONCERNS,
BUT THEY WILL
ALL SHARE
THE SAME HOW THINGS
NATURE. PAST PRESENT FUTURE ARE CHANGING

THE VERDICT HAS AN OVERALL STORY CONCERN


AS WELL, THE VERDICT
VERDICT'S CONCERN IS
"THE FUTURE"—

...THE LAWYER FIGHTS FOR THE


FUTURE OF HIS CAREER.

...AND THE TREACHEROUS ASSISTANT IS


TRYING TO SECURE HER FUTURE IN THE
LEGAL WORLD.

...THE CHURCH IS WORRIED ABOUT ITS


...HIS CLIENTS WORRY ABOUT FUTURE REPUTATION ONCE IT'S SUED.
THEIR SISTER'S FUTURE AND
WHETHER THEY WILL BE ABLE
TO SUPPORT HER. ...ALL THESE DIFFERENT CHARACTERS
SHARE THE COMMON THEMATIC CONCERN.

PLOT IS STRONGEST IN THIS PART OF DRAMATICA STRUCTURE.


WHAT'S MY OVERALL
THE STORY GOAL IS DESCRIBED BY THE OVERALL STORY CONCERN. THE
STORY CONCERN?
GOAL CAN BE AN OBJECT, A STATE OF MIND, DEGREE OF KNOWLEDGE,
OR A CERTAIN FEELING—ANYTHING SO LONG AS IT'S UNDERSTOOD TO
BE THE GOAL. DEFINING THE GOAL CAN HELP YOU PICK THE CONCERN.
HOW THINGS
OBTAINING CHANGING ONE'S NATURE INNERMOST DESIRES FUTURE
PRESENT ARE CHANGING
PAST
BECAUSE YOUR OVERALL STORY
DOING UNDERSTANDING MEMORIES THROUGHLINE IS A "SITUATION,"
YOUR CONCERN WILL BE ONE OF
THE FOUR TERMS ON THOSE PEAKS
FUTURE GATHERING INFORMATION IN THE DISTANCE.

IN FACT, YOU MIGHT CATEGORIZE


STORIES QUITE MEANINGFULLY
BY THEIR OVERALL STORY
CONCERN. KIND OF LIKE HOW
THEY CATEGORIZE VIDEOS IN A
VIDEO STORE.
WELL NONE OF THESE WORDS CAME
MAYBE IT WILL HELP IF I
TO ME WHEN I MADE UP THE STORY. EXPLAIN TWO THINGS
THE CHARACTERS ARE STUCK ON THE
ABOUT DRAMATICA
BOAT. THE PRESENT'S A MESS,
VOCABULARY...
THEIR FUTURE'S IN JEOPARDY...
HOW DO I PICK?

ALL FOUR CHOICES WILL


BE IN YOUR OVERALL STORY.
BUT WHICH CONTAINS THE
ISSUES THEY'RE ALL
CONCERNED WITH?

FIRST, ANY TERM CAN


BE SEEN IN THE
POSITIVE OR SECONDLY, VOCABULARY IN
NEGATIVE SENSE. DRAMATICA HAS VERY PRECISE
FOR EXAMPLE, A DEFINITIONS. FOR AUTHORS TO
CONCERN OF BE ABLE TO NAME THE THEMATIC
"OBTAINING" DEALS PIECES OF THEIR STORIES, NO TWO
WITH GETTING TERMS CAN MEAN THE
STUFF... SAME THING.
...AND LOSING
STUFF.

THAT'S MORE GROUND THAN


THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
USUALLY HAS TO COVER, SO
DRAMATICA COMES WITH ITS
OWN DICTIONARY.

OF MOST CONCERN TO THESE PEOPLE


STUCK ON THE BOAT IS WHAT'S GOING
TO HAPPEN. THE CRUISE GUESTS, THE BUT IRVING IS ALSO YES, ACTUALLY.
AUTHORITIES, AND EVEN THE TERROR- WORRIED ABOUT LOSING HIS THE MAIN CHARACTER
ISTS ARE ALL FIGHTING FOR THEIR MANLINESS. IS THAT MORE THROUGHLINE HAS A CONCERN
FUTURE. THAT'S MY OVERALL LIKE A "MAIN CHARACTER ALSO. EVERY THROUGHLINE HAS A
STORY CONCERN. CONCERN?" CONCERN. FOR EVERY QUESTION
IN THE OVERALL STORY, THE
SAME QUESTION EXISTS IN THE
OTHER THROUGHLINES. DRAMATICA
WILL PROVIDE THE ANSWERS BASED
ON HOW YOU ANSWER THE 12
ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS.

NOW LET'S
START HIKING.

AW, MAN!.
INSIDE
THE PEAK
MARKED
OVERALL STORY ISSUE
"FUTURE..."
WE'RE MUCH CLOSER TO THE PROBLEM NOW.
NEXT WE FACE THE CHOICE OF OVERALL
STORY ISSUE. YOUR PREVIOUS CHOICES HAVE
LED US TO THESE FOUR OPTIONS

WHAT
THE HECK IS
AN "ISSUE?"

EACH
THROUGHLINE HAS A
THEMATIC ARGUMENT. THE
ISSUE IS THAT ARGUMENT'S TOPIC. EVERY THROUGHLINE
HAS ITS OWN ISSUE OR THEME. EXPLORE THE ISSUE
THROUGH DIALOGUE, IMAGES, AND OTHER THEMATIC THE OVERALL
MATERIAL. THE ISSUES OF THE FOUR THROUGHLINES KEEP STORY'S ISSUE
YOUR THEMES TIED TO YOUR STORY'S MEANING. WILL INVOLVE EVERYONE
IN THE STORY...

THE FUGITIVE HAS AN OVERALL STORY ISSUE OF


"THE FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL HAS AN OVERALL
"FOUR
"PRECONCEPTION." EVERYONE'S PROBLEMS ARE DEEPENED STORY ISSUE OF "COMMITMENT," EXPLORING THIS
BY PRECONCEPTIONS THROUGH THE RELATIONSHIPS OF
REGARDING DR. KIMBLE'S ALL THE CHARACTERS."
GUILT OR INNOCENCE."

"ISSUES FROM ALL FOUR THROUGHLINES


CREATE A TAPESTRY OF THEMES, ALL TIED TO
THE STRUCTURAL MEANING OF YOUR STORY."

ALL FOUR OF THESE ARE IN MY STORY: WHICH IS YOUR CENTRAL TOPIC?


THE TERRORISTS PRECONCEPTIONS WHAT HAVE YOU GOT THE MOST TO SAY RIGHT, O.K.,
ABOUT WOMEN HELP THE WRITER SAVE ABOUT? THEMES AREN'T JUST RECURRING PRECONCEPTION IS
THE DAY; OPENNESS TO RESISTANCE IDEAS, BUT PERSPECTIVES. WHAT IS YOUR MY OVERALL STORY
HELPS THE WOMEN JOIN THE WRITER; STORY TRYING TO SAY? ISSUE.
BAD CHOICES BY THE CRUISE LINE AND
THE TERRORISTS LEAD TO BOTH OF WELL, THE IDEA WAS TO
THEIR UNDOING; DELAYS IN THE MAKE AN "ACTION MOVIE"
RESCUE PLANS GIVE THE WRITER AND ABOUT BEING A WOMAN.
THE WOMEN TIME TO FREE I WAS GETTING AT
THEMSELVES. "PREJUDICE."

THAT CHOICE
TAKES US TO THE
LAST OF THE 12
THAT'S
"PRECONCEPTION" ESSENTIAL
ON THE QUESTIONS...
CHART.
OVERALL STORY PROBLEM

THESE ELEMENTS ARE THE STRUCTURAL


HEART OF YOUR OVERALL STORY. ONE
OF THEM IS THE "PROBLEM," THE
SOURCE OF ALL THE INEQUITIES
TROUBLING YOUR CHARACTERS.
ITS OPPOSITE IS THE "SOLUTION."

THERE'S ALSO THE


OVERALL STORY SYMPTOM AND
OVERALL STORY RESPONSE.
THE PROBLEM IS LIKE A DISEASE
IN THE STORY. IF EVERYONE
COULD SEE THE PROBLEM
CLEARLY, THEY'D SOLVE IT. BUT
THEY
DON'T
BECAUSE
THEY'RE BUSY
WITH THE
SYMPTOMS OF
THE PROBLEM—
THAT'S THE OVER-
ALL STORY SYMPTOM.

THEY TRY TO TREAT THESE ONLY THE OVERALL STORY


SYMPTOMS WITH THE OVERALL SOLUTION CAN DO THAT.
STORY RESPONSE.

THESE FOUR ELEMENTS ARE BUT THIS


CONSTANTLY AT WORK IN YOUR TREATMENT
STORY. THEY BRING SPECIFIC WON'T
SHADING TO THE MOST MINUTE CURE
DIFFICULTIES YOUR THE PROBLEM...
CHARACTERS FACE.

THE PROBLEM IS FINALLY


RECOGNIZED SOME TIME NEAR "SUCCESS" REPLACES THE
THE CLIMAX. PROBLEM WITH THE SOLUTION.

"FAILURE" DOESN'T.
YOU MEAN THOSE DRAMATICA DOESN'T SAY HOW
BORING TERMS ARE THE TO FEEL ABOUT THE PROBLEM,
"HEART" OF PENN'S STORY? JUST WHAT IT IS.

TAKE "TEMPTATION" FOR EX-


AMPLE. THINK HOW MANY WAYS
THIS "BORING" TERM MIGHT BE
PROBLEMATIC IN A STORY...

...A SINGLE KIND OF PROBLEM FEELS CONSISTENT.


AS MANY WILD THINGS HAPPEN, THEY'LL ALL BE
THEMATICALLY LINKED BY THE PROBLEM.

WELL, YEAH. YOU COULD SAY


MY STORY'S PROBLEM IS
I'VE GOT ABOUT 500 "CONTROL," WHICH IS MOST
DIFFERENT PROBLEMS MY OBVIOUS WHEN THE TERROR-
CHARACTERS DEAL ISTS REVEAL THEY'VE HAD
WITH. CONTROL OF THE CRUISE
SINCE IT LEFT PORT.
I COULD TAKE THIS FARTHER--
SYSTEMS DESIGNED TO CONTROL
DO SHIPPING TRAFFIC MIGHT MAKE IT
THEY SHARE IMPOSSIBLE TO SAFELY RESCUE
ANY COMMON THE HOSTAGES...
THEME? AND THE WAY THE
HOSTAGES APPEAR TO BE
EASILY CONTROLLED KEEPS
EVERYONE UNDER WRAPS
UNTIL EVENTUALLY THE
SOLUTION OF BEHAVING
UNCONTROLLED ALLOWS THE WOMEN
TO OVERTAKE THE TERRORISTS.

SOUNDS GOOD!
CONGRATULATIONS...
...YOU'VE GOT A SINGLE STORYFORM.
NOW THIS GETS FUN.
THAT ANSWER TOOK DRAMATICA
TO A SINGLE STORYFORM, DETAILING
ALL FOUR OF YOUR STORY'S THROUGH-
LINES IN GREAT DEPTH.

NOW WE'LL SEE


HOW TO STRUCTURE THE LOGICAL
AND EMOTIONAL PARTS
OF YOUR STORY

WE'LL FIND A PLOT


OUTLINE IN HERE TOO,
OF HOW EACH THROUGH-
LINE WILL PROCEED
ACT BY ACT

THAT REPORT LISTS


EVERY SINGLE STORY
POINT IN YOUR
"THE
STORYFORM
STORY ENGINE
THERE ARE A NUMBER SETTINGS
OF WAYS TO DEAL WITH THIS REPORT?"
INFORMATION IN THE SOFTWARE. ONE
WAY IS THROUGH THE REPORTS
ABOUT YOUR STORY THAT DRAMATICA
IMMEDIATELY COMPOSES WHEN YOU
FINISH STORYFORMING.

IT IS THE
SKELETON OF YOUR
STORY. EACH THROUGHLINE
HAS A CONCERN, ISSUE, PROBLEM,
SOLUTION, SYMPTOM, AND RE-
SPONSE. -- NOW DRAMATICA SHOWS
YOU WHAT THOSE ARE.
...THE MAIN VS. IMPACT THROUGHLINE IS A
CLASH OF FIXED ATTITUDES OVER WHETHER
IT'S O.K. TO BE LIKE A WOMAN, HUH? THAT
FITS. AND THE CONCERN IN IRVING'S
RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS
WIFE/IMPACT CHARACTER...

...IS THEIR "INNERMOST DESIRES"


-- WHICH IRVING'S FAME AS A
WRITER CAN EITHER
MAKE REAL OR POSTPONE
FOREVER DEPENDING ON HOW
IRVING LOOKS AT IT.

SO IRVING'S WIFE
WRITE THOSE SHOULD SEE HER COMMITMENT
DESCRIPTIONS INTO TO IRVING AND HIS COMMIT-
MENT TO WRITING AS THE THAT WILL
THE "STORY POINTS" WORK, FOR A
WINDOW. HERE, YOU REASONS WHY THEY HAVE
TO GO ON THE CRUISE. IN HER START.
WRITE SPECIFIC
EXAMPLES OF HOW OPINION, IRVING SHOULD GET
THESE POINTS WILL INTO THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING
IT SAYS MY SEEN AS A WOMAN, SO HE CAN
APPEAR IN YOUR FULFILL HIS COMMITMENTS TO HIS
STORY. IMPACT CHARACTER
ISSUE IS "COMMITMENT." READERS AS THE AUTHOR OF
THAT DESCRIBES THE THEMATIC THEIR "LOVE COLUMN."
IMPACT OF IRVING'S WIFE THAT
WILL HELP CONVINCE IRVING TO
CHANGE, RIGHT?

I SEE WHAT WAS


MISSING IN MY STORY,
NOW THAT I'M PUTTING
THIS IN HERE. WITHOUT A
DEVELOPED IMPACT CHARACTER, THIS IS THE SIDE OF
IRVING WOULD HAVE NO THE STORY I WASN'T LOOKING
REASON TO CHANGE. AT BEFORE.

GREAT,
NOW ALL WE NEED IS
SOME QUIRKY DIALOGUE
LIKE RESERVOIR DOGS
DOGS.
OH YES! VERY
WAIT A MINUTE! MUCH. THOSE ARE
I ONLY COUNT TWO THE OVERALL CHARACTERS
CHARACTERS IN THIS AND THEY CAN MAKE
"STORYFORM." THE MAIN OR BREAK A STORY
AND IMPACT CHARACTERS. AS EASILY AS
WHAT ABOUT ANYTHING
EVERYONE ELSE? ELSE.
DON'T THEY
COUNT?

LET ME REFRESH YOU


ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE IMPORTANT
OVERALL AND MAIN VS. IMPACT THING IN DEVELOPING
CHARACTERS. OVERALL OVERALL CHARACTERS
CHARACTERS ARE SEEN BY THEIR IS THAT THEY SERVE
FUNCTION IN THE STORY... A PURPOSE TO THE
STORY. A GOOD WAY
TO GET A FEEL FOR
THIS IS BY
OVERALL CHARACTERS LOOKING AT
ARCHETYPES.
MAIN VS. IMPACT CHARACTERS

..NOT THEIR EMOTIONAL


IMPACT, LIKE MAIN VS.
IMPACT CHARACTERS.

EXAMPLES FROM GEORGE LUCAS'


STAR WARS WILL DEMONSTRATE THE VARIOUS THE REASON ARCHETYPE REP-
CHARACTERISTICS THAT MAKE UP RESENTS "CONTROL" AND
ARCHETYPAL CHARACTERS. "LOGIC" LIKE
THE PROTAGONIST CONSIDERS PRINCESS LEIA.
THE PROBLEM AND PURSUES THE EMOTION ARCHETYPE
THE SOLUTION, LIKE LUKE REPRESENTS "UNCON-
SKYWALKER IN STAR WARS
WARS. TROLLED" & "FEELING" LIKE
THE ANTAGONIST BALANCES HIM CHEWBACCA.
WITH "RECONSIDER" AND "AVOID/PREVENT"
LIKE THE EVIL EMPIRE.

THE GUARDIAN
THE SIDEKICK ARCHETYPE IS ARCHETYPE IS
FAITHFUL AND SUPPORTIVE -- "CONSCIENCE" AND
LIKE THE DROIDS, C3P0 AND R2D2. "HELP" -- OBI WAN
KENOBI IN STAR
THE SKEPTIC ARCHETYPE WARS
WARS.
REPRESENTS "OPPOSE" AND
"DISBELIEF" LIKE HAN SOLO. ...AND
THE CONTAGONIST REP-
RESENTS "TEMPTATION"
AND "HINDER" --
TAR
DARTH VADER IN STAR
WARS
WARS, WHO DEMON-
STRATES THE TEMPTATION
OF THE "DARK SIDE OF THE
FORCE" AND WHO HINDERS
BOTH THE REBELS AND,
OCCASIONALLY, THE
EMPIRE.
THESE ARE THE FUNCTIONS
PERFORMED IN STORIES
BY THE EIGHT ARCHETYPES.
THEIR CHARACTERISTICS LEAD
TO A COMPLETE EXPLORATION
OF THE OVERALL STORY
THROUGHLINE.
...THESE TWO
WORK WITH IRVING
AND HIS WIFE THE
"GUARDIAN" AS THEY PLOT TO
IN MY STORY, IRVING DEFEAT THE TERRORISTS.
IS THE PROTAGONIST AND THE
TERRORIST LEADER IS THE THE NAY-SAYING AUTHOR-
ANTAGONIST. THE EMOTION ITIES ARE THE SKEPTICS,
CHARACTER IS THIS TOUGH WO- AND THE INEFFECTUAL
MAN IRVING BEFRIENDS AND CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP
THE SIDEKICK IS THAT REPRESENTS
WOMAN'S HAND-MAID. "REASON..."

WHAT IF SOME OF
PENN'S CHARACTERS AREN'T
ARCHETYPAL? PENN ANY CHARACTER
WRITES REAL CHARACTERS, ARCHETYPES
ARE JUST THE WHO IS NOT ARCHETYPAL
YOU KNOW, IS CALLED "COMPLEX."
NOT CARDBOARD SIMPLEST KIND
OF BUILDING COMPLEX CHAR-
CUT-OUTS! ACTERS IS REALLY WHEN
CHARACTERS.
THIS WINDOW BECOMES
MOST USEFUL BECAUSE
IT PREDICTS
RELATIONSHIPS
AS WELL AS
CHARACTERISTICS.

DIAGONALLY OPPOSED
CHARACTERS ARE IN
CONFLICT WITH EACH
OTHER.

SIDE-BY-SIDE CHARACTERS
ARE COMPATIBLE, BECOM-
ING COMPANIONS.

CHARACTERS STACKED
VERTICALLY HAVE
QUALITIES THAT COMPLE-
MENT EACH OTHER, MAKING THESE
A TEAM. RELATIONSHIPS
REMAIN CONSTANT,
ENSURING THAT
CHARACTERS STAY
CONSISTENT
THROUGHOUT THE
STORY.
THEN YOU
O.K. THIS "ILLUSTRATE"
STUFF IS USEFUL, STORY POINTS
BUT HOW DO WE GET FROM DRAMATICA HELPS YOU SUCH AS A MAIN
HERE TO ACTUALLY STRUCTURE YOUR PLOT IN CHARACTER'S
WRITING? PENN DOESN'T STORYFORMING. "ACTIVITY"
NEED ANOTHER DIS- INTO SPECIFIC
TRACTION, HE NEEDS EXAMPLES IN
TO WRITE! YOUR
STORY.
OH DAMIEN!
YOU ADMIT THIS
MIGHT HELP!

VIOLA! DRAMATICA HAS


LASTLY, "WEAVE" CREATED A STEP BY STEP
TOGETHER THE ORDER OUTLINE READY TO BE
IN WHICH YOU WILL HONED INTO A KILLER
REVEAL YOUR STORY FIRST DRAFT!
TO THE AUDIENCE
BY CREATING
SCENES OR FOR WRITERS WHO ARE
CHAPTERS. UNSURE OF HOW TO
CREATE A TREATMENT,
STRUCTURE TEMPLATES
ARE PROVIDED.
DRAMATICA'S
STORYGUIDE
WILL HELP
YOU WITH
THIS.

JUST OPEN A
TEMPLATE FILE
TO WRITE A
SCREENPLAY,
NOVEL, OR
SHORT STORY.
NOW YOU KNOW
EXACTLY WHAT
YOU WANT TO SAY
AND HOW YOU'RE
GOING TO SAY IT.
ALL THAT'S
LEFT IS TO POLISH
YOUR TREATMENT
INTO A FIRST
DRAFT.
I USED TO JUST HAVE THIS GUY IN A DRESS
FIGHT HIS WAY OFF A SHIP -- NOW HE'S ALSO ON AN
EMOTIONAL JOURNEY. MY MAIN CHARACTER
IS DRIVEN BY HIS NEED TO CONTROL HIS
SELF IMAGE, BUT HIS WIFE SEES
THAT IF HE DOESN'T BECOME ONE WITH
HIS WRITING PERSONA HE WILL LOSE HIS
CHERISHED INTEGRITY. EVERY ACT WILL
STRIP AWAY ANOTHER PIECE OF
HIS VULNERABLE MACHISMO.

I'M THERE,
PENN. I'M CRYIN!

...THIS MAKES HIM RE-THINK


HIS WHOLE LIFE AS HE MANEUVERS
AROUND THE TERRORISTS UNTIL
HE EVENTUALLY REALIZES
WHAT HIS WIFE HAS
BEEN SAYING...

...IT'S ONLY BY
LETTING LOOSE AND REALLY
EMBRACING HIS UNINHIBITED THAT WAS SO TOUCHING,
AND EMOTIONAL SIDE THAT PENN. WHERE'D THIS
HE CAN TAKE OUT THE BAD ...AND THAT'S HOW PASSION COME FROM?
GUYS AND KEEP HIS JOB. IT ENDS. YOU'VE BEEN HIDING
IT. LET'S GET THIS
STORY WRITTEN!

THE IMPROVED TREAT-


MENT'S ALREADY WELL, LOOK
DONE! SO YOU FEEL AT THAT.
IRVING'S PAIN, AND
RRY
I'M SO Y PENN'S A
M
HIS RELATIONSHIP
ABOUT
DR AFT--
CHANGED MAN,
FIRS T
WITH HIS YOU W
ERE WHETHER HE SURE, YOU DIDN'T
WIFE?
RIGHT
ED
REALIZES IT KNOW? YEAH --
IT NEED OR NOT.
WORK. I WAS WONDERING,
COULD YOU GO OVER
THAT "THROUGHLINE"
OH, IT'S MY I STUFF WITH ME
FAVORITE PART. THINK YOU ONE MORE
THEY'RE SO DEVELOPED MAY BE I HOPE HE TIME?
THAT I WAS INTO I'D BE
RIGHT. CAN SPARE PLEASED TO.
THEIR LOVE STORY SOME OF THAT
JUST AS MUCH "CHANGE" WHEN THIS COULD BE
AS THE HE SELLS THAT THE BEGINNING OF
ACTION! SCRIPT, I'VE GOT A BEAUTIFUL
SOME DEVELOPMENT RELATIONSHIP
YEAH, BUT YOU'D
COSTS OF MY OWN HAVE TO TURN INTO
TO PAY. A BALL OF LIGHT.

OH, DO
YOU WRITE?
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