April 23, 2012
Dramatica is like Holdem Manager for stories. It’s a deep, complex, intriguing and challenging theory, and an incredibly useful tool once you begin understanding how it can help you. Dramatica says that every complete (fully explored) story is a model of the human mind trying to solve a problem. To fully explore any issue, an author has to examine all possible solutions to that issue and make an argument to prove to an audience that the author’s way is best. Basically, it allows for a deeper understanding of how and why stories work to communicate meaning to an audience.
Structure and dynamics are what give a story its meaning and make you feel the way you feel when you experience them. Dramatica can help develop the best structures, fix broken stories, or analyze stories to extract their structure. I’m going to use it this week to figure out exactly what made Pushkin’s original Queen of Spades short story work. To adapt it into modern day New Orleans, we keep the precise original structure but illustrate the story points differently. For example, Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story have the same structure... but they’re illustrated differently.
More tomorrow, where I’ll explore some findings...