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7 newbie questions

Posted: Feb 12, 2009 3:53 pm
by joe52
I ran across an article in the old Dramatica website about how to get to a storyform quickly in Dramatica (I understand that the Writer's Dreamkit doesn't have all the features of Dramatica). I had some trouble understanding what the article is doing, having to learn both how to use the program and the vocabulary. The first 5 questions deal with what was done in Dramatica, were the Writer's Dreamkit equivalents correct? If they won't work, what settings in Writer's Dreamkit have the same effect (to get to a storyform quickly)?

The 6th question is about part of a Dramatica report. The 7th question is can the reports be used to determine the Signposts, Journeys, and Plot Dynamics.

    1. OS Goal
      Dramatica: Now, click on "Obtaining" and go to the last level of the Theme Browser. Here we will find our OS problem. Now the secret for doing this will be looking at the OS problem in relation with the OS focus and the OS Direction. This is very important, your focus is what will be troubling your characters all throughout the story, the Direction is what they all be doing throughout the story. Your problem will be felt all through the story and will generate the story climax and the solution is the end.

      Writer’s Dreamkit: In StoryEngine select Obtaining for Main Character Concern; not located in StoryGuide

    2. OS Problem
      Dramatica: So, looking at our vampire story... I like "Disbelief" as the problem: we can encode it with some "The Centinel" stuff and "Temptation" can be it"s focus, so we can get some good looking vampire women in there...

      Writer’s Dreamkit: In StoryGuide or StoryEngine select Disbelief for Main Character Problem

    3. OS Goal
      Dramatica: Now, let"s go to the Theme Browser top evel to see how this is working: Ok, "Universe" is our MC Domain, and Future is his concern. Nice!

      Writer’s Dreamkit: In StoryGuide or StoryEngine the MC Domain is not listed, select The Future for Overall Story Concern

    4. Use IC instead of MC
      Dramatica: (What if this happens to you: "I like my Goal, OS problem and OS focus appreciations, but I wanted the guy who goes into the building to be a quiet Be-er surrounded by luscious vampire women, and the Story Engine says my MC must be a Do-er" If this is your case, do this: Don"t tell the story from your protagonist (the guy in the building) view. Create a Do-er -how about an active girlfriend?- from where we could watch the quiet Be-er story unfold. For our example ongoing let"s asume the MC is the Protagonist)

      Writer’s Dreamkit: Instead of Goal, OS problem and OS focus there’s no Goal listed, there’s a Main Character Problem, and no Overall Story focus listed. MC Approach is Do-er , the same as Dramatica so story is told with MC watching Impact Character treated as a Be-er

    5. MC Focus
      Dramatica: Now, go into the "Future" concern to choose the MC problem and Focus. (Go to the last level) Do you like "Disbeleif" for a problem? (This will make it a Change story), then your MC focus will be "Reconsider" and "Consider" will be his Direction. He"ll be considering stuff throughout the story. I don"t like it. How about "Feeling" as his problem (he could be a heartless S.O.B, or maybe have troubles when confronting someone emotional) and his Focus could be also "Temptation" (remember the vampire women)... "Feeling" it is! (So this is a Steadfast story)

      Writer’s Dreamkit: Future concern and Focus not listed only the MC problem. MC problem same as Dramatica, in StoryGuide or StoryEngine select Disbelief.

      Dramatica: Armed with your "Story Engine Settings Report" re-read your "Brief synopsis": "A guy moves to a new apartment without realizing all the other tenants are vampires." Now look at your report settings for the Domain, Concern, Issue (and Counterpoint), Problem, Solution, Focus and Direction. They look like this:
      DOMAIN: Physics CONCERN: Obtaining ISSUE: Morality vs. Self Interest PROBLEM: Disbelief SOLUTION: Faith FOCUS: Temptation DIRECTION: Conscience

      Writer’s Dreamkit: Didn’t see the above paragraph (DOMAIN: Physics CONCERN …) in any of the reports. Was this made by using the headings and corresponding settings in the StoryGuide report?

    7. Signposts, Journeys, and Plot Dynamics
      Dramatica: Here you go with your heart, this isn"t really important, but sometimes the right Signpost order could fire a creative spark. Open all signpost windows and look at your choices until you find something that fires a spark. Check all your choices with the story engine to see if you are happy with the results. (if all this confuses you, just go back to the Story Engine window and choose your Plot Dynamics)

      Writer’s Dreamkit: There’s no signpost or journeys window or Plot Dynamics in the StoryEngine. How can the reports be used for a workaround or a method to determine the signpost, journeys and Plot Dynamics?

Re: 7 newbie questions

Posted: Feb 18, 2009 12:57 pm
by Chris Huntley
1. The equivalent in Writer's DreamKit is to set the Overall Story Concern to Obtaining.

2. Yes.

3. Yes, with the caveat that "domain" is used as the equivalent to "throughline" in the Story Engine. So the MC Throughline = the MC Domain, which may be set to Universe (old label) or Situation (new label).

4. I'm not sure what the question is, but one thing that might be helpful is to understand that the nature of the Story Goal (e.g. Obtaining) is always the same as that of the Overall Story Concern (e.g. Obtaining). Pick one and you've picked the other. So even though you may not be able to pick the Story Goal in Writer's DreamKit, you CAN pick the OS Concern, which sets the Story Goal to be the same thing.

5. Nothing to do here. This just tells it like it is. Writer's DreamKit doesn't give as much detail as Dramatica Pro.

6. Yes, that information is a pulled from the Story Engine Settings report, though you should narrow down to a single storyform before you can see the results. Also, the information in the Writer's DreamKit Story Engine report is simpler, and less detailed, than the same report in Dramatica Pro.

7. Writer's DreamKit does not have signposts or journeys available to view or illustrate. And the plot points are limited to the plot dynamics (Story Driver, Story Limit, Story Outcome, and Story Judgment) plus the Story Goal. WDK does not include the other static plot points (e.g. Consequence, Requirements, Forewarnings, etc.).