I'm determined to write a Grand Argument Story

Come here to ask questions or give advice about the theory that forms the basis of Dramatica.

I'm determined to write a Grand Argument Story

Postby katfood » Jan 27, 2010 6:16 pm

Chris, or anyone.

Problem no. 1 - Two kinds of Sequences:
Thematic: From the theory book I've learned that there are six sequences in a Grand Argument Story. In fact, there is a nice metaphor of someone traveling through a two-wing three-story mansion in the theory book. I simply use all possible pairs (6) of the four VARIATIONS under the TYPE that I picked for the OS CONCERN. Each of three acts gets two sequences, and each act gets one of the pairs that contains the ISSUE. This is very clear. What isn't clear is:
1. I don't do this for all four throughlines, do I? That would make 24 Thematic Sequences: an 8-wing 3 story mansion, or a 2-wing 12-story mansion, neither makes sense to me. Maybe a story is actually four separate 2-wing, 3-story mansions...
2. Why are these sequences not mentioned in the software anywhere?

Structural: The Plot Sequence Report addresses this one. The theory book directs that I examine each signpost (TYPE) in terms of its four VARIATIONS seperately. That's 16 more sequences (4 throughlines x 4 VARIATIONS each)

Problem no. 2 - How to combine:
The theory book finally says that both are necessary. So I need a mental model of how to combine 6 thematic and 16 structural sequences. Can you help me?

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Chris Huntley
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Re: I'm determined to write a Grand Argument Story

Postby Chris Huntley » Jan 29, 2010 1:47 pm

Stories have plots, themes, characters, and genre(s) in them. The various ways to create scenes identified in the Dramatica materials focus on different aspects.

The thematic sequences uses theme as the basis for creating scenes. And yes, there are 24 of these sequences.

The plot progression in the software looks at the story in ACT size resolution, though one could use the signposts and journeys as the basis for scenes.

You may also you character interactions as the basis for creating scenes.

The reality is that it does not matter which way you do it so long as you explore all aspects of the story -- plot, character, theme, AND genre -- in some sort of order. Armando's use of the Plot Sequence report (PSR) is one great methodology of combining the various elements. But there are no real "rules" that must be followed.

Some writers like to sketch out the obvious beats in their story, or identify the "set pieces" (the showy, notable parts of the story such as a battle, sex scene, or action sequence), block them in place, and fill in the spaces with the rest of the story material and logic.

Other writers like to start at the beginning and create as they go.

Still others outline every detail before they begin to flesh out their stories into scenes, sequences, and acts.

Many "story gurus" have their own methodology for creating scenes. They are compatible with Dramatica, for the most part.

There is no objective "right" or "wrong" way to do this. If you do not have an established technique for creating scenes, try out different techniques to see what works best for you.

Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.

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