Main vs Impact Throughline

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SilentRuse
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Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby SilentRuse » Apr 25, 2012 3:17 pm

I'm new to the whole Dramatica program and there's been a bit of a snag in understanding one of the concepts. The Main vs Impact Throughline is something of a complex for me to grasp.

The OS Throughline, by my understanding, is simply the board in which all the players are in, working in some way for or against the story goal.

The MC Throughline is the experiences and feelings brought about from the main character.

The IC Throughline is the alternative paradigm in which the main character re-evaluates his situation to ultimately change or remain steadfast.

The Main vs Impact however... I understand that it's the passionate argument between the two... but what exactly is that argument? Is it meant to be illustrated from a third party? Like say the Emotion character and the Sidekick talking about the effects? Or is it the narration towards how they feel about one another? Or is it simply moments in which the two battle each other to get the other to see their side?

Hopefully I wasn't too illiterate or confusing to have the question answered, if so please let me know and I'll try my best to get my question across.

Thanks for you time, Ruse.

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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby stephenbuck415 » Apr 25, 2012 6:08 pm

Hi Ruse.

I'm still relatively new to Dramatica Theory and I'd like to share my understanding of it so far... I stand to be corrected by more experienced users (like Chris, the co-creator, and Graham and the others).

SilentRuse wrote:I'm new to the whole Dramatica program and there's been a bit of a snag in understanding one of the concepts. The Main vs Impact Throughline is something of a complex for me to grasp.


Based on your entire post, you are grasping the concepts quite well!

SilentRuse wrote:The OS Throughline, by my understanding, is simply the board in which all the players are in, working in some way for or against the story goal.


Based on my understanding of Dramatica Theory at this time, I believe you are right. Another helpful tip to add greater understanding to the OS Throughline (and possibly begin to overwhelm you a bit more) is to look at the OS Throughline from a perspective not in the writer's chair, the chair of the audience. The writer will understand the OS Throughline as you have described, but the audience will understand it in much simpler terms: the plot of the story.

Throughlines are perspectives:
Objective Story: Third Person, "They"
Subjective Story: First Person Plural, "We"
Main Character: First Person, "I"
Obstacle (Impact) Character: Second Person, "You"

SilentRuse wrote:The MC Throughline is the experiences and feelings brought about from the main character.


... that is experienced by the audience. The MC Throughline is the most personal view of the story the audience experiences. This perspective allows the audience to experience the story as if they were in it, as if they were the main character.


SilentRuse wrote:The IC Throughline is the alternative paradigm in which the main character re-evaluates his situation to ultimately change or remain steadfast.


All main characters will hold one of two resolves throughout the entire story: They will either Change or they will Remain Steadfast.

When the Main Character (MC) is Change, then the changes are internal to the character and they either add character traits (wait for something to Start) or lose character traits (wait for something to Stop).

When the MC is Steadfast, they will still change somewhat through the story but only to a degree determined by the writer. The changes that occur in the story are external to the MC.

The Obstacle (Impact) Character (IC) causes in some way the MC to rethink their course of action or position. The "impact" made can be positive or negative, but in some way it causes the MC to explore a different or new direction in the story.


SilentRuse wrote:The Main vs Impact however... I understand that it's the passionate argument between the two... but what exactly is that argument? Is it meant to be illustrated from a third party? Like say the Emotion character and the Sidekick talking about the effects? Or is it the narration towards how they feel about one another? Or is it simply moments in which the two battle each other to get the other to see their side?


I'm still developing ways to describe this concept in my own words, so I'll share a few things produced by Melanie Anne Phillips and from Dramatica Tips:

YouTube:

Objective and Subjective Characters
http://youtu.be/Wp9mx6YEdfs

The Four Throughlines - Part 1
http://youtu.be/V3gN4f7H2rY

The Four Throughlines 2
http://youtu.be/FAUddB4xpXs


Dramatica Tips:

Table of Contents
http://www.dramatica.com/theory/tip_of_month/index.html

Main Character and Obstacle Character as Objective Story Characters
http://www.dramatica.com/theory/tip_of_month/tips/tip0299.html

Visualizing Interconnections in Dramatica
http://www.dramatica.com/theory/tip_of_month/tips/tip0203.html


Dramaticapedia.com:

The Obstacle Character Domain
http://dramaticapedia.com/2010/03/02/the-obstacle-character-domain/

"It is important to be clear about the difference between the Main Character and the Obstacle Character. The audience looks through the Main Character’s eyes, and through them looks at the Obstacle Character. Through the Main Character, we feel what it is like to be in a particular predicament. With the Obstacle Character we see an external view of what someone else looks like in the same predicament. Since we cannot really climb into and become this character, we can only judge him by how he affects the characters and events around him.

As an example, if a Main Character were physcially challenged, during the duration of the story the audience members would also feel physically challenged, suffering the problems this creates as if it were a problem in their own lives. If the Obstacle Character were physically challenged, the audience would examine the problem from the outside, learning more about the difficulties logistically, not experientially. The focus would be on how this physical challenge impacts others. “Impact” is the key word to keep in mind when examining the story’s problem in the Obstacle Character Domain."


Relationship Between Main & Obstacle Characters
http://dramaticapedia.com/2010/02/23/relationship-between-main-obstacle-characters/

"The Main Character comes into a story with a tried and true method for dealing with the kind of problem featured in the story. That method has always worked for the Main Character before: it has a long history. Suddenly, a situation arises where that standard approach doesn’t work, perhaps for the first time ever. This marks the beginning of the story’s argument. As the story develops, the Main Character tries everything to find a way to make it work anyway, holding out in the hope that the problem will eventually go away, or work itself out, or be resolved by the tried and true method.

Along the way, the Obstacle Character comes into the picture. He tells the Main Character there is a better way, a more effective approach that not only solves the same problems the Main Character’s tried and true method did, but solves this new one as well. It sounds a lot like pie in the sky, and the Main Character sees it that way. Why give up the old standby just because of a little flak?

As the story develops, the Obstacle Character makes his case. Slowly, an alternative paradigm is built up that becomes rather convincing. By the moment of truth, the long-term success of the old view is perfectly balanced by the larger, but as of yet untried, new view. There is no clear winner, and that is why it is a leap of faith for the Main Character to choose one over the other."


SilentRuse wrote:Hopefully I wasn't too illiterate or confusing to have the question answered, if so please let me know and I'll try my best to get my question across.

Thanks for you time, Ruse.


I feel your questions were excellent. I wish I could offer a personal disposition of sorts on the IC Throughline, but while I can write it in story form and find it in Dramatica story analysis, explaining it to others is a weak point of mine right now.


I hope the links I shared are helpful.
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SilentRuse
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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby SilentRuse » Apr 25, 2012 7:09 pm

Thank you for the response, and rest assured the answers were definitely informational.

Currently the idea I'm trying to grasp is, as you noted about the OS, sitting in the chair of the audience (As if to be looking over the entire thing).

I think what the problem I am struggling with is those several POV's and putting it together with the different realms of Throughlines. For example...

My OS follows Activity as it's throughline. My MC throughline is a Fixed Attitude. My IC throughline is Situation, and lastly the Main vs Impact is Manipulation.

Now from what I gather, as looking at the story from an overhead view, we are watching all the characters concerned with events involving Activity.

Then we put ourselves in the shoes of the Main Character, and through him we are feeling a Fixed Attitude on what the main characters feels about the OS.

This is where I get a little lost.

From the MC perspective, we're looking AT the Impact Character in which their throughline (Situation) has some form of impact on the Main Character. The thing I'm having a hard time wrapping around my head is this.

Does the Impact Characters Situation cause the impact? Or is it the Impact Character making an Impact on the Main Characters Situation?

The program states... "The Impact Character's physicality. For example, her sex, skin color, attractiveness, unattractiveness, size, condition or disease (though not debilitating), any sort of distinguishing physical attribute. Exploring the nature of the Impact Character's physicality will illustrate Situation Impact Character Throughlines."

So does this also outline that something about her physicality must impact the MC in some shape or form? And if so does that mean in this specific predicament must mean her physically will impact the main character in a way to reflect on situations involving the past, future, present and how things are changing (As her throughline is Situation.)

To make an example of my understanding as described above. Say the impact character looks like the main characters late mother, and when they first meet (Let's say the first signpost for the IC throughline is the past) the Main Character reflects on his past reminding him of his late mother and the memories they once had (Interestingly enough this is also the first signpost assigned to my Main Character Throughline.) These memories bring up, say, a method of dealing with a certain issue and thus arguing (Or confirming) his current means of dealing with a certain issue (Of the same context).

Is that a proper demonstration of how the IC Throughline works? Or have I just jumbled the situation all together?

That's where I get further confused with the Main vs Impact throughline, which is dealt with manipulation.

From dealing with the MC throughline and the IC throughline, it seems to feel that they are already making an argument case against one another (As the main is going through his feelings and the impact character having an impact on those said feelings.) How does the Main vs Impact alter from the two other Throughlines?

My current understanding is that it is a passionate argument. And with it being placed as Manipulation I am to assume that each person is trying to manipulate the other in some way to get the other person to think about it their way. But because this is another event involving the Impact and Main I feel that in order to illustrate this throughline as it's own, it's perspective must be different, or have I got that wrong?

The perspective I believe it to be is the two of them engaging in some type of ordeal (Together) and the audience is seeing two points argued back and forth through means of manipulation without one giving way to one or the other until the very end (In which one will change and one will remain steadfast.)

Since I write the MC Throughline through the eyes of the MC (Or at the very least, in his shoes), see the Impact from his position, this gives me the feeling that the blend of those two Throughlines IS the Main vs Impact Throughline, thus leaving me confused as to where the actual Main vs Impact lies to be told.

...I feel like I've already lost myself in this long angst of confusion, hence why I have come here to try and clear this up. If it's just as confusing to you then I can understand, as that's the very core of my problem in understanding the Throughlines.

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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby stephenbuck415 » Apr 25, 2012 11:48 pm

SilentRuse wrote:I think what the problem I am struggling with is those several POV's and putting it together with the different realms of Throughlines.


I struggeled with that for quite some time, even after thoroughly reviewing some of the sample storyforms that came with the program such as Blade Runner and Witness (which include a very detailed analysis).

I focused on finding Dramatica concepts within a story in the way that Chris leads the discussion groups... Identify the throughlines, identify the characters, and then find the storyforming points as best as possible (because many stories simply don't have a direct fit within Dramatica structure... but to counter that point, all stories can be analyzed with Dramatica Theory).

I gained a much greater understanding how to use and understand the throughlines when I began an analysis of Audrey Niffenegger's Time Traveler's Wife. Up until that point, I followed the methods in the discussion group, but with Time Traveler's Wife, I decided to use a different approach:

With a blank storyform, I opened the Plot Progression tool with the intent of summarizing the scenes in the Sign Post (SP) and Journey (J) I felt was best appropriate.

I would identify the characters as the story progressed, and I would put the scenes where I thought they should go without any storyforming to guide (confuse?) me.

I thought that approach would challenge my understanding of the theory because no writer opens up Dramatica and begins to write scene summaries through the plot progression tool...

So, I had an open mind as to where I would start filling in the blanks and interestingly enough, the opening scene with the mother and child inside the car seemed to fit quite well in OS-SP1.

In the next scene, the MC appeared in the library and meets the OC (Obstacle Character or Impact Character)... the scene was about their meeting and focused on their relationship. I put that in SS-SP1

The next scene focused only on the MC dealing with his environment, so I put in that MC-SP1.

The next scene introduced the OC first, and the MC second, and it's overall focus was the perspective from the OC... so typed a quick summary into OC-SP1

And surprisingly, the next sequence of scenes started perfectly at J-SP1, and went downward in the same order to OC-J1.

And even more surprisingly, the rest of the scenes seemed to follow that same order until the very end.

The first draft of my DSF file is here (a temporary location, I will delete the path and files in a few days):
http://stephenbuck.org/temp/dram/time-traveler/index.html

I really didn't have as good of an understanding about the SS Throughline as I thought I did until I did this analysis... and that, I believe, is entirely coincidence. I don't know if Audrey used Dramatica, or of the screenwriters used it, but even without completing any storyform points the story is pretty much a perfect fit within the plot progression tool.

The scenes in the OS, MC, and OC SP's and J's are very "direct" and seem to involve a greater degree of conflict than those in the SS. The SS scenes tend to be more emotional but in in a conflicting way but in a "bonding" way that emphasizes the relationship between the two characters.

Most of the foreshadowing also seems to take place in the SS scenes, and it also seems to provide quite a bit of backstory.

Ah, that's it. Backstory, and the SS Throughline can also be thought of as the B-Story Line.



SilentRuse wrote:Does the Impact Characters Situation cause the impact? Or is it the Impact Character making an Impact on the Main Characters Situation?


I believe the answer is "yes" to both of your questions, and the correct answer is determined by how you wish to weave the story.


SilentRuse wrote:The program states... "The Impact Character's physicality. For example, her sex, skin color, attractiveness, unattractiveness, size, condition or disease (though not debilitating), any sort of distinguishing physical attribute. Exploring the nature of the Impact Character's physicality will illustrate Situation Impact Character Throughlines."

So does this also outline that something about her physicality must impact the MC in some shape or form? And if so does that mean in this specific predicament must mean her physically will impact the main character in a way to reflect on situations involving the past, future, present and how things are changing (As her throughline is Situation.)


Must? I wouldn't use Dramatica with that degree of rigidity. I feel a better approach would be that it "can" rather than "must".


SilentRuse wrote:To make an example of my understanding as described above. Say the impact character looks like the main characters late mother, and when they first meet (Let's say the first signpost for the IC throughline is the past) the Main Character reflects on his past reminding him of his late mother and the memories they once had (Interestingly enough this is also the first signpost assigned to my Main Character Throughline.) These memories bring up, say, a method of dealing with a certain issue and thus arguing (Or confirming) his current means of dealing with a certain issue (Of the same context).

Is that a proper demonstration of how the IC Throughline works? Or have I just jumbled the situation all together?


Ah, no, you haven't jumbled it at all, in fact I feel you are doing quite well.

One Dramatica tool that I seem to always have open when I write is the Theme Browser. That tool allows me to click through to explore various elements of story that are releated to the specifics of the signpost.

Assigning the domains as you described above, I get image THEME-BROWSER-01, and selecting the SITUATION class highlights two squares in in the pyramid of blocks in the lower left of the window.

I want to explore SITUATION more, so I click on the very bottom row of squares (the base of the pyramid) and the screen opens to the individual elements that can be explored within each type of problem as shown in THEME-BROWSER-02.

THE PAST shows Fate, Prediction, Destiny, and Interdiction as variations of the type of problem the IC is exploring, and each variation is further divided into elements that allow it to be explored in greater detail.

Notice that a keyword that you used, Memories, is not present in The Past, and also notice the tiny four squares in the right uppermost side of the window. Click on the one that opens Fixed Attitude as shown in THEME-BROWSER-03.

FIXED ATTITUDE shows MEMOIRES, Impulsive Responses, Contemplation, and Innermost Desires as the types of problems to explore...

So with that in mind:

What order are you exploring the throughlines in SP1 & J1? That order will affect how your scene can be aligned with Dramatica Theory, or help you find new ways (other areas in the storyform) where it can be explored.

Notice in the Theme Browser that THE PAST and MEMORIES are diagonally opposed (THEME-BROWSER-03).

As long as quads are diagonal with one another on the grid, conflict is present, and that concept can be applied to every level of the grid. It's even in the Build Characters panel (BUILD-CHARACTERS-01).

I believe that the MC-SP1 Memoires can be explored in OC-SP1 as long as THE PAST with its relationship to the OC is the emphasis, and that as you have already written, those memoires introduce conflict.

If you are down to one storyform, then if you select an element in the Theme Browser, it will show you what aspect of the character needs to be explored: Purpose, Evaluation, Methodology, or Motivation.


SilentRuse wrote:That's where I get further confused with the Main vs Impact throughline, which is dealt with manipulation.

From dealing with the MC throughline and the IC throughline, it seems to feel that they are already making an argument case against one another (As the main is going through his feelings and the impact character having an impact on those said feelings.) How does the Main vs Impact alter from the two other Throughlines?


It's the "We" perspective. I believe the difference is the story affected by the relationship of the MC and IC. Other throughlines might be considered to have stronger points that drive the story through to the end, but the MC/IC Throughline ties things together in a way that helps create theme.


SilentRuse wrote:My current understanding is that it is a passionate argument. And with it being placed as Manipulation I am to assume that each person is trying to manipulate the other in some way to get the other person to think about it their way. But because this is another event involving the Impact and Main I feel that in order to illustrate this throughline as it's own, it's perspective must be different, or have I got that wrong?

The perspective I believe it to be is the two of them engaging in some type of ordeal (Together) and the audience is seeing two points argued back and forth through means of manipulation without one giving way to one or the other until the very end (In which one will change and one will remain steadfast.)

Since I write the MC Throughline through the eyes of the MC (Or at the very least, in his shoes), see the Impact from his position, this gives me the feeling that the blend of those two Throughlines IS the Main vs Impact Throughline, thus leaving me confused as to where the actual Main vs Impact lies to be told.


I wonder if my explanations above have helped you come closer to finding answers to those questions... if not, I've done my best at this time!

There are several others here with much more experience than myself, and I'm looking forward to their replies to your posts (I always learn something new with these discussions).

SilentRuse wrote:...I feel like I've already lost myself in this long angst of confusion, hence why I have come here to try and clear this up. If it's just as confusing to you then I can understand, as that's the very core of my problem in understanding the Throughlines.


Well then, a congratulations is in order. Congratulations on your initiation into the Dramatica Community! ;-)

I think you are understanding the theory just fine. It can be frustrating and overwhelming at times, but you are getting it.

(Images for THEME-BROWSER-04 and BUILD-CHARACTERS-01 are in the next post)
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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby stephenbuck415 » Apr 25, 2012 11:50 pm

Attached are two images referenced in the previous post:
Theme-Browser-04 and
Build-Character-01
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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby stephenbuck415 » Apr 25, 2012 11:59 pm

SilentRuse wrote:I think what the problem I am struggling with is those several POV's and putting it together with the different realms of Throughlines.


I struggeled with that for quite some time, even after thoroughly reviewing some of the sample storyforms that came with the program such as Blade Runner and Witness (which include a very detailed analysis).

I focused on finding Dramatica concepts within a story in the way that Chris leads the discussion groups... Identify the throughlines, identify the characters, and then find the storyforming points as best as possible (because many stories simply don't have a direct fit within Dramatica structure... but to counter that point, all stories can be analyzed with Dramatica Theory).

I gained a much greater understanding how to use and understand the throughlines when I began an analysis of Audrey Niffenegger's Time Traveler's Wife. Up until that point, I followed the methods in the discussion group, but with Time Traveler's Wife, I decided to use a different approach:

With a blank storyform, I opened the Plot Progression tool with the intent of summarizing the scenes in the Sign Post (SP) and Journey (J) I felt was best appropriate.

I would identify the characters as the story progressed, and I would put the scenes where I thought they should go without any storyforming to guide (confuse?) me.

I thought that approach would challenge my understanding of the theory because no writer opens up Dramatica and begins to write scene summaries through the plot progression tool...

So, I had an open mind as to where I would start filling in the blanks and interestingly enough, the opening scene with the mother and child inside the car seemed to fit quite well in OS-SP1.

In the next scene, the MC appeared in the library and meets the OC (Obstacle Character or Impact Character)... the scene was about their meeting and focused on their relationship. I put that in SS-SP1

The next scene focused only on the MC dealing with his environment, so I put in that MC-SP1.

The next scene introduced the OC first, and the MC second, and it's overall focus was the perspective from the OC... so typed a quick summary into OC-SP1

And surprisingly, the next sequence of scenes started perfectly at J-SP1, and went downward in the same order to OC-J1.

And even more surprisingly, the rest of the scenes seemed to follow that same order until the very end.

The first draft of my DSF file is here (a temporary location, I will delete the path and files in a few days):
http://stephenbuck.org/temp/dram/time-traveler/index.html

I really didn't have as good of an understanding about the SS Throughline as I thought I did until I did this analysis... and that, I believe, is entirely coincidence. I don't know if Audrey used Dramatica, or of the screenwriters used it, but even without completing any storyform points the story is pretty much a perfect fit within the plot progression tool.

The scenes in the OS, MC, and OC SP's and J's are very "direct" and seem to involve a greater degree of conflict than those in the SS. The SS scenes tend to be more emotional but in in a conflicting way but in a "bonding" way that emphasizes the relationship between the two characters.

Most of the foreshadowing also seems to take place in the SS scenes, and it also seems to provide quite a bit of backstory.

Ah, that's it. Backstory, and the SS Throughline can also be thought of as the B-Story Line.



SilentRuse wrote:Does the Impact Characters Situation cause the impact? Or is it the Impact Character making an Impact on the Main Characters Situation?


I believe the answer is "yes" to both of your questions, and the correct answer is determined by how you wish to weave the story.


SilentRuse wrote:The program states... "The Impact Character's physicality. For example, her sex, skin color, attractiveness, unattractiveness, size, condition or disease (though not debilitating), any sort of distinguishing physical attribute. Exploring the nature of the Impact Character's physicality will illustrate Situation Impact Character Throughlines."

So does this also outline that something about her physicality must impact the MC in some shape or form? And if so does that mean in this specific predicament must mean her physically will impact the main character in a way to reflect on situations involving the past, future, present and how things are changing (As her throughline is Situation.)


Must? I wouldn't use Dramatica with that degree of rigidity. I feel a better approach would be that it "can" rather than "must".


SilentRuse wrote:To make an example of my understanding as described above. Say the impact character looks like the main characters late mother, and when they first meet (Let's say the first signpost for the IC throughline is the past) the Main Character reflects on his past reminding him of his late mother and the memories they once had (Interestingly enough this is also the first signpost assigned to my Main Character Throughline.) These memories bring up, say, a method of dealing with a certain issue and thus arguing (Or confirming) his current means of dealing with a certain issue (Of the same context).

Is that a proper demonstration of how the IC Throughline works? Or have I just jumbled the situation all together?


Ah, no, you haven't jumbled it at all, in fact I feel you are doing quite well.

One Dramatica tool that I seem to always have open when I write is the Theme Browser. That tool allows me to click through to explore various elements of story that are related to the specifics of the signpost, and how those elements relate to other SP's.

Assigning the domains as you described above, I get image THEME-BROWSER-01, and selecting the SITUATION class highlights two squares in in the pyramid of blocks in the lower left of the window.

I want to explore SITUATION more, so I click on the very bottom row of squares (the base of the pyramid) and the screen opens to the individual elements that can be explored within each type of problem as shown in THEME-BROWSER-02.

THE PAST shows Fate, Prediction, Destiny, and Interdiction as variations of the type of problem the IC is exploring, and each variation is further divided into elements that allow it to be explored in greater detail.

Notice that a keyword that you used, Memories, is not present in The Past, and also notice the tiny four squares in the right uppermost side of the window. Click on the one that opens Fixed Attitude as shown in THEME-BROWSER-03.

FIXED ATTITUDE shows MEMORIES, Impulsive Responses, Contemplation, and Innermost Desires as the types of problems to explore...

So with that in mind:

What order are you exploring the throughlines in SP1 & J1? That order will affect how your scene can be aligned with Dramatica Theory, or help you find new ways (other areas in the storyform) where it can be explored.

Notice in the Theme Browser that THE PAST and MEMORIES are diagonally opposed (THEME-BROWSER-03).

As long as quads are diagonal with one another on the grid, conflict is present, and that concept can be applied to every level of the grid. It's even in the Build Characters panel (BUILD-CHARACTERS-01).

I believe that the MC-SP1 Memories can be explored in OC-SP1 as long as THE PAST with its relationship to the OC is the emphasis, and that as you have already written, those memories introduce conflict.

If you are down to one storyform, then if you select an element in the Theme Browser, it will show you what aspect of the character needs to be explored: Purpose, Evaluation, Methodology, or Motivation.


SilentRuse wrote:That's where I get further confused with the Main vs Impact throughline, which is dealt with manipulation.

From dealing with the MC throughline and the IC throughline, it seems to feel that they are already making an argument case against one another (As the main is going through his feelings and the impact character having an impact on those said feelings.) How does the Main vs Impact alter from the two other Throughlines?


It's the "We" perspective. I believe the difference is the story affected by the relationship of the MC and IC. Other throughlines might be considered to have stronger points that drive the story through to the end, but the MC/IC Throughline ties things together in a way that helps create theme.


SilentRuse wrote:My current understanding is that it is a passionate argument. And with it being placed as Manipulation I am to assume that each person is trying to manipulate the other in some way to get the other person to think about it their way. But because this is another event involving the Impact and Main I feel that in order to illustrate this throughline as it's own, it's perspective must be different, or have I got that wrong?

The perspective I believe it to be is the two of them engaging in some type of ordeal (Together) and the audience is seeing two points argued back and forth through means of manipulation without one giving way to one or the other until the very end (In which one will change and one will remain steadfast.)

Since I write the MC Throughline through the eyes of the MC (Or at the very least, in his shoes), see the Impact from his position, this gives me the feeling that the blend of those two Throughlines IS the Main vs Impact Throughline, thus leaving me confused as to where the actual Main vs Impact lies to be told.


I wonder if my explanations above have helped you come closer to finding answers to those questions... if not, I've done my best at this time!

There are several others here with much more experience than myself, and I'm looking forward to their replies to your posts (I always learn something new with these discussions).

SilentRuse wrote:...I feel like I've already lost myself in this long angst of confusion, hence why I have come here to try and clear this up. If it's just as confusing to you then I can understand, as that's the very core of my problem in understanding the Throughlines.


Well then, a congratulations is in order. Congratulations on your initiation into the Dramatica Community! ;-)

I think you are understanding the theory just fine. It can be frustrating and overwhelming at times, but you are getting it.

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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby JRH147 » Apr 26, 2012 9:48 am

Ruse --

I would try to not to over think things too much. There is a tendency when one first gets into Dramatica to gain complete mastery as soon as possible. I get that -- it's exciting stuff -- but most of the mastery will come with years of practice and implementation within your own writing. The most important thing is your writing -- not understanding the intricacies of the theory.

That said, it sounds like you're getting most of it. As far as the difference between MC, IC and RS (Relationship Throughline) - the easiest way I've found to explain it is this: let's say you're a married man, you have your own personal issues whether it be work or alcoholism or you come from a lower class. And then you have your wife who has her own issues that impact you -- she could be passive-aggressive, starting a new job or fixated on wealth. But then the two of you also have a relationship - a marriage -- and that can have its own set of issues like sneaking around on each other or you come from different sides of the tracks. Either way this relationship, while informed by the MC and IC throughlines has its own set of issues to work through.

The problem you're having with understanding how that fits into a Throughline of Manipulation is that you're confusing it with MC and IC Resolve. Because Manipulation (Psychology) deals with ways of thinking naturally it's easy for Authors to automatically assume that this argument will be about the MC or IC changing the other's mind, i.e. changing their Resolve. While this argument will again inform their Resolve it really is something else. The best thing to do is to identify the type of relationship between your MC and IC and then figure out what issues there are between them.

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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby SilentRuse » Apr 26, 2012 5:27 pm

I have got to say, reading all the responses have literally opened a door within my mind that says "Hey, this kinda makes sense now!"

To put it bluntly, about throughlines, one could look at the different relationships involved. For example a man and a woman who, as stated above, is married, but say they have to jobs that conflict with one another.

From the main characters perspective he has his own issue's that he's dealing with that are pushing him through the OS.

The impact/obstacle character is the wife working on a job that directly conflicts with his, and thus this situation could be represented in the Impact Throughline (Depending on the type of impact it has, so to say.)

Then lastly their marriage is kind of like the Main vs Impact in which their relationship (In marriage) is explored and how that too effects them both in terms of their jobs that impact one another and the OS.

So far that is my current understanding of how the throughlines function, an area of a relationship that is explored dependent on the story in question. Then depending on the realm it explores of said throughline determines what type of activities or events they will enter as the story progresses.

I hope I got that right, cause if so, then I must say it does make a hell of a lot more sense that way.

As for the initial response (I apologize for not using people's usernames, I clicked quick response as I'm on my way out again but I was so thrilled with the understanding laid before me that I wanted to assure those responding that I have seen it thus far.) I wanna re-read what you have posted a couple of times so that I understand it more clearly (Not that I don't... I don't think I don't... I just have a tendency to allow excitement speed up my reading.) So I wanna make sure I got everything understood, then give my response to you when I'm more well equipped (And time prepared) to do so.

Again thanks for all the input thus far and I will continue to use these forums as a means of learning and sharing all at once because I gotta say, this Dramatica program has sparked a creativity in me like no other.

Until later everyone, Ruse.

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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby SilentRuse » Apr 26, 2012 7:23 pm

I would identify the characters as the story progressed, and I would put the scenes where I thought they should go without any storyforming to guide (confuse?) me.

I thought that approach would challenge my understanding of the theory because no writer opens up Dramatica and begins to write scene summaries through the plot progression tool...


What's interesting about that method is that I was able to see my story from start to finish by starting there. I went through the original stage 3 story guide path and when I hit the throughlines I went through a loop because all the characters i created at first had a hard time fitting in.

I have a tendency to "Start over" when things don't seem right (And by don't seem right, i mean passionate enough) and when I saw that area I decided "Why not create my story starting here?" And I was able to fill in all the posts to the best of my knowledge, and I was able to comprehend my story from start to finish while still finding places for all my characters when I couldn't using the story guide path.

It was then I fell into conflict with the Main vs Impact as it didn't feel strong enough to be a Main vs Impact as it resembled too much of the Impact and Main throughlines.

Most of the foreshadowing also seems to take place in the SS scenes, and it also seems to provide quite a bit of backstory.

Ah, that's it. Backstory, and the SS Throughline can also be thought of as the B-Story Line.


That statement there helped me get a better understanding of how it functions. To me it now feels more like a completely different relationship between the main and impact in comparison to the main throughline and the impact throughline.

In a way I begin seeing it like this...

OS=All Characters
MC=Character A
IC=Character B
MvI=Character C vs D
Where character C is still A and D is still B BUT in terms of relationship.

Notice that a keyword that you used, Memories, is not present in The Past, and also notice the tiny four squares in the right uppermost side of the window. Click on the one that opens Fixed Attitude as shown in THEME-BROWSER-03.


I'm glad you touched up on this as I meant one thing about it, but just so happened got a better result for the slight misunderstanding.

When I mentioned about the first signpost being about the past in regards to the impact character, and how that signpost also weaved into memories, i was making that statement only because it was my MC's first signpost as well. But what you touched up on it because of that was some rather invigorating information in which I was delighted to have thanks to you.

Notice in the Theme Browser that THE PAST and MEMORIES are diagonally opposed (THEME-BROWSER-03).

As long as quads are diagonal with one another on the grid, conflict is present, and that concept can be applied to every level of the grid. It's even in the Build Characters panel (BUILD-CHARACTERS-01).

I believe that the MC-SP1 Memories can be explored in OC-SP1 as long as THE PAST with its relationship to the OC is the emphasis, and that as you have already written, those memories introduce conflict.

If you are down to one storyform, then if you select an element in the Theme Browser, it will show you what aspect of the character needs to be explored: Purpose, Evaluation, Methodology, or Motivation.


After bringing this up I did notice the exact replica's of theme and the character building dealing with the same subject matter. Now if I'm not mistaken, would it be correct to say this...

Say the OS is about an Activity, and when you enter the signpost of say "Obtaining" this brings up the characters "Motivation" section. It then leads us to the top left section of "Approach" and lists four elements involved. Would it then be advisable that the characters representing "Consider, Logic, Feeling and Reconsinder" should be present when touching up on this section of theme? That's in terms of the OS anyways.

If so, does the same thing apply if entering the MC, IC and MvI throughlines? Or should those area's be explored only by the specific characters involved?

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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby stephenbuck415 » Apr 26, 2012 8:53 pm

Hi Ruse.

Before I reply to your recent post, would you mind sharing your Story Engine settings?

If so, please go to Reports > drop down menu to Advanced Reports > Story Engine Settings, and export as plain text (the Vocabulary & Storytelling buttons should not be active).

If not, I understand, but it would allow me to follow along just a little bit easier than otherwise.
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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby SilentRuse » Apr 26, 2012 9:41 pm

STORY ENGINE SETTINGS: "The Elemental Chronicles"

CHARACTER DYNAMICS:
MC RESOLVE: Steadfast
MC GROWTH: Start
MC APPROACH: Be-er
MC PROBLEM-SOLVING STYLE: Intuitive
IC RESOLVE: Change

PLOT DYNAMICS:
DRIVER: Action
LIMIT: Optionlock
OUTCOME: Success
JUDGMENT: Good

IMPACT CHARACTER
(Raziya Lavonn)
THROUGHLINE: Situation
CONCERN: The Future
ISSUE: Delay vs. Choice
PROBLEM: Reconsider
SOLUTION: Consider
SYMPTOM: Faith
RESPONSE: Disbelief
UNIQUE ABILITY: Choice
CRITICAL FLAW: Attitude
BENCHMARK: The Present
SIGNPOST 1: The Past
SIGNPOST 2: How Things are Changing
SIGNPOST 3: The Future
SIGNPOST 4: The Present

MAIN VS. IMPACT STORY
(Turning The Lone Wolf Into Family)
THROUGHLINE: Manipulation
CONCERN: Changing One's Nature
ISSUE: Rationalization vs. Obligation
PROBLEM: Hinder
SOLUTION: Help
SYMPTOM: Logic
RESPONSE: Feeling
CATALYST: Responsibility
INHIBITOR: Denial
BENCHMARK: Conceiving an Idea
SIGNPOST 1: Developing a Plan
SIGNPOST 2: Playing a Role
SIGNPOST 3: Changing One's Nature
SIGNPOST 4: Conceiving an Idea

OVERALL STORY
(Completing The Arena)
THROUGHLINE: Activity
CONCERN: Obtaining
ISSUE: Approach vs. Attitude
PROBLEM: Reconsider
SOLUTION: Consider
SYMPTOM: Logic
RESPONSE: Feeling
CATALYST: Morality
INHIBITOR: Preconception
BENCHMARK: Gathering Information
SIGNPOST 1: Understanding
SIGNPOST 2: Doing
SIGNPOST 3: Obtaining
SIGNPOST 4: Gathering Information

MAIN CHARACTER
(Skye Highlander)
THROUGHLINE: Fixed Attitude
CONCERN: Innermost Desires
ISSUE: Hope vs. Dream
PROBLEM: Uncontrolled
SOLUTION: Control
SYMPTOM: Logic
RESPONSE: Feeling
UNIQUE ABILITY: Dream
CRITICAL FLAW: Obligation
BENCHMARK: Contemplation
SIGNPOST 1: Memories
SIGNPOST 2: Contemplation
SIGNPOST 3: Impulsive Responses
SIGNPOST 4: Innermost Desires

ADDITIONAL STORY POINTS

GOAL: Obtaining
CONSEQUENCE: Changing One's Nature
COST: The Future
DIVIDEND: Innermost Desires

REQUIREMENT: Gathering Information
PREREQUISITE: Conceiving an Idea
PRECONDITION: The Present
FOREWARNINGS: Contemplation

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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby stephenbuck415 » Apr 26, 2012 11:21 pm

Thank you, that allowed me to look at Dramatica windows while replying... plus do a few more things. I'm going to address one quote out of order from the original post, responding to it at the end of this post.

SilentRuse wrote:What's interesting about that method is that I was able to see my story from start to finish by starting there. I went through the original stage 3 story guide path and when I hit the throughlines I went through a loop because all the characters i created at first had a hard time fitting in.


I'm afraid the sarcasm in my writing voice did not transmit well... I usually start creating stories in the plot progression tool.

;-)


SilentRuse wrote:I have a tendency to "Start over" when things don't seem right (And by don't seem right, i mean passionate enough) and when I saw that area I decided "Why not create my story starting here?" And I was able to fill in all the posts to the best of my knowledge, and I was able to comprehend my story from start to finish while still finding places for all my characters when I couldn't using the story guide path.


That's generally my approach, too.


Notice in the Theme Browser that THE PAST and MEMORIES are diagonally opposed (THEME-BROWSER-03).

As long as quads are diagonal with one another on the grid, conflict is present, and that concept can be applied to every level of the grid. It's even in the Build Characters panel (BUILD-CHARACTERS-01).

I believe that the MC-SP1 Memories can be explored in OC-SP1 as long as THE PAST with its relationship to the OC is the emphasis, and that as you have already written, those memories introduce conflict.

If you are down to one storyform, then if you select an element in the Theme Browser, it will show you what aspect of the character needs to be explored: Purpose, Evaluation, Methodology, or Motivation.


SilentRuse wrote:After bringing this up I did notice the exact replica's of theme and the character building dealing with the same subject matter. Now if I'm not mistaken, would it be correct to say this...

Say the OS is about an Activity, and when you enter the signpost of say "Obtaining" this brings up the characters "Motivation" section. It then leads us to the top left section of "Approach" and lists four elements involved. Would it then be advisable that the characters representing "Consider, Logic, Feeling and Reconsider" should be present when touching up on this section of theme? That's in terms of the OS anyways.

If so, does the same thing apply if entering the MC, IC and MvI throughlines? Or should those area's be explored only by the specific characters involved?


I feel that you are grasping Dramatica Theory quite well, quite well above the average person I've met. So, that being said, in Dramatica Theory, "characters" are not what the average writer understands characters to be. In Dramatica Theory, "characters" are "functions". They are not individual people or things or animals that run about the story on the adventure. Characters are symbolic functions of points that need to happen in the story, and those things happen through the story "Players". Players are the individual people, things, and animals that run about the story.

With that in mind and with respect to the new terms just provided, the answer to your question is "probably".

I say probably because the Dramatica program seeks to provide a single storyform based on archetypes, and then allows the writer to "break its rules" by creating complex characters. Sometimes a character can have only one player, other times the character can have multiple players (but not in the same scene).

The character (function) in the scene will remain constant, but the players can come and go as the writer desires. If one player is fulfilling a function and then departs the scene, another player can come in and assume that same function.

Also, all of the functions are required only so far as fulling the requirements of a Grand Argument Story... but so much happens in a story that much of it is overwhelming (especially when it's written well because then the audience experiences the power of emotion created by the writer) and there are very few people in the audience who would say "gee, that scene didn't include the Consider element so it sucks because it's not a Grand Argument Story".


SilentRuse wrote:In a way I begin seeing it like this...
OS=All Characters
MC=Character A
IC=Character B
MvI=Character C vs D
Where character C is still A and D is still B BUT in terms of relationship.


I might be able to help you understand that a little bit more by sharing some things I learned from Armando Saldaña Mora in his book, Dramatica For Screenwriters ( http://www.dramatica.com/theory/armando/dfsindex.html )

In Chapter 2, The Overall Picture—The Difficult Decisions Of Storyforming, Armando suggests excellent writing formulas that can help define throughlines, character arcs, and even create synopses.

I've taken the details of your story engine settings and plugged them into most (if not all) of the formulas that Armando recommends. Using the BRIEF SYNOPSIS information provided as a global example of how to use this information, write one sentence for each line so that it creates a paragraph. Transform DRIVER and CONSEQUENCE into the opening sentence for the brief synopsis, and then the second sentence will be GOAL + REQUIREMENTS, the third FOREWARNINGS + LIMIT, and the closing sentence is DRIVER + OUTCOME. That paragraph then becomes the first draft of your brief synopsis. Apply the same concept to Plot Synopsis, Character Arc Synopsis, and the Throughline Summaries. Throughline Titles should not be a paragraph but only a simple title that describes their summaries (I know that's obvious but I felt compelled to mention it).

I feel that the differences in the OS, SS (Main vs. Impact), MC, and OC Summaries are more evident when they are combined with Armando's insight.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS
1st Sentence: Driver ( Action - Actions force decisions. ) + Consequence ( Changing One's Nature - "Character changes her essential nature while attempting to solve the problem. " )
2nd Sentence: Goal ( Obtaining - Achieving or possessing something. ) + Requirements ( Gathering Information - An emotional sense of how things are going. )
3rd Sentence: Forewarnings ( Contemplation - Weigh pros and cons. ) + Limit ( Optionlock - An indirect detraction from another's effort. )
4th Sentence: Driver ( Action - Actions force decisions. ) + Outcome ( Success - A plan to achieve one's purpose or a plan of response. )

PLOT SYNOPSIS
1st Sentence: Driver ( Action - Actions force decisions. ) + Consequence ( Changing One's Nature - "Character changes her essential nature while attempting to solve the problem." ) + Goal ( Obtaining - Achieving or possessing something. )
2nd Sentence: Requirements ( Gathering Information - An emotional sense of how things are going. ) + Limit ( Optionlock - An indirect detraction from another's effort. )
3rd Sentence: Forewarnings ( Contemplation - Weigh pros and cons. )
4th Sentence: Outcome ( Success - A plan to achieve one's purpose or a plan of response. )

THROUGHLINE TITLES
OS Throughline: Domain ( Activity - Actions force decisions. ) + Concern ( Obtaining - Achieving or possessing something. ) + Problem ( Reconsider - Thinking through again. )
SS Throughline: Domain ( Manipulation - A rational sense of how things are related. ) + Concern ( Changing One's Nature - "Character changes her essential nature while attempting to solve the problem." ) + Problem ( Hinder - Undermining another's effort. )
MC Throughline: Domain ( Fixed Attitude - An emotional sense of how things are going. ) + Concern ( Innermost Desires - A continuation of state or process. ) + Problem ( Uncontrolled - Basic drives and desires. )
OC Throughline: Domain ( Situation - A logistic assessment of one's environment. ) + Concern ( The Future - What will happen or will be. ) + Problem ( Reconsider - Thinking through again. )

CHARACTER ARC SYNOPSIS
1st Character Arc Synopsis: MC Crucial ( Logic - A rational sense of how things are related. ) + OC Crucial ( Feeling - An emotional sense of how things are going. )
2nd Character Arc Synopsis: MC Growth ( Start - Waiting for something to begin. )
3rd Character Arc Synopsis: MC Resolve ( Steadfast - Character ultimately retains her essential nature. ) + OC Resolve ( Change - An alteration of a state or process. )
4th Character Arc Synopsis: MC Judgment ( Good - Success in resolving his personal problems )

OS SUMMARY
1st OS Summary: Domain ( Activity - Actions force decisions. ) + Concern ( Obtaining - Achieving or possessing something. )
2nd OS Summary: Issue ( Approach - One's methodology of doing or being. ) + Counterpoint ( Attitude - Demeanor or outlook. )
3rd OS Summary: Focus ( Logic - A rational sense of how things are related. ) + Direction ( Feeling - An emotional sense of how things are going. )
4th OS Summary: Problem ( Reconsider - Thinking through again. ) + Solution ( Consider - Weigh pros and cons. )

SS SUMMARY
1st SS Summary: Domain ( Manipulation - A rational sense of how things are related. ) + Concern ( Changing One's Nature - "Character changes her essential nature while attempting to solve the problem." )
2nd SS Summary: Issue ( Rationalization - An alternative explanation used to mask the real reason. ) + Counterpoint ( Obligation - Accepting a task or situation in exchange for someone's earlier or potential favors. )
3rd SS Summary: Focus ( Logic - A rational sense of how things are related. ) + Direction ( Feeling - An emotional sense of how things are going. )
4th SS Summary: Problem ( Hinder - Undermining another's effort. ) + Solution ( Help - A direct assistance to another's effort. )

MC SUMMARY
1st MC Summary: Domain ( Fixed Attitude - An emotional sense of how things are going. ) + Concern ( Innermost Desires - A continuation of state or process. )
2nd MC Summary: Issue ( Hope - A desired future that falls within reasonable expectations. ) + Counterpoint ( Dream - A desired future that does not fall within reasonable expectations. )
3rd MC Summary: Focus ( Logic - A rational sense of how things are related. ) + Direction ( Feeling - An emotional sense of how things are going. )
4th MC Summary: Problem ( Uncontrolled - Basic drives and desires. ) + Solution ( Control - Directed, constrained. )

OC SUMMARY
1st OC Summary: Domain ( Situation - A logistic assessment of one's environment. ) + Concern ( Situation - A logistic assessment of one's environment. )
2nd OC Summary: Issue ( Delay - Putting off until later. ) + Counterpoint ( Choice - Making a decision. )
3rd OC Summary: Focus ( Faith - Accepting something as certain without proof. ) + Direction ( Disbelief - The belief that something is untrue. )
4th OC Summary: Problem ( Reconsider - Thinking through again. ) + Solution ( Consider - Weigh pros and cons. )
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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby SilentRuse » Apr 26, 2012 11:35 pm

I'll say this much, I definitely bookmarked that link.

It's late in the night where I'm at so I can't really conjure up a good response, but all this information, from when you first posted to this last segment you added has definitely increased both my knowledge of the dramatica program and my inspiration to write! I'm going to definitely plug in those concepts for each summary and work my way from there.

Question... Is there a place where writers share their complete/in progress work to be viewed and reviewed? Or is that just something that people do with people they are close with be it on this site or in their own personal life?

Until tomorrow, Ruse.

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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby stephenbuck415 » Apr 27, 2012 1:58 am

I need to add a disclaimer to the above bit I included using Armando's formulas... I didn't type that out manually, at least to get that result. I created a monstrously user-unfriendly spreadsheet with Dramatica definitions, mapped that to Theme Browser attributes, and mapped that to a sheet that includes all of Armando's formulas that pulls Story Engine settings from another sheet.

The spreadsheet is so large that sometimes it doesn't refresh properly, so your actual story settings and the definitions in the above may not be correct (please accept my apologies if so). The formula values are correct, but your details may not be. I neglected to double-check those values before including them in the above (again, that's my oversight and I apologize).


SilentRuse wrote:Question... Is there a place where writers share their complete/in progress work to be viewed and reviewed? Or is that just something that people do with people they are close with be it on this site or in their own personal life?


You might get a few different answers from others in the community (if they've read this far in the thread!).

If you are seeking a free (no cost to participate) community:

AbsoluteWrite.com has a forum area where any writing can be presented for constructive criticism and feedback from others, but a lot of writers have discovered that the morals of others are not at the same level, and their writing is frequently published independently by another forum member before they have the opportunity to publish it.

GoodReads.com is a very incestuous community that offers the same, and the same happens.

eFiction.com is a new indie fiction magazine (now with over 5,000 subscribers) that is subscriber driven. There is a Novel Editing section that a select few have access to where a novel can be posted for editing (in GoogleDocs) by other members of the community. eFiction is too new and too small right now to have had the trouble the two mentioned above have.

My personal opinion is that your best bet is to find a local writing group. Maybe try http://meetup.com and search for "writing group" or "shut up and write".

If money is not an object, then consider signing up for an online writing workshop through a major company.

Tracy Hickman's Scribesforge is new and growing http://www.scribesforge.com, and that's a safe place to get your work reviewed with and by others.

Gotham Writers http://www.writingclasses.com is an excellent choice, along with other companies such as:
Writers Digest http://www.writersonlineworkshops.com
The Writers Store http://www.writersstore.com/courses
Writers.com http://www.writers.com/

and maybe others can make other suggestions.
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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby JRH147 » Apr 27, 2012 8:51 am

Ruse --

You may also want to consider joining the Dramatica community on Google+. Melanie, one of the co-creators of the theory, posts frequently there and I know there are quite a few experienced users that would be happy to have you ask questions/circle them.

The Dramatica page on Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/107649769976249415734/107649769976249415734/

If you want to circle me, my page is at: http://jimhullpl.us

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Re: Main vs Impact Throughline

Postby SilentRuse » Apr 27, 2012 12:31 pm

I need to add a disclaimer to the above bit I included using Armando's formulas... I didn't type that out manually, at least to get that result. I created a monstrously user-unfriendly spreadsheet with Dramatica definitions, mapped that to Theme Browser attributes, and mapped that to a sheet that includes all of Armando's formulas that pulls Story Engine settings from another sheet.

The spreadsheet is so large that sometimes it doesn't refresh properly, so your actual story settings and the definitions in the above may not be correct (please accept my apologies if so). The formula values are correct, but your details may not be. I neglected to double-check those values before including them in the above (again, that's my oversight and I apologize).


No need for apologies even if it is off, the fact that you took the time to do it and re-post it is invaluable enough as it is. Chances are I'll look at the formula, apply it to my story (In all aspects) and see what I do and don't like (In terms of feel). Something I've been trying to aim for is Family for theme (So I would assume it's counterpoint would be... alone? Not sure yet) and so I've been trying to find the right theme that accents that purpose of "family". But again, thanks for that run down on his theory.

If you are seeking a free (no cost to participate) community:

AbsoluteWrite.com has a forum area where any writing can be presented for constructive criticism and feedback from others, but a lot of writers have discovered that the morals of others are not at the same level, and their writing is frequently published independently by another forum member before they have the opportunity to publish it.

GoodReads.com is a very incestuous community that offers the same, and the same happens.

eFiction.com is a new indie fiction magazine (now with over 5,000 subscribers) that is subscriber driven. There is a Novel Editing section that a select few have access to where a novel can be posted for editing (in GoogleDocs) by other members of the community. eFiction is too new and too small right now to have had the trouble the two mentioned above have.

My personal opinion is that your best bet is to find a local writing group. Maybe try http://meetup.com and search for "writing group" or "shut up and write".


Thanks for a lot of the links, I'm surprised not to see FictionPress.com in that list, as from what I believe it's a place in which you can upload various chapters of your work (So if you're not even finished with you're story, you can label it as "In progress") and the site even copyrights the work under your name (or at the very least your pen-name) so that no one can steal your work. At least, that's the impression I get. But I'm going to take it that under this site there's no area in which people go to to share their stories and such? If so that's not a big deal, I was simply curious and was interested to see what people thought of others works (I'm an addict to feedback.)

Speaking of which...

I really must thank you a thousand times over for the feedback you provide, not just because of the feedback itself, but because of the depth you add to it. You not only answer a question, but you also back it up with explanations and at times examples which for a writer like me is gold. I've been writing for I believe 6 years (Close to, started when I was 18) and only once did I ever get detailed feedback (From a reader, mind you) and it helped push me to write and focus on my work. The type of detail you add stirs the same creative mind within me so again, I thank you for that.

You may also want to consider joining the Dramatica community on Google+. Melanie, one of the co-creators of the theory, posts frequently there and I know there are quite a few experienced users that would be happy to have you ask questions/circle them.


I'll definitely have to check that out JR, I just have to check if I have a G+ account available to use or not. Thanks for all your input as well in this thread. The additions you have made have helped a tremendous bunch as well!


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