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):
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.
(Images for THEME-BROWSER-04 and BUILD-CHARACTERS-01 are in the next post)