motormind wrote:I have been reading about the techniques of Dwight Swain, in which he talks about setting up a Scene, which is followed by a Sequel, in which characters respond to what happened in the Scene. How does this relate to Dramatica?
I had very similar struggles while attempting to understand Dramatica Theory. When I first began to study Dramatica I didn't get it, at all, so I studied other story writing techniques. Later, I returned to Dramatica, didn't get it, and then went on to study other techniques. I continued that process for a good 5 years, and then I suddenly "got it" and the glass barrier preventing my full understanding was shattered—but there was still a shard of glass remaining that I couldn't figure out. The barrier of my misunderstanding was only mostly broken, until one day I had a conversation with the StoryFanatic, Jim Hull.
I was seeking stories that had been created through Dramatica so that I could do an analysis and better my understanding of the theory, and remove that tiny shard of glass that represented what I didn't understand about the theory. Jim told me that it was going to be very difficult to find stories with a perfect storyform, and that I should use Dramatica to look at the story rather than try to get the story to fit to Dramatica.
The result of that conversation was somewhere between a brick shattering that tiny shard of glass into atoms and one of Homer Simpson's "DOH!" moments.
All of that time I had been looking at Dramatica from the outside, trying to understand it through my understanding of other story writing techniques, and that was the mistake. I needed to be looking at everything else through the lens of Dramatica, through the Story Mind.
If I try to apply Dwight's story writing techniques to Dramatica, I will fail because that is a system of "techniques" to write a story.
In comparison, Dramatica is a theory of concepts and symbols necessary to develop a Grand Argument Story (definition provided below).
Looking at Dramatica through Dwight's system is like comparing a Snicker's bar to an organic orange.
The core structure of Dramatica is based on a system of external states and internal processes shown in the Dramatica Table of Story Elements and illustrated in the Dramatica Charts (http://www.dramatica.com/community/resources/resources/downloads.html )
The four Classes of Dramatica are made of up of:
Universe – External State
Physics – External Processes
Psychology – Internal Processes
Mind – Internal States
Those classes are sub-divided into Types of problems, Variations of those problems, and Elements that make up those variations.
That being said, Dwight says Scenes include a Goal, Conflict, and Disaster, and Sequels include a Reaction, Dilemma, and Decision.
Scenes are External.
Sequels are Internal.
That's the extent to which Dwight's story writing techniques applies to Dramatica.
If we look at Dwight's system through Dramatica, a great deal of additional insight about the story can be determined and then applied using his approach.
Scenes are external, so we can look to Universe and Physics to find types, variations, and elements of story that affect the characters externally.
Sequels are internal, so we can look to Psychology and Mind to find types, variations, and elements of story that affect the characters internally.
motormind wrote: For instance, should some of the "28 magical scenes" be Scenes and other ones Sequels? Or is a "magical scene" a mix of those two, so you get 28 Scenes followed by a Sequel each?
I think that the confusion here is caused by the two systems using different definitions of the word "scene".
Grand Argument Story (GAS) -- [Dramatica Term] -- A story that illustrates all four throughlines (Overall Story, Main vs. Impact Story, Main Character, and Impact Character) in their every story point so that no holes are left in either the passionate or dispassionate arguments of that story -- A Grand Argument Story covers all the bases so that it cannot be disproved. From the perspective that it creates, it is right. There are four views in a complete story which look at all the possible ways the story could be resolved from all the possible perspectives allowed; these are represented by the perspectives created by matching the four Throughlines with the four Classes(the Overall Story, Main vs. Impact Story, Main Character, and Impact Character Throughlines matched up with the Classes of Situation (Universe), Activities (Physics), Manipulation (Psychology), and Fixed Attitudes (Mind) to create the four perspectives of the particular story they are operating in). Every complete storyform explores each of these perspectives entirely so that their views of the story's problem are consistent and that they arrive at the only solution that could possibly work, allowing the givens built into the story from the start. When this is done, a Grand Argument has been made and there is no disproving it on its own terms. You may disagree with they story's givens, but as an argument it has no holes.
Scene• [Storyweaving] -- A temporal unit of dramatic construction usually employed in Plays, Screenplays, and Teleplays. -- Although there is some variation, Scene is usually defined as all of the dramatic events which occur in a single place and time until either place or time changes. In Screenplays and Teleplays, Scenes are numbered in the original draft sequentially according to every change in location or time. For example, each scene would begin with the format, INT or EXT (for Interior or Exterior) followed by the location's name, such as JOE'S GARAGE. The final information is the time, which in Screenplays is usually limited to DAY or NIGHT, although other variations occur if absolutely necessary to convey specifics. Most Stage Plays are divided into Acts, which represent complete dramatic movements in the overall story. Each Act is usually sub-divided into two or three Scenes, which are identified as all the action and dialog which takes place in a single location and time. So, Act 1, Scene 2 might be: Joe's Garage ~ later that evening. A less common usage of "Scene" is as a unit representing a complete dramatic movement, such as an argument that begins, develops, and resolves. Although in a dramatic sense this is a useful application of the word, in practice, complete dramatic movements are often segmented and intermixed for storytelling purposes to create parallel action, delayed payoffs, and many other interest generating techniques. In keeping with the most common definition, Dramatica uses "Scene" to mean everything that takes place consecutively in a single place and time.