Story Driver Confusion

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Story Driver Confusion

Postby Ultimist » Aug 09, 2013 6:10 pm

Hello all,

Rod Jones here, from the old and now defunct Dramatica Mailing List.

It's good to see a familiar name or two around here!

Anyway, my Dramatica woes have reduced over the years, but every once in a while I study one particular Dramatica term or story element far too in depth, and I get lost, lol..

My current dilemma is with the Story Driver.

I'm writing an activist article, hoping to inspire my readers to take action against a certain injustice. In this particular case I've made my readers the MC, and I am acting as the IC.

I've identified the readers I'd most like to inspire, as "Be-ers." I see them as people unwilling to act against the injustice, even though they are the actual victims of it. I want to create a grand argument in the hopes that I can open at least a few sets of eyes and hopefully show them that there are things they can do about their predicament.

So, if I'm correct and the people I wish to inspire are "Be-ers" my selection of story driver becomes somewhat important (at least to me). Dramatica says that be-ers are more comfortable making decisions than taking actions. The opposite is true for do-ers. But selecting the appropriate Story Driver in this case has me a bit confused.

If I select Action, it means that, in my article, actions tend to compel decisions. Yet, if I choose Action as the Driver for a Be-er MC, Dramatica says the MC is "Unwilling." I don't necessarily understand this, since be-ers are more comfortable making decisions. One would think that they would be more "unwilling" in a story where Decision was compelling them to act (Decision Driver). Why would a Be-er who prefers making decisions be uncomfortable when asked to make one?

I guess what I need is an easier way to look at it than simply boiling it down to actions forcing decisions or vice versa. I feel that my audience are primarily unwilling to act, and are more comfortable making decisions. I guess that doesn't mean they can't be inspired to act, but I'm hung up on what to choose in Dramatica so that my efforts to inspire action are the most effective. For some strange reason, it's hard enough convincing people to get up off their duffs to go do something that would improve their lives, so I'd like to make my article exactly what it needs to be to help in that regard.

So hopefully someone can lead me in the right direction, or perhaps someone can see where I've gotten lost, and lead me back to the light. I can't see why a be-er is identified as unwilling when be-er style responses is what an Action driver asks of them.

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Story Driver Confusion

Postby Chris Huntley » Aug 10, 2013 1:37 pm

Hi Rod. Great to 'see' you again.

IN THE CONTEXT OF PROBLEM-SOLVING, Be-ers are uncomfortable with action driven stories because their preferred method of solving problems does not have significant, course-changing effects. They are in a position of being reactive, not proactive -- or when they wish to be proactive, they must do so with a problem-solving technique outside of their comfort zone. Whenever you lose sight of how something works in Dramatica, always look back to the context within which the story point (appreciation) is meant to be considered.

In your activist article, it's important to remember that the OS throughline deals with the real world, so you'll have to take cues from the real world for determining an Action or Decision driver. You have the choice to frame it either way, but look to the events in the real world to act as the drivers (e.g. inciting event, act turns, etc.). For example, you could cite some action (something happened--"Wikileaks disclosure") as the inciting event for an Action driven story, or you could cite a decision or deliberation (a choice is made -- "Congress brings a bill up for discussion in the House of Representatives") as the inciting event for a Decision driven story.

Lastly, do not forget to identify/establish the Subjective Story relationship between you and your audience. This is where the heart -- the emotional center -- of your argument is found in your article.
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.

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