Continued Confusion about Character Element Matrix

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grgwrzbcki

Continued Confusion about Character Element Matrix

Postby grgwrzbcki » Jun 02, 2008 12:51 pm

I continue to struggle to grasp/appreciate the meaning of the relationships of the variable positions of the 64 elements in the character matrix. Intuitively I feel Dramatica offers much of value to my work. Yet, without appreciating what's going on behind the scenes, I find myself unable to trust the results that Dramatica helps to produce.

I recently discovered that changing the Overall Storyline in the Story Engine from Situation to Activity to Manipulation to Fixed Attitude produced a corresponding change to the array of elements in the Build Character window. I thought this was a major breakthrough in my understanding of the matrix -- one that permitted me to see the consistency between the theory in the Dramatica mp3 audio files on the website, the theory detailed in my vintage 1994 Dramatica text, and the help materials in the current Dramatica software.

However, while playing with characters in a Fixed Attitude Overall Storyline I noticed something inexplicable -- at least to me. With the OS set to Fixed Attitude each archetypical character distributes its 8 elements among 4 companion arrays of element quads (2 horizontal elements in each of 4 quads), instead of single elements in each of 8 quads (as is the case with each of Situation, Activity and Manipulation). Aren't companion arrays verboten w/r to archetypes? What might it mean that archetypical characters have companion elements in each of 4 quads?

Thanks.

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Continued Confusion about Character Element Matrix

Postby Chris Huntley » Jun 02, 2008 3:42 pm

SHORT ANSWER:

This is a feature, not a flaw. Though we recommend against selecting more than one element from a quad, the Fixed Attitude domain is the exception that proves the rule. I suggest looking at it this way:

It is unusual to have archetypal characters in stories whose Overall Story throughlines are in the Fixed Attitude domain.


LONG ANSWER:

The reason there are exceptions to rules grows from the fact that cetain assumptions provide the basis (context) for making meaningful statements, such as "Don't combine more than one element from a quad into a character." Whenever you make assumptions, you allow for a blind spot--an area outside of consideration. Occasionally, something falls within that blind spot. Since it cannot be seen directly (that's why it is called a blind spot), its manifestation appears paradoxical--something that cannot exist and yet does exist.

One assumption on which the Dramatica model is built is the dominance of the dynamic pair. Another assumption is the basis of the character Archetypes in dynamic pair relatoinships in the Activity domain. The paradox created by combining the two assumptions becomes visible when the co-dynamic pairs associated with each archetype in the Fixed Attitude domain occupy the same quad.

The different patterns within each class are understandable when you look at how the Dramatica structural model is built. The bottom level is where the elements from which you build your Overall Story characters are found. Unlike the top three levels, however, each item does NOT have its own unique label (e.g. Pursuit and Consider). There is one set (or what we call a "chess set") of 64 unique labels which cover all of the elements for a single Domain/Throughline. Dramatica consists of four Domains and the elements appear within each of these Domains. The DIFFERENCE between the elements of one Domain and another is the arrangement of the elements within the quads. Though a dynamic pair is never split (e.g. Pursuit and Avoidance), it will be paired with different dynamic pairs to make up each quad. The combination of the four elements within each quad is different from domain to domain. These combinations create slightly different contextual "flavors" for the elements which substitute for unique labels. Therefore, Pursuit in a Situation domain is subtly different than Pursuit in an Activity domain because of the shared elements of the quad in which it is found. (For the full text of this Dramatica tip, go to http://www.dramatica.com/theory/tip_of_ ... p0306.html .)


More on the mechanism of this is in another post in this forum: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=33

I suggest sticking with the short answer. :D
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VTFischwire
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Re: Continued Confusion about Character Element Matrix

Postby VTFischwire » Nov 19, 2009 11:50 am

This is like the fourth or fifth spammed message. Is there anyway to or anyone who can control this. It is more than a little frustrating.

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Re: Continued Confusion about Character Element Matrix

Postby Chris Huntley » Nov 23, 2009 11:23 am

I try to keep up with the spam but it keeps coming. The alternative is to force new users to request admittance before they are allowed to post, but I have always found that too great an inhibitor for people wishing to participate.

I will try to be more diligent with the SPAM cleanup.
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Re: Continued Confusion about Character Element Matrix

Postby jerryar » Nov 18, 2010 9:39 pm

I, too, am trying to figure out the levels and configurations in Dramatica Pro. The drawing of the rubics cube helped, because I relate to that. When you twist the rubics cube, you still have the same number of small cubes, but they work themselves into different positions.

I see 4 levels in the makeup - class, type, variations, and elements.

However, the elements, although they are the same 64, are manipulated differently for the different classes (also called domains and throughlines). But they are still the same 64 elements. The throughlines, types, and variations are all different, no repeats, but in the end, each throughline uses the basic 64 elements, in different combinations.

I don't know a lot about permutations, but I think there must be thousands of ways to combine these levels

The question I had was, do you have to use all 64 elements (and correspondingly, all 64 variations) when you create a novel or screenplay to create a full story? :?:


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