Need Help Selecting Options

Discuss the practical use of Dramatica. Have questions about how throughlines should be used, how to create Complex Characters or even the various combinations of the 12 Essential Questions and how they will affect your story go here.
Sahariel
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Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Sahariel » Aug 04, 2009 5:09 pm

I am trying to decide on which options to select. The query is as follows:

Manhattan has been sealed by the New York Guard due to a demon outbreak, and it will be seven days before the whole capital is wiped out. Damon, whom is forced to become a half-demon, forms contracts with demons to survive as the city begins to merge with the realm of the dead.

Helpless as the world is stained repeatedly in blood, he learns from his teacher and mentor Ms. Chloe that the world is returning to it's "fetal stage" to be reborn. For the new world to be created, one must hold a powerful inner philosophy that encompasses a set of natural laws that the new world is to be based on. For demons and angels, beasts and deities alike are forbidden to form a philosophy apart from what humans have bestowed upon them due to the fact that their consciences where imprinted by mass belief and unnatural, most ally or are forced to ally with the human who shares their philosophy.

The crux of the story revolves around the rebirth of the world and people can be twisted when they are presented with power and ambition. No other creature lives in such fantasy of self-importance or false ego.

I am unsure of what should be the OS Concern and some of the other options. The Future is clearly part of it, but most of the characters become dead set on achieving their ideal worlds. What would be some good options to pick early on that fits this query? Let me know if I am not clear and you need clarification.

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Chris Huntley » Aug 19, 2009 8:37 am

Your story is general enough that it could be about anything, storyform-wise. You've got your subject matter and genre elements chosen. The question is:

-- What is your story's goal? The real one, not an apparent one.

To pick a domain for your Overall Story throughline, see if you can answer these two questions:

-- Is the conflict in the Overall Story external or internal in nature? Does it come from the outside or inside for everyone in the story?

-- Does the conflict come from everything being stuck that needs to be unstuck, or from an out-of-control process that needs to be brought to a halt?

Based on your answers to those two questions, here are your likely choices for Overall Story throughline:

-- External/Stuck = Situation

-- External/Out-of-control = Activity

-- Internal/Stuck = Fixed Attitude

-- Internal/Out-of-control = Manipulation

I hope this helps.
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Sahariel
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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Sahariel » Sep 02, 2009 2:44 pm

Goal: To survive the chaos and to bring a new ideal world in accordance to their own beliefs.

It's focused in a war between Heaven and Hell reaching it's climax so it's external and Damon wishes to end it so that pretty much narrows down the OS thought line. Any other tips?

Sahariel
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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Sahariel » Sep 05, 2009 12:47 am

I have Activity selected for OS Thoughtline and Fixed Attitude for MS Thoughtline. Now I am trying to narrow everything down else down. The Build section of the program has me deeply confused due to it's ambiguity. Right now, I am trying to decide on the options for my main character in build as well as in the Story Engine.

I plan to have a great deal of characters.

Here's some general stuff about Damon, my main character:

Strengths: Determined, forceful, emotional, intuitive, powerful, passionate

Flaws: Inferiority complex, jealousy, resentful, compulsive, obsessive, secretive, obstinate



* LIKES Truth
* Hidden Causes
* Being involved
* Work That is Meaningful
* Being Persuasive

* DISLIKES Being Given Only Surface data
* Taken Advantage of
* Demeaning Jobs
* Shallow Relationships
* Flattery and Flattering



Each of the primary characters goals or ideals for the new world. There are more, but if I have to pick just sixteen as to who would be the most important, it would be these:

Damon –Bring back the old world

Ella– Despite her scathing criticism, wants to save humanity and break free from YHWH’s grasp. She is Inanna, the Mesopotamian deity of fertility. Also wishes to resurrect her father, Sin.

Louis – Revenge against God and the Angels. Wishes to resurrect and unite the olden gods to stage war against YHWH and build a new home for the demons of Hell. As Louis, was Damon’s best friend?

Kieran – Cares not about the world. Only cares for earthly desires such as sex. He obeys Metatron as he permits him women but longs for Ninlil (Nina). Has a small cult in which he has built a harem of women from ages 10 to 25.

Abigail –Absolute order under God. Unites people under her families’ advocacy group and megachurch. Desires absolute rule over the three realms and the elimination of all political opponents, more so than the others. Leads under “prototype” Thousand Year Kingdom on Earth.

Lily – Submits to her brother Mark.

Marduk – Nihilistic. Believes the passions of humanity must be vanquished. With help, brings demons into the world. Leader of demons, despite him being human, who wish to purge humanity entirely.

Alex – Serves under Abigail for security, safety, and stability.

Veronica – Member of Marduk’s cult. Damon’s older sister.

Nell – Resurrection of her status as a deity (An. Revenge against God and the Angels as well as Enki (Kieran). Resurrection of her offspring.

Abraham – Wants the entire world united under his cult to gain wealth and power. Similar to L. Ron Hubbard. Desires private army of demons.

Mark - World of solitude and isolation based on Rene Descartes’ view on solipsism.

Jacob – Son of Abraham. World based on Social Darwinism. Believes the world is too cluttered with “unnecessary parts”.

Hayden – War veteran, runs failing private Computer Service Company. Wants to bring back the old world, believing that is what his dead wife (who worked under Marduk to bring the demons into the world) would want.

Henry Bartlett – Obsessed with truth. Knowledge becomes everything to him and pursues it relentlessly.

Metatron –Secondary ruler over all of Heaven and the voice of YHWH. Believes the world must be cleansed of “impurities”. Was once Enoch. Under orders from YHWH, sent his angels to “push” Abraham and Marduk towards insanity.

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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Chris Huntley » Sep 18, 2009 10:13 am

Personally, I suggest ignoring the build character process. Your characters seem rich, and I think you have many of the necessary elements all ready built in.

For example, Damon wants to "bring back the old world," which suggests inertia ("Put things back to the way they were") to me. It could also suggest the opposite (Change) if the point of reference is that the current world is the established norm.

I think you will only need to look to the character elements for characters that DO NOT seem to be more than window dressing. Assigning character elements to the characters gives them a reason to be in the story. If you feel they lack that "weight" or connection in the story, then assign them something that seems to fit logically.

Be sure to give extra emphasis to your main character and impact character. They each have their own throughlines, PLUS a throughline for their relationship, as well as participants with the other characters in the overall story throughline.
Chris Huntley
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Sahariel
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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Sahariel » Sep 21, 2009 8:55 am

Any tips on what to use as the OS Concern?

The Future?
Obtaining?
Understanding?
Gathering Information?
How Things Are Changing?

A lot of this feels awfully complex to me.

Sahariel
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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Sahariel » Sep 25, 2009 2:03 am

When you suggested Inertia or Change, is that for the MC Problem/Solution?

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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Chris Huntley » Oct 06, 2009 11:20 am

No, since the characters you describe are in the Overall Story throughline my suggestion was with regard to the Overall Story Problem/Solution.

If it was the Main Character problem/solution, then Change/Inertia would be part of his personal issues.
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Sahariel
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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Sahariel » Oct 07, 2009 12:47 am

Okay, I want Damon's critical flaw to be him either not thinking of the consequences of his actions or the obsessive desire for demonic power to protect others. Are Consider and Desire the best fits for those or do you have something else in mind?

If I start with Inertia/Change for problem/solution, I am stick with The Past, Understanding, Memories, and Developing a Plan. I don't feel either of these to be a good fit for the story. I could see Understanding may work, but I don't know.

I have multitudes of characters all with their own individual goals. No matter how hard I try, I can't decide one one main area of concern.

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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby Chris Huntley » Oct 29, 2009 2:01 pm

You are at two divergent paths.

ONE: Put Dramatica aside, go with you gut and intuition and write it the way that it seems to be leading you. You can always go back to Dramatica if you get stuck.

TWO: Pick the story points that are most important to you -- first. Then let Dramatica help you fill in the rest.

There are many reasons why you are stuck, the most likely reasons being that you are in the development phase of your story and you don't know it well enough to make some of the storyforming choices, your work has more than one story going on and each needs to be identified searately in order to weave them together successfully, or one or more choices you have made aren't consistent with the rest of the story you have in mind. There are other reasons as well, but those are the most likely culprits.
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gastongreve
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Re: Need Help Selecting Options

Postby gastongreve » Mar 26, 2010 4:45 am

Thanks to this thread. It helped me.
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