Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

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prodos
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Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

Postby prodos » Jun 27, 2008 2:51 am

Greetings.

On page 151 of the Dramatica (10th edition) book it says:

Twenty-four scenes are required for a complete Grand Argument Story.


On page 263 it says:

... we could order all the Signposts and Journeys for all four throughlines until we set up a Storyweaving sequence for all twenty-eight scenes.


Why is there a difference in the number of scenes specified?

Thanks for your assistance.

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Re: Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

Postby Chris Huntley » Jun 27, 2008 9:40 am

Here are two Dramatica tips that address your questions about scenes:

More On Creating Scenes
http://www.dramatica.com/theory/tip_of_month/tips/tip0308.html

Signposts and Scenes
http://www.dramatica.com/theory/tip_of_month/tips/tip0108.html

If you still have any questions after looking at these, I'm happy to address them.
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.
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http://screenplay.com/

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Re: Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

Postby prodos » Jun 28, 2008 7:03 am

Thanks Chris for those two links. I found them helpful.

However, is it the case that ...
Twenty-four scenes are required for a complete Grand Argument Story.


If so, why is that?

I'm having difficulty finding the explanation within the Dramatica book (even though it's probably staring me in the face.)

Thanks. :)

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Re: Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

Postby Chris Huntley » Jul 01, 2008 5:24 pm

The plot scenes number 28 comes from four signposts plus three journeys in each of the four throughlines ((4+3) x 4 = 28). The theme scenes number 24 comes from the six combinations of themes (varations) in each of the four throughlines (6 x 4 = 24). In both cases, scenes are created by limiting each scene to either a plot or theme exploration.

The concept is that you should explore all areas of a storyform to make a grand argument. The practicality is that a story rarely is explored in such a simple fashion. Scenes most often are multi-layered and contain parts of story points, such as the Main Character Signpost 1 explored over the course of several scenes instead of just one.
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Re: Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

Postby prodos » Jul 03, 2008 4:30 am

Thanks for the notes Chris.

Chris Huntley wrote:The plot scenes number 28 comes from four signposts plus three journeys in each of the four throughlines ((4+3) x 4 = 28).


Sure, I follow that.

Chris Huntley wrote:The theme scenes number 24 comes from the six combinations of themes (varations) in each of the four throughlines (6 x 4 = 24). In both cases, scenes are created by limiting each scene to either a plot or theme exploration.


I don't quite understand this.

I'm finding it difficult to follow without examples and/or diagrams and/or detailed notes.

Is all this explained in the Dramatica (10th Edition) book? I have the book.

I've spent several hours browsing the Dramatica site to find examples of the "24" being explained, but so far without success.

Chris Huntley wrote:The concept is that you should explore all areas of a storyform to make a grand argument. The practicality is that a story rarely is explored in such a simple fashion. Scenes most often are multi-layered and contain parts of story points, such as the Main Character Signpost 1 explored over the course of several scenes instead of just one.


Okay. That's helpful to know.

I think I'll just go ahead and use the ...

(4 signposts + 3 Journeys) X 4 Throughlines = 28 Scenes

... approach as a starting point. Then just "go with the flow" for a while - working it all out the way that feels right.

I've got my Story Engine settings bedded down (with help from Armando), and by this stage I'm way overloaded on Theory.

Time to move on!

I'll do a deeper Dramatica Treatment when I work on the next episode of this series of tales.

Thanks.

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Re: Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

Postby Chris Huntley » Jul 07, 2008 9:24 am

Chris Huntley wrote:
The theme scenes number 24 comes from the six combinations of themes (varations) in each of the four throughlines (6 x 4 = 24). In both cases, scenes are created by limiting each scene to either a plot or theme exploration.


When you have a quad of four items, there are three ways to pair items in the quad. You can pair items horizontally, which we call companion pairs, vertically, which we call dependent pairs, or diagonally, which we call dynamic pairs. Since there are two pairs in each quad, you end up with six combinations (2 pairs x 3 types of pairs = 6 combinations).

Since theme is often explored in the quad that contains the thematic issue, the exploration of the six combinations of that quad fully explores the theme within that limited context.

For example:

A B
C D

The combinations are: A/B and C/D (companion pairs), A/C and B/D (dependent pairs), and A/D and B/C (dynamic Pairs). Note: this is an arbitrary ordering.

Convert that to a real Dramatica quad and you'd end up with the following comparisons:

Approach vs. Self Interest
Morality vs. Attitude
Approach vs. Morality
Self Interest vs. Attitude
Approach vs. Attitude
Self Interest vs. Morality

And this would represent the thematic exploration of just ONE of the four throughlines. Multiply these six thematic comparisons times the four throughlines and you have your 24 thematic scenes (6 x 4 = 24).
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Re: Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

Postby prodos » Jul 12, 2008 3:23 am

Chris Huntley wrote:
[ ... ]

Convert that to a real Dramatica quad and you'd end up with the following comparisons:

Approach vs. Self Interest
Morality vs. Attitude
Approach vs. Morality
Self Interest vs. Attitude
Approach vs. Attitude
Self Interest vs. Morality

And this would represent the thematic exploration of just ONE of the four throughlines. Multiply these six thematic comparisons times the four throughlines and you have your 24 thematic scenes (6 x 4 = 24).


Thanks Chris.

That clears up the "24" question for me very nicely. :)

Sephtopher

Re: Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

Postby Sephtopher » Jul 15, 2009 3:37 pm

So, with regard to the topic question, the answer is either/or? Or... ?

...

Forgive me, I'm very new to this, and my head is spinning :P.

Also, do you apply the same logic (exploring all the combinations) the next level down?

For example;

"Approach vs. Self Interest
Morality vs. Attitude
Approach vs. Morality
Self Interest vs. Attitude
Approach vs. Attitude
Self Interest vs. Morality"

Approach shows up three times... all 3 times, do I need to explore;

Logic vs Feeling
Logic vs Reconsider
Logic vs Consider
Reconsider vs Feeling
Reconsider vs Consider
Feeling vs Consider

?

That seems like it could get messy...

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Re: Is the minimum number of scenes 24 or 28?

Postby Chris Huntley » Jul 20, 2009 8:13 pm

Frankly, I wouldn't explore the elements that way in particular, but you can.

I suggest having your objective characters in the overall story throughline interact as you would real people. Inform your understanding of the characters by the elements they contain, but don't be slavish to it. If you need to give a character business, or understand what kind of argument they would make, refer to the elements they contain for guidance.
Chris Huntley
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