About Dramatica Vocabulary

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About Dramatica Vocabulary

Postby stephenbuck415 » Jul 13, 2011 3:22 am


I've been google'ing for explanations about why the original Dramatica terms are so complex, and for some of the reasons that caused the layman's terms to be introduced. I'm not finding all of the references that I've encountered in the past, but with respect to those references, I don't remember where I got the reasons that are on my mind as I've read so many articles and listened to so much lecture material by Chris and Melanie that everything is jumbled together at this point. So, I would like to ask:

Why were the Dramatica terms, Dramatica's vocabulary, created to be so complex and technical?

What factors caused the layman's terms to be introduced?


References to terms/vocabulary that I have found thus far include:


"You will not find terms on this chart like "love" or "greed." Although these concepts figure prominently in many discussions of theme, they are more descriptive of subject matter, rather than the perspectives one might take about that subject matter. For example, suppose we decide to write a story about love. All right, what kind of love? Brotherly love? Romantic love? Paternal, lustful, spiritual, or unrequited love? Clearly, love is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, love is shaded by the nature of the object that is loved."
- Phillips, Melanie Anne (2009). Dramatica: A New Theory of Story (p. 74). Write Brothers Press. Kindle Edition.

"It is not our purpose to force new, sterile and unfamiliar terminology on the writers of the world. It is our purpose to clarify."
- Phillips, Melanie Anne (2009). Dramatica: A New Theory of Story (p. 74). Write Brothers Press. Kindle Edition.
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Re: About Dramatica Vocabulary

Postby Chris Huntley » Jul 14, 2011 1:59 pm

Once Melanie and I created the structure of the Dramatica model of story structure, we needed to populate the positions with labels that approximated the concepts as closely as possible. Since the concepts in the model are abstract, we had to "translate" the concepts into words. The result is the original version of the labels. The terms proved to be difficult to learn, so our marketing department suggested making Dramatica more accessible by creating the "layman's" terms as an alternative to the original labels. The new (in the late 1990's) terms are the ones in v4.x of Dramatica Pro. They are easier to understand, but also limiting because the labels are a subset of the true definition. Most importantly, the item definitions are more important than the labels.

As far as Love, Hate, and all things of that nature go, the reason those terms are not in there is because the way we designed the structure was to be free of subject matter -- the topic(s) under examination. In that way, the structural model describes what to say ABOUT the subject matter. For example, if you are interested in Love, then look to the Variations to show the parameters of your exploration. This might be Love and the senses, or the falsehoods of Love, or Self-interested Love, or Love's desires, etc.
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.

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