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Saturday, December 19, 2009

The "Hinge" between Objective and Subjective Story Lines

A Dramatica user asked:

Hi Melanie,

First I'd like to say how fascinated I've been over the last 3 or 4 years I've been exposed to the Dramatica theory and software.

I would like your thoughts on a question concerning the "Problem" element in the Overall Throughline and the Main Character's Throughline. In my Storyform they are the same element, Avoidance. My thinking is that all of the overall characters (main character included) are facing a problem of either doing avoidance or being avoided with a particular issue and concern in their domain (going back up through the chess set). But isn't it true that the problem of avoidance for the Main Character in his/her throughline can be a different appreciation of avoidance?

For instance, if the overall characters are pirates and they're trying to avoid being captured. The main character, one of the overall pirates, can be trying to avoid a change in leadership in his personal story as well as avoiding capture along with the other pirates.

I'd love your opinion. As an interesting aside, I find myself comparing and contrasting other things unrelated to storytelling in the same quad type thinking that dramatica is based on.

Thank you much,


My reply:

Hi, Todd!

Thanks for all your kind words about Dramatica.

In fact, you have it absolutely right - depending on the dynamics, either the Main or Ostacle (impact) character will share an element with the objective story in every storyform. This is what creates a dramatic "hinge" between the objective and subjective stories. So, the ultimate decision of change or steadfast is both influenced by and influences the dynamics of the story as a whole.In this manner, success or failure will depend on change or steadfast and/or the reverse. In short, an interdepency.

Also, you are not the first to start using Dramatica in everyday life. The Story Mind wasn't invented by us, it coalesced as story structure as a by product of the effort to communicate across a medium from an author to an audience. Once discovered, it forms the most accurate "truth" of the manner in which our minds operate. By tuning our own inner mechanism to be in sync with this "ideal" we can most easily solve problems and maximize happiness.