Narrative First

where story is always king

catch up on the latest in story structure & narrative analysis

Writing a Scene with Subtext

Meaningful story structure accounts for the storyteller. If our understanding of psychology is correct and we see who we are, then a productive model of organized thought (structure) must consider the observer.

James R. Hull

How to Classify the Atomic Elements of Story Structure

Effective story structure is more than an outline of what happens. For the order to mean something beyond the superficial, it must communicate something intrinsic to both the order and relationship between individual Storybeats.

James R. Hull

Understanding the Purpose of Backstory

After twenty years in the animation industry and five more helping writers 1-on-1 develop their stories, one thing is clear--writers will do anything to avoid writing real conflict.

James R. Hull

The Influence Character is Not a Character

Too many writers new to Dramatica and Subtext write the Influence Character Throughline as if the Main Character in their story.

James R. Hull

The Confirmation Bias of Pattern Matching

Many paradigms of story structure look at stories and identify common patterns. The Dramatica theory of story runs against the grain by looking to the psychological concept first and then looking to published works for confirmation.

James R. Hull

Intuition: Trusting The Intelligence Within

A recent discussion in the Discuss Dramatica forums illuminates the unfortunate consequence of a deductive mindset.

James R. Hull

The Deduction Trap

As a theory of story, Dramatica tends to attract scientists and mathematicians. With its claims of connections to General Relativity and its discovery of "Quad"-ronometry, many find themselves compelled to strike down any claims of viability.

James R. Hull

The Mathematical Balance Between Logic and Emotion

The quest for perfect story structure often leads one to lean heavily upon scientific method. Deduction and definitions set stable ground for those uneasy beneath the umbrella of their own subjectivity.

James R. Hull

Finding the Source of Conflict in Your Story

The most challenging thing about writing a story is making choices. You can't write everything in your head and hope it all works out in the end.

James R. Hull