Blog Post

A Dramatica Storyform Describes What an Author Knows About a Story

Nov 21st, 2016

Dramatica story expert Mike Wollaeger on what a Dramatica storyform is:

The Storyform is what the author knows, not what the characters in the story know. So if they are trying to avoid intimacy, but you as an author are telling a story about finding intimacy, your goal is probably along those lines.

The original poster wondered what the Story Goal would be if the characters are trying to avoid what they secretly want. This is always the hardest thing for writers new to Dramatica to understand. The Story's Goal, the Story's Concern, the Story's Issue--these are the story's Goal, Concern, and Issue as seen by the Author.

The storyform represents what the Author is trying to communicate to the Audience.

Dramatica sets itself apart from all other paradigms of story by taking an objective look at a narrative. Hero's Journey, Save the Cat!, the Sequence Method, Bob's Twenty Five Ways to Write a Novel--these are all subjective Audience-based interpretations of the dynamics found within a narrative.

The problem with subjective interpretations of story is that they are, by definition, subjective--and open to all sorts of inaccuracies and biases. An objective view of narrative avoids opinion and preconception by telling it like it is--it might be harder to swallow and understand, but it is always accurate.