Blog Post

Comparing Story To Outer Space

Jun 2nd, 2017

The Genesis of a Story

Super genius Melanie Anne Phillips visualizes the process of creating a story out of base compounds and noble gasses:

Think of subject matter as the interstellar gas and material from which solar systems are formed.  This is the narrative space.  Just because you carve out a piece of this space – enclose a particular cloud of star stuff – does not create planets that orbit in understandable patterns.  The job of an author is to look into the nebulous nature of an area of subject matter – a particular historic event, an aspect of human nature – and to coalesce that material into a tale or a story.

Emphasis mine. This is where Dramatica comes in. Finding a great story idea is one thing, coalescing it into an actual story? Something entirely different.

A tale in a given narrative space would simply explore the subject matter and make a statement about it.  A story would transcend that and make the case for the best (or worst) of all possible ways to organize (or live through) that material.

Every complete and meaningful story is an argument . The Dramatica theory of story helps authors develop the argument of their story.

Often, to make a complete argument, we must exclude favorite subject matter pieces that would have to be ham-handedly crammed into our story and would never truly fit.  Further, we may have to include additional elements that really don’t inspire us, because if we went with only the parts we truly care about, our overall argument would be full of holes.

The first is the hardest when working with writers and producers; many find it damn near impossible to let go of their precious babies no matter how much their ugly faces ruin the family picture. The second is no less difficult, but takes considerable effort to communicate the reason why aliens deserve a seat at the Thanksgiving table.

Dramatica and Narrative First--uniting the universe one story at a time.