Blog Post

Creating Relevant Story Elements For Your Story

Mar 16th, 2016

In How to Weave Story Elements and Avoid Info Dumps author Jami Gold speaks of information and scenes relevant to the story:

Stories are information, so we obviously need to share it with readers. smile But how can we prevent the story from losing momentum while we share it? We should make the information…Relevant to the Story


How can one be absolutely sure their scenes or scenes are relevant to the story itself? One man's relevancy could be another man's exposition. The key to relevancy is to find the Dramatica storyform for that story and compare your story's events to that unique structure. With that in hand you can make sure that what you put in the story is relevant to what you are trying to say.

On the other hand, if we don’t include any backstory, our characters might lack context for their motivations. Backstory—what they’ve experienced and learned (for good or ill) about the world—is often the driving force behind why they do what they do.

This is the basis for justification within a character. This is where their Problem finds its roots. Backstory isn't a problem; backstory not connected to a meaningful argument within the storyform is.

Our scenes need to have more than one reason to exist. If they have just one purpose, they’re not working hard enough to justify themselves, and they might, in fact, be a tangent that takes away from the point of our story.

For s scene to have more than one reason to exist it should touch upon one or more of the four different Throughlines: Main Character, Influence Character, Relationship Story or Objective Story. Scenes can touch on one story point in one of these Throughlines or mix and weave in story points from several different ones. In Dramatica this is called a Multi-Appreciation Moment. The more story points you have in a scene, the more robust or important it will feel.

if a scene moves forward a reader’s understanding of the story, the pace remains solid because there’s a feeling of forward momentum being driven by an all-encompassing purpose. In other words, a scene with a purpose prevents readers from feeling that the pause button has been pushed. smile

That "all-encompassing purpose" is the Author's Intent; the Dramatica storyform and its seventy-plus story points support that purpose. Plot points, character goals, character development--these find greater accuracy within the Story Driver, the Main Character Concern, and the Main Character Growth and Resolve. Know your storyform and your scenes will be relevant.