Blog Post

Predictable Unpredictability In Story

Dec 21st, 2015

Praise and props for Dramatica. This one from a client engaged in our Dramatica® Guru Service. Recently we began an in-depth application of the Plot Sequence Report to his story. For those unaware, the PSR actually shows an Author what his or her story looks like from within the story--from the point-of-view of the characters themselves.

In this particular case, the author had already outlined a significant portion of his story before coming to work with us. We analyzed his work, spent some time fleshing out weak or missing Throughlines, and finally started up the Plot Sequence to see what we could find.

We were amazed to see that Dramatica had perfectly predicted a sequence of Knowledge for the Main Character smack dab in the middle of the story. The crazy part? This Author, by virtue of his own intuition, had already imagined a collection of scenes where his Main Character comes to know what is really going on in the story! Turns out his intuition and Dramatica were perfectly in sync. With this is mind, it was simply a matter of looking to the Plot Sequence to fill in the scattered holes in his outline. When finished we had an incredibly moving emotional journey for his Main Character.

As the Author put it:

that's great and illustrates one of the things I REALLY like about Dramatica so far. Whenever I've come up with something that I really liked and just felt right, it aligned with the model. And when I came up with ideas that felt fixed or lifeless, I didn't.

This is a fun game to play with Dramatica. Use it a bit, then don't use it. Put it away and just write from your gut. Then come back and look at the results from some of Dramatica's more predictive reports. You'll be surprised at how prescient an application can be about something that until now, was completely unpredictable.