Blog Post

The Importance of a Storyform

Sep 6th, 2017

This week, I finish my series of articles on preparing your story for the Narrative First approach to Dramatica with the article Identifying the Storyform of a Complete Story. If you ever were confused or overwhelmed with where to begin, this series of articles–now entitled Preparing to Write a Complete Story–gives you a great place to start.

(Hint: I help you go through this process one-on-one in my Dramatica Mentorship Program)

I’m particularly excited about this last article about the Storyform. So many writers new to Dramatica and Narrative First mistake the storyform for what their characters experience, rather than what their story is about.

The storyform defines the edges of the indescribable conflict at the center of a narrative.

What the heck does that even mean?!

Conflict isn’t a thing–it’s the imbalance between things. Only, you can’t describe an imbalance–you kind of have to experience it.

It’s like a rose. If I asked you to describe for me how a rose smelled, you probably wouldn’t be able to answer. That’s because the smell of a rose is something you have to experience, not something you can teach or know.

Same thing with conflict.

Your story provides an experience of that conflict for your Audience. Those Four Throughlines that surround the conflict and approximate it for them? That’s giving your Audience a chance to experience the inequity from different points-of-views.

In some respects, the experience of your story is something the Audience could never find in their own lives.

And that makes telling a story something extraordinary.

The storyform of your story sets the stage for that experiential process. It’s not what your characters are going through or what situations they find themselves up against–the storyform explains the experience of conflict you want your Audience to entertain.

The moment you stop thinking of your story as this thing about real people and real situations is the moment your storytelling rises to another level.

Other Updates This Week

Orson Welles makes an appearance on the blog with his explanation of the storyform.

The LEGO Batman Movie makes fun of the classic “You and I” conversation between Main Character and Influence Character (video clip included!)

(I also dropped in a clip of Batman’s 2nd Signpost of the Future that I discussed in last week’s newsletter)

This week’s podcast: Episode 46: The Final Word on Captain America: Civil War closes out the discussion on that shielded goody-two-shoes while diving into an in-depth exploration of the storyform.

And the new Learn section on the site provides an easy point of entry for writers new to Dramatica and Narrative First. Stop by to learn a new concept of story, or simply search for something that has been on your mind.