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Dramatica &





A step by step approach to story development, from concept to completed story for your novel or screenplay. More than 200 interactive Story Cards guide you through the entire process.

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Dramatica Pro 4.0<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

The most powerful story structuring software available, Dramatica is driven by a patented "Story Engine" that cross-references your dramatic choices to ensure a perfect structure.

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Movie Magic Screenwriter


Movie Magic Screenwriter<br>Plus FREE Bonus!

The most advanced screenwriting software available, Movie Magic is deemed a "preferred file format" by the Writer's Guild. An industry standard, MMS is used by professionals and studios around the world.

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Throughline Index Cards


Interactive index cards - Name them, add notes, titles, colors, click and drag to re-arrange, adjust font, save, export and print. An essential tool for every writer.


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The Answer to
All Your Troubles (Part 1)

by Armando Saldaña Mora

This is a long article, but I think it'll be worth it.

I've noticed two recurrent problems on Dramatica writers: 1) The "I'm encoding the same scene/information over and over in all the throughlines" syndrome. 2) The "I always fold a storyweaving" syndrome.

I know that well because I had those two problems myself. Here are the symptoms:

Let me show you the problem in vitro, let's say that I'm writing a story about a deformed child who is neglected by his father, in which Young Jed (the deformed child) is Protagonist and Main Character and Old Abraham is Contagonist and Obstacle Character. Now here comes the problem, I used to encode things like: - OS Signpost 3: Conscious. "Abraham makes Jed conscious that he doesn't loves him" - MC Signpost 3: Understanding. "Jed understands that Abraham doesn't loves him" - OC Signpost 3: Being. "Abraham stops pretending that he loves Jed in order to make him know so" - SS Signpost 3: Future. "Abraham and Jed now know that ther won't be any love in their future"

Now, I went to storyweaving and only then I realized that that was the same darn* scene written four times!

Why did that happened? Because I started writing with some ideas about the story and when I started encoding I only stuck to my original ideas, and didn't create new ones to flesh my storyforming appreciations in a dramatic and interesting way.

Now here's the cure, step by step:

1. make a complete tale about each throughline. Go to the Reports section, look at the Story Engine Settings report and look at each throughline Domain, Concern and Problem. It looks like this: OS: Mind, Preconscious, Effect. MC: Physics, Doing, Effect. OC: Psychology, Being, Result. SS: Universe, Progress, Accurate.

That is to say that your MC tale is about a character who is trying to change a negative effect by doing something. And your OS tale is about some characters that are fixed on the unthinking reactions something causes them and have problems with the effect this causes. (NOTE: On the OS Throughline you'll have to define your Objective Characters into a group. Go to the Story Info Window and look at the Period and Place fields. Are your Objective Characters a community? A working group like a police force? People find at random that shares the same fate, like in a Vonnegut novel? Your Objective Character group definition could be as broad as America or as the Milky Way, but the more precise, the better for you)

Going back to our example, Our OS tale could be encoded as "A mid-America small town community that has problems in accepting a deformed boy because they can't help the repulsive reaction his looks causes them" And our MC tale is about "A deformed child that's triying to overcome the effect he causes on people through an activity" let's give him something more "he has an incredible talent to play the violin. His violin playing has an incredible effect om people that makes them forget the boys physicality" (NOTE: Even though the OS problem and the MC problem are the same "Effect" try and encode them differently. One is a effect of repulsion, the other is an effect of atraction. Do this every time you have the same element in different appreciations) Our OC tale is about a "Stepfather who used to be an alcoholic and after his only son was born deformed (let's give him more) and his wife died in the delivery room, he became sober. But since his quitting didn't fixed his boy and didn't bring back his wife, (and he doesn't have the consolation of alcohol anymore) the man blames himself for all the misfortune and isn't able to accept his son love." Finally our SS tale is about "A father and son who isolate themselves from the outside world, more and more each time, until the moment they became misfits, not accurate enough to be sociable accepted, so they have to turn to each other"

Having worked on your throughline tales your appreciations have much more room to grow, but still beware: the idea inertia can get you to encode appreciations with the same ideas over and over. When this happens, go back and change them! think hard "How can I make another use of "Understanding"? The boy can't understand? He misunderstood the other character words? He tries to make everyone understand how it feels?..."

And then, be creative! Don't be bullied by the software to beleive that you must give an exact answer like if you're working with Microsoft Excel. You are writing! and when encoding don't think on terms of black and white. My rule of thumb is "The appreciation says "Understanding", if my encoding idea just feels like "Understanding" (even if I didn't use the word "understand" anywhere) I go for it!

So using all this**: - OS Signpost 3: Conscious. "Jed decides to give a public violin performance. He goes to the church with his violin without even consulting the preacher. After the service, when the people is getting up he shouts 'Wait, I wanna play for you!' and drags himself to the stand. Everyone lowers their sight. Jed takes his violin but before playing a single note he hears a little girl saying ''why is he so ugly, mommy, did he sinned a lot? Jed freezes. He takes down his violin and goes home." - SS Signpost 3: Future. "Abraham is in his living room, he never goes to church. Jed arrives home. His father looks at him coldly and says 'I heard you made a fool of yourself today at church. Now you'll have to spend the sundays in here with me... just what I needed' And goes into his room" - MC Signpost 3: Understanding. "Jed doesn't wants to understand the community rejection, his father rejection. He tries to escape the pain. Once more he goes into the attic to play his violin for 12 hours or more, uninterrupted" - OC Signpost 3: Being. "Abraham hears the violin and gets furious. He plans to go to the attic and shout the kid to shut up, but while going up the stairs Jed's music works his magic. Abraham sighs and began to cry. Abraham reaches something inside of him. He spends all night sitting in the hallway under the attic trap door, hearing his son playing. Crying in silence"

Now, that works a lot better.


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About Dramatica and StoryWeaver

What They Do

Dramatica is a tool to help you build a perfect story structure.  StoryWeaver is a tool to help you build your story's world.

Dramatica focuses on the underlying logic of your story, making sure there are no holes or inconsistencies. 

StoryWeaver focuses on the creative process, boosting your inspiration and guiding it to add depth, detail and passion  to your story.

How They Do It

Dramatica has the world's only patented interactive Story Engine™ which cross-references your answers to questions about your dramatic intent, then finds any weaknesses in your structure and even suggests the best ways to strengthen them.

StoryWeaver uses a revolutionary new creative format as you follow more than 200 Story Cards™ step by step through the story development process.  You'll design the people who'll inhabit your story's world, what happens to them, and what it all means.

How They Work Alone

By itself Dramatica appeals to structural writers who like to work out all the details of their stories logically before they write a word.

By itself, StoryWeaver appeals to intuitive writers who like to follow their Muse and develop their stories as they go.

How They Work Together

But, the finished work of a structural writer can often lack passion, which is where StoryWeaver can help.  And the finished work of an intuitive writer can often lack direction, which is where Dramatica can help.

So, while each kind of writer will find one program or the other the most initially appealing, both kinds of writers can benefit from both programs.

Try Either Program Risk Free!

We have a 90 Day Return Policy here at Storymind.  Try either or both of these products and if you aren't completely satisfied we'll cheerfully refund your purchase price.

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