1.2 A Tale is a Statement
Imagine the very first storyteller, maybe a caveman sitting around a
campfire. Perhaps the very first communication was not really a story but just
a physical need, like this caveman was hungry so he rubbed his stomach and he
pointed at his mouth, and he said ‘ah-hah’. In addition to making an idiot
of himself, he also might have communicated. He might have let the other
cavemen around the campfire know that he was hungry, and why, because they
would look at him and they look themselves; they’ve got two arms, he’s got
two arms, and he looks like they look and they see him doing things physically
and they think to themselves, ‘if I did those things, what would that mean
to me?’, and they ‘decode’ his ‘encoding’, his symbolism, and they
say, ‘well if I was doing that it would mean that I was hungry’ and they
get his message, because there is a basic underlying similarity between the
Later on, we will talk about how the Story Mind works because all of us
have the same basic operating system; it’s just our experiences that are
different. And because we have the same operating system it forms a
carrier wave so that when we communicate and see in the Story Mind anything
that’s the same as the operating system we can pull that out and get the
information that was attached to that carrier wave which is the storytelling,
Now this caveman communicates that way. After awhile he gets a little more
sophisticated he is able to do such things as describe a linear series of
experiences. Perhaps he wants to describe how to get to a place where there
are berries or how to avoid a place where there are bears. Well he might say
(with hand gestures) that he went down by the river and then he went over the
hill and then he found these berries perhaps it took him several days to go
from one place to another. Some sign language is complex; some is a lot easier
to understand but it’s usually based on a representation of visual things
that you find in the real world.
Eventually he is able to string a number of points together rather than
just making a single point like pointing to his mouth and saying ‘ah-hah’.
So, if he puts together a line of logic, that says ‘this happened and then
this happened and then this happened’ and there are no breaks in it and
there are no pieces missing, in that case, he has created what we call in
Dramatica a “Tale”. That’s our definition of a tale: an unbroken linear
progression. That’s a “head-line” because it deals with your logic.
But you could also have an unbroken progression of feelings; how he felt at
one time whether he was happy or sad, whether he found something funny,
whether he found something disgusting. This would be a “heart-line”.
He might convey those emotions just to express what he went
through without even talking about the territory that he covered and with no
“head-line” at all.
So, a tale could be just an emotional progression, or it could just be a
logistic progression, or a tale could be a logistic and an emotional
progression running along side-by-side, perhaps affecting each other, perhaps
Let’s look at that in a little more depth. We know that the human heart
cannot just go from one emotion to another without going through steps in
between. There are feelings that you have to go through to get from one mood
to another mood. Now if you start with one emotion you may be able to jump to
any one of a number of emotions and then from any of those, jump to others,
but you can’t jump to all of them. If you could, then we would just be
bopping about from one feeling to another. There would be no growth, there
would be no emotional development. But we know there is, and that’s an
indicator that we can’t go from any one thing to any other thing but,
rather, there is direction to it.
You look at Freud’s psychosexual stages; you look at the stages Seven
Stages of Grief. You have to go through them in a particular order. You
can’t skip over any. If you do, there is an emotional misstep. It feels
untrue to the heart, and a story that has a character go through and miss a
step, skip a step or jump to another emotion that they ‘couldn’t get there
from here’, that will then feel wanky to the audience. It will feel like the
character stopped developing in a way that they could follow with their own
hearts and it will pop the audience right out of the story, and they will look
at the character as being a fabrication rather than someone they identify
So the idea is to create this linearity. But doesn’t that linearly
create a formula? Well it would if you could only go from one emotion to a
particular next one to a particular next one and so on. Then there would be
only one path you could take, but as mentioned earlier, from one emotion there
are several – not all but several – that you might go
to. When you go to one of those, there are several others you might go to
Similarly, in points of logic, from a single point there might be any one
of a number of things that might happen next that would be Kosher to happen
with what already happened, but you couldn’t have anything happen
next because some things would just be impossible to happen if this had
happened first. There would be missing steps, or this would preclude that
from happening. Now, you can start from any place and eventually get to
anywhere else, but you have to go through the in-betweens.
So as long as a tale has either a head-line or a heart-line and it’s an
unbroken chain that doesn’t skip any steps, it constitutes a complete
About Dramatica and
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.
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
How They Work
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
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Day Return Policy here at Storymind. Try either or both of these
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