How the Model of
Chris Huntley and I originally met at the University of Southern California in 1977. At
the time, we were both Cinema majors, and had been introduced by a mutual friend in the
department. We saw in each other the same odd way of looking at the world, and began to
work together in various creative endeavors. In fact, by 1980, we had just finished
co-producing our first feature length movie.
It was a much more modest a project than it sounds. Chris was still at USC at the time,
and I had recently left to pursue a career as a film director. Through a series of trials
and tribulations documented elsewhere, we completed the motion picture at the ridiculously
low cost of $28,000.00. It was an awful movie. The reason was not due to the low budget,
as we had a winning combination of talented schoolmates and youthful enthusiasm, but was
the result of a limp, meandering story.
Shortly thereafter, we decided to write another script. Before we began, Chris dropped
by one night to do some video editing on a setup I had at my home. Around 2 a.m., we began
to discuss our script in earnest. The notion struck us that we were starting to make the
same mistakes conceptually that we had just made on the first project. Recognizing this,
we thought that it might prove useful to look at other stories in similar genres and see
if we could discern and catalog some general patterns or truisms to guide us from a repeat
disaster. This, then, was the beginning of our development of the Dramatica theory of
We worked on the concepts for a few weeks and arrived (after much mental anquish) at a
modest collection of character types and descriptions of a few seemingly essential
dramatic movements. Then, we hit a brick wall. No matter how hard we tried, we could
perceive nothing more. Growing bored with the project and anxious to get on with the
writing of our new script, we dropped the whole matter and went back to the typewriter.
Over the next decade, we would haul the old work out of mothballs every few months,
thrash it around a little, and then put it aside when the going got tough. Finally, in
August of 1990, Chris asked me to breakfast one day and proposed that we dust off the old
ideas and put some truly serious effort into them.
By this time, although I was editing a feature film, I was pretty much convinced my
career in movies was going nowhere. Chris had also become bored as the vice-president and
co-owner of Screenplay Systems, a company he had founded with another friend from USC to
create production software for the motion picture industry. So, we agreed to meet every
morning for an hour before he went off to Screenplay and I went off to edit.
Bolstered by our feelings that this project held a way out of our respective dead ends,
we put our attention to the issue with much more focus and resolve than anytime in the
previous ten years. It wasn't long at all before we hit our first pay dirt: we completed a
set of eight archetypal characters that appeared in many of the stories in our favorite
Initially, new concepts came slowly, but then something magical happened. I don't know
if there was anything special about us as individuals, the chemistry between us as a team,
or if we just turned to the problem at the right time, but with increasing frequency we
began to make "discoveries", each of which (we felt) was original,
revolutionary, and damned clever to boot!
Of course, the natural tendency to doubt the validity of one's work crept in. After
all, we lamented, how could a couple of screw-ups from USC stumble across a completely new
theory of story that explained questions asked in vain since the days of Aristotle? But
then we looked at our work again and, finding nothing wrong with it, considered that
perhaps we had done just that.
With each passing week, we tallied up an increasingly large quantity of previously
unheard of concepts, all jumbled together in no particular order under the heading,
"Story Theory". As time went by, we tried to label some of these concepts. What
was the Main Character trying to achieve? His goal. What did he want to achieve it?
His motivation. What was going on with Main Characters who were on the wrong track
but couldn't see it? Their rationalizaions. What was a Main Character tying to do
in a story anyway? Solve his problem. If the problem was truly the Main Character
himself, why didn't he just change and be done with it? Because he couldn't see his true
problem due to his justifications which formed a blind spot, so he projected
the problem as appearing to be the area which caused him the greastest conflict.
One day, it occured to us that the terms we were beginning to use sounded a lot more
like psychology than story theory. We began to wonder if stories might be more than simply
tales of what happened to someone, ending with a moral. What if the Main Character's
journey respresented the psychological path we all must take when trying to solve
Suddenly the scope of our work appeared much larger to us. Driven by our own personal
needs to understand why we did the things we did; why we felt the way we felt; Chris and I
put the further development of our story theory on hold and tackled the psychology issue
in a big way.
Initially, Chris was the driver of our early discoveries in this area. He drew
countless charts and graphs illustrating potential "rationalization pathways".
We would argue about the differences in how the path appeared to the Main Character with
his blind spot, compared to the objective view of how it appeared in reality.
This led to even more heated arguments regarding the nature of reality and whether or not
there was an objective reality at all, regardless of whether or not we could hope to
Our discussions became so philosophical that for a time we wondered if anything useful
or even tangible would ever come from it. And then, another inspiration struck. It occured
to us that perhaps the reason we could not agree on these essential issues was that the
truth was actually different for men and women.
How did we leap to that conclusion? Because the examples we drew from in our own lives
as fodder for our arguments became increasingly gender dependent as we approached ground
zero of each issue. Being, above all else, good pattern recognizers, it became obvious due
to the repeated nature of our areas of disagreement and the supporting arguments we
provided that our heart-felt views were sharply divided along gender lines.
With this in mind, we began to speak in terms of there being an objective reality for
men which they sense but can only approach and never truly perceive, and there being a
subjective reality for women which they can experience, but can only approximate and never
It was about this time I began to wonder if there might not be some sort of
mathematical equation which would describe this relationship between the genders. If
indeed there was, might there not also be equations to describe rationalization and
problem solving? Perhaps even self-awareness itself?
Well, there we went, all grandiose and arrogant again! But we were sure such things
could be found. I was the mathematician of the two, so at this point, the dynamic shifted,
and I began making most of the new discoveries, while Chris provided the support and
counterpoint that made each new discovery possible.
We began to speak in a short hand kind of talk, using terms we had redefined or even
coined ourselves for key concepts, many of which, although quite complex, were identified
by but a single word. No one else knew what the heck we were talking about, and our
friends went crazy listening to snippets of our evolving theory that were beyond
comprehension, yet strangely rang of some inner truth that eluded us all.
I made it my sole purpose to ferret out those elusive equations and nail them to the
wall. There was a great sense of destiny involved in this for me. Somehow, I felt that
when I had the equations, all my personal, life-long questions about the meaning of the
Universe would be answered, and I would finally be able to climb out of the pit I had
often dreamed about and see what world lay just out of sight.
Unfortunately, I made no headway at all. I proposed a great number of prospective
equations, based on everything from the formula for the area of a circle to Einstein's
E=MC2, rewritten in terms of rationalization. No matter how promising they appeared at the
beginning, each quickly proved insufficient to the task.
At this point, Chris became impatient with our sidetrack into psychology, and was
chomping at the bit to get back to the story theory we had let languish. I held out for
more time, but eventually Chris laid down the law that I had one more week to work on the
equations. Then, answer or not, it was back to story theory.
It approached the final day of that week, and I had nothing to show in spite of my
frantic, last-minute efforts. Exhausted, I fell asleep in the afternoon in the tin-roofed
room attached to the back of my house - strange, since I hardly ever sleep in the day.
It was uncomfortably hot under the metal ceiling, but still I slept for hours. Finally,
I drifted up to one of those fuzzy periods when you are awake enough to realize you are
sleeping, but alseep enough to be unaware of anything but your dreams. And in my dream, I
stood in some sort of magical place, so close to the center of the universe that I was
completely outside it. It seemed as if I saw everthing at once, from both the inside
looking out and the outside looking in simultaneously. And all around me were answers. But
they weren't in words, spoken nor written. They were objects, and seemed almost as if they
were living. I could touch them and posses the knowledge they held without ever having it
come to my conscious mind to be couched in language or symbol.
I felt as if I knew all that could be known; as if all of existence had been thrown
open to me. I was everything and time did not exist. I wanted to wake up and write it all
down. But somehow, even in my half-waking dream, I knew that once I was fully awake I
would remember none of it other than what I have just described. Then, it occurred to me
that I could take one thing back, but one only. I don't know if I felt someone told me
that or if I just thought of it. But I looked around and saw the object floating by that
was the knowledge necessary to write my elusive equation. I reached out and grabbed it,
held it tight to my chest, and threw myself awake with a jolt.
I lept to my feet, my arms still clenched tight to my body and ran across the room to
where I had a pad and paper. I could feel the idea evaporating even as I struggled with
the pen. But, just as the last whips of the notion were fading, I managed to jot down,
"One side divides and the other multiplies."
I stood back, my metabolism wrecked by the effort, and stared at what I had written.
Fine! But what in blazes did it mean? And then it occurred to me that of all the concepts
we had named, there were four that would fit the bill nicely: Knowledge, Thought, Ability,
Chris and I had used these to describe an un-rationalized view of oneself. He had
created a chart that described these four as clear views, and such things as Can, Need,
Want, and Should as rationalized perspectives.
I had played with these terms and many others in the past week in my attempts to find
an equation that made sense. But staring at my words scrawled on the page, I knew those
first four were the ones I had been looking for. All I had needed was the framework of the
equation to make that clear.
We did proceed with the story theory, but all the while, I keep working on my new
equation, tying the four items, called KTAD for short, in various combinations such
as K/T = AD and D/A = TK. But what did all that mean?
Well, I began to realize that the equation wasn't one of "real" or
"traditional" math, but something quite different. K/T didn't mean Knowledge divided
by thought, but more like Knowledge acted upon by Thought. And AD wasn't
Ability times Desire, but Ability working in conjunction with Desire.
If Knowledge was "divided" by Thought, well that was deduction, wasn't it?
Then wouldn't Thought divided by Knowledge be induction? So what would Ability divided by
Desire be? Tough question, as I had run out of "uctions" in the dictionary.
Well, if you reduce your Ability through your Desires, well that woud be
"reduction". And if you produce your Desires through your Abilities, that
would be "production". Why "production"? Because if you Desire
something and accomodate it through your Abilities (thereby reducing Desire) you have been
productive. Well, that's a pretty thin argument, but it was all I had going at the time,
though later on I was to realize I had the concepts right but for the wrong reasons.
The problem I had was that I couldn't decide on just one equation. They all seemed
equally applicable in different contexts or usages. Then it struck me: if men and women
see the world differently, well then maybe they have different equations that desribe the
way they think. But which two? There I was back at the same, old problem again.
Story theory went on, and I kept toying with the psychology. Chris and I began to put
all kinds of things in fours: Male/Female = MasculineFeminine, Solid/Liquid = GasPlasma,
Energy/Mass = SpaceTime. Hey, E/M = ST. Looks familiar, doesn't it? Let's see, multiply
each side by M to simplify... E = MST. Looks even more familiar. Wonder if this
means that C2 is a subjective, blended view of things and it is really the wavelength
of light times the frequency of light? Never mind, too tough, and besides, it is
WAY too far off the track of story theory!
I think it was Chris with his wonderful graphic sense who first put these items in a
"Quad" form such as:
If we put KTAD in there, it looked like this:
Now that was interesting! Knowledge was the mental equivalent of Mass. Thought,
of Energy. Ability was the Space of the Mind, and Desire the Time! Well if that was the
case, than clearly position in the Quad could be made to stand for some sort of quality
associated with any group of four things that represented each of the properties that were
the same between Mass, Energy, Space and Time, and Knowledge, Thought, Ability, and
Desire. Clearly there was some kind of relationship among these two sets of concepts, and
probably many more, which were exactly the same.
But drawing a comparrison between the four physical dimensions and these four dimensions
of mind? It was too simple. Too elegant. If it were true, why hadn't anyone discovered
this centuries ago? Who knows. We had discovered it and it just felt right.
Of course, the next natural step was to realize that these relationships were described
by the equation I had created. So, the form of the Quad itself, even without anything in
it, became the framework of the equation so that whatever was in the upper left was
divided by whatever was in the lower right. The upper right and the lower left were blended.
At lunch with Chris one day, I was doodling with a KTAD quad on a napkin, when I
happened to turn it over, and suddenly it struck me that if I flipped the napkin over and
looked at it from the backside, one of the equations I was considering transmuted into
another. Magical! I started flipping it all over the place until I realized that if you
flipped it from left to right, as if you were turning a page, then flipped it from top to
bottom, and finally from right to left, the napkin had mapped out a larger Quad made up of
all four equations! One more flip would bring it back to where it had been.
So, perhaps, all four equations were used by the mind when engaged in deductive,
inductive, reductive, and productive logic, respectively. And perhaps whether one moved
clockwise or counterclockwise around the Quad of Quads was indicative of a male or female
mind. We stuck with that notion for quite a while before realizing that wasn't where the
difference showed up. But what did remain was the idea that we could build Quads into
larger Quads and that the structure that built was a physical representation of
permutations of equations.
Well, we dropped the psychology there for a while and got back to story. One of the
things we did was start organizing the small vocabulary of words we had devised into
various patterns, hoping some sort of self-organizing principal would emerge for dealing
with these psycho/dramatic terms. But, although a few arrangements came close, none panned
The closest we came was an arrangment of thrity-two terms in four lines of eight each.
When watching the film, "Witness" with Harrison Ford, we found we could actually
predict the subject matter of dialog in a scene in the order it happened, just by
reading the chart from left to right, line by line. But, although we were right on target
with that film, the arrangement didn't hold up for others. Oh, sure, the words were there,
but never in the same order.
We started looking for some other means of arranging the items. Chris tried writing
them on children's blocks (which he called, "writer's blocks") on a string. By
turning the blocks, different combinations could be created. We could approximate the
nature of the content in most any scene, but had no idea what "drove" the
turning of the blocks so that we might use the system for creation as well as analysis.
I began toying with a Rubik's cube approach, wherein our various vocabulary words were
arranged on the outside of an extended Rubik's cube by families, one family per side. This
served to organize the families well, but the rules governing the turning of the cube
never seemed within grasp. I even went so far as to create a series of four spirals around
a toroid, each spiral being one of the lines from our "Witness" model. It was
arranged so that when one spiral went all the way around the toroid, it was ninety degrees
out of phase laterally and became a second spiral running in parallel to its first
traverse. At the end of the final passage, it reconnected with the beginning, forming a
multi-dimensional mobius strip. By looking at the toroid from the side, one could create
different combinations by selecting Quads from items which were ninety degrees out of
phase but on the same color spiral. But, alas, as elegant a description as that was of the
structure of the thing, it had no dynamic quality built in, and therefore only described
the elements of story like a periodic chart in three dimensions, not the flow and rythm of
Returning to my Quads of Quads concept, I thought, What if thirty-two items were
only half the picture? What if there were actually sixty-four? Then if I created a Quad of
Quads of Quads, sixty-four spaces would exist to hold the items in a matrix that described
the way they related by equations based on position!
Well, I started arranging the semantic terms into Quads, trying to group four of the
same kind of thing in the same Quad as we had done before. In the upper left hand corner
of each Quad, I put the most Mass-like or Knowledge-like of the four items. This gave an
objective consistency to the developing model.
As the vacant Quads began to fill in, it became clear that some of the items we had
named didn't seem to carry the same weight as others. It just felt that way. About this
time Chris went off to Europe for a month on business and vacation. I had the Quads of
semantic terms on post-it notes, stuck to my office wall so I could keep rearranging them.
Just before Chris came back, it hit me that maybe the weightier items were actually
category names for the less-weighty items.
Acting on this hunch, I pulled the more broad terms out of the Quads and substituted
other, less-dense left-overs which I had not previously been able to fit in, but which
seemed like they ought to belong. Now there was room for them. Rewriting the heavier
semantics on different colored post-it notes, I placed them in the center of each Quad. A
few more were needed, but I showed the work to Chris as soon as he got back, and he too
felt the correctness of it.
Effectively, the model was no longer flat. It now extended into three dimensions. And,
if the model were a true representation of equations, than there must be equations to
describe the relationships between items on different levels. Rather than work out
the math at that time, however, the thrust of our efforts was to get the darned story
theory finished. It was my feeling, which has since proven correct, that if we continued
to build the model in a manner that represented true relationships, then since the initial
Quad was built from a valid equation all the other equations could be determined by the
positional relationships in the multi-dimensional model.
One of the first things we noticed about the semantic terms in one of the Quads was
that they seemed to be more refined descriptions of the elements that made up our original
eight archetypal characters from a decade ago. In fact, we could split each archetypal
character into two elements - one an internal characteristic, and the other an external
characteristic of a similar nature. When the Quads had settled into their proper
allignment, we found that the elements of these characters could be plotted right
on the matrix and formed a checkerboard pattern. This pattern was such that characters
most diametrically opposed could be found diagonally to each other in every single case.
We were just blown away that when we arranged the semantics into valid Quads, the
pattern made by the archetypes created a repetitive pattern. This indiacted to us that we
had indeed created an accurate and balanced representation of certain psychological givens
that must be biologic in nature, for they transcended learning or experience and formed a
part of the operating system of self-awareness itself.
It was not a far leap to look at the model on the wall and realize that if the sixteen
Quads of four each had one category item directly above them, then the sixteen category
items also formed quads at a higher level, and probably had an even more broad-stroke
category item above each of them.
So, the search was on for terms that filled that position. We came up with three terms,
but couldn't find the fourth. The three were Conscious, Memory, and Subconscious. There
had to be a fourth, but what was it?
Looking at the other Quads, we got a feel for the relationships that existed as the
foundation of any and every set of four that made them a valid Quad. Based on this, we
determined the fourth item would be the Pre-conscious. "Pre-conscious"...
what the heck was that? We had no idea, but it fit the bill intuitively.
In fact, going back to our early work on justification, we began to see that the
Pre-conscious was at the bottom of the pile which began with Conscious thoughts which
filtered down into Memory, then were averaged in to our Subconscious tendencies, and
ultimately became part of our Pre-Conscious biases. These biases were PRE-conscious even
though they were at the bottom of the heap because they formed a filter to our minds that
prevented us from seeing things our experiences had brought us to tune out. This was the
realm of the blind spot! We had actually identified a position on the model that
corresponded to a process! Clearly, then, we could ultimately write an equation for
Finally, what would that final category item be that described Conscious, Memory,
Subconscious and Pre-conscious? Mind, of course! And so it was named.
At the very top was one single item, and when we broke it down into the next largest
pieces there were four of them - four types of Mind. So we named them
"Types". Beneath each Type were four Variations of that Type, and each
Variation was an umbrella to four Elements. The single item at the top, described
One would expect that our thoughts could go deeper than just four levels. But when you
look at it, the degree of resolution you get by the time you are down at the elements is
so tiny that there often aren't any appropriate words in the language that paint our
concepts with a finer brush.
It wasn't long before we realized that if we had a valid representation of the pecking
order of the kinds of considerations in which the Mind engages, then there must be an
equivalent pertaining to the external world, which we simply called Universe. So,
the effort was on to take a blank version of the Mind Class and starting with Universe at
the top, break it down all the way to the elements.
This time it was a lot harder. Before we had haphazardly assembled the Elements first
and then built our way up. Now, we had to build our way down! At first we tried to base
the semantics on Mass, Energy, Space and Time, the same way we had based the Mind Class
semantics on KTAD. But we quickly found out that although MEST might describe the
framework of the Universe Class, it was a pretty useless way for trying to come up with
We realized there needed to be some sort of relationship between the two Classes. For
example, Memory is to Mind as BLANK is to Universe. We filled in the blank with Past.
Conscious, Subconscious and Pre-Conscious became Present, Future, and Progress.
Eventually, we filled the Universe Class down through the Variation level. But try as
we might, we couldn't come up with Element names to save our lives. We suffered in
frustation for sometime until we finally realized that the Element names at the bottom of
the Universe Class were the same as those at the bottom of the Mind Class! Now there was a
mathematic relationship for you!
In fact, the Elements were an interface between Universe and Mind - the magic mirror
through which the physical world is perceived and affected by the mind, through senses and
active use of the body. Whoa, mama!
We modified our structural model so that it formed two four-sided pyramids, joined at
the base. The problem was, then you looked at the base from Universe, for example, the
Quad items were in this kind of position:
But when you looked at the same Quad from the Mind side, it looked like this:
That's right - it's the same. But if it is an interface and you looked at it from
opposite sides, shouldn't one side be the mirror image of the other? It should, but it
isn't. The model didn't work that way. And, having faith in our model, we decided to trust
its results and figure out why it should be so.
It turned out that Universe and Mind were only opposite perceptives when we divide them
in our minds (i.e. U/M or M/U). But in truth, they are simply two different ways of
looking at the same thing - our own self-awareness - one looks internally, the other
externally but since our perception of the external world is really a reflection of
ourselves, it gives a double twist to the thing and flips the mirror image back to the
same direction. We began to call this phenomenon, "the inverse with a twist".
Looking back at the napkin being inverted and twisted around a full cycle, this dynamic
pattern took on new meaning. The Elements had to do this little trick, or they
wouldn't have fulfilled the relationships necessary for all four positions of the napkin,
each of which represented one Class.
Wait a mintue... A Quad of Classes? But we only had two! Oh, well, back to the old
drawing board. We now knew there must be two more Classes, but what were they? Without
dragging you through all the failed attempts, we finally determined Physics and Psychology
were the others.
Universe occupied the K position in the upper left, Physics the A position in the upper
right. Mind was in the lower right in the T position, and Psychology was in the remaining
D position in the lower left.
Even though it wasn't quite accurate, it helped to think of Universe as a Situation
(the most Mass-oriented term we could think of), Mind at an Attitude (or fixed
state of mind), Physics as an Activity, and Psychology as a Manner of Thinking.
What we had here were an external fixed state and an external process with Universe and
Physics, and an internal fixed state and an internal process with Mind and Psychology.
Clearly that marvelous symetry was continuing. We considered that no matter what kind of
issue you care to define, you'd be hard pressed to avoid categorizing it as an internal or
external state or process. In other words, by choosing a Class, you determine the nature
of something to the first level of resolution. Then, by making similar choices, you can
work your way down to the maximum level of definition you can give it without losing track
of its initial, high-level category. Essentially, Elements are as deeply as you can define
anything without losing track of its Class.
Well all this was well and good. We had an extensive model that was built entirely out
of equations represented as objects. And we came to realize that KTAD controlled the
horizontal growth of the model as the napkin inverted and twisted, whereas MEST controled
the vertical progression down through the model seeking greater resolution. The vertical
progressions were more spatially arranged, and the horizontals were more temporally
Seeing this progression aspect to the model, and remembering our experiences with
"Witness", we sought to find a means of predicting and interpreting the order in
which stories (and our own minds) moved around the model. At first, it seems that in any
given story, two of the Classes would be seen as overviews of story wide concepts that
remained the same topics from the beginning of the story to the end. In other words,
nothing moved. But the other two Classes represented pathways in which each scene would
dwell on one topic and then move to the next. We came to understand that this mimics the
mind's spatial and temporal processing, which go on simultaneously, even though they can
be considered individually.
We had no luck in mapping out the dynamics of the system. After watching countless
movies, we couldn't find a way to predict the path, even though all the items seemed to be
covered eventually, in some order that was intrinsic to the specific story. We tried
labelling each Quad with numbers as follows:
We ended up with all kinds of patterns that described the pathways through the Quads in
various stories: circles and zig-zags in all sorts of directions.
We could see the patterns all right, but we could still not predict them. Then, one day
I was at the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry with my kids. They had a hands-on
display of some twenty magnets arranged in a long row. Each could be spun on its axis.
When you turned the first one slowly enough, it caused the one next to it to turn in
response to the changing poles. Eventually, you could get the whole row to turn at once,
just by turning one. But, if you went too fast, you could flip one or a combination of
several by themselves, before the inertia of the others was overcome.
Instantly it hit me that was what was missing in our model. I went back and mentally
tried out the concept. If you looked at each Quad as a magnet with four poles instead of
two, you could see it had two diagonal axes. It might flip on either one so that 1 and 4
exchanged places, for example. Or 2 and 3 might reverse positions.
But what did this mean? Well it seemed pretty clear to me that it described the mind's
reaction to inequity - mental irritation, if you will. If we are considering something
down at the Elemental level and it bothers us enough, our minds move that kind of
consideration out of the way to stop the pain. To have someplace to put it, mentally, the
mind must exchange it in position with its diagonal opposite (just like the diametrically
opposed archetypal character Elements). For example, if you try to use your Knowledge to
solve a problem and it doesn't work, you give up on that and try some Thought instead.
Wow! It worked conceptually. That was how blind spots started to form. This was the
dynamic description of rationalization (now, renamed justification) that we had
been looking for!
Carrying the magnet analogy further, well then if the irritation was a slow one, might
not that irritation still be there after the flip? And what if the mind couldn't flip back
because the first item hadn't "healed" yet? Then it would have to move up a
level to the Variations, and flip a whole category to move the whole Quad of Elements out
of harm's way.
This process could continue until ultimately two whole Classes were flipped. And then,
a problem that originally occured in the Universe suddenly appears as if it is coming from
the Mind. Projection! We had found the mechanism for psychological projection.
Also around this time, we had been coming to realize that every complete story (every
complete mental consideration) needed to fully explore all four Classes. In fact, one
Class would be the Domain in which story-wide issues of interest to all the characters
could be found. This, we called the Objective Domain. Another Class was the Subjective
Domain, dealing with the relationships among Characters. Then, the Main Character got a
Class all his own for the Main Character Domain, and the final Class went to the Obstacle
Character, who represented an alternative paradigm to that held by the Main Character.
As it relates to psychology, the Main Character is "I", the Obstacle
Character is "You", the Subjective Domain is "We" and the Objective
Domain is "They" (or "It). In ourselves, the Main Character is the position
where we are in our own minds as we examine our feelings our knowlege, or whatever. The
Obstacle Character is the point of view we are considering adopting, but have not yet
accepted. The Subjective Domain describes the tug of war between these two opposing views,
and the Objective Domain describes the nature of the dilemma that motivates us to consider
changing our mind in the first place.
The flipping of the Quads represents the build up of preconceptions and blind spots
which exist within the Main Character. They are, in effect, his motivations. In a sense,
they describe why we don't see things in an Objective manner, but somewhat askew. They
determine why it is that we happen to occupy the place we find ourselves in our own minds
at the moment. Do we love right now? Do we hate? Both love and hate are open to us, but
where are we now? The answer is due to the little flipping magnets inside each of us which
are quite natural responses to avoid irritation. Nonetheless, a series of natural
responses can still leave us all twisted up inside. But, that whole process could be
mapped out in this new dynamic model, which might even predict a way out of the
The model itself was built in a fractal manner. But the twisting was layered upon that.
In a sense, it was a dynamic equivalent of fractals that had something similar to a
fractal degree of impact, but based on similar processes, not similar states. So, we
coined a phrase for the dynamic equivalent of fractals which represent the temporal
record of the interaction of order and chaos. We called these different dynamic
dimensions frictals (for friction and fraction).
As it turns out, two differnt Classes must wind up to drive a story. That is why two
appeared to move and two to stay static. Why two? Because in our own minds we are
constantly trying to come to terms between what is best for us personally (or immediately)
and how that compares to the big picture (including future consequences). When we look to
the big picture, things look one way. When we see it from where we stand, it looks quite
different. Neither one is truly reality, but one is the most personal "I"
perspective and the other is our most reserved "They" or "It"
perspective. The key is to choose between the two views. At first one may look more
accurate than the other, but over time, our insight may change. That's what stories are
all about too.
So, not only is the Main Character Domain twisted up, but the Objective Domain is as
well. The overall affect on the Mind is an interference pattern created by the interaction
of our warped personal and objective views in an attempt to balance and rectify them.
In fact, the model predicts that the "You" and "We" views are also
warped, but just as our original equation stated A/B = CD, in any consideration two of the
views must be blended in order to define the other two. We can only compare two at a time.
Due to learned behavior, each culture tends to favor a particular equation. This gives
each culture a "typical" kind of story, and its citizens a typical kind of blind
spot. The human mind is capable of adopting any of the combinations, but our need to find
a common ground for communication tends to steer a population to adopt one style as
So we had a very complex structural/dynamic model at this point. But there was still
more to discover. Going back to our notions about the different use of equations by men
and women, we came to realize that both men and women use all the same equations, but at
different levels of the mind (Conscious, Memory, Subconscious, and Pre-conscious). In
fact, those aren't levels at all, but simultaneous, co-existent aspects of a whole mind
because they form a Quad. And there is no solid dividing line betwen them, for each
describes a range that blends into the next. But, men will use a different set of the
equations than women will at the same point.
Men and women all use the same items, but blend different items at different levels.
This is what makes us seem so similar, yet so unalike. We all have the same stuff, but we
just use it for different purposes. In fact, it is not too bold to say that women and men
each dream the way the other thinks when awake.
When women's mind's are applied to the model, not only do we have flipping of Quads,
but also rotation of Quads. Moving clockwise or counter-clockwise is an equally viable
response to irritation, but being a different dynamic, it has different mental
We might look at the model of the mind as either being "at rest" in a neutral
postion, or being 'justified" and twisted. Justification is not just the driver of
blind spots, but also the creator of our motivation. Without justification we are in
equalibrium with our environment and ourselves, and therefore will not move. Only when we
are out of balance are we motivated. And becoming out of balance requires justification,
for a non-justified mind will simply adapt to change whereas a justified mind will hold
out against it.
When a mind becomes justified, its 1234 journey through twisted Quads explores the same
issues but in a different order. This, then, finally allowed our model to accurately
predict the order of scenes and acts, and the order in which our own minds will explore
the issues pertinent to a particular problem.
From a spatial perspective, each Quad looks like a little circuit. And, in place of
KTAD, or 1234, we can assign each of the four items in the Quad as a Potential,
Resistance, Current, or Power. These little dramatic circuits in the model describe
self contained processing units of the mind. Tiny neural networks which actually represent
the ganglia. Unabashedly put, the model describes the mathematical relationships among the
ganglia, the interneurons of the brain as a whole, the biochemistry of each ganglion, and
the biochemistry of the brain as a whole. Four items that form their own Quad, which can
be understood analytically and predictively.
Finally, we took a closer look at the concept of a Quad itself. We found that in each
Quad, in addition to the diagonal relationships, of which there are two, there are also
two horizontal relationships and two vertical relationships. We named them: Diagonal =
Dynamic pairs, Horizontal = Companion pairs, Vertical = Dependent pairs. Dynamic pairs
indicate conflict, one being positive synthesis, the other being negative mutual
self-destruction. Companion pairs describe indirect relationships, and Dependent pairs
describe reliant relationship, both positive and negative. Mathematically, these pairs
correspond to the trigonometric functions, Sine /Cosine, Secant/Cosecant,
Tangent/Cotangent. The very same relationships exist in both mind and trig, when you have
the proper model.
In addition, there is one other kind of relationship that has two aspects in each Quad.
All four items might be seen as a single family or as a collection of individual items.
This is where a concept such as "The United States" resides. Okay, which is it,
"United" or "States"? That question has been no end of trouble for our
country, and in fact is no end of trouble for our minds. But we should realize that one
set of pairs is going to be a cultural blind spot, and this just happens to be ours.
To describe these other two relationships required two new functions beyond the six
from trig. This is because in the mind, and therefore in our model, Time is not flowing
freeling to be used as a measuring stick. It is, in fact, another object in relativistic
relationship with the other three dimensions. Therefore, two more functions are required
to describe the item that projects both a circle and a sine wave in trig. Go up one more
dimension and you have a spiral. Seen from the end, the spiral is a circle. Seen from the
side, it is a sine wave. Seen from an angle, it is expanded one more dimension and is much
Ultimately, we came to realize that a Quad actually represented a quad helix as
opposed to the double hexlix in DNA. Moreover, it was like a series of four separte helix
patterns, each of which was like a twist on a piece of twine. You twist the twine, then
you coil the twisted twine, and so on, until you have progressed through four iterations
that bring you back to the exact point you started, but ninety degrees out of phase.
Clearly, the early model of the four spirals wrapped around the toroid I had created
many months ago turned out to be a description of this approach to the model. I would go
so far as to say that I expect someone will ultimately remodel DNA as a quad helix in
which one double helix is physical and structural in nature and the other is a conceptual
rendering of of a temporal double hexlix. The temporal side will describe the progressive
aspects of the DNA molecule, such as growth and aging, and the two double helixes will be
related in an equation in the form A/B = CD: the essence of Mental Relativity.
By this time, we had a fairly good grasp of the manner in which the model operates.
After all, the same structural and dynamic patterns are repeated fractally and frictally
over and over again at different resolutions and speeds. Once you get a sense of the
territory and the timing, you need only start with a single Quad and you can build a model
around anything. We never perceive nor conceive anything for what it is, but only in terms
of the patterns we are capable of applying to the world as a template. For in the end, if
we stare deeply enough into anything we will ultimately find nothing more than ourselves
staring back. Existence is really no more than a mirror, and reality emerges when we focus
on ripples in the glass.
Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips
Brought to you by
Owned and Operated by the Creator
& Co-Creator of Dramatica
Serving more than 12,000 writers since 1997
Get the Writer's
Survival Kit Bonus Package
FREE with ANY
Prefer to order by Mail or Fax?
here for information.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
We'll beat ANY
Advertised Price! REALLY!
AND, if you see a lower price within 30 days of purchase
we'll refund the difference!
90 Day Full
Return item within 90 days for a complete refund
of your original purchase price!
Get the Writer's
Survival Kit & Sampler FREE
with ANY Purchase!
Join the creator of StoryWeaver
& co-creator of Dramatica
for a two-day writing & story development seminar
here for details!
Visit the best writers' site on
to the Storymind.com
Writing Tip Newsletter!