Search Results for d

Decision

Plot Dynamic

in terms of the objective plot, decisions force actions

All stories have both Action and Decision. Typically, one defines a Decision story as having more intense Deliberation than Action. This view is overly influenced by how the story is told rather than what it represents. Dramatica takes a different view of Action and Decision. Either Actions force the need for Decisions or Decisions force the need for Actions in order to advance the plot. Over the course of the story as a whole (independent of the nature of the Main Character) if Decisions precipitate the progression of the plot, it is a Decision story.

Deduction

Element dyn.pr. Induction ↔ Deduction

a process of thought that determines certainty

Deduction is the process of thought that arrives at a determination of what is by limiting out all that cannot be. It has been said, "When you have ruled out the impossible, whatever is left, no matter how improbable, must be true." The characteristic representing Deduction will arrive at conclusions by eliminating all competing theories that have holes until only one remains. This is fine for cutting away the nonsense and discovering understanding, unless the competing theories were not all the available theories and the real answer was never even considered. Also, Deduction often fails to look for situations in which alternative truths exist. A famous story had a detective narrowing down murder suspects only to discover that they all did it!

syn. drawing a conclusion, process of elimination, demonstrative reasoning, narrowing to a single point

Deficiency

Variation dyn.pr. Permission ↔ Deficiency

motivation based on lack

When a character lacks something in the sense of having Deficiency, he may not even comprehend what he lacks. But this lack drives him and fulfilling the lack would end the drive caused by the Deficiency. Deficiency is closely related to Need, but where Needs are always defined by their context and the purpose which makes them seem necessary, Deficiency does not require a purpose. When a character lacks, he is NOT content with what he has and REQUIRES something more in order to become content. Fulfilling a lack may appear to be the last thing a character Needs because it does not lead to his purpose, but once the lack has been taken care of, a character may find his purpose has changed and his Need has been eliminated.

syn. inadequacy, insufficiency, deficit, unfulfilled need

Delay

Variation dyn.pr. Choice ↔ Delay

putting off until later

Delay is the decision not to make a decision. Whenever the options are too closely balanced to see a clear path, whenever there is not enough information to be confident of an outcome, a character will Delay. The purpose is to wait until one gathers more information or until the situation changes to present a clear best course. But how long does one wait? And what if something distracts the character and he forgets to check and see if things have changed? Now the character has left a problem unresolved, and unless it intrudes upon his thinking, it will never be thought of again. Yet deep within him, he will be influenced to avoid what created that problem or to take steps to protect against its recurrence. Until the original problem is addressed and a choice of path is made, the character will not be free of the problem's influence.

syn. put off, retard, postpone, defer, suspend, prolong, procrastinate

Denial

Variation dyn.pr. Closure ↔ Denial

the refusal to let something go

Denial is the refusal to accept that something is or has become closed. How many people continue to make a point after they have won the argument? More than just not accepting a conclusion, Denial can also be not accepting that a process will just keep repeating. A repeating process has a cycle. In a story, a character comes into such a circle at one point and follows it around back to start. At that point, a theme of Denial would have that character refusing to believe that he has been just been chasing his own tail. At the leap of faith he will just push off again and keep on circling a no-win situation in the hopes it will change this time around. Inertia does not always travel in straight lines.

syn. not accepting, refusal to end, unwillingness to let go, refusal to back down, stubbornness

Dependent Pair

Structural Term

a pair of items whose relationship is complementary

In any given quad, the two items directly above and below each other are referred to as a Dependent Pair. Since a quad consists of four items, it therefore contains two Dependent Pairs.

Desire

Element dyn.pr. Ability ↔ Desire

the motivation to change one's situation or circumstances

The Desire element is the essence of motivation. A character representing Desire is mindful of a future in which situation or circumstances are improved. This does not mean that it is unhappy with what it has but rather that it can imagine something better. On the plus side, Desire primes the character to seek to better its environment or itself. On the minus side, Desire is not always coupled with an ability to achieve that which is Desired. In this case, Desire may no longer be felt as a positive motivator but as a negative lack and may become a measurement of one's limitations and constraints.

syn. drive, motivational goal, unfulfillment, source of discontent, essence of motivation

Desire

Variation dyn.pr. Ability ↔ Desire

the motivation to change one's situation or circumstances

Desire describes an awareness that something better exists than what currently is. This doesn't mean things have to be bad now, just that one perceives something better. The key word here is "perceives." Desires are based not on what is truly better but on what one imagines will be better. Often there is a large gap between the two. (Recall the story of the dog with the bone which jumped into the pond to get the bone from his reflection and ended up with no bone at all.) Little tension is produced if a character can try out his desires at no cost. But great tension is produced when he must give up something good forever in the belief that something else is better. ("Do you want [desire] what's in the box or what's behind door number 3?")

syn. want, favor, like, covet, prefer, wish, aspire

Destiny

Variation dyn.pr. Fate ↔ Destiny

the future path an individual will take

Destiny is the path to a particular fate or through a series of fates. Fates are experiences or conditions one must encounter along the way as one's Destiny directs one's course. The nature of Destiny is such that no matter how much a character is aware of the nature and location of an undesirable fate, nothing he can do is enough to pull him off the path. Characters often try to deny Destiny by jumping to an entirely different path only to discover that all roads lead to Rome.

syn. inescapable path, predetermined trajectory, set direction of the future, inevitable path, unavoidable trajectory

Determination

Element dyn.pr. Expectation ↔ Determination

a conclusion as to the cause behind a particular effect

Determination is an evaluation of the forces driving a process. This allows one to anticipate future effects or to take action to stop or enhance a current effect. However, it may just be that a completely different set of forces is really behind the process, causing one to put his efforts in the wrong place. When a person swims directly toward the shore, the current can carry his far down shore. As long as the character possessing Determination sticks with a particular concept of the powers that be, there is the potential it may not get what it expects.

syn. ascertaining causes, discovering causes, finding the reasons why, figuring out factors, discerning antecedents

Developing a Plan

Type dyn.pr. Conceiving an Idea ↔ Developing a Plan

visualizing how an idea might be implemented

Developing A Plan means coming up with a practical implementation of an idea. It is not enough to simply have the idea. To develop a plan, one must develop an actual mental model of how such an idea might be made manifest. In other words, one might have an idea to build a spacious house. But to develop a plan for the house one must imagine everything that makes up the house -- the design, the layout, the colors and textures, everything that is essential to understanding what that specific house is. A character that deals with developing plans would be well aware of the kind of solution that will eliminate the problem but spend his time trying to devise a specific way of achieving that solution.

syn. visualizing, imagining, envisioning, visualizing implementation

Dilemma

Class

a problem for which no acceptable solution is apparent

When faced with a Dilemma, a Main Character can see no way out. The only options are to change his very nature by accepting one of the solutions he previously would not, or by holding out in hopes that, in time, an acceptable solution will present itself. Circumstances will force the Main Character to either Change or Remain Steadfast before the problem is resolved. The question then becomes, is the dilemma actual, meaning that the Main Character must Change or Fail, or is the dilemma merely apparent, and by Remaining Steadfast a previously unknown and acceptable solution will pave the way to Success?

Dilemma Stories versus Work Stories

Dramatica Term

a distinction between stories where the Main Character decides to Change and where the Main Character remains Steadfast

Work describes the activities of a Main Character who remains steadfast and resolute throughout the story. This kind of character believes in the correctness of his approach to the problem and sticks by his guns come what may. Dilemma describes the situation of a Main Character who ultimately changes at the end of the story. This kind of character becomes convinced that he cannot solve the problem with his original approach and adopts a new approach. So a Work Story is concerned with a Steadfast Main Character and a Dilemma Story concerns itself with a Change Main Character. However, just because the Main Character has decided to remain Steadfast or to Change does not mean he made the right choice. Only in the end will he find out if he succeeded or failed. If in a Work Story the Steadfast Main Character really should have Changed and fails because he did not, then it was really an Apparent Work Story since work alone could not solve it. If in a Dilemma Story the Change Main Character really should have remained Steadfast and fails because he did not, then it was really an Apparent Dilemma Story since there wasn't actually a dilemma after all. Steadfast means Work, Change means Dilemma. These are modified by their pairing with Success, which means Actual, and Failure which means Apparent.

Dilemma versus Work

Dramatica Term

a comparison of dramatic approaches in which Success either requires a Main Character to Change or to Remain Steadfast

Work describes the activities of a Main Character who remains steadfast and resolute throughout the story. This kind of character believes in the correctness of his approach to the problem and sticks by his guns come what may. Dilemma describes the situation of a Main Character who ultimately changes at the end of the story. This kind of character becomes convinced that he cannot solve the problem with his original approach and adopts a new approach. So a Work Story is concerned with a Steadfast Main Character and a Dilemma Story concerns itself with a Change Main Character. However, just because the Main Character has decided to remain Steadfast or to Change does not mean he made the right choice. Only in the end will he find out if he succeeded or failed. If in a Work Story the Steadfast Main Character really should have Changed and fails because he did not, then it was really an Apparent Work Story since work alone could not solve it. If in a Dilemma Story the Change Main Character really should have remained Steadfast and fails because he did not, then it was really an Apparent Dilemma Story since there wasn't actually a dilemma after all. Steadfast means Work, Change means Dilemma. These are modified by their pairing with Success, which means Actual, and Failure which means Apparent.

Direction

Element

the apparent remedy for the principal symptom of the story problem

Characters do the best they can to deal with the Objective Story Problem, but because the Objective Story Characters of a story are all looking at the problem from their subjective point of view, they can't get enough distance to actually see the problem right away. Instead they focus on the effects of the problem, which is called the Overall Story Focus, and choose to follow what they feel will be a remedy, which is called the Overall Story Direction.

Direction

Character Dynamic

The way a character grows in his attempt to solve his problems, toward either "Start" or "Stop"

Change Characters see their problems as being inside themselves. Steadfast Characters see their problems as being outside themselves. Sometimes a problem is created by too much of something, other times by too little. Growth describes whether a problem is "too much" of something, or "too little." It appears differently depending on if the Main Character Changes or Remains Steadfast. If a character must change, he has one of these two kinds of problems. Either he is bullheaded in sticking with an inappropriate approach or he simply doesn't use an approach that would be appropriate. In the "too much" scenario, the character comes off as aggressively obstinate. In the "too little" scenario the character comes off as stubbornly ignorant. The "too much" Change Character needs to "stop." The "too little" Change Character needs to "start." If the Main Character remains Steadfast, though, then the kinds of problems they'll face will involve either holding out for something to Start or holding out for something to Stop. Metaphorically, the Steadfast Character is either a storm trying to weather away an island, or an island trying to hold out against a storm. Both Change and Steadfast Characters grow in a direction which can be called "Start" or "Stop."

Direction Element

Element

the apparent remedy for the principal symptom of the story problem

A Subjective Character can never be sure if what he believes to be the source of the problem really is the source of the problem. Regardless, based on his belief he will determine a potential solution or Direction in which he hopes to find the solution. The dramatic unit that describes what a Subjective Character holds as the path to a solution is his Response Element.

Disbelief

Element dyn.pr. Faith ↔ Disbelief

the belief that something is untrue

Disbelief is not the same thing as a lack of faith. Lack of faith is the absence of absolute confidence that something is or will be true. Disbelief is absolute confidence that something is not true. Disbelief may make one a skeptic but sometimes it makes a character the only one with the confidence to tell the Emperor "You have no clothes!"

syn. refusal to accept, distrust, find unconvincing, find false, unpersuadability

Dividend

Type

the benefits gathered while meeting the requirements of the goal

Although meeting the requirements of a goal can incur costs, it can also provide dividends along the way. Sometimes solving one of the pre-requisites or attaining one of the pre-conditions of the requirement has its own reward. Though these rewards are not individually as significant as the promised reward of the goal, sometimes cumulatively they are enough to cause a Main Character to quit while he's ahead and avoid a particularly large cost that would be unavoidable if the goal were to be achieved. Other times, a particularly large dividend may loom just ahead in the story, providing the Main Character with a boost in motivation to continue on an otherwise costly path

Do-er

Character Dynamic

as an approach, the Main Character prefers to adapt his environment to himself

Every Main Character will have a preference to deal with problems by either physical effort or by mental/emotional effort. When a Main Character prefers working in the external environment, he is a Do-er.

Doing

Type dyn.pr. Obtaining ↔ Doing

engaging in a physical activity

Doing is the process of being physically active. In and of itself, Doing does not require any purpose but simply describes engaging in a process, task, or endeavor, whether for pleasure or by necessity or compulsion.

syn. performing, executing, effecting action, acting

Domain

Dramatica Term

An item that describes the area in which any one of the four throughlines occurs

There are four Throughlines in every complete story, each representing a different perspective in the structure of that story. One is assigned to the Overall Story Throughline and contains the story points attributed to the dispassionate argument of the story while also describing the area in which the Overall Story occurs. Another is for the Relationship Story Throughline and contains the story points which concern the passionate argument of the story and describe the relationship between the Main and Impact Characters. The Main and Impact Character are each assigned Throughlines as well, which contain the story points attributed to their characters and describe the areas in which they each operate. Each Throughline is the matching of a particular Class (either Situation (Universe), Activity (Physics), Manipulation (Psychology), or Fixed Attitude (Mind)) with a particular throughline (either Overall Story, Main Character, Impact Character, or Relationship Story). Each Domain describes the general area in which the problems of its throughline will lie and from what perspective the audience will be directed to view those problems. Domains determine large, genre-like positions in the relationship of audience to story.

Domain Act Order

Structural Term

the area in which the solution to the story's problem is sought, act by act

The area in which the solution to the story's problem is sought, act by act.

Doubt

Variation dyn.pr. Investigation ↔ Doubt

questioning validity without investigating to be sure

Here Doubt is defined as the lack of faith that evidence leads to a certain conclusion. This means that even though evidence supports a particular concept, the character is unwilling to abandon the belief that alternative explanations can be found. Certainly this approach has the advantage of keeping one's mind open. But sometimes a mind can be too open. If a character Doubts too much, he will not accept solid evidence no matter how conclusive. This can prevent the character from ever accepting the obvious truth and continuing to labor under a delusion.

syn. pessimism, uninformed misgivings, uncertainty, trepidation, distrust

Dramatica Terms

Dramatica Term

the names of dramatic concepts unique to Dramatica, commonly used dramatic terms redefined in Dramatica

The Dramatica theory of story is so wide-ranging that, in some cases, dramatic relationships and story points are described for which no pre-existing term was available. To fill this void, several different approaches were taken. Sometimes, words not normally associated with dramatics were called into service, such as Catalyst and Inhibitor. Other times, existing dramatic terms were more precisely defined, or redefined to meet a particular descriptive need, such as Main Character meaning the audience's position in a story and NOT meaning a Hero nor a Protagonist. As a last resort, completely new words were coined to describe unique concepts when no other appropriate words already existed, such as Contagonist. Although Dramatica's use of terminology is the biggest hurdle to quick understanding, it is also its greatest strength for it allows the theory and software to describe dramatics with far greater precision than previously possible.

Dream

Variation dyn.pr. Hope ↔ Dream

a desired future that requires unexpected developments

Dream describes a character who speculates on a future that has not been ruled out, however unlikely. Dreaming is full of "what ifs." Cinderella dreamed of her prince because it wasn't quite unimaginable. One Dreams of winning the lottery even though one "hasn't got a hope." Hope requires the expectation that something will happen if nothing goes wrong. Dreaming has no such limitation. Nothing has to indicate that a Dream will come true, only that it's not impossible. Dreaming can offer a positive future in the midst of disaster. It can also motivate one to try for things others scoff at. Many revolutionary inventors have been labeled as Dreamers. Still and all, to Dream takes away time from doing, and unless one strikes a balance and does the groundwork, one can Dream while hopes go out the window for lack of effort.

syn. aspire, desiring the unlikely, pulling for the doubtful, airy hope, glimmer, far fetched desire

Driver

Plot Dynamic

the kind of activity focused upon in the effort to solve the story's problem

Action or Decision describes how the problem of the Story will primarily be explored. The primary concern is the kind of storytelling you want to do. If you want action to be the focus of your storytelling, choose action. If you want deliberation to be the focus of your storytelling, choose decision. It's that simple.

Dynamic Pair

Structural Term

a pair of items whose relationship is that they are extreme opposites

In any given quad, Dynamic Pairs are represented as two items that are diagonal to each other. A quad consists of four items and therefore contains two Dynamic Pairs. Their relationship can imply conflict, or it can imply synthesis. These are the negative and positive aspects of Dynamic Pairs.

Dynamics

Dramatica Term

dramatic forces that determine the course a story will take

The power of a story is divided between two realms. First is the structure that represents the dramatic potentials that exist in character, plot, and theme at the beginning of a story. Second are the dynamic forces that will act upon the dramatic potentials to change the relationship between characters, change the course of the plot and develop the theme as the story unfolds. In Dramatica, choices between alternative forces such as "Success or Failure" and "Change or Steadfast" determine the dynamics that will act upon a story.