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Gathering Information

Type Understanding ↔ Gathering Information

gathering information or experience; learning

Gathering Information describes the process of acquiring knowledge. It is not the knowledge itself. When a portion of a story focuses on learning, it is the gathering of an education that is of concern, not the education that ultimately has been gathered. Gathering Information need not be an academic endeavor. One might learn to express one's feelings or learn about love. Gathering Information does not even require new information as sometimes one learns simply by looking through old information from a different perspective or with a new approach. It is not important if one is learning to arrive at a particular understanding or just to gather data. As long as the focus is on the process of gaining information or learning, Gathering Information is the operative word.

syn. cultivating experience, acquiring information, collecting data, gathering knowledge



the central objective of a story

A Goal is that which the Protagonist of a story hopes to achieve. As such, it need not be an object. The Goal might be a state of mind or enlightenment; a feeling or attitude, a degree or kind of knowledge, desire or ability. Although it is his chief concern, the Goal which a Protagonist seeks is not necessarily a good thing for him nor is it certainly attainable. Only through the course of the story does the value and accessibility of the Goal clarify. Dramatica points out the nature of Goal that is consistent with an Author's dramatic choices, but it remains for the Author to illustrate that nature. For any given category of Goal, an unlimited number of examples might be created.


Plot Dynamic

if at the end of the story the Main Character is no longer nagged by his personal problems, the judgment of the story can be said to be Good

The Main Character ultimately succeeds in resolving his personal problems -- Even though the effort to achieve the story's goal may result in success, this is not necessarily a good thing for the Main Character. In fact, success might be obtained in the objective story even though the Main Character fails to resolve his personal problems. Similarly, the effort to achieve the story goal might end in failure yet the Main Character ends up overcoming his personal problems. Regardless of whether the objective story ends in Success or Failure, if the Main Character succeeds in resolving his personal problems the outcome is deemed Good.

Grand Argument Story (GAS)

Dramatica Term

A story that illustrates all four throughlines (Overall Story, Relationship Story, Main Character, and Impact Character) and their every story point so that no holes are left in either the passionate or dispassionate arguments of that story

A Grand Argument Story covers all the bases so that it cannot be disproved. From the perspective that it creates, it is right. There are four views in a complete story which look at all the possible ways the story could be resolved from all the possible perspectives allowed; these are represented by the perspectives created by matching the four Throughlines with the four Classes (the Overall Story, Relationship Story, Main Character, and Impact Character Throughlines matched up with the Classes of Situation (Universe), Activities (Physics), Manipulation (Psychology), and Fixed Attitudes (Mind) to create the four perspectives of the particular story they are operating in). Every complete storyform explores each of these perspectives entirely so that their views of the story's problem are consistent and that they arrive at the only solution that could possibly work, allowing the givens built into the story from the start. When this is done, a Grand Argument has been made and there is no disproving it on its own terms. You may disagree with they story's givens, but as an argument it has no holes.


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."


Archetype Contagonist ↔ Guardian

an archetype that represents the motivations of Conscience and Help

This Archetypal character acts as teacher/helper to the Protagonist. As Conscience, he provides the audience with the story's assessment of what is good and bad in the world it describes. In his Dynamic Pair relationship, the Guardian counterbalances the efforts of the Contagonist to hinder progress and tempt the Protagonist from the proper path. Since, according to Archetypal convention, the Protagonist must ultimately face the Antagonist without assistance, both the Guardian and Contagonist must be dramatically nullified before the climax of the story so that they cannot interfere. This often occurs as a separate confrontation between them, just prior to the Protagonist meeting the Antagonist, or it may occur concurrently, but concludes before the actual climax of the story is reached.