Search Results for u


Element Control ↔ Uncontrolled

a disorganized response

The character representing Uncontrolled spreads himself very thin by expending his energy and motivation in all directions at once. As a result, he is fully involved in his environment, which covers all the bases. Yet, because his attention is randomly distributed, there is not a single direction to his thrust. Therefore, the Uncontrolled character frequently spends a lot of energy getting nowhere.

syn. unregulated, disorganized, unfocused, rampant, unguided, open, frenzy


Type Learning ↔ Understanding

appreciating the meaning of something

Understanding is different from knowledge. From knowledge one gets awareness, from Understanding one gets meaning. To obtain meaning requires not only knowing the substance of its nature but the context of its essence. In other words, one must not only define what something is but how it fits into the larger picture as well. To this end, Reason describes the function and Emotion defines the purpose. So Understanding is not just an intellectual pursuit but requires an empathy with the meaning as well. It is useful to note that many Eastern and ancient philosophies define Understanding as "becoming one with" that which is being considered. Until one joins his subject in unity, he cannot understand it.

syn. comprehending, grasping, appreciating, obtaining meaning, acquiring meaning


Element Ending ↔ Unending

a continuance without cessation

The Unending characteristic sees nothing as ever coming to completion. What others may see as an end, this characteristic sees as a change of direction. For example, obtaining a diploma is seen not as an end of college but as another step in one's career (which is Unending). This has an advantage of "never saying 'die'," which helps the motivation stay alive to keep trying. On the other hand, seeing a bad thing as unending can rob one of motivation. Also, when something is really over, the character representing Unending can't see it. This might be a former relationship or a current job that he takes for granted.

syn. continual, ongoing, perpetual, ceaseless, interminable, incessant, perennial

Unique Ability


the item that makes the Main Character uniquely able to determine the Overall Story's outcome; the item that makes the Impact Character uniquely able to pressure the Main Character to Change

Just as a requirement defines the specific nature of things needed to achieve a particular goal, Unique Ability defines the specific quality needed to meet the requirement. Unique Ability is another way in which the Main Character is identified as the intersecting point between the Relationship and Overall stories as it is only he who ultimately has what it takes to meet the test of the requirement and thereby achieve the goal. The Unique Ability need not be anything extraordinary but must be the one crucial quality required that is shared by no one else. Frequently, the Unique Ability is in keeping with the Main Character's position or profession, however it can be much more interesting to assign an incongruous Unique Ability. In either approach, it is essential to illustrate the existence of the Unique Ability in the Main Character several times throughout the story, even if it is not employed until the climax. In this way, it becomes integrated into the nature of the Main Character and does not seem conveniently tacked on when it is ultimately needed. Also, the Unique Ability can be extremely mundane. The key is that the ability does not have to be unique by nature, but just possessed uniquely in that specific story by the Main Character. Clever storytelling may arrange the climax of the story so that some completely ordinary and insignificant Unique Ability makes the difference in the outcome of a cosmic struggle.


Structural Term

the smallest possible building blocks of story

Dramatica breaks down the components of story into the smallest possible building blocks that have meaning for an author. These essential building blocks are called Units.


Class Mind ↔ Universe

a situation

The Universe Class is where any fixed state of affairs is explored, such as an institution, system, or situation that remains stable and unchanging. The point may be to show that the system is good, bad, or neutral, but the focus must be on the system, not on how the system is changing.

syn. a situation, a set of circumstances, state of affairs, predicament, environment, milieu


Element Proven ↔ Unproven

a rating of knowledge that has not been tested

Unproven describes an understanding suspected to be true but not substantiated enough to call it fact. The character representing Unproven will not accept anything as fact just because the theory has worked so far. No matter how many times or how many ways evidence builds to support the contention, Unproven will not be satisfied until the conclusion is absolutely drawn in hard data not just road tests. This keeps the character representing Unproven from jumping to conclusions, but makes him less able to accept the obvious conclusion unless it is directly observed in a way that is not open to alternative interpretation.

syn. unverified, unconfirmed, unestablished, undemonstrated, untried


Overview Appreciation

the Main Character unwillingly participates in the effort to find a solution to the story problem

Unwilling describes a Main Character who would prefer not to become involved in neither the problem nor the search for a solution. As a result, some sort of leverage must be applied to "force" him to join the quest. Once the Main Character is enticed or coerced into beginning the journey toward a solution, he requires outside encouragement or compulsion to keep up the effort.