Do I really need all 64 character elements in my story?

I've been working for some time now on my current script and I have a question that probably only you can answer. I seem to be having a really hard time getting a handle on the number of elements in the 64 Element Set that should be used in creating my chatacters.... I would appreciate if you could enlighten me on this.

"In a perfect world..." every character element would be represented and interacted with every other element.

"In a minimalist world..." the four character elements in the quad that contains the problem element will interact.

The "real" world exists somewhere between the two.

Generally speaking, it's best to describe the interactions of elements in quads (4), sets (16 elements), chess sets (64 elements), or super sets (256 elements = all elements in the four domains). The reason this is a generalization comes from the fact that the qualities that define ANY quad are similar. The difference is the "shading" and levels of subtlety. The more elements, the greater the subtlety. The reason for trying to keep to the factors of "4" is to maintain a semblance of balance. If you explore 12 of the 16 motivation elements, your argument to the audience is going to seem off balance. IF you only argue four, the argument will appear balanced but shallow.

Another factor is the type of finished work in which your story is to be written. A novel has far more "real estate" to explore story nitty-gritty of character element interactions than a screenplay. A screenplay has more room than a short story. A short story has more room than a ballad. Very often the form in which you tell a story may dictate how much time and space you have to tell it.

About the Examples

When analyzing someone else's work, it's often difficult to identify every bit of the author's intent. Big stuff, such as Story Goal or Main Character Problem might be easy, but dissecting the Overall Story Characters is often little more than guess work. Our example files try to identify the character elements where intent could be identified. Where it was unclear or conflicted, we left the elements blank. It's important to keep in mind that Dramatica's tools are just that--tools. Use them to fix things that aren't working properly or to tune them up. Don't trying fixing aspects of your story that aren't "broken." Just because you have a hammer does not mean everything is a nail.

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