Software Questions

What has changed since Dramatica first came out?

Dramatica has undergone eight releases during the last eighteen years, so much has changed in the application. Overall, the program has become more reliable, easier to use, simplified the terminology, and has improved the quality of supporting materials. So the Dramatica of earlier days is not the same program as versions 3.0 and especially versions 4.0. (if you own an earlier version of Dramatica, the software can be updated for a nominal cost. Contact our sales department for more info).

1.0: June 1994. Initial Release. Mac only.

1.1: December 1994. Initial Release for Windows. Feature enhancements. Mac bug fixes.

1.5.1: May 1995. Very minor bug fixes.

1.6: June 1995. Windows bug fixes, cosmetic improvements. Report improvements.

2.0: March 1996. 100 enhancements, including: StoryGuide workbook. Improved questions. Win 95 and PowerPC compatible; additional examples. Improved on-line help; StoryPoints window improved; new theory book.

3.0: February 1998. Improved vocabulary. Integrated StoryGuide into program (ended manual paper process); new question paths; scene creation; export to Movie Magic Screenwriter; newly rewritten reports; plot progression; rewritten on-line help, including on-line theory book; story status bars; theme browser shows structural choices visually; floating dictionary of terms; 60+ story examples;

4.0: July 1999. Simplified terminology (Layman's Terms); reorganized, simplified and easier to use StoryGuide paths; structure templates for different writing forms (screenplay, short story, novel, etc.); new online help system, including online user's manual; easier installation; better postscript printing support; dropped install-based copy protection.

How does Dramatica predict the order of character development?

The theory goes so far as to suggest that it can predict the necessary order and appearance of these dynamic elements. I feel like I have missed something very important about the structure of my story and the employment of character. Not only do I not know how to assign the elements effectively, I am beginning to unravel what I do understand about the structure and its relationship to my character formation. Where do I find such a prediction of character dynamics? How does the structure make such predictions?

That's why we refer to Dramatica as a theory of story. The program COULD do that type of prediction, but we do not allow it to. To do so, Dramatica begins to micro-manage the story development process which is completely antithetical to the creative process. In other words, don't look for this in Dramatica because you won't find it in any version of the software that has been released.

My recommendation to you is to loosen up a little on your objective characters. Understand that, from Dramatica's point of view, it doesn't matter which character elements each of your objective characters has. That is COMPLETELY a storytelling choice determined by you, the author, and will not have any bearing on the meaning of the STORYFORM. It will, however, have a potentially strong impact on your STORYTELLING (storyencoding and storyweaving). So even though it makes no difference to Dramatica, it will make a difference to you. SO . . . create characters that you want to populate your story. Follow the rule of 3's as a general guideline. Be aware of each character's characteristics when they interact to determine the nature and direction of those interactions. But most importantly, write it the way that FEELS and LOGICS right for you.